Subject to council approval Monday, the city will no longer be officially known as the Corporation of the City of St. Thomas, but instead St. Thomas – The Railway City.
And with it, new branding courtesy of adHome – an advertising and digital agency based in London – and a city administrative team composed of various department staff.
The new identity for the city is designed to “reflect a strong, close-knit community that’s continually looking to move forward,” according to city manager Wendell Graves.
In addition, it is designed to “reflect a vibrant culture and progressive business ideals looking to the future with a nod to the past,” continues Graves in his report to council.
Further quoting Graves with regard to the logo, “the bold font embodies the strength and resilience of a determined community focused on growth.
“The modern artistic interpretation of a train engine and cowcatcher, represented by the letter “O” with a solid line underneath, combine with the vibrant fiery colours to reflect the city’s lively cultural scene.”
Here’s where the design of the logo is quite creative. If you look closely at plume of smoke emanating from the locomotive, “you’ll also see a subtle nod to a very unique and differentiating piece of St. Thomas’ railway history,” Graves points out. “Steam takes on the shape of an elephant’s head, paying tribute to the spirit of Jumbo and how the compassionate community of St. Thomas embraced his story.”
Graves concludes, “Collectively, the font, colours and icon depict a community that is continually discovering ways to further enhance life for its residents.”
It is certainly far more progressive than the current logo. As always, your feedback is welcome.
WELCOME ABOARD THE MCGEE MERRY-GO-ROUND
“It ain’t over till it’s over.” One of Yogi Berra’s classic paradoxical statements naturally befits the Sutherland saga.
Demolition was to begin this coming week but, instead, it’s a return to courtroom drama for the four-storey derelict structure.
Owner David McGee is again seeking a court injunction to halt the city tearing down the structure dating back to 1913.
At a hearing this past Wednesday (Oct. 11) in Toronto, the procedural matter of whether owner David McGee can represent Sutherland Lofts Corporation at an appeal hearing was addressed.
It would appear McGee and long-time legal counsel Valerie M’Garry have had a parting of the ways. And at the hearing, it was determined McGee can represent the corporation as legal counsel.
Next on the agenda is a hearing Monday (Oct. 16) to determine the next step.
“They did not discuss the merits of what was being asked,” explained Graves following Wednesday’s date at Osgoode Hall, “that will be heard on Monday. The justice was very cognizant of the fact this needs to be dealt with quickly . . . We’ll hear Monday whether they will allow discussion on the appeal.”
On June 28 of this year, Justice Peter Hockin upheld a pair of work orders dating to 2015 and 2016. In reality, concurring with city engineers the structure is unsafe.
The 30-day appeal period has long expired.
How frustrating is this for staff at city hall?
“We manage our files based on the factual course of action and deadlines,” stressed Graves. “And then this landed on our plate and so we have to respond to it.”
It’s a hail Mary on the part of McGee and added frustration for the hostages of St. Thomas awaiting release.
FUN WITH FIGURES
The provincial government issued a comprehensive news release this past week “celebrating significant progress on many hospital, school, transit, road and bridge projects across the province.”
If you search through the website, you will come to a page dedicated to the expansion of St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital.
Of interest, the contract value is listed at $63.3 million, far less than the $106 million originally forecast, with a local commitment of 10% or roughly $11 million (although the hospital was seeking $13 million from the city/county/community).
Early in 2012 – after Jeff Yurek won the riding for the PC’s – the Dalton McGuinty government subjected the project to a scoping process and the new value was pegged in the $70 to $80 million range.
In March of that year, Allan Weatherall, then executive-director of the hospital foundation, wrote to Ald. Sam Yusuf encouraging him to push council to put aside hospital funding in the 2012 city budget.
A sort of slush fund, if you like.
Is that the explanation for the $10 million difference in the provincial commitment of 10 per cent of the project cost and the revised $16 million target of the Great Expansion fundraising efforts?
The $63.3 million total is the “bricks and mortar” cost of construction. The province will not pay for equipment and furnishings.
Understand that, but most in the community are under the impression the fundraising is the community portion of the building itself, not the furnishings.
Perhaps some clarification is in order.
And just how close are we to the $16 million target? Haven’t been able to get a clear accounting on that one.
ON THE CALENDAR
A public meeting will be held 11 a.m. October 26 in Room 204, city hall, to consider a site plan control application for a proposed six-story, 80-unit retirement home at 292 Wellington Street, the site of the burned-out Ramada Inn.
Questions and comments may be emailed to: City Scope
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