Gord Downie is continuing to be honoured this week for his commitment to helping make Canada a better place for everyone.
The Tragically Hip front man was added to the Order of Canada on Monday in a ceremony taking place in Ottawa’s Rideau Hall. Now, Downie’s hometown of Kingston, Ontario is naming one of the area’s most popular spots after the musician.
Formally known as the Public Utilities Commission pier, the dock will now be called the Gordon Edgar Downie Pier. The Kingston city council voted unanimously in favour of renaming the dock in honor of one of the city’s most famous residents and waterfront allies.
Mayor Bryan Paterson praised Downie as a proponent of the Swim Drink Fish Canada-Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, an organization that helps stop big businesses from polluting the lake. In the resolution put forward by the Mayor the rename the pier, Paterson wrote “Gord Downie, as both a supporter and a board member of Swim Drink Fish Canada-Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, has used his music and his profile to champion the stewardship of Lake Ontario to ensure its natural integrity is preserved.”
An activist for many causes, including protecting the environment and bettering the lives of Canada’s First Nations people, Downie’s involvement in preserving the area was noted in the resolution, with the singer previously holding charity concerts to help raise money and awareness for protecting Lake Ontario and ensuring Canadians have access to enjoy the country’s bodies of water.
Downie grew up with a front row seat to Lake Ontario, with his childhood home located across the street from Breakwater Park, which is home to the pier that will now bear his name. Thanks to a $500,000 donation in March by Swim Drink Fish Canada to the Breakwater Park, a renovation has been planned for the area, which will include umbrellas, benches, and ladders to make swimming more accessible. The rejuvenated park will open later this year with its new name in place.
In May 2016, The Tragically Hip announced that Downie had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. The band completed a cross-country tour in the summer of 2016, with the band’s final show taking place in Kingston. A documentary of the Man Machine Poem Tour is set to air in October on CTV.