Rush News

Lee and Lifeson to be honoured with a Toronto park

Update, August 2: "Limelight for Rush: Toronto rockers get a park named in their honour" - Toronto Star, August 2, 2014
“I know my mom is very happy!” frontman Geddy Lee told the Toronto Star.  “We met with the park architects and were really impressed with the thought and plans they have for it,” Lee said. 

Early designs for the area include art installations, a collaborative performance space and even a small bandshell for “acoustic concerts,” according to Willowdale Councillor John Filion, who first hatched the tribute plan two years ago.
“I was standing around one night with a fellow music lover trying to think of somebody who had grown up in Willowdale who was a famous artist or musician,” Filion said. “We both came up with the name Geddy Lee almost simultaneously.”
The councillor contacted Lee with the idea, and he immediately got on board — albeit with one condition.  “He said he was interested and honoured, but also suggested it be named after Alex Lifeson, too,” Filion said.
According to rock lore, Lee and Lifeson met as students at the nearby Fisherville Junior High School, where they first forged the musical bond that would eventually blossom into one of rock’s most prolific power trios.  “It is where I met my best friend and bandmate,” Lee said. “We were humbly honoured by the suggestion to name the park after us.”
Update, July 16: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson: Rush members’ names proposed for art park in Willowdale" - North York Mirror, July 16, 2014
 "...Lee and Lifeson are expected to be honoured when a unique creative space in Willowdale is named the Lee Lifeson Art Park. A report on the proposed name is scheduled to come before North York community council Aug. 12.

"The name has been applauded by residents at two community meetings and Lee and Lifeson are pleased with the honour, Willowdale Councillor John Filion said. “They were wonderful about it. They asked a lot of questions,” he said about meeting with the band mates about the idea in May. “They said they would be honoured to have a park like this named after them.”

"The park will be built next year northeast of Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue between Hillcrest and Princess avenue, east of Gladys Allison Place. While it will be a local space meant for area residents, it will be more than an ordinary park.

"“Two years ago, I came up with the idea to create a park that would focus on the arts and would be a celebration of creativity, where people could go to be creative or go to enjoy others’ creativity,” Filion said. “All the arts will be represented there but the focus will be on music and sound. This is really a new concept, there isn’t a prototype anywhere. It’s nothing we’re copying from anywhere else.” When it came time to think of a name for the park, Lee and Lifeson’s names “just jumped off the page,” Filion said.

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