Street in ‘Little Jamaica’ to be renamed after community leader

Michael Thompson and Jimmy Wisdom

North York Community Council unanimously passed a motion last week to rename Locksley Avenue, from Eglinton Avenue West to Hopewell Avenue,  “Jimmy Wisdom Way” in honour of the late Ronald Ashford Wisdom, popularly known as Jimmy, the Jamaica-born barber and community leader.

Wisdom who died last November in Toronto, came to Canada in 1968. He opened his first barbershop on Eglinton Avenue West in 1974 and moved to another building on the same street in  1980 where he later established a hair dressing salon in the area known as ” Little Jamaica.”

Michael Colle, Toronto City Councillor for ward eight (Eglinton-Lawrence) who introduced the motion  to rename the street, said Wisdom “worked, mentored, and inspired in his barber shop for over 35 years.”

“Jimmy Wisdom’s legend will live on in  ‘ Little Jamaica ‘ with ‘Jimmy Wisdom Way’ and I’m glad Councillor Mike Colle and the North York Community Council approved this renaming,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory.

The Mayor also  said he is committed ” to celebrating community heroes like Jimmy and preserving the heritage of our neighbourhoods, including  ‘Little Jamaica.’ ”

Two weeks ago,  Toronto City Council unanimously passed a motion calling for the establishment of a “Little Jamiaca” Heritage and Innovation Hub in  the Eglinton West area from Marlee Avenue to Keele Street.

The Hub ” celebrates the outstanding cultural and economic contributions made by the Black community in Toronto, and affords hope and opportunity for this legacy to be expanded upon, declared Councillor Colle who also intoduced this motion.

He said it will honour and recognize local Black leaders and others with heritage plagues and murals.