Toronto Dominican delegation meets Mayor Tory to discuss renaming of city park

(From left) Alfredo Valenzuela, Yandira Feliz, Mayor John Tory and Luis Feliz Cambumbo

A delegation from the Toronto Dominican community met recently with  Mayor John Tory to present its proposal for the renaming  of  Caledonia Park.

The delegation wants the  City of Toronto to call it the Santo Domingo  Baseball Park.

And, according to Yandira Feliz, Chair of the  Toronto Dominican Renaming Committee,  its proposal is “being considered.”

“Mayor Tory had a good meeting with community members on the proposal and right now the Mayor’s office is  working with City staff on the next  steps,” said Don Peat, the Mayor’s Director of Communications.

“Right now,  he [the Mayor] is waiting to hear from  City  staff on the full implications of such a  change,” Peat  told the Caribbean  Camera.

Community activist  Luis Feliz Cambumbo, one of the members of the delegation and an avid baseball fan,  said that Caledonia Park  is already the  “unofficial baseball home” of that community around the park where one can see the sport being played  by people  of all ages.”

Feliz recalled that when he came to Canada in 1990, there were only a few hundred people from the Dominican Republic in Toronto and his native country “was not well known by many fellow Torontonians.

“Today, thousands of us have made Toronto our home and our country is now better known because of our outstanding baseball players.”

He  said  that  so far he  has not  met  anyone  opposed to the name change.

He noted that the committee has been having discussions with Ken Jeffers, a retired Manager with Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, about the name change.

In its proposal, the  committee noted  that The Toronto Blue Jays and their farm teams have always had “a significant amount of Dominican players who have demonstrated great affection and love for the City of Toronto.”

Since there are so many worthy baseball players of Dominican heritage who have contributed to the Toronto Blue Jays, it will be prudent to rename Caledonia Park Santo Domingo Baseball Park.  In view of the fact that there are no monuments at this time that recognize the proud contributions that the Dominican community have made to the City of Toronto in particular, this recognition will be timely,” it said.

Josh  Colle,  City Councillor for the area where the park is located,  said he looks  forward to hearing about the proposal.

“It is a creative idea that I encourage the organizers to begin to share with the local community.”

Colle told the Caribbean Camera.

The  Renaming Committee is calling for the support  and endorsement of all sectors of the community, private and public, and the Blue Jays for the name change.