News / Calgary

Langevin signs officially taken down from renamed Reconciliation Bridge

After more than a year, the City of Calgary roads department has retired the Langevin Bridge signs.

The sign bearing the Langevin name was taken down in late February.

Elizabeth Cameron / For Metro

The sign bearing the Langevin name was taken down in late February.

Langevin Bridge? What Langevin Bridge? No such bridge here.

The two “Langevin” signs on the Reconciliation Bridge have been quietly taken down by the city’s roads department because, according to a spokesman, that’s not the name of the bridge anymore.

In 2015, after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, many came to the city asking that they rename the Langevin Bridge — which bore the name of a prominent Canadian who paved the way for Confederation but was also an early proponent of the residential schools system.

The bridge, which crosses the Bow River into downtown, got its name change on Jan. 23, 2017 after councillors signed on to a motion by the mayor.

Although the physical signs still referred to the bridge as Langevin, on Google Maps and elsewhere online, including city documents, it has since been referred to as Reconciliation Bridge.

The bridge still sported the green plaques of its former namesake more than a year later, despite the city’s attempts to quickly change the name the day after the motion was passed.

In the summer of 2017, Mayor Naheed Nenshi tweeted that the city’s roads department was “so moved” by the act of reconciliation that they stayed late to make a new sign and quickly moved to replace the old ones on the bridge.

“I was so touched by their beautiful gesture,” wrote Nenshi. “Then I made them take it down and wait for the formal ceremony. :-).”

Finally, last week on Feb. 23, the city removed “Langevin Bridge” signs on either end of the bridge.

“The Tsuut’ina Nation officially applauds the city,” said spokesman Kevin Littlelight. “It’s a step in the right direction for the city for our relationship. It’s a real positive change.”

Littlelight hopes the city will consider having a celebration for the bridge’s new name on June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day.

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