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Petition started to have Oshawa street named after the Fossmobile

(Photo supplied)

By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express

The potential to have a street named in Oshawa after the Fossmobile is losing traction among some city councillors.

The development services committee voted 5-1 against adding the name Fossmobile to the city’s Street Name Reserve List.

City Councillor Rosemary McConkey was the only one who endorsed the idea, noting that it enhances the automotive history of the city.

“We have some wonderful street names – a lot named after cars,” she says. “I think it’d be fascinating when someone has a street named Fossmobile, to actually learn a little bit about automotive history.”

She says the city should also want to encourage visitors to the Canadian Automotive Museum in the downtown, where the tribute car will be housed.

She adds there are a lot of new streets coming in.

“It’s an opportunity here to just celebrate the history of this city.”

However, City Councillor Rick Kerr says there’s no direct connection to Oshawa and the development of the community.

“The only connection that this has to Oshawa is the fact that it will now be located at the Canadian Automotive Museum,” he says.

“There should be some consideration to the direct community impact and development that a person might have in order to receive this honour,” Kerr adds.

In response to the direction from the development services committee, Ron Foss, Executive Director at Fossmobile Ent., has started a petition in the hopes of creating more excitement to have a street named in Oshawa after the Fossmobile.

“The Fossmobile was Canada’s first successful gasoline automobile, built in 1897,” the petition reads. “With Oshawa being a Canadian city and the heartland of Canadian automotive history, the Foss family thought it would be fitting to have a street named after this Canadian accomplishment.”

The petition states that George Foss and Sam McLaughlin knew each other and Foss not only taught McLaughlin how to drive, he also sold him his very first automobile.

“So there is a Canadian legacy that should be embraced,” the petition continues.

“We feel that many citizens of Oshawa would support this initiative and see the relevance to Canadian automotive history,” says Foss.

Council will be voting on the item at its next meeting on June 21.