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Znaimer may get his own Way Add to ...

Moses Znaimer. Everywhere.

Everywhere, that is, along the stretch of Queen Street West that the broadcasting maverick called his stomping grounds for more than a decade.

Next week, city council will consider naming the strip of Queen West that runs past CITY-TV, between John and Duncan Streets, Moses Znaimer Way.

If the street sign proposal -- unanimously adopted at yesterday's community council meeting -- gets a nod from city council, it would be an appropriate sign of honour for a man who many say changed the course of local news in Toronto and around the world.

"He was ahead of his time," said Marsha Barber, director of broadcast journalism at Ryerson University.

"Moses was hiring diverse reporters at a time when nobody else was, for example. So there is a sense that he understood the city and what it was all about."

Mr. Znaimer's contributions also include demystifying the world of television with his trademark backdrops of busy newsrooms, giving average citizens a voice with his Speaker's Corner broadcasts, and launching North America's first 24-hour local news station, CablePulse 24.

Although designating sections of streets in honour of people doesn't come up against strict guidelines, it is still very rare in Toronto, said Andy Koropeski, director of transportation services for the city.

"I can't think of more than three off the top of my head," he said.

There's Mirvish Walkway on King Street West in the heart of the city's entertainment district, Johnny Lombardi Way on College Street in Little Italy in honour of the man who launched Toronto's first multicultural radio station, CHIN, and Marshall McLuhan Way on St. Joseph Street, where the legendary media theorist was based at the University of Toronto.

Adding Mr. Znaimer to the list is a natural, said Councillor Martin Silva, who made the initial proposal.

"The work he has done initiating CITY-TV and local broadcasting was a very innovative way of covering the city and bringing the images of the citizens of Toronto to themselves," Mr. Silva said.

"He's a pioneer in local broadcasting so making part of Queen Street the Moses Znaimer Way, we think, is an appropriate tribute."

The initiative stemmed from the thinking of a group of Mr. Znaimer's friends that it would be the best way to honour him as his 65th birthday approaches next year.

Mr. Znaimer was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Although he resigned from his executive post at CHUM (which was bought recently by Bell Globemedia) in 2003 over differences, Ms. Barber, the broadcast expert from Ryerson, sees the possible street designation as positive for all those involved.

"He was doing things nobody else was doing and, love him or hate him, everyone sat up and paid attention."

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