The City of Vernon will no longer refer to a well-known local landmark by its longstanding moniker.
Coun. Akbal Mund’s motion to remove any future reference of the name Suicide Hill, at the east end of 30th Avenue, from city literature, being sensitive of the definition, received unanimous support.
“For those families who have gone through losing a loved one to suicide, they do not need to be reminded why the hill is called what it is due to significant hazards from motor vehicles,” said Mund, who offered up the eastbound portion of 30th Avenue from 25th to 22nd Street be called 30th Avenue Hill in future city references.
“Even in our own reports, it’s referenced as Suicide Hill. I’m saying we should remove it from city literature due to the insensitivity of the name’s connotation, that’s all.”
Coun. Brian Quiring agreed with Mund’s motion but wasn’t keen on calling it 30th Avenue Hill.
“I think we should come up with something more meaningful for that neighbourhood, something more positive to kind of negate the connotation of Suicide Hill,” said Quiring. “Nobody’s going to stop calling it Suicide Hill unless it gets a new name.”
Mund said the city should not be involved in renaming the hill, preferring to leave it up to the community.
No direction was given by council on coming up with a new name.
Suicide Hill, with its infamous “humps,” used to be a two-way roadway but was changed to uphill only and reconfigured by the city years ago. The hill used to be painted every June by the graduating classes of Vernon Senior Secondary School, a tradition that ended in 1981, but was revived in 2020 in the wake of COVID-19 cancelling grad traditions.
After the VSS Class of 2020 painted the hill, the city closed the roadway for the summer and re-opened it in September. The paint was power washed off the hill the week of Oct. 5.