Neal Peart
LAS VEGAS - JULY 28: Rush drummer Neil Peart performs at the MGM Grand Garden Arena July 28, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The rock trio is touring in support of the new album, "Snakes & Arrows." (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Neil Peart’s hometown names pavilion after him

In honor of the late Rush drummer Neil Peart

By Trent Sell

After a community vote, Neil Peart’s home town of St Catharines, Ontario will honor his legacy with a Pavillion named after him.

The Neil Peart Pavilion

The newly named Neal Peart Pavilion is located in the Port Dalhousie area of St Catharines, Ontario. In addition to being in the city where Neil grew up, this specific area inspired the writing of the song “Lakeside Park.” “Lakeside Park” was off of Rush’s 1975 album Caress of Steel.

The Canadian rock legend sadly died at age 67 early this year from an aggressive form of cancer. The St Catharines city council held a unanimous public vote to see if they favored changing the “Lakeside Park Pavilion” to the “Neil Peart Pavilion.” With more than 81% of the vote favoring the name change, it was clear how the community felt.

“The public voting on naming is obviously fairly conclusive,” said Port Dalhousie Coun. Bruce Williamson. “Neil Peart’s been one of our most famous local individuals and a lot of his songs have local roots, including the namesake park.”

Growing up in St Catharines

Peart spoke quite fondly of his hometown and what life was like growing up there. In a 1994 exclusive for The Standard, Peart wrote about his childhood.

He described the streets of Port Dalhousie as a magical place for him. “Port Dalhousie in the late ’50s was a magical time and place, perfect for boyhood,” he said. “Quiet streets for ball hockey, the lake for swimming, skating on Martindale Pond, the library to feed my growing appetite for reading and hordes of other ‘baby boomer’ kids around to share it all.”

He also explained, “as a rule, though, I’m not very nostalgic … but now that I take this occasion to look back on my early life, I am amazed at how many names and faces come surging up. Old friends and neighbors, of course, but more important: So many people who have made a mark on my life. Schoolteachers, drum teachers, life savers, guitar players, grandmothers and even Mom and Dad. … My life, then and now, might be summed up by Nietzsche’s motto: ‘That which does not kill me makes me stronger.'”
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