Oshawa’s Northview branch re-named John Aker Northview Library to honour late 33-year council veteran

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Published January 27, 2023 at 5:27 pm

There aren’t enough words to describe the impact John Aker, a 43-year veteran of public service, including 33 years on Oshawa Council, had on the citizens of Oshawa so perhaps it’s fitting his legacy will be preserved among the stories found at the newly re-named John Aker Northview Library.

Aker, who died in February 2021, was first elected to council in 1973 and served as an Alderman, Councillor and Regional Councillor for 24 years until he stepped away to take a post with the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) in 1997, passing the torch to his daughter Clare, who was an Oshawa Councillor until 2003.

After a 10-year stint at the OMB Aker triumphantly returned to council in 2010 and served two more terms before retiring from politics in 2018.

“John Aker was a life-long resident of Oshawa who was proud to serve his community and a source of inspiration to those who knew him,” said Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter. “We are pleased that the John Aker Northview Branch will be a lasting tribute to his life’s work as a true visionary who helped shape our city and Durham Region.”

Aker served on the Oshawa Public Library Board for those first 24 years and was Chairman of the board from 1989 to 1994. During his tenure, the library underwent many changes, including the opening of two new library branches, the implementation of a computerized catalogue system and the installation of public internet terminals.

“Oshawa families have enjoyed spending quality time at our Northview Branch for engaging library programs and browsing our collections for generations,” said Frances Newman, Oshawa Public Libraries CEO. “As Councillor John Aker made such a significant mark on this wonderful community, the library and its Northview Branch in particular, it seems fitting to rename the branch after him, as he dedicated so much of his time helping bring it to life.”

The renaming of the library branch after Aker, which was first announced nearly a year ago, recognizes his “strong support for the establishment of the branch in 1987, as well as his long years of service” to the City of Oshawa, the Regional Municipality of Durham and the Oshawa library before his death two years ago.

John Aker’s widow Teresa was touched by the honour. “Our family is humbled and so very grateful to the Mayor and City Council and staff, the Library Board, and most of all the citizens of Oshawa for showing your warmth, kindness, and respect for Councillor Aker by honouring him with such a beautiful legacy.”

The John Aker Northview Library is located at 250 Beatrice Street East in Oshawa and serves as a community hub as well a source of information.

John Aker

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