Shatner, Howe have Walk of Fame stars replaced
Actor William Shatner's plaque on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto is seen on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010.
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, December 1, 2010 6:19PM EST
TORONTO - Legendary Detroit Red Wings player Gordie Howe, actor William Shatner and game show host Howie Mandel have new stars on Canada's Walk of Fame.
Cracked and chipped stars belonging to Howe, known as Mr. Hockey, and Shatner, famous for playing Captain Kirk in the popular "Star Trek" series, were replaced on the walk outside Roy Thomson Hall on Wednesday morning.
Mandel, host of TV's "Deal or No Deal" was inducted back in 2009 but his stone wasn't put in until Wednesday.
Since Shatner and Howe couldn't make it to Toronto for a reinstallation ceremony, their new red granite plaques were set into the sidewalk by three city workers without a lot of fanfare.
Howe's son Marty said in an email to The Canadian Press that it's great the damaged star has been replaced.
"Gordie gets to Toronto often but has not had a chance to see his star recently. We will have to make a point of visiting the new star on the Walk of Fame," his son said.
The original plaque belonging to the four-time Stanley Cup winner had a crack on the bottom left corner and some chips out of it. Shatner's plaque showed damage around the edge.
Shatner said he was relieved to hear his "frazzled" star has been fixed.
"I wish I could replace my face as easily. My tile has been retiled and I'm very grateful for that generosity," the Montreal-born actor said in an email to The Canadian Press.
The original plaques, installed in 2000, had been damaged by a sidewalk snow plow.
News of the damaged stars prompted hundreds of people to contact Walk of Fame and city officials, demanding they be replaced. Some even offered to foot the bill, said walk president Peter Soumalias.
Soumalias said he hopes Shatner and Howe can return to Toronto in the spring to celebrate their new plaques, which were ordered in September.
The workers also reset a sunken stone honouring the rock group Nickelback, which was laid in 2007. It resides next to Mandel's stone.
Mandel said in September he didn't want his star put in the sidewalk after what happened to Howe's plaque. The game show host said he didn't want people "stepping on it" and plans were made to put the plaque elsewhere.
But those plans fell through and his star was placed in the ground on Wednesday, two days after his 55th birthday. Pedestrians walking by glanced at the workers as they made the repairs in a light drizzle.
Ken Munday, 30, who works at the Canadian Securities Institute, said he's not a big hockey fan. But he gave a thumbs-up to the new stones.
"I think it's a good idea. He's a Canadian legend," he said of Howe, before doing an impromptu impression of Shatner.
Kevin Maclean, a business consultant for the city, said Howe "is so unappreciated by us."
"He did a lot in his career," Maclean said of the Red Wings' right winger.
"I think it's important for our Canadian history to replace the stones if they've been broken or chipped," said Sylvie Badie, 46, a real estate clerk.