Tweed Lane new jewel on city map

David Hutton, The StarPhoenix

Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Saskatoon's famous playmate has another jewel to add to the family collection.

City council has approved naming Tweed Lane in Rosewood after Shannon Tweed, 54, the Mount Royal Collegiate alum who rose to fame in the 1980s after appearing on the cover of Playboy magazine.

Tweed, Canada's second Playmate of the Year, former gal-pal of Hugh Hefner and longtime mate of Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, was in the city last year filming an episode of A&E's Gene Simmons Family Jewels, the reality show chronicling their lives.

For the episode, which was shot in November, the city presented Tweed with an honorary street sign bearing her name at River Landing.

But Saskatoon Tourism wanted to have a street officially named after her before the episode airs July 12, so it was fast-tracked.

Tweed Lane will be near the Boychuk Drive entrance to Rosewood, a new privately developed neighbourhood underway in the southeast corner of Saskatoon.

On Thursday, Tweed, calling from Abbotsford, B.C., said she was thrilled with the honour. She didn't expect Tweed Lane to be anything more than a gesture for the show. She said she'll be in Saskatoon in two weeks for a family wedding.

"I wasn't hoping for anything," she said. "I didn't think it would actually become a street."

"I thought it was just honorary. I'm very happy," Tweed said.

Tweed was about to phone her mom, who still lives in Saskatoon along with her brother and two sisters, to let her Saskatoon family know the news.

She said she hopes her street name gains some notoriety for the city.

Her longtime partner, Simmons, had a boulevard in Dallas, Texas, named after him shortly after the honorary presentation last year in Saskatoon, she said. Simmons was also given the key to the city.

"I hope it helps," Tweed said. "Anything that brings commerce and tourism helps. I don't know if I'm helping that much but I try to get (Saskatoon) on TV and bring some awareness to a city that might not otherwise."

Todd Brandt, president and CEO of Saskatoon Tourism, said Tweed's international notoriety merits having a street named after her in Saskatoon.

"A lot of people don't realize that Saskatoon is home to Shannon," Brandt said. "I have no problem with recognizing celebrity in this city. Our city tends to be understated in recognizing (celebrities). I have no problem in justifying Shannon being recognized in this way."

Tweed moved to Saskatoon from Newfoundland at age 10. Tweed's mother, Louise, sold the farm and brought the family to Saskatoon to be close to her parents.

Tweed caught her big break when she posed for the cover of Playboy in 1981. She moved in with Hefner and won Playmate of the Year in 1982, pocketing $100,000 and a Porsche.

The reality TV star has appeared in a number of erotic thrillers, including Indecent Behaviour. She had acting roles on CBS's Falcon Crest and NBC's Days of our Lives and made guest appearances on sitcoms including Frasier and Married with Children

Council this week also approved naming streets after the Pichler family, who own Jastek Master Builder and are a major landowner; Dr. Annu Thakur, a psychiatrist and former YWCA woman of the year; and Joel Teal, a land developer and president of Dundee Development Corp. Names are screened by a naming advisory committee, with the master list overseen by the mayor.

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