By now, we’re all familiar with the issues surrounding the issues with having one of Toronto’s most notable streets named after someone who played an instrumental role in delaying the abolition of the slave trade. For years there have been talks about renaming Dundas Street so that it’s no longer a commemoration of Henry Dundas.
However, now it looks like there’s finally some action. Mayor John Tory’s Executive Committee voted unanimously this week to move forward with the renaming process and if it gets approved by City Council on July 14, Dundas Street will officially get a new name.
6-0!!! WE DID IT! #RenameDundasStreet goes to City Council on 14/7!!! Big thanks to @JohnTory @Thompson_37 @cllrainslie @CllrCrawford @McKelvieWard25 @anabailaoTO for your words and votes today! & again to our speakers!! #topoli #Toronto #BlackLivesMatter #Indigenouslivesmatter pic.twitter.com/ggD7PQKq1E— RenameDundasStreet (@DundasRename) July 6, 2021
An Overhaul Across The 6ix
Keep in mind that, if approved, this move won’t happen overnight. Dundas Street spans 23 kilometres through Toronto and into Mississauga so it would involve changing 730 street signs, two subway stations, three parks, a public library, 625 Bike Share stations, and 60 businesses.
The change could cost upwards of $6.3 million dollars and it wouldn’t be completed until Spring 2023 but if you ask around, folks will say it’s well worth it to ensure Toronto is an inclusive city where everyone feels safe and welcome.
City Manager Chris Murray released a report and part of it reads, “Taking steps to right wrongs, challenge systemic institutionalized racism, and build a more inclusive Toronto is more important than ever,” Murray continues. “Addressing the historical legacy of Dundas Street is one of these steps.”
According to the report, a Community Advisory Committee that’s made up of Black and Indigenous residents and business owners will develop a list of potential names for consideration by City Council during the second quarter of 2022.