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University Ave. could be dedicated to Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela Nelson Mandela During Election Campaign, Athlone Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa - Mar 1994. Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX (912539a)

University Avenue could soon be dedicated to former South African president Nelson Mandela.

The Public Works Committee has unanimously voted in favour of ceremonially naming University Avenue, which runs from Front Street to College Street, Nelson Mandela Boulevard.

The street dedication won’t change the official street name or address information.

Special “Nelson Mandela Boulevard” signs would be added.

The plan still needs city council approval.

The City of Toronto sought public input on the issue after city council unanimously voted in April to name a street after the Nobel Peace Prize winner who was jailed for 27 years for protesting apartheid in South Africa.

University Avenue was the winner. The other candidates were:

  •     Queen Street West from Yonge Street to University Avenue
  •     Shuter Street, from River Street to Parliament Street
  •     Gerrard Street East, from Jarvis Street to Yonge Street
  •     Bathurst Street, from College Street to Herrick Street

Members of the public can learn more about the significance of the streets here.

Mayor Rob Ford made headlines around the world for voting against the motion. He said it was a mistake and was allowed to re-vote in favour of the proposal.

Mandela became South Africa’s first black president after his release and became a symbol of perseverance in the face of racial inequality.

“Nelson Mandela is recognized around the world for his heroism, dedication and commitment to his country, and his love for people of every race and creed,” Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly said in a release. “The naming of a street after Nelson Mandela is a positive way for Toronto to honour the legacy of this great man.”

Mandela died at the age of 95 on Dec. 5, 2013.