Toronto city council has voted to move forward with public consultations on the possible renaming of Dundas Street.
The following four options will be considered by council with a report due back in 2021.
- Do nothing (not recommended by city staff)
- Retain the legal street names with additional interpretations and recognitions
- Retain the legal street names but rename those civic assets with Dundas in their name, except TTC facilities
- Rename the streets and all other civic assets now carrying the Dundas name
Council agreed to examine the issue after a Toronto resident, Andrew Louchhead, started a petition to have the street renamed — ultimately garnering over 14,000 signatures.
Louchhead called the legacy of Henry Dundas, an 18th century Scottish politician who the street is named after, “highly problematic.”
He said Dundas actively participated in obstructing the abolition of slavery in the British Empire from 1791 to the end of his political career in 1806.
“If we truly wish for our public street names and monuments to reflect our values and priorities, we must consider engaging the public in the process of removing those names which are no longer worthy of our honour or respect,” Louchhead said in a statement.
BREAKING: Toronto City Council votes to move ahead with public consultation on the renaming of Dundas Street. Four options to be discussed. Report due back in 2021. pic.twitter.com/k1pLeqKJF5
— Mark McAllister (@McAllister_Mark) October 1, 2020
Renaming Dundas Street would come at a considerable cost, but Mayor John Tory said council would consider its options with the goal of creating an more inclusive city.
“Considering the renaming of Dundas Street is just the beginning of the work we need to do to build a Toronto where we all belong,” Tory said in a July release.
“This is a huge and important undertaking – one that we are determined to do carefully and properly to set a standard that we can follow going forward,” added City Manager Chris Murray.