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TDSB to conduct city-wide review of school names to 'better reflect' diversity

Jarvis Collegiate Institute is shown on Nov. 1, 2013. CITYNEWS

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) says it will conduct a city-wide review of school names this summer to “better reflect the diversity of the city.”

The board will form a group made up of students, parents/guardians, educators, community members, and experts in anti-racism work, to conduct the sweeping review.

“This plan aims to improve the naming and renaming process for schools to ensure that school names better represent the diverse people, cultures and history of Toronto, including, but not limited to, Indigenous and Black leaders and the contemporary values of the city,” the TDSB said in a release.

The review is expected to be completed by the end of June 2021.

“It’s important that our schools and programs, including the names of schools, reflect the diverse people and communities that we celebrate at the TDSB. I fully support this plan and look forward to reviewing the proposal,” TDSB Chair, Alexander Brown said in the release.

Calls have been growing for schools boards, and municipalities, to change names of schools, buildings and streets that honour people with a history tied to colonialism and slavery.

A Change.org petition calls for the TDSB to rename Jarvis Collegiate. Ryerson University in Toronto has faced similar calls to disassociate from Egerton Ryerson — an architect of Canada’s residential school system

In October, Toronto city council voted in favour of public consultations on the possible renaming of Dundas Street after a Toronto resident started a petition to have the street renamed. The petition called the legacy of Henry Dundas “highly problematic,” saying he “actively participated in obstructing the abolition of slavery.”

RELATED: Petition calls for Dundas Street to be renamed