Majority in favour of renaming Dundas Street, but opposition grows when costs considered: poll

A new poll has found the majority of Torontonians are in favour of removing the Dundas name from streets and public amenities until the costs to do so are considered.

The poll, conducted by Maru Public Opinion, found 55 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of the recent decision by city council to remove the Dundas name from the street and other amenities like Yonge-Dundas Square.

However, 61 per cent were opposed to it when considering how much it would cost the city and “personal and businesses administrative requirements” that would follow the change.

The street is named after Scottish minister Henry Dundas, who never stepped foot in Toronto and is infamous for playing a key role in delaying the abolition of the British empire’s transatlantic slave trade.

A report from the city estimated the cost of re-branding all civic assets bearing the “Dundas” name at close to $6 million.

Council voted 17-7 in favour of changing the name on July 14

The poll also found the majority of those surveyed, 55 per cent, were in favour of considering renaming other Toronto streets named for people historically associated with slavery, the elimination of Indigenous culture, and residential schools.

They also said they were open to naming the streets after prominent Toronto residents, leaders and phrases.

However, there was a dead split in the poll when it asked whether residents supported a new initiative from Mayor John Tory to review the names of 50 streets — to decide whether they should be renamed or left the same.

The Maru Public Opinion poll findings were taken from a survey conducted between July 9 and July 18 from 500 randomly selected adults living in Toronto who are Maru Voice Canada online panelists. The poll has an estimated margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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