Jun 28, 2021

By Jeremy Logan

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City staff have recommended renaming Toronto’s Dundas Street and other landmarks in an effort to promote inclusion and reconciliation with marginalized communities, a move supported by the mayor.

More than 14,000 people signed a petition last year asking for the street to be renamed because its namesake, Henry Dundas, an 18th-century politician who played a key role in delaying Britain’s abolition of the slave trade.

Staff sought comment from Black and Indigenous groups and businesses on possible name changes, or doing nothing.

“It is very clear that engaging the public on any option other than a full renaming of Dundas Street and civic assets runs counter to the commitments council has made to equity, reconciliation and inclusion,” wrote Chris Murray, the city’s manager.

Ridding Toronto of the Dundas name will cost an estimated $5.1 million to $6.3 million. Costs include renaming Yonge-Dundas Square, two subway stations and all related signage, the report notes.

City staff also examined peer-reviewed research to better understand Henry Dundas and looked at more than 400 case studies on “the evolution of commemoration and naming policies.”

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