Oct 12, 2023
By Jane Brown
Remember the hot topic around renaming Dundas Street in Toronto?
A new poll finds a majority of Toronto residents support renaming Dundas Street, which was named for Henry Dundas, who is said to have played a role in delaying the abolition of the Transatlantic slave trade in the 1790s.
But the Liason Strategies survey also finds while 54 percent of city residents support renaming Dundas Street, support drops to 42 percent when the estimated $8.6-million cost is considered.
City councillors, led by then Toronto mayor John Tory, voted to rename the street in 2021 amid a renewed awareness around racial justice.
Historians have argued over his part in history, with some saying Henry Dundas was in fact an abolitionist who was trying to introduce amendments that would allow some form of abolition to pass rather than being defeated outright.
A committee has been studying options for alternative names and is expected to report back this year.
A group of former mayors, including Zoomer Radio panelist David Crombie, sent Mayor Olivia Chow a letter this past summer asking her to reconsider. They question the practicality of the change and some of the research behind the decision.