Dec 13, 2023

By Jane Brown

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The renaming of Toronto’s Dundas Street is among the agenda items when Toronto City Councillors meet this week.

Councillor Stephen Holyday says he is bringing forward an administrative inquiry on Wednesday which he says reflects concerns of his constituents in Ward 3 Etobicoke Centre.

“If the city is going to spend multiple millions of dollars, does it make sense to change metal signs?” Holyday questioned, “Or does it make sense to put it towards true and meaningful acts of reconciliation?”

The cost estimate to change the signs along the 23-kilometre long Dundas Street and other city assets with the Dundas name is $8.6 million.

Dundas Street is named after Henry Dundas, who many academics maintain continued the perpetuation of the transatlantic slave trave in the late 1700s.

Holyday says this may not be an accurate reflection of the legacy of Henry Dundas.

“And many academics have stepped forward to say that people’s opinions are wrong, and in fact, they think that he was somebody that supported the abolition of slavery quite vigorously.”

But there is disagreement among Toronto city councillors.

Chris Moies represents Ward 13 Toronto Centre and chairs the Anti-Black Racism Advisory Committee.

“Based on the academic information that I’ve received from experts from across the board, they’ve said that there has been harm that has been done to black people over the history of this country,” Moise explained.

Councillor Moise also says even if the change is approved, renaming Dundas Street may be a long term approach.

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