toronto bathurst street

Is "Sir John A. Macdonald Avenue" coming to Toronto?

Councillor Paul Ainslie wants city council to rename a "significant" street in Toronto in honour of Canada's first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Nationwide celebrations are planned for January 11, 2015, Macdonald's 200th birthday, and the name change would be part of Toronto's contribution.

A small number of cities, including Kingston, Ottawa and Saskatoon, already have roads named in his honour, and the 401 is officially the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway. Though it appears Ainslie is open to suggestions, A Toronto Star article published in December suggested the "bland" Avenue Road might be a good option.

Last week, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong moved a motion asking city staff to report on whether Union Station could be renamed for Macdonald. A report is due in April.

Macdonald, a father of confederation and former Toronto resident, helped form the Canadian Pacific Railway and was an advocate for women's suffrage. In recent years, Macdonald's legacy has been a source of criticism, particularly due to his racist views of Chinese immigrants and Canada's First Nations people.

If the motion gets council approval, a report on the matter will be presented to the public works committee in Spring.

What street would be good, if any, to receive the name? Is this a better idea than renaming Union Station?

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Andy Carroll/blogTO Flickr pool.


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