Union Station rename

Is there any sense in renaming Union Station?

Next stop, Sir John A. MacDonald Station. What? Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong moved a motion at this morning's executive committee meeting asking whether Toronto's main transit hub could be renamed for Canada's first prime minister.

"There is no greater Canadian than our founding father and first Prime Minister, Sir John A.
Macdonald," Minnan-Wong, the Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, wrote. "As the bicentennial of his birth approaches, the City of Toronto has a unique opportunity to recognize his contribution to our country."

MacDonald, a father of confederation, was instrumental in the formation of the Canadian Pacific Railway and was an early advocate for women's suffrage.

The original wooden Union Station, located on Station Road, was so named because it marked the meeting point between several privately-owned railways - the Grand Trunk Railway, Northern Railway and the Great Western Railway. The name stuck as the building was replaced and subsequently moved.

Will the change happen? Probably not. Minnan-Wong says the extensive renovation of Union Station is a good chance to consider a new title, but 156 years is a long time to grow attached to the status quo. And, really, wouldn't be silly to mess with a bit of established history like this?

City staff will investigate the idea and report back before July.

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

Image: Gerald Querubin /blogTO Flickr pool.


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