dundas street

These are some of the new name suggestions for Dundas Street in Toronto

A petition to rename Dundas Street in Toronto due to its namesake's ties to slavery has reached its goal of over 5,700 signatures in just a few days. 

So, what's next?  Mayor John Tory said he's getting the City Manager to form a task group to look into it. Meanwhile, plenty of people are already pitching options over social media for the Toronto street, which dates back to WWI.

Documentary producer Stuart Henderson proposed renaming it after Mary Ann Shadd, the first Black woman newspaper publisher in Canada who founded the Provincial Freeman. 

Designated a Person of National Historic Significance in Canada, Shad also established a racially integrated school for Black refugees in Windsor.

He also suggested changing Dundas Street to Moore Street, after Donald Willard Moore, or "Uncle Don". 

The Bajan native fought against unjust an immigration law, which did not allow entry of non-white people from the West Indies and other Commonwealth countries. 

He also led the first Black delegation to Ottawa in the 1950s, a historic moment, and was eventually able to change the law. Moore was one of the co-founders of Toronto's United Negro Improvement Association. 

'Desmond', after the Black Nova Scotian civil rights activist Viola Desmond (now featured on Canada's $10 bill), was another suggestion. 

Hubbard Street would honour the first Black man of African descent to be elected to office in Canada. 

Praised for his oratory skills, he was the first and only person of colour to be elected to Toronto's Board of Control. Hubbard fought for the creation of High Park and was worked to counter racism against Toronto's Chinese and Jewish communities. 

Fun fact: he was also a trained baker, and even invented and patented a commercial baker's over called the Hubbard Portable. 

Someone suggested reverting the street's name to Agnes Street, which ran between Yonge and University through Toronto's notorious Ward slum, which housed the city's poor and recent arrivals. 

A significantly less meaningful suggestion from a Twitter user was changing Dundas to "Dondas" Street.

 "A U changes to an O with a marker, or some paint very easily," the Tweet read. 

Lead photo by

Ross


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