dundas street

Toronto is wondering what to call Dundas Street while it waits for a new name

The City of Toronto at long last voted to change the name of Dundas Street earlier this month after more than a year of impassioned debate, but it will be years more still before we actually see any street signs change.

Now that city council has okayed renaming one of Toronto's most-prominent streets after something that isn't an old racist guy, staff need to develop a framework for implementing the change — an expensive change that involves two subway stations, three parks, a public library, 625 Bike Share stations, 60 businesses and more.

The next step is for a "Community Advisory Committee made up of Black and Indigenous leaders and representatives from the diverse communities represented along Dundas Street" to come up with a potential shortlist of replacement names.

These names will go up for consideration by City Council during the second quarter of 2022, according to a staff report. Then, once a new moniker is locked in, staff will install the new civic assets "approximately one year after their approval."

We're looking at a timeline of Spring 2023 at the earliest here — and yet, we all now know very well that Henry Dundas was a horrible person who delayed the abolition of slavery.

People don't exactly want to keep using the 18th-century Scottish politician's last name, but what other choice do we have? RoFo Road? Fundas Street? "X"?

If, as a populace, we're going to start colloquially referring to Dundas Street as something else, just temporarily while we wait for the new official name to drop, why not make it something funny? We could all use more laughs in our lives.

One local is proposing "The Restless" so that Toronto would have its own public square named after a soap opera: Yonge & The Restless.

"Henry Dundas was a monster and the time is right to rename Dundas St.," reads a humorous change.org petition launched by Daniel Gerichter on Thursday.

"I am proposing the city rename it to 'The Restless St.' so that Dundas Square would be located at Yonge & the Restless. Listen it's either this or Rob Ford St. OK?"

As of Friday at 3:30 p.m., 79 people had signed the petition, a surprising number of whom decided to leave comments.

"Victor Newman deserves this as does his dozens of wives," wrote one signee of the long-running CBS soap opera's lead character. "Anything but Ford."

"This is an important step forward for Toronto becoming a world class city," reads another choice comment. Another still states that "Everyone needs this kind of hope right now. Thank you."

Are there people, places and things more deserving of taking over the street's name? For sure — but just think about how many hardcore Y&R fans would visit Toronto just to take photos at Yonge & The Restless Square.

Hey, we could do worse.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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