Soon enough, Toronto’s Dundas Street will have a new name.
According to a Wednesday (July 14) report from the Toronto Star, the Toronto city council voted to rename the street today. The street name had been a subject of debate because its namesake, Scottish politician Henry Dundas, proposed an amendment that people say helped delay the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade by 15 years.
“This recommendation is the right decision in our continuous path to building a Toronto that is inclusive, equitable and reflects the values of its diverse members,” Toronto Mayor John Torry said in a press release.
He continued: “We acknowledge that this is just the first of many steps to come, but this a genuine step in the right direction of who we are and what we can be. The names of our public streets, parks, and monuments are a reflection of our values as Torontonians.”
Toronto’s Dundas Station and Yonge-Dundas Square are also set to be renamed, and there will eventually be a public consultation for citizens to determine the name of the new street.
This news is just the latest example of cities reckoning with connections to slavery. At various places in the U.S., residents have called for Confederate statues and other things tied to slavery to be removed. Last Saturday, Charlottesville removed Confederate statues after residents voted to do so.
“Taking down this statue is one small step closer to the goal of helping Charlottesville, Va., and America, grapple with the sin of being willing to destroy Black people for economic gain,” Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker told reporters at the time.
Two weeks before the removal of the Confederate statue in Charlottesville, The House voted to remove such statues from the U.S. Capitol.