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Toronto Agrees That Dundas Street Should Be Renamed Due To Its Ties To Slavery

Tory acknowledged that "Mr. Dundas had virtually no connection to Toronto."

The City of Toronto is supporting the decision to have Dundas Street renamed after growing calls about the racist ties of its namesake.

The City released a statement on Monday, recommending that Dundas Street and civic assets with the same name including Dundas Street East, Dundas Street West, Old Dundas Street and Dundas Square and more, should be renamed to further the "City's commitment to anti-Black racism, Indigenous truth and reconciliation, as well as building a more inclusive and equitable Toronto."

Henry Dundas was a Scottish politician who was involved in delaying the abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade that caused more than half a million Black people to be enslaved by the British Empire, said the statement.

The decision will be presented before the Executive Committee next week and, if approved, will be reviewed by City Council at their July meeting.

A petition named Let's Rename Dundas Street in Toronto called on the City to change the street's name back in June 2020. A Community Advisory Committee of Black and Indigenous leaders and local Dundas Street residents will compile suggestions from their communities about how these streets should be renamed.

"An objective reading of the history, the significance of this street which crosses our city, the fact Mr. Dundas had virtually no connection to Toronto and most importantly, our strong commitment to equity, inclusion and reconciliation make this a unique and symbolically important change," Mayor John Tory wrote in a separate statement.