A ballot has proven that help for renaming a serious Toronto artery at present named after a counter-abolitionist withers after respondents are knowledgeable of the eye-watering prices of rebranding civic property.
Pollsters from Maru Public Opinion requested Toronto residents whether or not they supported calls to rename one of many metropolis’s most outstanding arteries, Dundas Avenue, and different locations bearing the identify of the 18th-century Scottish minister.
The survey, performed between July 9 and July 18, randomly chosen 500 adults residing in Toronto and delivered some stunning findings about individuals’s urge for food for canceling avenue names deemed by some to be not applicable.
Henry Dundas, also referred to as Lord Melville, was a outstanding British politician of the Georgian period who hailed from Edinburgh. The Scottish politician reportedly by no means set foot in Toronto, regardless of being commemorated there, and lots of historians regard him as a number one determine within the marketing campaign to stop the abolition of the slave commerce.
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Delaying the abolition meant tons of of 1000’s have been pressured to attend a long time longer for his or her freedom. Dundas, who served as Secretary of State for Conflict from 1794 to 1801, additionally trafficked as many as 13,000 enslaved Africans into the British army.
There have been a number of calls through the years to take away the identify from the previous colonial outpost, with the demand for change rising stronger within the wake of George Floyd’s homicide.
The Maru Public Opinion ballot discovered that 55% of respondents supported a transfer to rename Dundas Avenue and different places resembling Yonge-Dundas Sq. that bear his identify.
Nevertheless, help for the transfer fell when respondents have been knowledgeable in regards to the potential prices of the renaming. A whopping 61% opposed the decision after being instructed about the associated fee to town in addition to “private and enterprise administrative necessities” that will be necessitated by the identify change.
The Toronto authorities have put the price of rebranding all civic property bearing the Dundas identify at round $6 million.
The ballot outcomes got here after town council voted 17-7 to launch a public session about renaming metropolis landmark.
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The session follows a petition launched by native Andrew Lochhead to rename Dundas Avenue. He claimed it will be “a constructive and symbolic step towards disavowing its historic associations” with people related to “racial inequality and exploitation.”
Lochhead described the Scot’s legacy as “extremely problematic” and referred to as for a session in partnership with “Black-led organizations and historic societies, [and] Indigenous teams and different group representatives.” The petition has thus far been signed by some 15,000 individuals.
Dundas, who was additionally instrumental within the Scottish Enlightenment, Britain’s position within the French Revolutionary Wars, and imperial enlargement in India, is remembered by way of monuments and avenue names throughout the Commonwealth, together with a grade-A-listed monument in his hometown of Edinburgh.
In March, Edinburgh Metropolis Council permitted a plaque for the monument studying: “On the prime of this neoclassical column stands a statue of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville (1742-1811).” The imposing column was vandalized throughout Black Lives Matter induced unrest in June 2020.
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