A poll has shown that support for renaming a major Toronto artery currently named after a counter-abolitionist withers after respondents are informed of the eye-watering costs of rebranding civic assets.
Pollsters from Maru Public Opinion asked Toronto citizens whether they supported calls to rename one of the city’s most prominent arteries, Dundas Street, and other places bearing the name of the 18th-century Scottish minister.
The survey, conducted between July 9 and July 18, randomly selected 500 adults living in Toronto and delivered some surprising findings about people’s appetite for canceling street names deemed by some to be no longer appropriate.
Henry Dundas, also known as Lord Melville, was a prominent British politician of the Georgian era who hailed from Edinburgh. The Scottish politician reportedly never set foot in Toronto, despite being commemorated there, and many historians regard him as a leading figure in the campaign to prevent the abolition of the slave trade.
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Delaying the abolition meant hundreds of thousands were forced to wait decades longer for their freedom. Dundas, who served as Secretary of State for War from 1794 to 1801, also trafficked as many as 13,000 enslaved Africans into the British military.
There have been several calls over the years to remove the name from the former colonial outpost, with the demand for change growing stronger in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.
The Maru Public Opinion poll found that 55% of respondents supported a move to rename Dundas Street and other locations such as Yonge-Dundas Square that bear his name. (RT)
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