News   Jun 14, 2024
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Proposed renaming of Dundas Street

How is this not cultural appropriation? The Ghanaian word Sankofa has nothing to do with Canada, unless we’re going to build a tent city for all the recent migrants from Ghana and Sub-Saharan Africa?

We might as well have chosen an indigenous Mongolian or Brazilian term for all its relevance here.

So, we should keep the name Dundas because of his association to supposedly ending slavery though he never set foot in the country, but we shouldn't use a slave word that represents remembering the past. Got it.
 
We should keep Dundas because people strongly associate the name with a street and major square in Toronto, and seem to have ~0 interest in the namesake of that street (or any other street if we're being honest). The use of a word in a relatively unknown foreign language will strike people as odd/out of place, and, without a renaming of Dundas Street itself, it seems undeniable that people will continue to refer to it by the familiar and intuitive name Yonge-Dundas Square.

If we were naming a street or square today, we wouldn't call it Dundas since he's now a mostly unknown figure. I don't care to defend the man, as I had no idea who he was until the renaming was recommended (my guess is that this is similar for >99% of people living in Toronto, including those who express passion about the issue today). This isn't monuments to General Lee or the Confederacy, who every American knows fought to maintain slavery.
 
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Throw another log on the culture war Olivia! Completely artificial drama over a non-issue. Honestly, what a joke decision by a joke council lead by a joke leader.

Yea, I get it. We take our cultural cues from the US and inevitably we have to find some hate figure in lieu of Robert E Lee, or whomever. Americans are doing it, so we have to do it to. But what an embarrassment: the government of Canada's largest municipality behaving like a crackpot radical student council.

Sankoka Square, in the city of Sankofa, in the province of Sankofa, in the country of Sankofa...perfect encapsulation of our post-national character. 🤣 🤣 🤣
 
I was thinking this morning that this decision is so NDP - but that is the city in so many ways - bogged down in irrelevance, but without any energy to come to grips with encampments, homelessness, poverty and the lack of simple policing. ( I came in from Montreal last night through Union and VIA, and the place was a mess of vagrants and gridlock and the police…….good question). And then I was thinking that as the city has taken on the legacy of Dundas, maybe they would like to address the atrocities of the ‘clearances’ in Scotland, perhaps the forcible subjugation of Wales, even the Irish famines…possibly the French Hueguenot’s exile to New France as well. Maybe even the Wendat and other First Nations might have some grievances to be righted, with one another, for events that happened over the proceeding 12,000 years or so. All of these events have had profound impacts on the culture, fabric and makeup of this county - one that long ago moved on from its ’colonial’ past, to coin a phrase. And why this particular phrase, part of Ghanaian culture, as catchy as currently translated for Council, but is it accurate? There seems to be a number of variations, as can be understandable when translating, but the phrases relevance to Canada? You can certainly say that Ghana is (currently) a state where good and predictable governance appears to be on the rise, where an orderly transfer of power has occurred between administration's, without having to undergo endless coups, uprisings and other forms extreme social cleansing. So there is that.

But then I was catching up on the case of Adam Rossi. And for anyone who has had to deal with longer term mental illness in one’s family, this is another case of endless sorrow for the victim of Rossi, ongoing rage at the incompetence of the authorities, tempered by the fact that the ‘system’ is underfunded, understaffed, and ruled by arcane laws that place the independence of Rossi (with all known conditions) above the
protection of the balance of society, and eventually, as so often happens, the murdered victim. And only now will he be sent to a secure psychiatric facility.

And if anyone feels that the case of Dundas should be followed further, they are wrong. Enough time, energy and money has been wasted on this trivial and misplaced person, longdead, that should be so much better applied to a topic such as mental health, and fixing a broken system and empowering it with a set of values that preclude tragic figure such as Adam Rossi prowling the neighbourhood until murder occurred, and another family is left wondering why.

And for those interested in homelessness, the Globe has an excellent piece by Shaughnessy Biship-Stall entitled “A Tale of Tent Cities“. It is a multi page piece, so makes for a long read, but worth the time. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opi...onto-tent-city-dwellers-carry-on-despite-the/
 
I was thinking this morning that this decision is so NDP - but that is the city in so many ways - bogged down in irrelevance, but without any energy to come to grips with encampments, homelessness, poverty and the lack of simple policing. ( I came in from Montreal last night through Union and VIA, and the place was a mess of vagrants and gridlock and the police…….good question). And then I was thinking that as the city has taken on the legacy of Dundas, maybe they would like to address the atrocities of the ‘clearances’ in Scotland, perhaps the forcible subjugation of Wales, even the Irish famines…possibly the French Hueguenot’s exile to New France as well. Maybe even the Wendat and other First Nations might have some grievances to be righted, with one another, for events that happened over the proceeding 12,000 years or so. All of these events have had profound impacts on the culture, fabric and makeup of this county - one that long ago moved on from its ’colonial’ past, to coin a phrase. And why this particular phrase, part of Ghanaian culture, as catchy as currently translated for Council, but is it accurate? There seems to be a number of variations, as can be understandable when translating, but the phrases relevance to Canada? You can certainly say that Ghana is (currently) a state where good and predictable governance appears to be on the rise, where an orderly transfer of power has occurred between administration's, without having to undergo endless coups, uprisings and other forms extreme social cleansing. So there is that.

But then I was catching up on the case of Adam Rossi. And for anyone who has had to deal with longer term mental illness in one’s family, this is another case of endless sorrow for the victim of Rossi, ongoing rage at the incompetence of the authorities, tempered by the fact that the ‘system’ is underfunded, understaffed, and ruled by arcane laws that place the independence of Rossi (with all known conditions) above the
protection of the balance of society, and eventually, as so often happens, the murdered victim. And only now will he be sent to a secure psychiatric facility.

And if anyone feels that the case of Dundas should be followed further, they are wrong. Enough time, energy and money has been wasted on this trivial and misplaced person, longdead, that should be so much better applied to a topic such as mental health, and fixing a broken system and empowering it with a set of values that preclude tragic figure such as Adam Rossi prowling the neighbourhood until murder occurred, and another family is left wondering why.

And for those interested in homelessness, the Globe has an excellent piece by Shaughnessy Biship-Stall entitled “A Tale of Tent Cities“. It is a multi page piece, so makes for a long read, but worth the time. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opi...onto-tent-city-dwellers-carry-on-despite-the/

When all is said and done, however, this looks like a rational decision for Olivia Chow. The renaming of Dundas plays to her core, well-to-do, cultural left constituency that, whist it may tut-tut over the aforementioned problems, ultimately cares more for culture war issues than quality of life issues. The culture war is a feature not a fault.

In a Machiavellian sense, this is a useful decision. It shows: i. ostrich head in sand attention to real issues; ii. importation of a ridiculous name that will make ordinary people wonder why; and iii. that the City went against historical evidence. This is subtle gas-lighting of the electorate, this is a big old F.U. single digit.
 
I live close to Alan Gardens. As most of you know, it is filled with tents housing homeless people because there is no affordable housing left in this city for them to live. Across the street is a Church that on Friday holds a food bank. The line of people looking to get food is wrapped around the block. Many are well dressed with smart phones which tells me that their financial circumstances have suddenly taken a dramatic turn for the worse. People in this city are HURTING BADLY right now!

Against this backdrop, Chow is spending millions to change the name of Dundas Square because supposedly Mr. Dundas held views 300 (?) years ago that are incompatible with the views of "enlightened" people today.

Why are we putting up with this INSANITY?

If there is a good argument for changing the name Dundas, I would like to hear it.
 
I live close to Alan Gardens. As most of you know, it is filled with tents housing homeless people because there is no affordable housing left in this city for them to live. Across the street is a Church that on Friday holds a food bank. The line of people looking to get food is wrapped around the block. Many are well dressed with smart phones which tells me that their financial circumstances have suddenly taken a dramatic turn for the worse. People in this city are HURTING BADLY right now!

Against this backdrop, Chow is spending millions to change the name of Dundas Square because supposedly Mr. Dundas held views 300 (?) years ago that are incompatible with the views of "enlightened" people today.

Why are we putting up with this INSANITY?
1) We're still running on Tory's last annual screw-Toronto-over budget.
2) We were—up until recently–shovelling tonnes of city money into keeping the Gardiner from killing people.
3) We put up with a vastly over-inflated Police budget, meanwhile they do squat when it comes to traffic enforcement. And we've actually *lost* revenue since Mark Saunders arbitrarily decided it was beneath the TPS to have to regularly enforce the traffic act.
4) Affordable housing requires all levels of government and without legislation forcing them to do so, requires developers to willingly make something other than micro-bachelors, quick turnover "investments", suburban single-family homes or helping landlords build their portfolios of overpriced condo stock. This is a direct result of years of deregulation and centre-right and right-wing governments at all levels. That should be the insanity you rail against.

And I will point out again in this thread, that a lot of the signage and way finding changes that will happen (especially in regards to the TTC) are duplicated anyway, any time the commission makes another station accessible; any time a route change is made; any time a station gets rejiggered in any way, new signage gets made. Dundas station is undergoing a capacity review, which may possibly lead to a refurbishment and station changes (a second entrance might be nice). AFAIK, the TTC does all their own printing in-house.

Project cost does not equate to the same overall increase in spending. Again, costs are duplicated.

If there is a good argument for changing the name Dundas, I would like to hear it.
Even excluding all the slavery stuff, Henry Dundas has zero connection to Toronto. Dundas never visited the city, let alone the province, and stuff was named after him here entirely because he was buddies with Simcoe. It was all backscratching BS. That's not a good enough reason to keep the name.
 
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Even excluding all the slavery stuff, Henry Dundas has zero connection to Toronto. Dundas never visited the city, let alone the province, and stuff was named after him here entirely because he was buddies with Simcoe. It was all backscratching BS. That's not a good enough reason to keep the name.
It was and is still the road to the town of Dundas, just like Kingston Road was the road to Kingston.
In fact, for most, perhaps almost all people, that's the only way they knew of the name. The manufactured evilness of its origin is essentially a retcon to me. And I have enough retcons to deal with in life that are way more meaningful.
Let Dundas Street be what it was and move on.
 
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Even excluding all the slavery stuff, Henry Dundas has zero connection to Toronto.
This is an even worse justification for the renaming than the fairly sketchy reading of history that constitutes the argument against the street.

Toronto is an international city. Lots of things in it are named for stuff that has no direct connection to it. If we renamed everything that has nothing to do with Toronto, we would have to rename Kipling Avenue, Islington Avenue, Roncesvalles Avenue, Budapest Park, Alhambra Avenue, Fermanagh Avenue, Sorauren Avenue, Amsterdam Avenue, Ireland Court and Park, Bournemouth Road, Manchester Avenue, Essex Street, and Gloucester Street, to give a not very exhaustive list. And Sankofa, not being a word native to any official or historical languages of Toronto, most certainly does not pass the smell test either.
 
It was and is still the road to the town of Dundas, just like Kingston Road was the road to Kingston.
In fact, for most, perhaps almost all people, that's the only way they knew of the name. The manufactured evilness of its origin is essentially a retcon to me. And I have enough retcons to deal with in life that are way more meaningful.
Let Dundas Street be what it was and move on.

You’re wrong, but it’s a common misconception. Dundas Street started out as a road between Lake Ontario and the Thames River at present-day Woodstock. It later got extended to London and extended to Toronto. The Town of Dundas takes its name from the road, not the other way around.

 
You’re wrong, but it’s a common misconception. Dundas Street started out as a road between Lake Ontario and the Thames River at present-day Woodstock. It later got extended to London and extended to Toronto. The Town of Dundas takes its name from the road, not the other way around.

Good to know, though changes nothing about the retcon.
 

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