Should Swastika Trail in Puslinch, Ont. be renamed? It’s now up to the courts

The street in Puslinch Township was named Swatstika Trail in the early 1920s. Bnai Brith Canada/Twitter

Residents who live on a Puslinch street with a controversial name are heading to court in an effort to get it changed.

Some residents of Swastika Trail are asking for a judicial review after council voted against changing the street name last year.

RELATED : Ontario township council votes to keep ‘Swastika Trail’ street name

They argue the township “blindly” followed what they say was a flawed vote by a local community association in which a slight majority of residents said they wanted to keep the name.

The lawsuit claims only about half the people in the community were able to take part in that vote and that the community association circulated one-sided information designed to influence voters to keep the name.

The applicants claim they have tried talking with township and council and feel now that taking legal action is their only option.

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RELATED : Advocacy group calls for renaming of Swastika Trail street in Ontario town

Last fall, a group of concerned residents contacted B’nai Brith Canada asking for help in persuading council to change the name of the street. The group launched an online petition which was then presented to council members a few days later.

The street was named Swastika Trail in the early 1920s before the world knew of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party in Germany.

Release from B'nai Brith Canada. B'nai Brith Canada

Residents who argue that the street should keep its name say the name recognizes a historic symbol, while others counter that it is still used by white supremacists as a symbol of hate.

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Members of a neighbourhood association held their own vote last fall, which saw the “Keep” option win by a vote of 25 to 20.

— With Files from The Canadian Press

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