Reaction to Toronto city council’s decision to oust ‘Dundas’ name

Click to play video: 'Toronto city council votes to rename Dundas Street' Toronto city council votes to rename Dundas Street
WATCH ABOVE: Toronto city council has voted 17-7 in favour of parting ways with the "Dundas" name due to Henry Dundas' ties to slavery. Shallima Maharaj reports – Jul 15, 2021

Antonio Blaic and his wife own Dundas and Carlaw — not the intersection, the bar.

They can’t take credit for the name, since it was here before they took over ownership.

“Something like awnings [need] to be changed, I spoke to one company this morning and it will take up to 14 weeks just to order the material,” said Blaic.

“So for me to change the awnings, even if I ordered them tomorrow, it would most likely take until next spring until they’re actually delivered and installed.”

Read more: Toronto city council approves renaming Dundas Street due to namesake’s connection to slavery

He’s not the only business owner set to undergo a change in address. In total, 4,500 businesses are located along Toronto’s Dundas Street.

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On Wednesday evening, city council voted to say goodbye to that name.

That means it will be removed from street signs, public transit and a lot of signage.

It comes after the city manager’s office released a report last month, recommending the renaming, and a petition was launched last year.

The report cited namesake Henry Dundas’ role in delaying the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Click to play video: 'Done with Dundas: Toronto to remove racist figure’s name from streets, infrastructure' Done with Dundas: Toronto to remove racist figure’s name from streets, infrastructure
Done with Dundas: Toronto to remove racist figure’s name from streets, infrastructure – Jul 15, 2021

“I think recognizing people of the past has been done, and it’s now time to shed light on individuals maybe of Aboriginal descent who deserve to be recognized and talked about every single day,” said Shams Mehdi, who works in the area.

“I definitely think that changing everything from the get-go and doing everything all at once is definitely not the right move. There’s obviously a lot of history linked to these names, but also a lot of negative connotation, but I think it’s a start. Having these conversations about Dundas, about Ryerson University.”

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The total cost to remove the Dundas name is pegged at anywhere from $5.1 million to $6.3 million.

The names of two subway stations will need to change, and so will system-wide TTC maps.

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