Halifax’s Cornwallis Street renaming shortlist down to 15 choices

Click to play video: 'Cornwallis Street name being revisited'
Cornwallis Street name being revisited
Tue, Jan 22: The Committee for Commemorating Cornwallis and Indigenous History has received a new name but the issues stay the same. The task force is to make recommendations to Halifax council on the commemoration of all the assets in the city that bear Edward Cornwallis' name. As Whitney Oickle reports, that includes Cornwallis Street – Jan 22, 2019

The shortlist of new names for Halifax’s Cornwallis Street has been whittled down to 15, and residents are being invited to have their say.

Among the choices are Rocky Jones Street, Nora Bernard Street, Dr. Alfred Waddell Street, Freedom Way, L’nu Street and Pride Street.

The municipality received more than 3,300 new name suggestions for the north-end street from the first survey, which was held during the fall of 2021.

This second survey will be open until Sept. 6.

The renaming project is among the recommendations of the Task Force on the Commemoration of Edward Cornwallis and the Recognition and Commemoration of Indigenous History.

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Cornwallis was governor of Nova Scotia in 1749 when he issued an infamous reward for Mi’kmaw scalps, prompting calls — centuries later — for his name to be removed from schools, rivers, streets, parks and monuments.

In 2012, Cornwallis Junior High School became Halifax Central Junior High.

Cornwallis Street Baptist Church was renamed New Horizons Baptist Church in 2018.

Also in 2018, a statue of Cornwallis in downtown Halifax was removed and placed in storage as a crowd of protesters watched on. The park where the statue once stood was renamed Peace and Friendship Park.

Click to play video: 'Group celebrates Cornwallis statue removal'
Group celebrates Cornwallis statue removal

Most recently in 2021, CCGS Cornwallis became known as CCGS Kopit Hopson 1752 in honour of a Peace and Friendship Treaty and a street in the town of Bridgewater, N.S. dropped the Cornwallis name. 

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According to the municipality, all street name suggestions were reviewed by an advisory group, which consisted of municipal staff and councillors. The names were divided into two categories: commemorative names and non-commemorative names.

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Commemorative names — which are described as notable people or groups, historic events, geographic features, or native flora and fauna — went through a specific review process.

Once the second survey period is over, the advisory group will review the results and make a final recommendation to Halifax Regional Council. The report will include one recommended name and three alternative names.

The complete shortlist of proposed names (as listed in the survey, along with their descriptions):

  • African Baptist Street – The New Horizons Baptist Church on Cornwallis Street was designated the mother church of the African Baptist Association. The chapel’s founding Pastor was Reverend Richard Preston.
  • Dr Alfred Waddell Street – One of the first black doctors to graduate from Dalhousie University. Dr Waddell dedicated his life to providing medical care to isolated and marginalized and underserved communities while speaking out against racial injustice, oppression, and segregation.
  • Freedom Way
  • Honour Street
  • L’nu Street – The term the Mi’kmaq use for themselves, their autonum, meaning us the people. It is derived from the word for tongue. (Pronunciation “ell-nu”)
  • Nitap Street – Mi’kmaq for friend. The Mi’kmaw have recently starting celebrating Nitap Day in the Indigenous Schools (Pronunciation “Ne-dap”)
  • Nora Bernard Street – Residential school survivor and prominent activist who successfully demanded compensation for residential school survivors. Recipient of the Order of Nova Scotia.
  • Pjila’si Street – Mi’kmaq for welcome. Pjila’si means so much more than just welcome. It means that you are an honoured guest (Pronunciation “epp-chi-laa-si”)
  • Pride Street
  • Reconciliation Ave
  • Rocky Jones Street – African Nova Scotia lawyer, community volunteer and political activist in the areas of human rights, race and poverty. Recipient of the Order of Nova Scotia.
  • Samqwan Street – Mi’kmaq for water. The Mi’kmaw believe that water is essential, and we have a duty to protect mother earth and our water. (Pronunciation “sam-hkwan”)
  • Treaty Avenue
  • Truth Avenue
  • Wantaqo’ti Street – Mi’kmaq for peacefulness (Pronunciation “won-duck-hoooe-dee”)
Click to play video: 'Petition calls on Halifax to change name of Cornwallis Street to Rocky Jones Boulevard'
Petition calls on Halifax to change name of Cornwallis Street to Rocky Jones Boulevard



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