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TMU to potentially offer $1.7M to rename Dundas station after the university

By Anastasia Blosser

Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) has reportedly offered to help cover the costs of renaming the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Dundas subway station after the school. Early assessments on the project estimate over a million dollars in expenses.

The news comes after Toronto City Council voted to move forward with the renaming of four sites named after Henry Dundas, a Scottish politician accused of delaying the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in the 1790s, according to a report by the City of Toronto. 

A spokesperson for the university said in an emailed statement to The Eyeopener on Dec. 15 that the school is “looking forward to working with the City and the TTC on this project.”

“Our immediate next steps will be to sit down with the City and TTC to determine the next steps, the renaming process, and the costs,” the email read. 

In a press release from the city council, TMU President Mohamed Lachemi said the school is excited to collaborate on the Dundas Station renaming initiative. 

“Our university is deeply integrated into the fabric of Toronto,” Lachemi said in the statement. “We take immense pride in contributing to the city’s dynamic and diverse community.”

Stuart Green, a communications advisor for the TTC, told The Eye in an email on Dec. 14 that the TTC doesn’t have any information about TMU’s involvement in the renaming of Dundas subway station. 

In addition to Dundas Station, the City of Toronto has also approved plans to rename the Dundas West subway station and the Jane/Dundas Branch of the Toronto Public Library. 

On Dec. 14, the city announced Yonge-Dundas Square would be renamed Sankofa Square after a Ghanaian concept that refers to the act of “reflecting on and reclaiming teachings from the past” according to a press release

According to the press release, the net cost to the City is an estimated $700,000 with identified offsets. 

The renaming process for the four locations is expected to extend into 2025.

The decision came after the city council voted to consider renaming Toronto landmarks that were named after Dundas in July 2021. Since then, they have adopted a motion to pause work on the renaming of Dundas Street.

Mayor Olivia Chow shared a statement on Thursday. “The City of Toronto remains committed to confronting anti-Black racism, advancing truth, reconciliation and justice, and building a more inclusive and equitable city,” the statement read. “Adopting the name Sankofa Square, recognizes the need to reflect on and reclaim teachings from the past, and enables us to move forward together.”

In the same statement, councillor and chair of the city-run Confronting Anti-Black Racism Committee, Chris Moise, said the names of city assets reflect the values of Torontonians. 

“Renaming these assets in the short-term is an important first step to move forward together towards a more inclusive and equitable Toronto.”

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