25 signatures reached
To: Toronto City Council
Elevate Mary Ann Shadd
Let's Rename Dundas Street in Toronto to Mary Ann Shadd Street
Why is this important?
"Time to name lanes after women and BIPOC Torontonians because their names are not on our streets," Paula Fletcher. This was in response to a constituents query regarding laneway names. I think it's time to elevate Black Women's names, their legacy, to the streets we live, work and play on everyday.
An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 freedom-seekers — born free or enslaved — reached Canada through the Underground Railroad. In 1850, over 35,000 Black persons lived in Canada West. To promote emigration to Canada, Mary Ann Shadd publicized the successes of Black persons living in freedom in Canada through The Provincial Freeman, a weekly newspaper first printed on 24 March 1853. “Self-Reliance Is the True Road to Independence” was the paper’s motto.
From Adrienne Shadd. A descendant of Abraham Doras Shadd, a prominent abolitionist in the 19th century, and Mary Ann Shadd Cary.
"Being at the helm of a weekly paper had been a difficult introduction to the
newspaper business. She had suffered insults and criticisms as the outspoken editress but, undaunted, she intended to keep it going by any means necessary. She unflinchingly called on more Black women to take their seat in the editor’s chair of the nation’s newspapers and periodicals. And by so doing herself, she had forever made her mark on history as the first Black woman to publish and edit a newspaper in North America."
Dundas Street was named after Henry Dundas who delayed the abolition of slavery for fifteen years and supported slavery as a means to ensure the economic benefit of the UK.
Black and Indigenous history is all but white washed in Toronto. This could be the start of recapturing space that has been lost to ignorance.
It would be fitting for a Black woman who advocated for the abolition of slavery and for women’s suffrage for the better part of her life, would be elevated to replace a racist white man.