City Council approved changes to the Street Naming Policy in July 2022 as part of the City’s Commemorative Framework under the council considered item EX34.6.

As of November 1, 2022, the City will begin accepting new proposals to name or rename any existing or proposed public or private street, lane or walkway within Toronto.

Please note that all street naming proposals that are commemorative, including those submitted since October 1, 2020, must meet the criteria set out in the Street Naming Policy and the City of Toronto Guiding Principles for Commemoration.

Contact City staff at streetnaming@toronto.ca to receive information on how to submit a street naming proposal. In your email, please provide City staff with your naming/renaming idea and where the street/site is located.

A completed form is required to propose to name or rename a street in Toronto.

Submit the completed form and required documents to streetnaming@toronto.ca.

Those interested in submitting a proposal for a commemorative street name are encouraged to:

  • Carefully review the form, the City of Toronto Street Naming Policy, and the City of Toronto Guiding Principles for Commemoration.
  • Consider the range of commemorative and honorific options that are available through the City of Toronto, including commemorative property naming, City of Toronto Awards and City of Toronto Tributes.
  • Reach out to community members, organizations, groups and your local Councillor to develop a proposed name and to confirm that there is community support for the proposal.
  • Keep track of the positive and negative feedback you receive from others.
  • Note important information about the proposed name that you receive from knowledgeable people and/or find in print and digital sources.

You can demonstrate consent by completing and submitting a Consent of Named Party form or Consent of Named Party’s Representative with your proposal. Contact streetnaming@toronto.ca to receive a copy of the form(s).

All street naming proposals must align with the City’s Street Naming Policy.

  • Commemorative street names (including ceremonial names) must meet the City of Toronto Guiding Principles for Commemoration.
  • The City will generally not consider commemorative naming proposals that:
    • Propose to rename streets that have been named or renamed in the past ten (10) years.
    • Refer to an event that took place or to someone who has died within the last two (2) years.
    • Duplicate the name of another street in Toronto, which will impede the City’s ability to deliver services and/or First Responders ability to respond to emergencies.
    • Provide a competitive advantage, benefit or preferential treatment or advertisement to the name person(s), organization, a development, product, service or a business.
    • Are discriminatory or derogatory of race, colour ethnic origin, gender identify or expression, sex, sexual orientation, creed, political affiliation, disability or other social factors.
    • Result in inappropriate abbreviations or acronyms.

The Guiding Principles for Commemoration encourage greater equity and inclusion in peacemaking, and promote a broader understanding of history and its legacy on communities.

All commemorative street names, including ceremonial names that are commemorative, must align with the following six (6) Guiding Principles for commemoration:

Guiding Principle 1: Be informed by historical research, traditional knowledge, and community insights

Guiding Principle 2: Be supported by communities through meaningful engagement

Guiding Principle 3: Honour Indigenous ways of knowing and being (*this Principle is specific to commemorations of significance to Indigenous Peoples)

Guiding Principle 4: Prioritize commemorations significant to Indigenous Peoples, Black communities, and equity-deserving groups

Guiding Principle 5: Connect to Toronto, Ontario or Canada’s histories and cultures

Guiding Principle 6: Share knowledge and stories behind commemorations

Visit the Commemorative Framework web page to learn more about the Guiding Principles for Commemoration.

It takes, on average, three (3) to six (6) months for City staff to process a complete street naming proposal.

All proposals to name or rename a street in Toronto will go through a Technical Review; and if proposed name is commemorative, the proposal will also go through a Guiding Principles Review. Your proposal will be reviewed against the criteria in the Street Naming Policy and the Guiding Principles for Commemoration.

You will be informed after the Technical Review as well as the Guiding Principles Review about outcomes, next steps, and if any further information is required.

1. Technical Review

  • Engineering and Construction Services will notify you when your proposal is received.
  • Engineering and Construction Services will review your proposal for completeness.
  • If the proposal is incomplete, Engineering and Construction Services will provide recommended next steps.
  • For non-commemorative street names, if the proposal is complete and complies with the Street Naming Policy, Engineering and Construction Services will prepare a Staff Report to the relevant Community Council to get Council approval on the proposed non-commemorative name. Staff will advise you of the expected meeting date for the Staff Report to be reviewed by Community Council or City Council.
  • For commemorative street names, if the proposal is complete, Engineering and Construction Services will forward it to Economic Development and Culture for the Guiding Principles Review. Engineering and Construction Services will notify you of this step.

2. Guiding Principles Review for Commemorative Street Names

  • Staff in Economic Development and Culture will assess your proposal against the City of Toronto Guiding Principles for Commemoration.
  • If the proposal does not meet the Guiding Principles, staff from Engineering and Construction Services will notify you:
    • If further information is required for resubmission,
    • The reasons that your proposal was declined, and/or
    • Of alternative Award and Tribute opportunities for commemorating a person, organization or event.
  • If the proposal meets all criteria, staff will prepare a Staff Report to the relevant Community Council to get Council approval for the proposed commemorative name.
  • Staff from Engineering and Construction Services will advise you of the expected meeting date for the Staff Report to be reviewed by Community Council.

Existing street names, City property names and monuments on City property may warrant reinterpretation, re-contextualization or removal if they:

  • Refer to current or historic persons known for their discriminatory views and actions, including committing or perpetuating acts of racism or violence against Indigenous Peoples and Black communities and/or equity-deserving groups;
  • Include derogatory terms that might represent or be linked with discriminatory views and actions;
  • Negatively represent or appropriate the culture of Indigenous Peoples, Black communities and/or equity-deserving groups;
  • Are inconsistent with City By-laws or policies including the City of Toronto Human Rights and Anti-Harassment / Discrimination Policy;
  • Bring the City of Toronto into disrepute (for example: negatively impacts the reputation of the City of Toronto).

Please visit the Commemorative Framework web page for more information.

Commemorative Street Name

Commemorative street names acknowledge the memory of people, places, events and ideas. They can include positive and honorific celebrations of the past and present, as well as the tragic, controversial and shameful dimensions of history and culture. If your proposed name is deemed by City staff to be commemorative in nature, your proposal will be assessed against the Guiding Principles for Commemoration.

Examples of commemorative street names:

  • Stanley G Grizzle Lane (named after an influential Black leader within the Canadian labour movement and one of the first African-Canadians to run in an Ontario election).
  • Emdaabiimok Avenue (a name that encompasses the history of the community and its surroundings; and promotes Anishinaabe culture).
  • Jean Lumb Lane (named after a Chinese Canadian woman who lobbied against racial discrimination Immigration laws).
  • Roncesvalles Avenue (named after the Battle of Roncesvalles which took place in Spain in 1813).

Non-Commemorative Street Name

A non-commemorative street name is a name that is generic, aesthetic or references a local neighbourhood feature (e.g.: current or previous uses, landmark, local flora/fauna, etc.).

Names that reference subjects of historical, cultural, or Indigenous significance will generally be considered commemorative in nature and must, therefore, adhere to the Guiding Principles for Commemoration.

Examples of Non-Commemorative Street Names:

  • Flax Field Lane (named after crops grown in the 1800s for the purposes of linen to cover World War 1 airplane wings).
  • Creek Place (named after a buried creek under the lane and another creek within close proximity of the lane).
  • Gala Lane (named after a variety of apples grown in Ontario).
  • Railway Lane (recognizes the location of the lane, which runs along a railway corridor).

Naming a street means assigning a legal name to the street. This is the name used for addressing and emergency response identification.

Renaming a street means changing the existing legal name of the street. To rename a street, 75% of residents surrounding the street must provide support through a petition, letter, or email. City Council may waive this requirement if the criteria in Section 8.1 of the Street Naming Policy have been met – meaning if the current legal name of the street is problematic.

Ceremonial naming assigns a secondary name to a street that already has a legal name. Ceremonial names are symbolic and usually honour a person, event or organization. Such names do not replace the legal name of the street.

If you are proposing to name a street after a person, event or organization – even ceremonially – you need to show to the City of Toronto that you have the named party’s consent or consent of the named party’s representative. You can demonstrate consent by completing and submitting a Consent of Named Party Form or Consent of Named Party’s Representative Form with your proposal. Contact streetnaming@toronto.ca to receive a copy of the form(s).

If you cannot demonstrate consent despite trying to get it, City staff may move forward with your proposal if:

  • No one has refused to provide consent.
  • There are no legal concerns.
  • You are able to show that you tried to get consent from the named party or the named party’s representative.

To name an existing unnamed street, not a new development, you must demonstrate community support behind the proposed name. You can do so by providing petitions, support letters or emails. Support can come from:

  • Residents surrounding the street
  • Local community members or organizations
  • Local Councillor

To rename a street, you must demonstrate support from 75% of residents surrounding the street. For further information, contact streetnaming@toronto.ca

To assign a ceremonial street name to an existing street, you must demonstrate community support behind the proposed name. You can do so by providing petitions, support letters or emails from those in the community, including residents, those who work in the area and/or the Local Councillor.

Toronto Public Library

Toronto Public Library (TPL) is the largest public library system in Canada. TPL provides free access cards for the residents of Toronto.

Local History and Genealogy

The TPL has a great Local History and Genealogy page with links to online tools, research guides, books and local history collection. For in-person help, visit a library branch with a local history collection. If you need in person help, Book a Librarian for a 30 or 60 minutes appointment.

Resources are available through the TPL’s A-Z List of Databases and provide:

Online access to:

  • Digital Archive – over 175,933 items including photographs, maps, digitized books and much more.
  • Toronto Star Historical Newspaper Archives – searchable articles and full-page reproduction from 1894 to 2019.
  • Globe and Mail Historical Newspaper Archive – searchable articles and full-page reproductions from 1844 to 2018.
  • JSTOR – an archive of articles from scholarly journals and primary sources for arts, sciences, social sciences and humanities.
  • Canadiana Online – a digitized collection of books, government publications, periodicals, annuals and newspapers about Canada published from the time of European contact to the early 20th century.

In-library access to:

  • Ancestry Library Edition – a genealogy resource especially for U.S. and Canadian records including census, birth, marriage, death, immigration, military records and more.

Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre

Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre is located at the Toronto Reference Library. It provides access to the Baldwin Collection of Canadiana. A large collection of historical manuscripts, books, ephemera, newspapers, maps and documentary art. Includes over a million Toronto Star photos.

The finding aid for manuscripts is available at Manuscript Finding Aid online resource.

City of Toronto Archives

At the City of Toronto Archives you can find historical records (information), including:

  • records created by the City of Toronto government
  • records created by municipal governments that existed before the 1998 amalgamation
  • papers of people, families, organizations and businesses
  • photographs
  • maps, plans and architectural drawings

Visit the Using the Archives page for help accessing archives’ database for records and information.

For more in-depth research, you may try the following resources.

Internet Archive

Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites and more.

The Canadian Encyclopedia

The Canadian Encyclopedia is a  collection of articles, lists, timelines and more about topics in Canadian history.

Dictionary of Canadian Biography

Dictionary of Canadian Biography is a collection of over 8400 biographies covering the period from the year 1000 to 2000.