News Release
December 14, 2023

Today, Toronto City Council adopted recommendations to rename four major City of Toronto assets: Yonge-Dundas Square, Dundas and Dundas West subway stations and the Jane/Dundas Public Library. The City will consider next steps to rename these assets in 2024.

Following two years of consultation, research and discussion, the City’s Recognition Review Community Advisory Committee (CAC) reached consensus on the name “Sankofa Square” for Yonge-Dundas Square. The concept of Sankofa, originating in Ghana, refers to the act of reflecting on and reclaiming teachings from the past, which enables people to move forward together. This new name reflects the City’s commitment to taking steps to right wrongs, confront anti-Black racism and build a more inclusive Toronto for all. The Yonge-Dundas Square Board will report to City Council on details related to the adoption of the new name by the end of Q2 2024.

City Council adopted the motion recommending the City:

  • Adopt the new name “Sankofa Square” for Yonge-Dundas Square.
  • Remove the Dundas name from three other City assets – Dundas and Dundas West subway stations and the Jane/Dundas Public Library – starting in 2024.
  • Undertake a public education campaign, which will launch in 2024 and extend into 2025, that will focus on acknowledging the impact of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery.
  • Pause work on the remaining recommendations from the July 2021 decision including the renaming of Dundas Street until Council provides direction to resume.

In fall 2021, the Recognition Review CAC was formed to develop a shortlist of new names for Dundas Street and other City-owned assets bearing the Dundas name. The 20-member CAC brings together Black and Indigenous leaders and other Dundas Street residents and business owners. The CAC reached consensus on the name “Sankofa Square” for Yonge-Dundas Square at its December 12 meeting.

Pending TTC Board decision, the City and TTC will work in consultation with Toronto Metropolitan University to rename Dundas Station and with advice from the Recognition Review Community Advisory Committee to rename Dundas West Station. The Jane/Dundas Public Library is proposed to be renamed by the Toronto Public Library Board in collaboration with the City.

Council directed that the Jane/Dundas Public Library be renamed by Q3 2024. City Council also requested the Toronto Transit Commission Board rename Dundas subway station by Q4 2024, and Dundas West subway station be renamed within the TTC’s 10-year capital plan, preferably by 2025.

The net cost to the City is estimated to be $700,000 with identified offsets.

More information on the member’s motion is available on the City’s website.

The Recognition Review: Dundas Renaming project has been underway since 2020 when members of City Council received an online petition calling for Dundas Street to be renamed. In July 2021, City Council voted to rename Dundas Street. At that time, Council directed the City Manager to convene a Recognition Review CAC to develop a shortlist of new names for Dundas Street and other City-owned assets bearing the Dundas name, and a transition plan to support impacted residents and businesses. The 20-member Recognition Review CAC was formed in fall 2021 and was made up of Black and Indigenous leaders, along with other diverse residents and business owners living and working along Dundas Street. View the July 21 Council decision on the City’s website.


“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 City of Toronto is committed to acknowledging the impact of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery, while focusing on mitigating costs and impacts on residents and businesses. Adopting the name Sankofa Square, recognizes the need to reflect on and reclaim teachings from the past, and enables us to move forward together.”
– Mayor Olivia Chow

“The names of our City assets are a reflection of our values as Torontonians. Conversations on racial justice and equality are at the forefront around the world in light of ongoing efforts by Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities. I would like to acknowledge and thank the 20 members of the Recognition Review Community Advisory Committee for their hard work. Renaming these assets in the short-term is an important first step to move forward together towards a more inclusive and equitable Toronto.”
– Councillor Chris Moise, Chair of the Confronting Anti-Black Racism Committee (Toronto Centre)

“The name Sankofa is the result of two years of careful work by the Community Advisory Committee. This name was suggested by representatives of the Black community who served on the committee. We worked on a consensus model that reflects the best traditions of decision-making in both Indigenous communities of this territory and the African diaspora. Our committee conversations were informed by consultations with the public. Of the many names we considered, Sankofa emerged as the consensus choice. This powerful concept encapsulates the need for all members of our community to come together to reflect and learn from the loss and tragedy of histories of Black enslavement. It also celebrates histories of survival and community and expresses the joy which we hope future generations of people will experience when they gather together in this central landmark of Canada’s largest city.”
– Elder Catherine Tammaro and Dr. Melanie Newton (co-Chairs of the Recognition Review Community Advisory Committee)

“For us, our audiences, artists, area residents and businesses, this name change is the chance to write an inclusive narrative for the Square that weaves us into the multicultural fabric that the city of Toronto is known for in Canada and beyond. The unity and enjoyment of public spaces has always been and is a priority for the YDS Board of Management, it is at the heart of what we do. The Square needs to be for everybody.”
– Mike Fenton, Chair of Yonge-Dundas Square Board

“Each of our library branches is a reflection of the unique community it serves. We are proud to be part of this renaming, which aligns with our core public library values including equity, diversity and inclusion.”
– Vickery Bowles, City Librarian, Toronto Public Library

“On behalf of Toronto Metropolitan University, I would like to express our excitement and enthusiasm to collaborate with the City of Toronto and the TTC on the initiative to rename Dundas Station. Our university is deeply integrated into the fabric of Toronto, and we take immense pride in contributing to the city’s dynamic and diverse community.”
– Mohamed Lachemi, President & Vice-Chancellor, Toronto Metropolitan University

Toronto is home to more than three million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation and climate action, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media Relations