‘Over 500’ suggestions to rename Burlington park that is shedding Ryerson moniker

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Published September 28, 2021 at 8:59 pm

The City of Burlington says it has received more than 500 suggestions to rename a park, whose name is being changed in a gesture toward Indigenous reconciliation.

As a result, it will take a little longer than perhaps anticipated to choose a name for the park at at 555 Woodfield Rd., which had borne the name of Egerton Ryerson. The announcement of the name change for the park and an elementary school was made just three weeks ago.

At that time, Burlington Mayor  Marianne Meed Ward was optimistic about an Indigenous name being selected.

“I am partial to this being in agency with some meaning to Indigenous residents in our community. So, I’m hoping that we’ll have a good selection of Indigenous names to choose from,” she said.

Further updates will be posted to getinvolvedburlington.ca.

The Halton District School Board has also covered the name of the Ryerson Public Schoool until a new one can is chosen.

Numerous public institutions have removed the likenesses and names of Ryerson, a 19th-century educator, and Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, from public spaces. During the 19th century, both men had considerable involvement with the development Canada’s residential school system.

Ryerson University in Toronto is committed to a name change. Two cities that played a prominent role in Confederation during the 1860s, Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Kingston, Ont., have removed statues of Macdonald.

In July, however, Hamilton city council voted against temporarily removing a statue of Macdonald from the city’s downtown, saying it would prefer to wait until after a landmarks and monuments review was completed. Many citizen delegators to a city committee said the review would be undermined if the statue was left in place.

The statue was pulled down on Aug. 14, and has not been re-installed.

People who need emotional support or assistance can contact the Indian Residential School Survivors Society toll-free at 1-800-721-0066. The society also offers a 24-hour crisis line at 1-866-925-4419.

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