Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paula Fletcher will be putting a motion before Toronto and East York Community Council on June 29 to change the name of Lower Coxwell Avenue to Emdaabiimok Avenue.
The portion of the road to see its name changed is between Lake Shore Boulevard East and Queen Street East. Fletcher said there has long been support in the community for a road in the area to be named in honour of Indigenous peoples.
She said Lower Coxwell was only formerly adopted as the road’s name in 2019 in order to meet the need for a parking lot to have an official address. In her newsletter, Fletcher said the section of road leading to the lake has connections to the Indigenous community. “The area was traditionally used by Indigenous people to travel down to the lake. The name,
Emdaabiimok [Em-dah-bee-muck] Avenue, was derived from its literal translation, ‘where the road goes to the water’ and was recommended by the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation after extensive consultation,” said Fletcher.
However, she said city staff have recommended against this renaming on a technicality, “specifically” that the street has been renamed within the last 10 years.
“Additional correspondence from Toronto Police Services and Toronto Fire Services raises a concern that the proposed name may be difficult to spell or pronounce. I do not believe this assertion is correct. We have many street names that are difficult to spell or pronounce… I am confident that people will quickly learn to pronounce the new name.”
She is urging those in favour of the name change to visit her online petition at https://www.councillorpaulafletcher.ca/renaming or send an email directly to community council at email@example.com
“Though naming streets, parks, buildings and assets is a small gesture and it does not fulfill the deeper need for reconciliation as outlined in the City’s Reconciliation Action Plan. This proposal is a recognition of the rich Indigenous history in Toronto Danforth and beyond,” she said.