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Yonge-Dundas Square/Sankofa Square (Brown + Storey Architects)

The new name has liitle local context. I give it 5 years before they sells the naming rights
How is this not cultural appropriation? The Ghanaian word Sankofa has nothing to do with Canada, unless we’re going to build a tent city for all the recent migrants from Ghana and Sub-Saharan Africa?

We have our own indigenous nations and countrymen - surely they have a word that has both meaning and purpose that we could have used.
 
New proposed name is absolutely ridiculous. Of all options, we're going with a Ghanan name? What kind of world do we live in?
 
for some context Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville — is an 18th-century politician from Scotland who tweaked an anti-slavery bill that would delay the abolition of the slave trade. Much of the debate about Dundas is narrowly focused on the 1792 parliamentary slave trade abolition debate, when he inserted the word ‘gradual’ into William Wilberforce’s abolition bill, which passed in the House of Commons - 231 years ago.

Sankofa - a word in the Twi language of Ghana It symbolizes taking from the past what is good and bringing it into the present in order to make positive progress through the benevolent use of knowledge.

Happening now in Ghana 2023. A bill before parliament proposes heavier criminal penalties for same sex activities, increasing the maximum penalty from three years in prison to five and expanding criminalization for anyone who identifies as LGBT, or as queer, as pansexual, an ally, or any other non-conventional gender identity. LGBT people in Ghana have historically faced serious human rights abuses, including physical and psychological violence, extortion, and discrimination in their daily life. Many live in constant fear of being attacked just for who they are.
 
"Provoke a fight"? In my view it's not a fight until someone comes along and throws a punch, and you just did. Up till such a point it's just as fairly seen as trying to provoke a discussion, trying to provoke agreement, or simply saying what he/she thinks.
To make myself as clear as possible, mcbg1 expressed an opinion and you came along and punched him/her in the nose. Sorry, but bullying is a mild term for that. I have others I'll keep to myself.
I'd love to see mcbg1 get a big fat apology. Have a nice day.
Let me reiterate, we will not be throwing the term "woke" around here. It does nothing to promote discussion, it only seeks to inflame. Actual discussion does not reduce any opposition to a catch-all term that's been appropriated by an intolerant faction of the wider society to describe anything that they are not happy with and to brand their opponents. Members here are individuals and lumping them together by means of what's considered a slur by some will not be allowed.

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Neat word, I'd totally be down to have an actual Sankofa Square somewhere in the city, maybe in a space set up to promote some intergenerational interactions (chess boards? communal seating?), but Yonge-Dundas Square is so obviously not that space
 
I am not sure I like the proposal here either. As the jury is still out on what they're changing it to...I can see why they're changing to that name, but I don't think it's going to resonate with the public who use this space. And is open to misinterpretation as I am seeing from the comments about this, to put that mildly. So it's not really a good start here...

...I do feel the name needs to be change however, along with the redesign of the whole Square...as the name change will do nothing to the inadequacies and glaring tackiness of the space, to put it mildly again. I feel this ultimately this should put to a public vote...rather decided upon with little public input, in my opinion.
 
I am not very impressed at all.' Yonge Dundas Square' was I resume a placeholder until a more suitable replacement name came along.

Perhaps a famous Canadian regardless of race or heritage or whatever the current cultural norms are.

But Ghana. Just absurd. Who is running this city of ours now if we can't look to the past. Our past! Our nations past? A recognizable or historical name form our past?

Give us as a nation with all of our differences and diversity some credit please.
 
Well @UtakataNoAnnex, the jury isn't out, it has decided. We've put up front page story here about it.

Frankly I'm glad they are not renaming the street (at least for the time being), the amount of disruption would be huge for that, and probably create far more ill-will than the four things they are renaming.

I think people need to get beyond focusing on the word Sankofa coming one particular country that they feel no particular attachment to. The point of the word is its meaning, in that it encompasses "learning from the past to build a better future." It says a lot in just seven letters. In that it comes from an African country, it recognizes that there are many Torontonians of African descent, and that not all of us came from Europe (the vast majority of names here recall Europe, and that's not changing anytime soon)... and for those who have forgotten, many of African descent who are here did not end up on this continent willingly. What is wrong with recalling that in a way that we can learn from it, and as the word Sankofa says "build a better future"? People tend to resist change, but it's not going to kill anyone to embrace a future that better recognizes everyone's individual worth.

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Well @UtakataNoAnnex, the jury isn't out, it has decided. We've put up front page story here about it.

Frankly I'm glad they are not renaming the street (at least for the time being), the amount of disruption would be huge for that, and probably create far more ill-will than the four things they are renaming.

I think people need to get beyond focusing on the word Sankofa coming one particular country that they feel no particular attachment to. The point of the word is its meaning, in that it encompasses "learning from the past to build a better future." It says a lot in just seven letters. In that it comes from an African country, it recognizes that there are many Torontonians of African descent, and that not all of us came from Europe... and for those who have forgotten, many of African descent who are here did not end up on this continent willingly. What is wrong with recalling that in a way that we can learn from it, and as the word Sankofa says "build a better future"? People tend to resist change, but it's not going to kill anyone to embrace a future that better recognizes everyone's individual worth.

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People could just overlook the past behind the name Dundas instead and learn from it. And people in Ghana themselves don't see that everyone has the same worth as you can read above. If they were allowed to dictate how we run this city, a lot of events would get cancelled... Nice thought but in reality, it's all political theatre and a waste of our tax money.
 
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Perhaps a famous Canadian regardless of race or heritage or whatever the current cultural norms are.

Downie Wenjack Square.

Replace the grey pavers with checkerboard floors. Big upgrade to the stage. Put a giant tophat with a feather in it at the Yonge/Dundas corner. Instant landmark. Celebrates the current cultural norms. Who would possibly oppose it?
 
Perhaps a look back to a past success.

In 1965, we replaced our colonial flag with the Maple Leaf. It's a symbol that didn''t speak to one ethnic group over another and the maple leaf is rooted in this place. Canada is a diverse country and multi-culturalism has been enshrined in our Constitution for decades. When we tackle issues like this, a look back to this example is helpful. I doubt you'll find many who don't think 'Canada' when they see our flag. It's a flag that speaks to ALL of us as Canadians.

Ethnic specific nods are a poor choice. The one exception are indigenous names as they're the original inhabitants of this land. If we're to choose something else, a historic figure that ALL Torontonians can relate to and admire is an equally good choice. My suggestion: TERRY FOX SQUARE, TERRY FOX WEST, TERRY FOX EAST, TERRY FOX STATION.

He's an inspiration to millions of people around the world and one of the most important Canadians ever. He was humble, kind, his feat heroic, and he made a difference. He may not be from Ontario (born in Winnipeg and moved to BC aged 8) but his Marathon of Hope ended, sadly, in our province. Yonge Street, where this square is located, stretches all the way to that lonely Thunder Bay location where his journey ended. I'm hard pressed to think of a more fitting name for this square.
 
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... We have our own indigenous nations and countrymen...
I suppose something could be named after Robbie Robertson, but I think it would probably seem more appropriate for it to involve more of an association with music or the arts, as opposed to YD Square or a subway station.
 
I am not very impressed at all.' Yonge Dundas Square' was I resume a placeholder until a more suitable replacement name came along.

Perhaps a famous Canadian regardless of race or heritage or whatever the current cultural norms are.

But Ghana. Just absurd. Who is running this city of ours now if we can't look to the past. Our past! Our nations past? A recognizable or historical name form our past?

Give us as a nation with all of our differences and diversity some credit please.

At one point, I believe its publisher was hoping "Toronto Life Square" would catch on in the vernacular à la Times Square or Harold Square, but that bullet was fortunately dodged.

The renaming really should've been opened up to a public competition rather than sole-sourced from some consultant. Personally, I think McLuhan Square would've made a good fit for the space given how the built environment pairs with his work on media/advertising in addition to the local connection. Leave the more high-minded concepts to more dignified spaces.
 
The problem with the name is that it's not catchy and its aspirational meaning conflicts with the use and character of the square. The character of Yonge-Dundas is a mix of crass commercialism, entertainment, tourists, street performers, protesters and other assorted riff raff. Historically, it's long been a location where people have gathered to protest and to celebrate. There's a dismal building shaped like a torch for an Olympics that never happened, there's the worst parking garage entrance in the history of reality. It's a messy, magnetic collision of light and energy and sometimes feels like it's tipping right on the edge. It's the embodiment of John Tory's Family Compact ancestors watching him in bed with a young staffer.

I'm sure there's a name in that somewhere.
 
I suppose something could be named after Robbie Robertson, but I think it would probably seem more appropriate for it to involve more of an association with music or the arts, as opposed to YD Square or a subway station.
I agree. The musical past is a really good place to draw more inspiration I'd argue, just due to the musical scene in this neighbourhood over the decades. Look no further than the mural south of College on Yonge (east side) to find some inspiration.
rsz_2017-musicmurals-southdybia1-e1581010821163-768x1024.jpg
 

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