Man petitioning against Yonge-Dundas Square renaming speaks on dismissive City Council response

Lifelong Torontonian Daniel Tate told Rebel News, 'Everybody grew up on ‘Yonge and Dundas,’ and to just have a small group of activists rip it away from us like that, it’s left a bitter pill in all of our mouths, and that’s why we decided to write the petition.'

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Daniel Tate is a lifelong Toronto resident who is passionate about the city’s culture and history, especially when it comes to music. He even wrote his undergraduate thesis on neighbourhood change at Yonge-Dundas Square.

When the Toronto City Council originally put forward an urgent motion to rename Yonge-Dundas Square “Sankofa Square,” Tate decided to take action and put together a petition against the name change, which 72% of polled Toronto residents didn’t support.

The petition gathered more than 30,000 signatures from Canadians when Tate brought it to the Toronto City Council on Jun 18, 2024, but the reaction from City Councillors was overwhelmingly dismissive.

Councillor Chris Moise, who started the renaming motion, reportedly called Tate “racist” under his breath, a sound the mic barely picked up. He doubled down a few days later on iHeart Radio’s Toronto Today: “I felt that there was a sense of racism coming from him. That’s the way I felt.”

Tate told Rebel News, “For them to kind of lowball and throw insults at us, like calling us racist, I mean everybody sees it, it’s crass, we don’t want it from our elected leaders, and we hope they can do better.”

Councillor Paula Fletcher attempted to discredit the petition by calling it a “Canada-wide” petition and reading off signatures of Canadians outside of the Greater Toronto Area.

“You’re cherrypicking Moncton to discredit the petition? That’s also disingenuous, Councillor Fletcher and the whole city’s watching,” responded Tate.

On June 27 in a 17-6 decision, the Toronto City Council voted to go forward with the motion to rename Yonge-Dundas Square "Sankofa Square."

Rebel News spoke with Daniel Tate to find out what motivated him to bring forward the petition and get his thoughts on the surprising and disappointing reaction from the Toronto City Council.

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