Proposal to rename major Canadian intersection after Gordon Lightfoot gains traction

May 8 2023, 9:33 pm

It’s been exactly one week since the death of legendary folk singer Gordon Lightfoot, and there’s already a proposal to rename one of Toronto’s major landmarks after the beloved songwriter.

Arron Barberian, co-owner of Barberian’s Steak House, told CityNews that he wants to see Lightfoot memorialized in the city by renaming Yonge-Dundas Square to honour his achievements.

“He’s the right person. He was integral in creating this neighbourhood as the entertainment and music capital of the city,” Barberian said. “I think it’s an appropriate way to honour that man.”

Just one day after Lightfoot’s death at age 84, Barberian wrote a letter to the mayor’s office with a proposal to rename the high-traffic public square.

“I support looking at how we as a City (sic) can remember Gordon Lightfoot and his legendary music,” Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie told the Star.

“I also welcome Arron Barberian’s suggestion and I am hopeful that we can find an appropriate way to commemorate Gordon Lightfoot’s life.”

The proposal comes just two years after City Council voted to rename Dundas Street, which is named after controversial Scottish politician Henry Dundas, who reportedly helped delay the abolition of the slave trade in the 1790s.

Born in Orilla, Ontario, Lightfoot was widely considered one of the greatest talents to emerge from Toronto’s folk scene in the 1960s, and went on to record 20 studio albums and hundreds of songs.

The proposal to rename Yonge-Dundas Square after Lightfoot seems especially befitting, considering the musician previously wrote a song — “On Yonge Street” — in dedication of the world’s longest street, singing, “I hope I’ll see you one fine day on Yonge Street.”

Kimia Afshar MehrabiKimia Afshar Mehrabi

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