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Ottawa’s Trump Avenue May Finally Get A Name Change

A fear of retaliation against Canada previously restrained the process.
Ottawa residents on Trump Avenue may be due for a name change, following the U.S. inauguration last week.
Ottawa residents on Trump Avenue may be due for a name change, following the U.S. inauguration last week.

Ottawa residents who live on “Trump Avenue” may see their street’s name change, now that former U.S. president Donald Trump is no longer in office.

The street is in Ottawa’s quiet Central Park neighbourhood, an area with other New York-inspired locations, like “Manhattan Crescent” and “Gotham Private.”

Since Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, the 62 homeowners living on Trump Avenue have endured ridicule; some have decided not to tell others the street they live on.

“Every time I give out my address, people are like ‘Oh I bet you want to move now,’” said one resident to CTV News five years ago.

City councillor Riley Brockington told HuffPost Canada that since he took on the role, he’s seen an annual attempt by embarrassed locals to change the name through petitions and campaigns. In recent months, he’s heard increased requests from both those living on Trump Avenue and concerned Canadians worried about what it means for Canada’s Capital to keep the street name.

However, Brockington felt that it was “inappropriate’ to do so while Trump had presidential power; Trump has infamously incited violence against marginalized communities, made many racist and sexist statements, spread misinformation about the COVID-19 virus numerous times, and was impeached twice, just to name a few of his notable moments during his tenure.

“My fear was that there might have been ramifications against Canada,” Brockington said. “May sound extreme, but I just thought it would be more appropriate once his term in office ended to initiate a public process.”

With U.S. President Joe Biden now heading the country, Brockington’s safety concerns have vanished.

“My fear was that there might have been ramifications against Canada. May sound extreme, but I just thought it would be more appropriate once his term in office ended to initiate a public process.”

- Riley Brockington

Ultimately, Brockington said it will be up to Trump Avenue residents if their street’s name will be changed. CBC reports consultations with residents began over the weekend. Should at least 50 per cent plus one of homeowners be in favour, a working group will be established, and Ottawa will begin the change.

It’s a lengthy process ― emergency services and organizations like Canada Post will need to be kept in the loop, and many Ottawa streets that have duplicate names need to be dealt with. But Brockington says that Trump Avenue’s name can be dumped in time for Canada Day.

For some, no longer living somewhere associated with Trump’s name can’t come soon enough.

“He didn’t accept the election results and he incited an insurrection,” long-time resident Bonnie Bowering told CTV News. “Do we really want in Ottawa, in Canada’s capital, a street named Trump?”

Bonnie Bowering, a supporter of changing her street name from 'Trump Avenue', poses for a photo at her house in a west side suburb in Ottawa on January 26, 2021. 
Bonnie Bowering, a supporter of changing her street name from 'Trump Avenue', poses for a photo at her house in a west side suburb in Ottawa on January 26, 2021. 

It’s too early to tell what Trump Avenue’s name could be or if it will stick to the neighbourhood’s Big Apple theme, but Brockington’s of the mind that when it comes to naming streets after people, there are many like Nelson Mandela or Queen Elizabeth who are deserving of those honours.

“As well as the many First Nations who are finally getting the time that they deserve,” he added. “Slowly, but surely with a number of commemorative namings as well.

“I’m not here to get political, I’m here to facilitate a process. If I didn’t believe it, I wouldn’t invest the time. I do believe the requests are warranted.”

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