Ottawa residents seek to dump Trump street name

Michel Comte, Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 27 2021 08:13 AM

The 'Trump Avenue' street sign is seen in a west side suburb in Ottawa on January 26, 2021. Residents of an Ottawa neighbourhood are looking to distance themselves from Donald Trump by renaming their street, which bears his name -- once a source of intrigue, but now an embarrassment. Trump Avenue in the Canadian capital's west side is lined with brick homes, each with two-car garages and kids playing hockey in driveways. Michel Comte, Agence France-Presse

OTTAWA, Canada - Residents of an Ottawa neighborhood are looking to distance themselves from Donald Trump by renaming their street, which bears his name -- once a source of intrigue, but now an embarrassment.

Trump Avenue on the Canadian capital's west side is lined with brick homes, each with two-car garages and kids playing hockey in driveways.

The Central Park neighborhood, known for New York City-themed street names, was built in the late 1990s -- long before a certain Big Apple real estate mogul entered politics.

There's also a Madison Park, Bloomingdale Street, Manhattan Crescent, and Staten Way in the area.

Bonnie Bowering moved here in 2008.

"When I used to tell people I live on Trump Avenue and I would add, 'Yes, it is The Donald,' people would smirk, some offered sympathies, that sort of thing," she told AFP.

"But now -- after he's undermined democracy, and incited an insurrection, a violent attack on the US Capitol -- it's time to change our street name," she said. 

"Trump doesn't deserve the honor and I think it's inappropriate to have a street named after him in Canada's capital."

Ottawa city councilor Riley Brockington started gathering support for the name change from people who live on the street this week.

Some residents had been petitioning the city for years to change it, but Brockington resisted, saying he feared offending Trump while he was in office.

"I was concerned that there might be ramifications against Canada, that Trump would take punitive measures if word got out that Canada's national capital wanted to take his name off a street sign," Brockington said.

"With his exit from the White House, I felt now was a good time to try it."

At least 50 percent of residents must agree to the name change to trigger a process that would take several months.

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That's not soon enough for Diane Hosker, who was out walking her dog Tuesday afternoon.

"It was a novelty at first, a fun way to start off a conversation when you told people where you lived," she said. "Now it's an embarrassment."

"The man's an idiot and I don't like his brand of politics," she added.

Nearby, a father stuck his head out of his front door to call his son in from the cold, and nodded in agreement.

Changing the street's name would require new signage, but also new maps and postal addresses for 62 homes.

And then there's the matter of selecting a new name.

Most other New York names are already taken in Ottawa, and numbered street names such as Fifth Avenue won't do. "We already have one of those in Ottawa," Bowering explained.

"I hope we end up with a name that everybody is happy with," she concluded. "Of course, some people say 'Anything would be better.'"

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© Agence France-Presse

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