Montreal wants more streets, parks named after women
Published Friday, March 4, 2016 2:12PM EST
Last Updated Friday, March 4, 2016 7:03PM EST
The city of Montreal is pushing to make its streets and landmarks a more equal place for women.
Only six per cent of the city’s 6,000 place names are named after women and the city administration is asking for residents’ help coming up with a list of notable Montreal women who deserve a road or park named in their honour.
The city has put up a web page where people can nominate candidates. The goal is to have 375 names by the city’s 375th anniversary in 2017, with the idea being that when a street or park needs a name, the research will already be complete.
"The fact [is] that history has been written mostly by men. At this point we have to come up with new ideas," said Projet Montreal city councillor Valerie Plante, who spearheaded the idea.
Due to a new rule instituted last year, only the deceased can have landmarks named after them in Montreal.
"Your pool is going to be a lot broader and deeper if you open that up," said Kimberley Manning, a professor at Concordia's Simone de Beauvoir Institute.
“The first rule usually is, you have to wait until the person is dead,” said Plante. “And so, I think more and more in the future we’re going to have much more women from the scientific areas, from business, politics, from all kinds of areas. But it is a challenge right now.”
Projet Montreal pointed out there are several small parks that have yet to be named and could be prime candidates to bear women's names, avoiding the controversy that sometimes comes with renaming streets and landmarks.
In 2014, three out of the 17 new streets names were named after women.