PUSLINCH – A controversial street name of a private road near Puslinch Lake may be getting a name change.
A report going forward to Wednesday's Puslinch council meeting has staff recommending changing the name of Swastika Trail to Cedar Trail.
The street has been subject to controversy over the years with a 2021 petition to change the name signed by over 2,000 people being read in the House of Commons by Cambridge MP Brian May.
Puslinch council approved a municipal street naming policy on July 12 which outlined the process for renaming existing streets and naming new ones.
Audrey Hoskins and Randy Guzar, residents of 40 Swastika Trail and longtime opponents to the name, made an application to change the name of their street.
Their application claims the current name does not comply with the naming standards outlined in the new policy, specifically for those that have a commonly acknowledged negative or offensive meaning.
The staff recommendation noted municipalities and public organizations across Canada have been responding to requests from the public to rename streets, public buildings and schools or remove monuments that represent systematic racism and discrimination.
“The swastika is arguably the most universally recognizable hate symbol in Canada today,” the report stated before going on to recommend renaming Swastika Trail.
The township received some public feedback on this through a confidential response form with nine submissions in favour of the change and seven opposed.
The application proposed Cedar Trail for the new name but staff noted this might result in duplicate addresses.
Others suggested by staff include Cherry Lane, Elderberry Avenue and Tulip Tree Way to go along with the established tree theme seen around the Puslinch Lake area.
Council will also be able to suggest alternative names as well.
The Puslinch council meeting where this matter will be discussed will be held virtually at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.
Full report, agenda and how to watch the meeting can be found here.