A street in a new Manitoba subdivision will soon honour political and spiritual icon Mahatma Gandhi.

Winnipeg city councillor Russ Wyatt, who put the name forward, said council recently approved Gandhi Drive as the name of the street in Kildonan Green, a subdivision of about 500 homes.

"He may have been of Indian background but he stood for the international values of peace, justice and equality," said Wyatt. "These are Canadian values."

There are already a number of Gandhi roads in India, Gandhi avenues in Tehran and Nairobi and a Gandhi Drive in Boulder, Colo.

But supporters believe naming a Winnipeg street after Ghandi will be the first time it's been done in Canada.

"I am so thrilled!" said Vrajbihari (Roy) Pandya, 77, a Winnipegger who met Mahatma Gandhi in 1945 when he was living in India.

"He was the man of the millennium."

Gandhi led India to independence from Great Britain using peaceful civil disobedience. He was assassinated in 1948.

The Gandhi Drive announcement was made at a Hindu Society of Manitoba dinner March 31.

"There was a standing ovation and 650 people were all on their feet," said Dr. Pawan Singal, chairman of the society's fundraising committee.

Wyatt said there was some resistance to the idea, noting that some people said no one would want to live on a street named Gandhi.

Residents honoured

Most other street names in the neighbourhood will honour a mix of Winnipeg residents who've served their community, such as longtime MP Bill Blaikie.

The father of medicare, Tommy Douglas, will also get a street named after him, said Wyatt.

The city's Hindu community wants to make sure the right Gandhi is specified in the street name.

"We're pushing for Mahatma Gandhi Road," said Singal, recalling other Gandhis like former prime ministers Indira and her son Rajiv who aren't held in the same esteem.