Ottawa's Trump Avenue could be in for name change

Residents of Ottawa's Trump Avenue could soon have a new address, but unlike the erstwhile U.S. president, they're not going anywhere.

City consulting with residents of Central Park street named after polarizing former U.S. president

Bonnie Bowering, a Trump Avenue resident since October 2008, believe it's high time for a new street name. (Stu Mills/CBC)

Residents of Ottawa's Trump Avenue could soon have a new address, but unlike the erstwhile U.S. president, they're not going anywhere.

Trump Avenue is a quiet street of brown brick single-family homes fronted by wide driveways, nestled in the city's Central Park neighbourhood, just off Merivale Road. 

On Saturday, the city began consulting with residents "to ascertain their level of support to rename their street," according to an email from the office of their city councillor, Riley Brockington, who also delivered notices to each home on the street.

According to Brockington, the consultation "follows a number of recent and some older requests to my office" to drop Donald Trump's name, which was adopted long before the New York real estate mogul and reality TV star entered politics, and is in keeping with the neighbourhood's Manhattan theme.

"For years that I've been in office there have been movements to get the street renamed," Brockington told CBC.

"Most recently during the tenure of the last president, that movement has gathered some steam."

WATCH | What the city councillor has been hearing:

Ottawa councillor starts process to rename Trump Avenue

1 year ago
Duration 0:54
Coun. Riley Brockington, whose ward includes Trump Avenue, says many residents have “negative associations” with the name stemming from the former president’s behaviour over the last four years.

Councillor feared 'ramifications'

Brockington said he decided to wait until after Trump left the White House to make a move.

"Frankly, I was worried that there might be some ramifications against Canada if word got out that in Canada's national capital they wanted to take his name off a street sign," he explained.

He doesn't deserve the honour of a street name.- Bonnie Bowering, Trump Avenue resident

If residents agree to a change, Brockington says a working group will be formed to come up with a new street name, which may or may not conform to the neighbourhood's Manhattan theme.

That's only the start, however: the newly proposed name must be vetted by all the street's residents, then a formal application process begins. City council needs to sign off, then utilities, emergency services and a host of other interested parties must be formally notified.

Brockington believes the process will take about six months.

‘I don’t want my official documents to say Trump Avenue’

1 year ago
Duration 0:36
Kaylee Brooks, who’s lived on Trump Avenue for over two years, says it’s “upsetting” to be associated with former U.S. president Donald Trump, who ended his single term in office as the only president ever to have been impeached twice.

Good riddance, residents say

For Kaylee Brooks, who's lived on Trump Avenue for about two and half years, it can't come soon enough.

"At first it seemed like a silly joke, but then the more you live here and the more news that came out about Trump, it was upsetting," Brooks said.

"No one wants to be associated with his name, especially right now, and it would mean the world to me to change it ... because I don't want my official documents to say 'Trump Avenue' when I apply for things."

WATCH | An upsetting few years on Trump Avenue:

Residents of Ottawa’s Trump Avenue embrace a possible name change

1 year ago
Duration 0:50
Bonnie Bowering has called Trump Avenue home for over 12 years and says the street name has become an embarrassment in the years since the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Bonnie Bowering, who's called Trump Avenue home since 2008, agreed.

"Up until ... this past election, it was sort of a source of humour," Bowering said. "But now it's not funny anymore."

Bowering said she's gotten used to store clerks smirking when she gives her address, but now the name has taken on a much more sinister tone.

"Now he has undermined the whole democratic process ... and he has incited an insurrection," she said.

"Now his status has changed, and I don't think Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, should be honouring him or his name in any way, shape or form.

"He doesn't deserve the honour of a street name."

WATCH | 'It's not funny anymore':

With files from Stu Mills

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