Canadian town to keep 'Swastika Trail'

Town west of Toronto votes to keep the name of a local street called Swastika Trail, despite protests by locals and Jewish groups.

Elad Benari ,

Canadian flag
Canadian flag

The town council in Puslinch, Ontario, has voted to keep the name of a local street called Swastika Trail, The Canadian Jewish News reported Thursday.

The council voted 4-1 in favor of keeping the name. Puslinch is located approximately 50 miles west of Toronto.

The decision came despite protestations from some local residents and Jewish groups.

The issue was brought to council over the summer by residents who felt the name of the street was “a difficult and offensive name to be associated with.”

About two months ago, the neighborhood association voted 25-20 to keep the name.

In November, B’nai Brith Canada and the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) called on the town council to change the street’s name.

B’nai Brith Canada launched an online petition last month, saying, “Despite its ancient origins, the swastika is unequivocally a modern symbol of racism, hatred and death.”

“The swastika is a symbol of hatred and genocide,” Michael Mostyn, B’nai Brith Canada’s CEO, said at the time. “In 2017 alone, we’ve seen swastikas defacing university campuses, high schools, and people’s homes across Canada.”

“Tens of thousands of Canadian servicemen made the ultimate sacrifice to combat Nazi tyranny. Millions more were victimized by the evil depravity symbolized today by the swastika. Maintaining this street name would be an insult to Holocaust survivors, and a gross disservice to our veterans,” he added.

Following Wednesday’s vote, B’nai Brith Canada spokesperson Daniel Koren said he was disappointed by the result.

“Council had a chance to lead by example and do the right thing, but instead chose to maintain a street name that is associated with a symbol of hatred, discrimination and pure evil. We feel for those residents of Swastika Trail who remain troubled by this offensive name, and we will continue to be there for them,” he said, according to the Canadian Jewish News.