Lunenburg postpones review of Cornwallis Street renaming survey

(Illustration by Jessie McLaughlin)

The new name for Cornwallis Street in Lunenburg is to be selected at an undetermined date after Town Council agreed to take extra time to review more than 300 submissions on the matter received through public consultation.

At a Town Council Meeting on March 14, Jamie Doyle, Chief Administrative Officer with the Town of Lunenburg, requested an extension to the original timeline that would have had the survey results shared and discussed at this meeting.

“We are requesting an open-ended timeframe where staff would work diligently and as expeditiously as possible to bring this forward as soon as they can,” said Doyle.

Doyle said more than 300 submissions were received with town staff taking “a lot longer than we thought to go through due to the volume.”

Doyle’s request was accepted by council without questions. There is currently no stated timeline for an update on the selection process.

Background on the decision

Following recommendations from the town’s Anti-Racism Special Committee, a motion was moved at the January 10 meeting of council to approve renaming Cornwallis Street. 

The motion directed the Chief Administrative Officer to open a public engagement process and “that the results from the public engagement process be presented at the first regularly
scheduled Council meeting in March for Council’s consideration.”

The public engagement process constituted a print and online survey open to the public for more than one month, advertised through direct mail to town residents and through the town’s online channels. 

The survey included nine suggestions for names that came from the Anti-Racism Special Committee and Town Council. Participants had the opportunity to rank their top three choices and optionally submit their own recommendation.

The nine suggested options as they appeared in the survey were:

  • E’se’katik (AY-SAY-kateek) Street: Original Mi’kmaw place name for Lunenburg; means “place of clams”.
  • Gta’n (uk-dawn) Street: Mi’kmaw word for “ocean”.
  • Kluscap (gloos-cap) Street: Named for a spiritual figure for Indigenous peoples located in New England states and Atlantic Canada.
  • Matlot (madeuh-lot) Street: Mi’kmaw word for “sailor”.
  • Merligueche Street: Mik’maw word for “whitecaps which topped the waves”; former Acadian place name for Lunenburg.
  • Nitap (knee-dub) Street: Mi’kmaw word for “friend”.
  • Queen Street: Follows the naming convention of the nearby streets (Duke, King, Prince).
  • Reconciliation Street: Named for the National Day of Truth & Reconciliation with Indigenous nations.
  • Samqwan (sam-hwan) Street: The Mi’kmaw word for “water”; selected to represent the street’s connection to the back and front harbours, and the community’s overall ties to water.


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