Lunenburg seeks new name for Cornwallis Street

You may soon see E’se’katik Street, Reconciliation Street, or – huh – Queen Street, replace Cornwallis Street on signs across Lunenburg.

These are some of the options suggested by the Town of Lunenburg for renaming Old Town’s Cornwallis Street.

This upcoming change follows proposals by the town’s anti-racism special committee in December. Renaming places in town was the topic of their their first meeting in a year.

Melissa Duggan is the councillor who serves as committee chair.

“The work of the local committee was on hiatus while waiting for a more regional approach that did not move as quickly as we would have hoped,” writes Duggan in an email interview.

“While we are undertaking some work to regionalize our committee, an opportunity came up to begin the renaming process and as a committee we thought it was important to take this step forward.”

Council accepted the proposal to end this aspect of the legacy of Edward Cornwallis after public consultation.

A release by the town acknowledges “the controversial former governor of Nova Scotia issued a scalping proclamation bounty in 1749 to anyone who killed Mi’kmaw men, women, and children.”

Council’s decisions also mean Blockhouse Hill Park is now Sylvia Park.

This move formally acknowledges for the first time Sylvia, a Black woman who is acknowledged for a courageous role defending the town during the 1782 Sack of Lunenburg.

Sylvia was enslaved by Lunenburg settler John Creighton – who was a militia captain and colonel under Cornwallis, and whose name graces Creighton Street at the back of Old Town.

Additionally, 250th Anniversary Park is now Labrador Park. The town writes this is “in honour of Old Labrador (a.k.a. Paul Labrador), the last Mi’kmaw/Acadian family in the area when what we now call Lunenburg was founded in 1753”.

Duggan writes that the storied pasts of Sylvia Park and Labrador Park will be represented with interpretive panels at their respective locations.

Following the decisions of council in December, Mi’kmaw elder and renowned writer Daniel Paul submitted a letter to council with “deep appreciation for their decision to rename Cornwallis Street.”

In the letter, included in the council agenda for Jan. 10, Paul recommends the name Reconciliation Lane.

“Not only does such a name apply to the coming together, at long last, of the Indigenous peoples of Canada, which was brought to the forefront by the revelations of the horrors perpetuated against helpless First Nations children in Indian Residential and Indian Day Schools across Canada and each and every Province, but to a broader range,” writes Paul in the letter.

“It can also be applied to married couples who are experiencing troubles with their marriages, neighbours who have disagreements that split them apart, lovers having spats, trades people and so on, it is an inclusive and positive word. It would be nice to advise them ‘go take a walk down Reconciliation Lane and ponder if discord is what you desire, instead of congeniality!’”

You can vote on the name to replace Cornwallis through the town’s survey at:

Survey responses are accepted until February 13, 2023. Council will make their final decision in March.


One response to “Lunenburg seeks new name for Cornwallis Street”

  1. MJ Martino

    Call it Academy Hill Road. That way it’ll be harder to sell off.

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