Lionel Groulx

This is why Montreal wants to rename a subway station after Oscar Peterson

Lionel-Groulx metro station in Montreal could be renamed after Oscar Peterson in light of the anti-Semitism of the Quebec historian it's currently named after.

A petition to rename the station has almost reached its goal of 7,500 signatures as sentiment grows to remove names and images glorifying racist historical figures and racial stereotypes from brands, buildings, trophies and more.

Lionel Groulx was at the forefront of the Quebec nationalist discourse, but is also widely known to have held anti-Semitic opinions, including being against the immigration of Jewish people into Quebec and wanting to boycott Jewish businesses.

Conversely, Oscar Peterson is a jazz pianist with a career spanning over 60 years who grew up in Montreal's Little Burgundy neighbourhood.

"I believe our city should honour the incredible accomplishments that Oscar Peterson achieved by renaming Lionel Groulx metro station as Oscar Peterson metro station," reads the petition. 

"This allows Montréal to celebrate the legacy of a man who has proudly represented our city on the international stage and allows our city to celebrate the beautiful cultural diversity and representation that black Montrealers bring to our city."

Efforts to change the name of the station extend back as far as 1996, and changing the name to Oscar Peterson has been suggested since 2008. There's also a Facebook group dedicated to the cause.

There's been a moratorium on station name changes for the past 14 years, however, according to the STM.

Lead photo by

Munich Tramspotter

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