Montreal to rename Amherst Street

Two years after Mayor Denis Coderre said that Amherst Street must be renamed, the city of Montreal is set to do so.

Montreal will rename the street that runs from the Old Port to Lafontaine Park on Friday in honour of an indigenous person.

Jeffery Amherst was the English military commander who defeated the French army and captured Montreal, and was later named Governor General of British North America.

In 1763, after learning of a smallpox outbreak at a military fort in what is now Pittsburgh, Amherst suggested other military leaders attempt to use blankets to spread smallpox among indigenous peoples as a way of wiping them out.

There is no indication his ideas were ever implemented, but several historians have said the letter clearly shows Amherst's intent.

A city of Montreal committee composed of Indigenous people has been considering names and their selection will be revealed on Friday, June 21, which is National Indigenous People's Day.

Several names suggested include naming the street after Huron Chief Kondiaronk, who was a key figure in the 1701 treaty called the Great Peace of Montreal.

Another name put forward is that of Mary Two-Axe Earley, a Mohawk and advocate for Aboriginal women.

Max Harrold contributed to this report