Take a short walk down a street in almost any area in Montreal and you're bound to see some public fixture named after a famous person or historical figure.
From streets to parks to boroughs, many names make up Montreal. There's just one not-so-tiny problem: almost all of the names used are of men.
It's true, of the 6,000 names found in the City of Montreal, over 50% are of men. In contrast, only 6% are of women, with the rest being gender neutral names or surnames.
As those figures show, there's a huge gender gap when it comes to representation in Montreal, as the notable women who have made the city great are honoured and remembered far less than the males.
But Montreal's leaders aim to fix that issue with Toponym'Elles, the city's first female toponymic databank.
Launched just in time for International Women's Day (which is March 8th, btw) Toponym'Elles will serve as a resource when new figures are needed to name Montreal streets, parks, and public spaces.
First, however, the databank needs a selection of names to choose from, which is the first goal of Toponym'Elles. In line with Montreal's upcoming birthday, 375 names of important women who have changed the face of the city (and the world) will need to be chosen.
If you have a woman in mind, you can submit their name to Toponym'Elles, as the City of Montreal is asking for the public's participation.
And through this project, to quote Manon Gauthier, member of the Montreal Executive Committee responsible for culture, heritage, and design, we as a city can finally "give our women the space they deserve."
For more information on the project, you can read the press release here.