Ongoing engagement activities
Share your stories and memories about the parkway and surrounding areas on PlaceSpeak by May 21, or attend our May 10 in-person event.
The NCC is renaming the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway.
The new name will be chosen through an Indigenous naming and engagement exercise. It will honour the profound significance of the river, shoreline and landscape to Indigenous Peoples—specifically the Algonquin Nation.
The latest on the project
We began engagement activities with Indigenous communities in winter 2023. Public engagement activities to gather stories about the parkway start in early May. We plan to recommend a new name to the NCC Board of Directors in June 2023.
For over 60 years, the parkway was named after the Ottawa River, because of its location along the waterway.
We received several requests to rename the parkway from elected officials, members of the Algonquin Nation, and community members. We also heard from the public, which suggested changing the name of the parkway during public consultations on the Ottawa River South Shore Riverfront Park Plan.
The NCC’s newly formed Advisory Committee on Toponymy met in the fall of 2022 to discuss this request. Following staff’s analysis and recommendation, the NCC Board of Directors agreed to rename the parkway based on an Indigenous naming and engagement exercise in January 2023. These initiatives are since underway.
- Winter-spring 2023: Indigenous engagement to select a new name and gather stories
- Spring 2023: Public engagement activities to gather stories and Advisory Committee on Toponymy meeting
- Summer 2023: Name recommendation to the NCC Board of Directors for decision at the June meeting
- Fall 2023: Unveiling of new signage and event to commemorate the exercise
About the Indigenous naming exercise
Following the NCC Board’s decision to proceed with the renaming, we are moving forward with an Indigenous naming and engagement exercise to find a new name for the parkway. This approach aligns with the principles of the new NCC Toponymy Policy and with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action related to language, culture and commemoration.
As part of this exercise, we are contributing to the revitalization of Indigenous culture and language and restoring Indigenous place names.
Generally, Indigenous place names describe the meaning of a place (how it was or is used) and the place’s significance to the communities involved. The names can also represent an important historical event or person or convey teachings about the land and area.
We are currently engaging with Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation and the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation communities. Engagement involves storytelling and workshops with community members. The name recommendation will then be chosen by consensus.
Everyone can get involved in this work. As part of this exercise, the public can contribute by sharing stories and memories about the parkway and surrounding areas by taking part in online engagement activities and an in-person event. You will also have the opportunity to learn about the initiative and the new name, once it is selected.
The stories will be featured in a summary report, published online. They may also inform a future interpretation plan for the area, including the parkway and the riverfront park.