News Release

June 22, 2023

During today’s meeting, the NCC Board of Directors approved a new Algonquin name for the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway: Kichi Zībī Mīkan (pronounced kitchi zee-bee MEE-khan) which means “Great River Road.”

The new name references the Algonquin name for the river — Kichi Zībī — and the original name for the parkway, the Ottawa River Parkway. It also highlights the importance of the Ottawa River as a great and abundant river that has provided for peoples’ needs for generations, just as it does today. The river has served to build relationships, connect communities, and allow people to relate to one another.

This name was selected through an Algonquin naming and engagement exercise, reflecting the longstanding and important relationship of the Algonquin Nation to the Ottawa River along which the parkway runs. This approach also aligns with the principles of the new NCC Toponymy Policy and is consistent with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action related to language, culture and commemoration.

The NCC undertook Algonquin engagement activities in spring 2023, which included storytelling and workshops with community members. Public engagement activities to gather stories about the parkway have also taken place online and through an in-person public open house and dialogue session. These stories may also inform a future interpretation plan for the area, including the parkway and the riverfront park.

Next steps

  • A signage unveiling ceremony will be held in September 2023, followed by an event that would include opportunities to share stories with Algonquin community members and the public.
  • The results of the Algonquin naming and engagement exercise along with those from the public engagement activities will be featured in a summary report scheduled for release in fall 2023.

The NCC will continue building on this and other recent initiatives to engage with a variety of ethnocultural group representatives to further develop a toponomy workplan for its assets and ensure that the National Capital Region reflects the social and cultural diversity of Canada.

Key facts

  • In April 2022, the NCC introduced an updated Toponymy Policy to its Board of Directors. The policy aims to better guide the choice of names for the lands and assets under NCC responsibility and provides a framework that will enable the NCC to reflect the heritage, cultural, ethnic and gender diversity of the National Capital Region.
  • The NCC’s Advisory Committee on Toponymy (ACT) is responsible for examining submissions for the naming or renaming of NCC-managed assets and may also be asked to provide advice on other matters related to toponymy.
  • The NCC’s Board of Directors agreed during the January 2023 board meeting to rename the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway through an Algonquin naming and engagement exercise.
  • The new name Kichi Zībī Mīkan will be displayed prominently, followed by the English designation Kichi Zībī parkway and the French designation promenade Kichi Zībī.


Renaming this asset demonstrates the NCC’s commitment to recognize and highlight Indigenous culture and heritage, particularly the Algonquin Nation as the host nation of the National Capital Region. Indigenous languages and place names carry stories and cultural references, and this provides an opportunity for meaningful reconciliation and a way to honour the history of the region.”

—Tobi Nussbaum, Chief Executive Officer, National Capital Commission


  • Renaming process: Kichi Zībī Mīkan
  • Toponymy
  • How the NCC names its properties

Media Information

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