News Release
March 23, 2024

Today, Mayor Olivia Chow was joined by Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North), Chief William Romain from the Huron-Wendat Nation, Elder Valarie King from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Chief Sherri-Lyn Hill from the Six Nations of the Grand River and other distinguished guests to officially open the Ethennonnhawahstihnen’ Community Recreation Centre and Library.

A significant name and location

The name Ethennonnhawahstihnen’ (pronounced Etta-nonna wasti-nuh), meaning “where they had a good, beautiful life” was a gift from the Huron-Wendat Nation to the City of Toronto.

The community centre is located near Bayview and Sheppard Avenues in North York and is within 800 metres of a significant Huron-Wendat archaeological site, the Moatfield Ossuary and village where findings show that inhabitants lived long and healthy lives in relative peace.

In October 2019, North York Community Council approved renaming the street and adjacent park to Ethennonnhawahstihnen’ Lane and Ethennonnhawahstihnen’ Park. Public consultations during that time showed strong support for the renaming which was considered a meaningful recognition of Indigenous placemaking as well as a step towards the City of Toronto’s advancement of reconciliation.

Staff from the City and Toronto Public Library explored extending this name to the new facility with the Huron-Wendat Nation as a means of building upon and deepening the community efforts and engagement undertaken to honour the importance of this site.

The gifting of a name is significant in Huron-Wendat Nation tradition. The name of the Community Centre was officially approved in 2022 as Ethennonnhawahstihnen’ making it the first ever City community recreation centre and library branch in Toronto to be named in collaboration with the Huron-Wendat Nation.

Completed in 2023, the community recreation centre occupies approximately 218,400 square feet of space including parking and public amenities:

  • Large double gymnasium
  • Indoor track
  • Six-lane, 25-metre pool
  • Multipurpose rooms for programming and community building
  • Teaching kitchen
  • Weight/Cardio Room
  • Fitness/Dance studio

Indigenous placekeeping

The City recognizes Indigenous placemaking and reconciliation is more than just a name and is committed to working with Indigenous communities to explore further opportunities for Indigenous placemaking, placekeeping and programming at this new facility and across Toronto.

Learn more about the Ethennonnhawahstihnen’ Community Recreation Centre and Library including programs, services and operating hours by visiting the City’s website.


“Thank you to the Huron-Wendat Nation, City staff and the local community for coming together to participate in this meaningful opportunity to honour the culture and history of Indigenous Peoples. I want to thank Councillor Carroll for her local leadership on this naming and her commitment to the reconciliation process. This is a beautiful example of how we can all come together to create meaningful public spaces and amenities across the city.”

– Mayor Olivia Chow

“The Ethennonnhawahstihnen’ Community Recreation Centre and Library is the largest community centre in North York, and it is right at home in Don Valley North. The facility features a new aquatic centre and library branch, with amenities for the whole family to enjoy. Its name reflects our commitment to honouring and preserving Indigenous heritage, fostering dialogue, and building stronger connections within our community.”

– Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North)

“This Centre is very important to the Huron-Wendat Nation, as it is located only a few metres away from a site on which our Wendat ancestors lived between the 1280s and 1320s. From the outset, the idea of naming the Centre itself, as well as the street on which it is located and the nearby park, with the Wendat word Ethennonnhawahstihnen’, reflects the City of Toronto’s great willingness to recognize the Huron-Wendat Nation’s historical presence, and we truly appreciate this”.

–  Chief William Romain, portfolio Chief of the Huron-Wendat Nation for Ontario

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Media Relations