Newsletter Signup

Burlington City Council approves Sweetgrass Park as the new name for Ryerson Park

Sweetgrass Park renaming_wide

*Please see below a news release issued by the City of Burlington.

“Sweetgrass is considered a sacred plant to First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. On its own, it is thin and brittle, but when it is braided together, it becomes stronger – there’s a great message of community in that. I’m thrilled this word resonated with our community and it was selected by the public. The renaming is one more step forward in our healing and learning journey towards Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous residents in our community.” — Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Burlington, Ont. — Jan. 18, 2022 — Burlington City Council has approved the name of Sweetgrass Park to rename Ryerson Park (565 Woodview Rd.) at the Jan. 18, 2022 Council meeting. Sweetgrass is one of the sacred medicines to many First Nations. It is used as a purification medicine in ceremony to purify ourselves and to heal.

Residents were asked to submit names for consideration that reflected the City’s naming policies for City assets that reflect equity, diversity and inclusion consistent with today’s standards. More than 500 names were submitted.

A committee made up of City staff, Indigenous leaders and community stakeholders then selected three options from the submitted names and a fourth naming option was added from Indigenous Elder Stephen Paquette (Sweetgrass Park).

Residents were asked to vote for one of the four options. During the voting phase, 1647 people voted at Sweetgrass Park received 40 per cent of the votes.

The name will be effective immediately. Signage will be updated in the coming weeks.

Why did we rename Ryerson Park?

In July 2021, Council unanimously supported the renaming of Ryerson Park and voted to rename the park with public input. This was done in response to finding unmarked graves at residential schools and as a small step to honouring the truth that we are uncovering and reconciling with the past.

Similarly, the Halton District School Board (HDSB) Trustees unanimously approved a motion to rename Ryerson Public School on Woodview Road in Burlington, in accordance with the Board’s Naming and Renaming Schools Policy and Governance Procedure.

At the Nov. 17, 2021 board meeting, Halton District School Board Trustees selected Makwendam Public School as the new name for Ryerson Public School.

Burlington’s Ryerson Public School, and adjacent Ryerson Park, are named after Egerton Ryerson for his contributions to the Ontario education system, however, Ryerson was also instrumental in the design of Canada’s residential school system. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concluded this assimilation amounted to the genocide of Indigenous people.

For more information on renaming Ryerson Park, please visit

“I want to thank the whole community for the sincere engagement on this matter. There was significant community feedback both in support and in opposition of the renaming of this public asset and I believe that all opinions were taken seriously into consideration.  There was some concern expressed that the history behind the original name of Ryerson Park was being erased, but I trust that the discussion addressed this concern as well as acknowledging the importance of Truth and Reconciliation and resulted in the best decision by Council.  The decision to rename this public asset to Sweetgrass Park, representing the symbols of strength, togetherness and healing will best represent the values of our community moving into the future.” — Ward 4 Counc. Shawna Stolte, City of Burlington

Links and Resources:

Receive new post notifications by email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Here are guidelines before you comment, and our expectations before we will post:

  • Be civil. Would you speak this way to a good friend? If not, rewrite.
  • Focus on the issues. Build your argument and make your case in support of your opinion from facts, research or other sources. That way we can all learn. “I disagree with so-and-so because…” is fine; “So-and-so is naïve/stupid  for thinking the way he/she does and here’s why…” is not acceptable.
  • Don’t make personal attacks. Don’t assume motives of those you disagree with, make unfounded allegations, spread rumours, or engage in any other behaviours that would discourage you from participating if someone said this to, or about, you. The Golden Rule applies: Do unto others as you would have done to you. We will edit or not post comments with this type of content.
  • Say it once: When comments from the same individual or individuals become repetitive, going over ground already stated, we reserve the right to close commenting.
  • Use your full, and real, name. If wish to make a comment in public, we expect you will publicly stand behind it with your name. If you don’t want to publicly reveal your name, that’s fine; you are always welcome to share your thoughts with me privately via my email below. I welcome and consider all feedback in making decisions for the community.
  • Have fun, consider and learn. Share your views and read those of others. May we all benefit from a healthy exchange of ideas, and learn a little more about the people in our community, what you think, and what’s important to each of you. You may end up changing your mind about an issue; even if you don’t, we hope everyone will gain a greater understanding of why people have different perspectives.
Picture of Administrator


A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

Newsletter Sign Up

Phone: 905-335-7777