The Auckland Council says it tried to help arrange for a gym teacher to continue running lessons in a Ponsonby building, but received no response from her.
A petition and Facebook page have been started to "Save Leys Gym" by the parents of the 60 children who attend Lynne Burroughs' recreation classes for preschoolers and children aged 5 and over.
For more than 40 years, Ms Burroughs has taught classes in the building, which was built next to the Leys Institute Library complex in 1906 from a bequest made by William Mason.
But from March 9 classes will stop after the council told Ms Burroughs to vacate the building so it can be leased to other occupancy.
Auckland Council spokeswoman Angela Jones said although Ms Burroughs had served the community for many years, there had never been a formal lease arrangement, nor had she ever paid rent to the council.
She said the council had been in regular touch with Ms Burroughs via email and phone since mid-2011 in an effort to formalise a lease for the gym.
"Council sent her the application form to do [reapply for a lease]. However, we did not receive an application from Ms Burroughs."
The lease for the building was officially advertised in November, and on December 21 Ms Burroughs was sent a letter asking her to vacate by January 23.
The Ponsonby Community Centre will take over managing the gym building, with a view to allowing various community leases.
Ms Burroughs and her husband Warren have a life-long association with the gym.
They went there as children, and he taught competitive gymnastics until suffering ill health.
About 400 leases on or in council-owned land and buildings are in the process of being reviewed or renewed.