Pamela Vasiliu
Sales Representative
pvasiliu@remax.net

RE/MAX Professionals Inc.
Brokerage
Independently owned and operated.

Date: Wednesday October the 18th, 2017 
416-236-1241

 

   

Revealed: ‘Secret’ list of targeted Toronto schools that could close or have boundary changes

January 31, 2015 - Updated: January 31, 2015

The Toronto public board has named 60 schools that could close or undergo boundary changes over the next seven years as part of a long-term plan it has kept from the public for fear of worrying affected communities.

The list, obtained by the Star, is a first look at what is expected to be a part of the board’s response to Education Minister Liz Sandals’ 13 orders —orders taken straight from a recent, damning report on trustees’ leadership.

Sandals has demanded to see a three-year capital plan by Feb. 13 that will “significantly reduce” the number of half-empty schools that are a financial drain. 

In a previously approved capital plan that maps out a strategy to 2023, nine so-called “area reviews” are scheduled over three years, encompassing 31 schools, among them those with the lowest enrolments in the city.

The plan says Charles H. Best and Wilmington public schools in Ward 5 (York Centre) are to be looked at this year, as well as a grouping of secondary schools across several wards: Vaughan Road Academy, York Memorial, Oakwood, John Polanyi, Forest Hill and George Harvey. 

A group of elementary schools in Ward 10 (Trinity-Spadina) is also targeted: Kensington, Ryerson, King Edward and Lord Lansdowne.

Kensington, at 25 per cent of its ministry-rated capacity with 113 students, has the second-lowest enrolment rate of any elementary school in the city

Want more details about the first nine clusters of schools to be reviewed? Click on the map.

 

Want more details about the first nine clusters of schools to be reviewed? Click on the map. 

Area trustee Ausma Malik has previously told the Star Kensington was recently involved in a review and that an influx of students is expected as a nearby school switches to French Immersion only.

“The board also just approved a relocation of the permits office to Kensington,” Malik has told the Star. “We wouldn’t move (23) TDSB staff to a place if we didn’t anticipate it to be there for a good while into the future. 

“We need to make sure we are looking at the complete picture and not just utilization when making decisions about the future of schools — that’s really critical.”

Area reviews, which must include at least four public meetings, can lead to one or more school closings within each grouping, or sometimes boundary changes to over-enrolled schools.

While the board’s long-term plan calls for 17 area reviews from now until 2021, insiders have said those scheduled beyond the next few years are likely to change, given population shifts in neighbourhoods.

 

The Toronto District School Board has come under fire for years, from both Conservative and Liberal provincial governments, for not closing schools as enrolment was declining.

The board now has 131 schools the education ministry considers less than 60 per cent full — roughly one in five schools. However, many of them also house daycares, parenting programs and community agencies that don’t count toward that rating.

Queen’s Park only provides funding to boards to build new schools once they’ve eliminated unused space.

Toronto trustees, however, generally view closings as a political hot potato they’d rather not go near, and have voiced concerns not only about how the province’s utilization rate is calculated, but also about the city’s changing demographics, which mean a school that’s half-empty one year may be bursting at the seams a short time later.

Victoria Park public school in East York has seen its enrolment jump from just 71 per cent of its capacity five years ago to 94 per cent today.

As well, enrolment in elementary schools overall is now on the upswing, which has some trustees arguing it doesn’t make sense to sell off land that will be needed in the future.

However, in her report to the education minister, troubleshooter Margaret Wilson criticized trustees for “horse trading” votes to keep schools open in their wards. 

“One of the major difficulties facing the board is its management of, or rather failure to manage, capital assets — that is, the buildings which house students as well as board management and operations,” she wrote. 

“Instead of selling schools with low enrolment to fund future capital projects, the board continues to operate them at huge expense.”

Since the board was amalgamated in 1998, some 30 schools have been closed and 19 of those have been sold. The others are leased out or used for other board purposes.

Not included in the list of targeted schools is Eastern Commerce, located just south of the Donlands subway station. While it is listed as having one of the lowest enrolments, with just 62 students but room for 903, the building also houses Subway Academy 1, with 172 students, as well as the board’s archives and a child-care centre.

It is also being touted as the best location for a new kindergarten-to-Grade-12 First Nations school that would also offer services for the aboriginal community.

The board is expected to make its 10-year capital plan public in the coming days and before submitting its response to Sandals’ orders.

 

 

 

 

 


Tagged with: junction triangle high park roncesvalles real estate leasing homes buying selling tenants city news toronto updates community news
| | Share

Powered by Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies (CMS6)