Thomson’s fate is sealed: school building will be demolished in 2015

The Ontario Ministry of Education has approved the TDSB’s redevelopment plans and timeline for a new primary/secondary education complex on the Thomson-Bendale-Highbrook lands. The original David and Mary Thomson Collegiate building, originally constructed in 1959, will be demolished in 2015.

Below is the text of TDSB’s official notification letter to the community. Alternatively, read the PDF copy of the letter.

ATTENTION: Donwood Park Junior Public School; Highbrook Adult ESL Centre; David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute; Bendale Business and Technical Institute; Edgewood Public School

November 23, 2012

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students and Staff:

The Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB or Board) has recently been exploring options for redeveloping the Lawrence-Midland school sites to create a new JK-12 campus, which would include a revitalized/expanded elementary school,anew/expanded secondary school and an enhanced open space.

This is in response to an Accommodation Review Committee (ARC) launched in 2007 by the TDSB to examine student accommodation and program delivery at Bendale BTI, David and Mary Thomson CI,
Donwood Park JPS, Edgewood PS, and Highbrook Adult ESL Centre. In September 2008, the ARC recommended that the Board consolidate the two secondary schools into one enhanced school — bringing new possibilities for enriched programs. The ARC also recommended an expansion of Donwood Park JPS from K-6 to K-8.

We are writing with some exciting news. The TDSB has been granted approval to proceed with the project by the Ministry of Education. The next step is to present the appointment of architects to the Board of Trustees in December 2012. Once the architects have been approved by the Board, we will form a Local School Community Design Team in early 2013 to help guide the detailed design of the project within the project parameters and budget approved by the Board and the Ministry.

The opening date for the new school is yet to be confirmed; however we are planning for the 2015/16 academic year. The project schedule, including the various levels of ongoing approvals from the Ministry, City and Board, will be shared with the design team. It is the TDSB’s intent to keep students in the current school buildings during construction of the new school. We will work closely with the school communities to ensure this is feasible and safe. The goal will be to move students directly from the old schools into the new facilities. More information will be available as the project moves forward.

This is great news for our community and we hope you share in our excitement. The new JK-12 campus will provide students with exceptional schools for 21st century learning and will provide the broader community with a valuable resource for years to come.

If you have additional questions at this time, please feel free to contact the Family of Schools Superintendent of Education John Chasty at john.chasty@tdsb.on.ca or 416.396.9188.

Sincerely,

Mr. John Chasty
Superintendent of Education (East Region 14)
Toronto District School Board

Mr. David Smith
Trustee Ward 19
Toronto District School Board

4 comments ↓

#1 Leslie Switzer on 12.17.12 at 11:55 pm

Sad. It was built the year I was born. :o(

#2 NOYB on 01.23.13 at 11:33 am

Thomson forever, not after 2015. LOL!

#3 Susan Gibson on 03.16.13 at 4:33 pm

Pathetic!!! As a direct descendant of David and Mary Thomson I find this abhorrent. This land was donated to build a school and now you are going to demolish it and sell the land for commercial development? My Ancestors must be rolling in their graves. I have to wonder if they would rather have just kept the property in the family rather than have the political grabbers fighting over the prime land!!

#4 Dave Barnes on 03.18.13 at 3:42 pm

As I understand it, the plan calls for Bendale to be demolished and the new school built behind Bendale.

The Thomson site may be sold to another school board if there is a buyer.

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