New complication in plans for disposition of Thomson CI site and lands

On June 26, 2014, Toronto District School Board officials communicated some important news for all interested parties involved in the Thomson-Bendale redevelopment project.

They report that the French School Board has dropped its plans for acquisition of the old Thomson site and school building, apparently due to rejection of its financing plan. This unexpected complication leaves the final disposition of the Thomson CI site and lands completely up in the air, with no known outcome. Please see the full text of the TDSB letter, copied below.

June 26th, 2014

You are invited to attend a meeting on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 at 7:00 pm in the cafeteria of Bendale BTI for an update on the Lawrence Midland new secondary school project.

The Toronto District School Board would like to provide you with an overview on the status of their lands that include the Bendale Business and Technical Institute property as well as the David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute property.

As you are aware, the TDSB is proposing to construct a new school that will accommodate students from both of these secondary schools. The Ministry of Education approved the allocation of 37 million dollars to the TDSB for the new school. A state of the art facility is proposed which will continue most programs offered by both schools at the present time. The new school plans are complete and ready for building permit approval. The tendering for construction will follow and the new school construction is anticipated to take two years to complete. We are hopeful that the new school will open in September 2016. Not only will the school include new facilities for students, it will also act as a hub for the community with space that can be permitted for use.

Although much progress has been made to date on this project, there has been an unexpected change in our overall plan. The French Public School Board had submitted a conditional offer for the purchase of the David and Mary Thomson CI school site in accordance with Ministry of Education provisions. Unfortunately, the French Public School Board has terminated their offer because the Ministry of Education has not approved their funding.

As a result of the withdrawal of the French Public School Board’s offer, the TDSB has to reconsider the future use of the David and Mary Thomson CI site. This is an important priority for us, and will be discussed at the meeting scheduled on July 2. It is highly unlikely that the David and Mary Thomson CI site will be sold as a school site.

The City Committee of Adjustment, however, has granted the TDSB consent approval for the severance of the Bendale and David and Mary Thomson CI lands. This consent sets out a number of conditions that the TDSB must meet in order to receive site plan and building permit approvals for the new school. We are working closely with City staff to move this forward.

We know that many of you have been working with us on this project for many years and are most anxious for the new school building and the benefits this will bring to our students and community.

We look forward to meeting with you on July 2 to discuss the current status of the project and listen to any questions or concerns you may have.


John Chasty,
Superintendent of Education

Joey Martino,
Administrative Liaison ER14 Family of Schools

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Jelo G. Cantos on 07.04.14 at 6:55 pm

1. Having been to the meeting on Wednesday, the Toronto Catholic board could consider bidding on the 12.3 acre Thomson property as per regulation 444/98 which is the next priority after the French board, CS Viamonde had no funding to buy it. The same board went after the Bloor-Dufferin property recently. However, the boards would hold the meeting on this issue in the near future. Because of overcrowding at Newman and Vanier, the TCDSB could study a relocation plan on how the two schools can accommodate into new facilities (just to take note if the TCDSB cancels the lease at Tabor Park, property would likely go back to the TDSB.)

2. if no remaining boards can buy the Thomson property, the City would consider buying it because the Bendale area lacks a community centre and could be useful for the neighbourhood due to nearby places Don Montgomery and Cedarbrook are close range.

3. Same case, if they go for commercial (if its gone open market),the lands would have to be rezoned.

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