Parents delighted as CityPlace schools open after months of delays
Canoe Landing community centre set to open later this spring
After months of delays, two elementary schools in Toronto's CityPlace neighbourhood opened Monday morning.
Students in the area returning to school from the winter break were sent to Bishop Macdonell Catholic Elementary School and Jean Lumb Public School, located within the new Canoe Landing community centre near Fort York Boulevard and Spadina Avenue
The remainder of the multi-use facility, which will include a childcare centre, recreation centre and community space, is expected to be completed later this spring.
"This is something that's good for the city, it's good for the tax payers — it's just a really good story that I hope we can replicate across the city," Toronto Mayor John Tory said at an event Monday dedicated to welcoming students back to school.
The Canoe Landing community centre comes as part of the city's $2.2 billion investment in parks and recreation facilities, which are in huge demand as Toronto's population continues to grow.
The area around Fort York in particular has seen an explosion in population due to the construction of condos in recent years.
The schools opening today will each serve about 550 children from kindergarten to Grade 8.
Construction of the schools was originally expected to be completed for the start of the 2019 school year in September, but was delayed due to "strikes involving several trades working on the site," according to the city.
'We've been waiting over a year for this'
"It's wonderful, we've been waiting over a year for this," said Emanuel Movchovitch, whose two children are entering Jean Lumb Public School.
He says his kids have watched their new school being built from their condo window and are happy to make the mid-year move.
"The busing has been tough," Movchovitch said, whose kids had been trekking to Nelson Mandela Park Public School in Regent Park due to the delays.
"We're happy it's here now ... It's a two-minute walk."