TDSB names 60 schools in review of under-used space

The Toronto District School Board on Wednesday night released a list of 60 public schools that will be part of a review of its under-enrolled, under-used spaces.

School's out?

9 years ago
Duration 2:04
Featured VideoEducators react to the possible closure of schools under the Toronto District School Board

The Toronto District School Board on Wednesday night released a list of 60 public schools in nine different neighbourhoods that will be part of a review of its under-used spaces. 

As many as nine schools — which include Vaughan Road Academy, Downsview Secondary School, Fairbank Public School and Keelesdale Jr. Public School — could eventually be closed, board officials said. The full list appears below. 

Trustees, parents and community groups will conduct reviews of each location — comparing population, enrolment and utilization. The review could take as long as two years.

Any schools that are closed will have their services consolidated with those of another TDSB location nearby. 

The board met Wednesday night to review the progress made to date on developing a plan to implement 13 directives handed down by the province last month. 

Among the orders from Education Minister Liz Sandals was a directive to reduce the amount of underutilized space overseen by the board. 

News of the possible closures has stoked fierce debate among board members, parents and other stakeholders. Critics of the plan argue that closing under-used schools fails to recognize the role of schools as community hubs and places where a variety of social services are provided by various levels of government. 

Similarly, many schools that are currently underutilized, which by the province's definition means they operate at below 65 per cent capacity, will likely fill up in the coming years as neighbourhoods develop around them.

In an interview on CBC's Metro Morning, Sandals said she isn't necessarily interested in being handed a list of schools set for closure by the board. 

"What we're really looking for is that they have a better plan than they have right now to manage their capital assets," she told host Matt Galloway. 

"I want to see a plan where money that is currently ending up being used for underutilized space maintenance goes back into programming for kids."

On Monday night, Mayor John Tory wrote a letter to Sandals and to the chair of the TSDB, Shaun Chen, asking that the city be "meaningfully consulted" on the potential school closures. 

"I don't think anybody's saying you never close a school, but I think what we are saying is let's just not treat this as a mere financial transaction. These schools are a central part of healthy communities," he said yesterday. 

Some TDSB trustees have been critical of the timeline handed down by Sandals, who has said the board must present a plan to her office by Feb. 13. 

"The timelines are very unreasonable and I think irresponsible," said Ward 5 trustee Howard Kaplan. 

But Sandals, herself a school board trustee in Guelph before moving to provincial politics, says that just because the board "disposes" of a school doesn't mean it will go unused by the community. She points out that in the case that the board moves to close a school, the three other school systems in Toronto have first dibs on the space. 

"I hear all kinds of complaints from the other three school systems in Toronto that in fact they would love to acquire some of the underutilized schools that TDSB has," she said.

"So the fact that TSDB doesn't need the school anymore doesn't mean that the space won't be used as a school."

Under-used, under review

The Toronto District School Board on Wednesday released a list of 60 schools which will be part of a review of its under-used spaces. As many as nine schools could eventually close. The schools are:

1. Nelson Boyen CI
2. Downsview SS
3. Weston CI

4. Sir Robert Borden BTI
5. West Hill CI
6. Sir Wilfrid Laurier CI

7. CH Best MS
8. Wilmington ES

9. Vaughan Road Academy
10. York Memorial CI
11. Oakwood CI
12. John Polanyi CI
13. Forest Hill CI
14. George Harvey CI

15. John Buchan Sr. PS
16. Highland Heighs Jr.  PS
17. Tam O'Shanter Jr. PS
18. Inglewood Heights Jr. PS
19. Lynngate Jr. PS
20. Pauline Johnson Jr. PS
21. Timberbank Jr. PS

22. Kensington Jr. PS
23. Ryerson CS
24. King Edward Jr. & Sr. PS
25. Lord Lansdowne Jr & Sr. PS

26. Gracefield PS
27. Amesbury MS

28. Galloway Road PS
29. St. Margaret's PS

30. Manhattan Park Jr. PS
31. Buchanan PS

32. Rockliffe MS
33. Cordella Jr. PS
34. Harwood PS
35. George Syme CS
36. Roselands Jr. PS
37. Lambton Park CS
38. Dennis Avenue CS

39. Braeburn Jr. PS
40. The Elms JMS
41. Boy's Leadership Academy

42. Keelesdale Jr. PS
43. Silverthorn PS

44. Fairbank Memorial Jr. PS
45. General Mercer Jr. PS
46. FH Miller Jr. PS
47. Fairbank PS

48. Montrose Jr. PS
49. Clinton Jr. PS
50. Dewson Jr. PS

51. Jack Miner Sr. PS
52. Poplar Road Jr. PS
53. Guildwood Jr. PS
54. Elizabeth Simcoe Jr. PS

55. Bendale Jr. PS
56. North Bendale Jr. PS

57. Henry Hudson Sr. PS
58. Heather Heights Jr. PS
59. Churchill Heights Jr. PS
60. Woburn Jr. PS


  • A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Education Minister Liz Sandals was previously a trustee with the TDSB, when in fact, she was formerly a trustee with the Upper Grand District School Board in Guelph.
    Feb 06, 2015 1:33 PM ET

With files from Neil Herland