The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has recently placed just over 7 arches of land on the market in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Bloordale Village within Dovercourt Wallace Emerson Junction Sitting on this vast property, are two schools the board has deemed surplus, Kent Senior Public School and Bloor Collegiate Institute. The schools share a field located behind the properties along Croatia Street, which is included in the sale.
The schools have a history of under enrollment, which led to the closure of Kent Senior Public School in 2012. A private school, and an art school now rent space in the building. Bloor Collegiate has remained open, and has increased enrollment by adding TDSB alternative programs; however, despite the additional programs it remains operating under capacity.
Last year the TDSB placed the schools for sale with a plan to relocate Bloor Collegiate student to Brockton High School. Brockton conveniently sits on the same block as the other two (yes, there are three schools in Bloordale Village located on the same city block). The TDSB is currently planning to renovate Brockton beginning July 2015. The hope is to finish renovations the following August and welcome students by September 2016.
The fate of the surplused schools remains up in the air. For the first 90 days of sale, other school boards, the city, colleges or universities were able to bid on the property, without competition from private developers. Under provincial regulation public organizations do not necessarily have to pay market value, but rather replacement value if deemed lower than market value. The Catholic School board and another unnamed party, reportedly bid.
The bids are under review and no further information regarding the progress of either has been provided.
The local community has met the sale with a great deal of contention. Public consultations and meetings brought about concern from the residents of this rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood. One concern, among the many, was the TDSB’s demographic projections with regard to school populations. A number of young families have moved into the neighbourhood, and there is a great deal of worry surrounding the availability and space in local schools in the near future. There is also apprehension regarding the type of development that could occur, if the current bids are rejected, and the two iconic buildings replaced by condo developments.
The sale will certainly impact the community and house prices; however, it is unlikely that the sale will have any negative impact on house values. If anything the sale, and potential development, further outlines the desirability of Bloordale as an up-and–coming neighbourhood.
To view available listing in Bloordale, visit Homefinder.ca<