New sidewalks on Cardell and Fairglen planned

I was driving near CR Marchant earlier this week when school was out—and though I’ve lived here almost 15 years, I was really surprised: there are no sidewalks on Rosemount where it meets Ralph. Kids were walking on the grass and on the street, and it seemed mighty unwise.

I’m not the only one to have noticed, I’m pleased to say. In fact, City Council will be considering a motion this week to “request the General Manager, Transportation Services to continue with the planned delivery of sidewalks” on Ralph and on Cardell Avenue (and Fairglen Crescent).

Local schools need $150 million of repairs

According to TDSB data, schools in York South–Weston need about $150 million of repairs. TDSB schools require $3.7 billion in total.

FixOurSchools.ca says that Weston CI needs the most repairs: nearly $20 million worth. The areas needing urgent repairs include:

  • Foundation
  • Stairs
  • Elevators and lifts
  • Roof coverings

CR Marchant is also in very bad shape. It requires about $7 million in repairs, though (happily?) only the foundation is urgent. For perspective, the province said the replacement cost of the whole school is $10.3 million. CR has long needed work.

York Humber High School needs $5.9 million in repairs.

Weston Memorial needs $4.7 million, including to the sanitary sewer, rainwater drainage, and water distribution systems.

Bala needs $4.6 million. Dennis Ave, $4.3. Pelmo’s a bargain with $3.6. It goes on.

The TDSB says that all the buildings are safe, just run down: “The health and safety of students, staff and community members are our top priority when planning school repairs. Our Facility Services staff works year-round to ensure our schools are safe”.

York Memo to get $11 million from province

The provincial government announced $11 million in funding to build “a major addition” to York Memorial, which was very damaged by two fires in 2019. The funding will “support the creation of 368 additional student spaces as part of the province’s commitment to building modern, accessible, and technologically connected schools for Ontario youth.”

The CBC says that the new school will include “a stained glass window and bricks from demolished areas, which have been retained for the reconstruction and carefully restored.”

The school’s rebuilding will be paid for by insurance.

School merger recommended

The TDSB is recommending that George Harvey and York Memorial be merged into one school and that the school be named “York Memorial CI”.

York Memorial Collegiate Institute suffered a catastrophic fire in 2019. The nearby George Harvey CI has long been underused, so the TDSB floated the idea of merging the schools. Housing both schools at George Harvey, however, wasn’t popular. 93% of York Memorial students and 53% of George Harvey students were opposed to consolidating again, according to the report.

The TDSB studied several possibilities, and this week recommended that both schools be:

  • Consolidated at George Harvey starting in September, 2022
  • Renamed York Memorial CI, “to honour the sacred pledge of remembrance”
  • Moved to the newly-built school when it is complete (projected to be in 2026).

The report says that this will have several advantages over the status quo:

  • More course offerings
  • More specialty programs
  • A modern building with “state-of-the-art instructional spaces”
  • Easier commutes for students
  • Efficiencies in operations