Awesome week in Weston

Boy, it was a cracking week in Weston.

The June Fair was a huge success. The weather was perfect, and hundreds of people turned out. There were bouncy castles, hamburgers from Zeal Burger, and great games and prizes. On a melancholy note, both Ms Madarasz and Ms Sestito announced their retirements.


The Queens’ Drive (and neighbourhood) annual garage sale was awesome, as usual, today.

William selling the best lemonade on Queens Drive.
Cherri and Leslie on King, raising money for the Weston Historical Society

York Memo community must make tough choice

City News reports that York Memorial community members have to make a tough choice: should they stay at George Harvey, just down the street, or go to Scarlett Heights, which is empty but farther away?

School map

If they move, they could have their own space, but fewer amenities. If they stay, they’ll have to “share specialized rooms like science labs, art rooms, gyms, the library, cafeteria and pool”.

Either way, the TDSB must make plans over the summer for the fall. They are currently gathering opinions to submit to the board.

Displaced York Memorial community must choose new home

 

Gofundme for York Memo

Alan Tonks is raising money to help rebuild York Memorial, after the damaging fires of a few weeks ago. So far, the campaign has raised more than $18,000 of a $25,000 goal.

Stained glass windows
From Gofundme
The school Motto has been “Macte Nova Virture” (Go Forth With New Strength).  With the strength of our community, city,  and our York Memorial Alumni we want to preserve the heritage of the school that was built in honour of  the soldiers who lost their lives fighting for our country.   Whatever the “new” York Memorial may look like we want to raise funds to persevere, restore or recreate the history in these significant works of art.

PCs promise Memo to be restored

The PC government has promised that York Memorial Collegiate will be restored.

Faisal Hassan, our MPP, asked the PCs whether they would commit to rebuilding York Memorial. Lisa Thompson replied

Absolutely, we’re committed to working with the school board to make sure that that community hub, if you will, is absolutely restored.

Coming back from Skills Ontario last Tuesday or Wednesday morning, when it was on fire again, we actually drove by and it’s a heartbreak, what has happened to that community. I understand it’s under investigation. We certainly will be working with the school board, and I look forward to working with you to make sure we get it right.

Last week, City Council also committed to rebuilding the school after the fire.

There had been rumblings, here and elsewhere, that the fire would be a good reason to consolidate schools and develop the land.

Council passes motion to preserve York Memo

City Council passed a resolution last week to preserve the “use, heritage values, and attributes of York Memorial” after the fires that damaged the 90-year-old school.

Commenters here and elsewhere had wondered whether it made sense to continue running the school, given its low enrollment and ‘development’ potential.

City Council’s affirmation isn’t binding.

Weston school budgets face cuts

Weston’s schools are facing budget cuts under the new PC government. The French immersion and the IB program will both be trimmed if the budget goes ahead. The late-start French program also faces complete cancellation.

French immersion students in grades 4 through 6 who catch buses to Valleyfield in Etobicoke will no longer be able to. The draft budget says “the cost of delivering French Immersion (FI) and Extended French (EF) in its current form is so high, that a complete reduction in transportation services is needed to operate the programs with budget.”

The TDSB also says that they will be reevaluating the French programs. Our area is unusual, because we have late-start French immersion, and students start in grade 4 rather than in senior Kindergarten. The TDSB says that they will be looking at “existing entry points” to “provide a better experience for all students”.

Weston CI offers an International Baccalaureate Program, which gives advanced standing at university to high-achieving students. That program will continue to be offered, but “associated per-student fees will no longer be covered by the TDSB. [A] sliding scale will be created to support IB Diploma students who would benefit from financial support.”

In Peel Region, the IB fees are  $250 for grades 9 and 10 and $2700 for grades 11 and 12.

York Memo salvageable

While parts of York Memorial had to be demolished during the two fires at the school this week, the Globe and Mail reports that the school will stand. Hooray!

But despite the charred interiors, scarred walls and water damage in the basement – which was almost filled with water – early assessments by engineers are promising, a Toronto Fire Services platoon chief told reporters at the scene. It looks like the building can be saved.

Firefighters battling York Memorial fire
Photo from Muller Zergaber