January 2017 Update: New School planned for students at Davisville and Spectrum Alternative schools

Our students at Davisville School and Spectrum Alternative School will have a much needed brand new school and playing field to enjoy, thanks to the hard work and the excellent collaborative efforts of several groups, including the Toronto District School Board and the City of Toronto. In addition to a new school, our community will also benefit from having a new Community Hub and Aquatics Centre which will be built on the south west side of the existing school site. Congratulations to all the individuals and teams who have worked so hard to make this happen for our community!

To help gather input on the school design and facilitate the process, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has created the NEW School Review Team (NSRT) which includes parent groups, school staff and community groups. SERRA has been invited to participate and provide feedback on the design of the new school from a community perspective. We would like to thank TDSB Trustee Shelley Laskin and TDSB Superintendent Ian Allison for inviting SERRA to participate in this very important initiative. At this time the NSRT is only reviewing the school design. A separate process will be initiated by the City of Toronto for the future Community Hub project.

To view the presentation from the NSRT meeting click here: presentation deck
The December 14th, 2016 meeting minutes can be found here: minutes
The picture below is from NSRT presentation of December 2016.
As a member of the New School Review Team, we have the following update to share with you:

The new building will be constructed at the south end of the property beginning in the fall of 2017

The scheduled completion date for the new school is sometime in 2019

The new design will have space to accommodate the projected enrollment of 731 students, will have a residential kitchen (for the snack program), a new artificial turf playing field and new underground parking

SERRA is to review the larger impact to the community, and as such our particular interests are in:

1) preserving a public right of way through the property, linking Davisville Avenue and Millwood Road, and in

2) liaising with the developer on a regular basis in order to inform the community of construction progress.

Other groups such as a parent committee covered off specific school and community hub interests.

The Toronto District School Board is seeking approval of the building design from parents and community members so that it can be approved by the city early this year.

The existing school will continue to operate during the construction period which is expected to start in 2017. Once the new school is fully operational, the old building will be torn down and the artificial turf playing field and playground areas will be constructed on the north side of the school site facing Millwood Road.

In the future, the City of Toronto will start a separate construction project and design process to build a Community Hub and aquatics centre on the southwest corner of the school site. The community will benefit by having access to the new community hub as well as the school gym and potentially the artificial turf playing field during non-school operating hours.

Background information: 

First meeting in mid-December to consider the feedback which had been collected by the TDSB from community members in September, and the feedback’s influence on the school design.

Snyder Architects presented their revised design for the new school to the Team and questions were taken by the architects, by staff of the TDSB and Davisville schools, and by Shelley Laskin, Trustee, Ward 11, St. Paul’s TDSB.

The key goal of the TDSB at this point is to get approval from the NSRT for the design, “the envelope of the building”, in order to submit it for Site Plan Approval from the City of Toronto in the Spring of 2017.

Highlights of the discussion points raised at the NSRT meeting:

Rationale for building new school close to Davisville Avenue
Underground parking access
Site circulation
Future community centre location and access
Location of classrooms and offices in new building
Absence of play space for children in grades 1-5 during construction
Availability of childcare spaces
Safety of students during construction
Possibility that all students at Davisville School might have to move to a new location during construction if the current school becomes unsafe

SERRA has two main objectives to consider regarding the school site re-design:

1) To ensure that public right of way paths will remain linking Davisville Avenue and Millwood Road. We were assured that the revised design includes public right of way paths at the west and east sides of the property; however, only the west path will be available during construction.

2) To request that SERRA and the developer meet bi-monthly during the three years of this project so that questions and concerns of local residents can be addressed in a timely manner, and so that SERRA members can be informed of the progress of this complex undertaking on a regular basis. Trustee Laskin assured SERRA that its request for the bi-monthly meeting with the developer will be considered.

Conclusion and Next Steps:

By the end of the meeting the NSRT generally voiced support for the revised design.

Some parent and community reps wished to meet with their constituents once more before giving final approval.

The TDSB may hold a second meeting in the New Year.

Trustee Laskin announced that another community meeting will be held on this subject early in 2017.


Other School News:

Our Trustee Shelley Laskin has worked tirelessly to ensure parents and community members stay informed about TDSB news and local school matters. Below are some of the highlights about Hodgson from her most recent newsletter of January 9th 2017. This is an exciting and unprecedented time of change for our schools. We would like to take the time to express our thanks to Trustee Laskin for the commitment and support she continues to provide for our community and the schools in our SERRA neighbourhoods.

Hodgson Senior Public School Changes

In the next school year starting in September 2017-18, Hodgson will become a Grade 6 to 8 middle school for both English & Extended French.

To accommodate the grade 6 students Hodgson will need to have renovations and an addition. The school will also be renamed as a “Middle School” .

With this grade change for Hodgson, the following junior elementary schools will become Kindergarten to grade 5 schools:

Davisville (English stream only)

Eglinton (English and extended French streams)

Maurice Cody

Oriole Park

More information can be found by clicking on this link:


If you would like to stay informed about TDSB school news, please go to the TDSB website at:

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