"Community" and "legacy" were the words of the day at Bloor and Dufferin this morning. Speaking at Kent Senior Public School, Ontario Education Minister Mitzie Hunter was joined by MPP Cristina Martins, Davenport Councillor Ana Bailão, and representatives from the TDSB to announce the $121.5 million sale of 7.3 acres of surplus school lands north of Croatia Street.
Following a procurement process—conducted by the Toronto Lands Corporation (TLC) that drew numerous bids tabled for for the site, an offer from Capital Developments has now been formally accepted. Partnering with Timbercreek Asset Management and Metropia, the Capital Developments plan will see a master plan by Toronto's Hariri Pontarini Architects transform the under-utilized site into a mixed-use community, combining residential intensification with community services and new public space.
The redevelopment will see two TDSB high schools relocated, with Bloor Collegiate Institute and Alpha II Senior Alternative School vacate their shared Bloor Street facility. Moving to the Croatia Street site of the former Brockton High School just to the south, the new school will have a capacity of at least 900 students, with a projected cost of $30-35 million, according to the TDSB.
Surrounding the relocated school, a 30,000 ft² mixed-use "community hub" will be part of the redevelopment. Featuring a licensed child care facility, the community programming will be informed by the auspices of the Provincial government's Community Hubs in Ontario: A Strategic Framework and Action Plan.
With a community hub described by the Province as "a central access point for a range of needed health and social services, along with cultural, recreational, and green spaces to nourish community life," a relatively diverse range of programming can be expected. In promoting the plan, the Ontario government has pledged $20 million toward the new school and the community hub.
Attempting to channel Toronto's relentless market demand for new housing to a broader social good, the project will combine the public uses with a condominium development. Alongside the new market-rate housing, Councillor Bailão—who serves as the City of Toronto's Housing Advocate—stressed that "affordable housing needs to be included" in the plans and that the heritage of the site must be respected.
With Capital Developments now chosen as the purchaser for the site, the project will begin to make its way through the City of Toronto's planning process. Community consultations will be held next year, where more information about the plans is expected to be revealed. In the coming moths, further details regarding the planned density, public space, and heritage retention, will be made public, while consultations will serve to further guide the proposal.
Earlier this year, City Planning identified the creation of more integrated street grid as a priority for the project (above). As such, the proposal will likely call for a more permeable urban structure throughout the site, creating a more fine-grained street-level experience.
We will keep you updated as more details about the built form and programming planned for the site—including the relocation of tenants currently housed in the vacated Kent Public School—become available. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a message in the space below, or join the ongoing conversation in our Forum.