We publish the letter from the Minister of Education to the Chair of the TCDSB. Click here to download a copy
Dear Chair Poplawski,
I would like to thank all the involved parties for their hard work in conducting the consultation into the Dante Alighieri School proposal. I understand that the Toronto Catholic District School Board has made a decision to further consider the results of the public consultation on the joint partnership with Villa Charities Inc for a school and community centre on the site of the Columbus Centre. It is important for decision-makers at all levels to get a full assessment on the proposed project.
Following discussions with my caucus colleagues copied here I understand that significant concerns still exist regarding the potential demolition of the historic Columbus Centre, given its historical importance to Ontario’s Italian Canadian community. I also understand the City of Toronto is exploring a heritage designation for the site. Given some of the considerations raised and the division that still exists over this project, it is our government’s position that the board should consider a new path forward for this project. As such, I am writing to inform you that the Ministry of Education will not support a school project that allows for the demolition of the historic Columbus Centre.
I would like to assure you that our government is still committed to finding an appropriate accommodation solution for this school community. I understand that the board currently owns property adjacent to the Columbus Centre. My Ministry is willing to work quickly with the board to use the previously-approved funding allocation of $32 million to support student needs should trustees decide to move forward with an alternative proposal.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to our continued work together.