On June 22nd, the TDSB voted to remove Bannockburn’s green space from the surplus list of properties for sale.
Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make sure trustees at the TDSB knew how important the green space is to the Bannockburn Community. Your tireless efforts paid off!
In June 2013, without any community consultation, the TDSB declared Bannockburn’s green space “surplus” and decided to sever and sell it. The TDSB made this decision while ignoring its own policy, adopted in December 2012, that requires consultation with communities where green space is in jeopardy.
More than 600 neighbourhood children play baseball, t-ball, and soccer on these playing fields, yet the TDSB decided to offer the green space for sale. Two different school boards wanted to buy the green space to build a school, but those offers have fallen through.
After the first part of the hearing before the Ontario Municipal Board, the City of Toronto and TDSB finally entered into negotiations to allow the city to purchase a small portion of the park and playing fields. Now, however, after December 2015, the Toronto Lands Corporation is considering offers from the Toronto Catholic District School Board, the Conseil scolaire Viamonde, and the City of Toronto. The TDSB is schedule to discuss the issue on May 25, 2016.
This community has rallied to support its park and playing field. We’ve signed petitions, put up lawn signs, and written to our elected officials. In May 2014, the Committee of Adjustment heard our concerns and rejected the TDSB’s efforts to sever the green space. The TDSB appealed to the OMB, and over the course of hearing dates in November 2014, January and May 2015, made its case to sell the green space for private development. On August 31, 2015, the OMB approved the proposed severance.
The city cannot afford to buy anything but a small portion of the playing fields, so the only way to save the green space is to have the TDSB stop trying to sever and sell it. Now that the the TDSB has won at the OMB, there’s no telling which private developer will buy the park and playing fields, or what they’ll build.Background Information