TORONTO – The efforts to save a private french school in Don Mills from being demolished have fallen short.
Staff, parents and community members were rallying to keep La Citadelle International Academy of Arts & Science on a property owned by the Toronto District School Board.
The TDSB had put it the land on Mallow Rd. in Don Mills up for sale after it was designated surplus last year.
“We have come to a standstill, in our attempt to keep the property and keep the school at this location,” said headmaster Alfred Abouchar.
The City of Toronto now has a deal in the works to buy a portion of the land to create a new parkette for $3.1 million.
“We are draining down the North York parks reserve fund,” said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong. “We’re taking half of what’s left for community benefits. So the community wins today in terms of we are able to get at least a portion that park.”
The property would need to be severed through the middle of where the school now stands.
Area resident Patricia Uribe doesn’t think the 1.238 acre portion of land would be enough for the community to enjoy. “A parkette is not enough,” she said. “Where is my kid going to practice riding his bike if there’s a parkette? Who knows if there’s going to be a play structure?”
The school’s headmaster has negotiated a deal with the TDSB to extend it’s lease until June 2015. La Citadelle has been operating on site for 15 years.
“I have to finish the year,” Abouchar said. “I have to start looking for another location.”
He said they are now considering a site near Leslie St. and York Mills Rd.
© Shaw Media, 2014