TORONTO- The Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) will receive $5.9 million in revenue after councillors approved 7,000 condo units last week; Toronto’s public board will receive nothing.
The TCDSB receives $841 in Education Development Charges per condo unit built in the city and 67 cents per square foot of non-residential development. The 77,000 units currently slated to be built in the city would generate close to $50 million for the board.
The Education Development Charges can only be used to purchase and upgrade land, and since TDSB has land it is not allowed to collect Education Development Charges.
Development funds are distributed based on the number of empty spaces in schools, not which school board it’s a part of, Education Minister Liz Sandals said.
“Each district is evaluated. Other regions or municipalities you might find the public board collecting EDC’s, and the catholic board isn’t because the catholic board may have declining enrollment and the public board doesn’t. It isn’t based on what kind of board are you, it’s based on that particular boards supply of space, versus the number of students,” Sandals said.
Heather Mitchell of the Toronto Sports Council says the TDSB should be able to benefit from the influx of new condos.
“In a densely populated city like Toronto, the TDSB is being forced to sell valuable green space in order to pay for renovations, new additions and new schools. The city is already short of playing fields, the provincial policy needs to be changed,” Mitchell said.
TDSB officials penned an open letter to provincial leaders in May to urge changes to the Education Act that would allow the board to collect Educational Development Charges for renovations and new school construction.