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Ontario to build 1st elementary school inside Toronto condo building

Condo towers dot the Toronto skyline as a pedestrian makes his way through the COVID-19 restricted winter landscape on Thursday January 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

The Ontario government says it investing money into building the first elementary school inside of a condominium in Toronto’s downtown core.

In what is being called a “first of its kind” in Ontario, the school will be located on the third floor of the condo, government officials said.

The provincial government said it is investing $44 million to build the school and is working with the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and Menkes Developments.

The school — Lower Yonge Precinct Elementary School — will provide 455 student spaces.

It is being built near Yonge and Habour streets.

Read more: Ontario students, staff to each get 2 rapid COVID tests when schools restart in person

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The government said the project is “unique” in Ontario and will create a modern school within a new mixed-use condo project.

“With many families living in condos and high-density urban communities, we believe their children deserve access to modern and safe schools in the hearts of their communities,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce said. “I am proud to deliver this progressive urban school within a high-density condominium project.”

The government said once the project is completed, it could set the precedent as an innovative solution to meet education needs for families living in high-density areas such as Toronto’s downtown core.

“The new Lower Yonge Precinct Elementary School will be a great new addition to our city and will provide much-needed space for students,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said. “We know that in a growing city like Toronto, we need unique and creative approaches to creating important public spaces like schools.”

“If we want to build up this city and our neighbourhoods, we need to ensure that residents have access to all the services they need, including schools – this is one example of how we will achieve this,” Tory said.

The Toronto District School Board said the school is expected to be up and running by 2025.

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