October 1, 2015 Update: Toronto City Council has unanimously passed the concept of a landmark community hub for food and learning at the TDSB Bloor-Dufferin Redevelopment Site.
I am pleased to announce that yesterday, City of Toronto staff have released a report concerning the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) lands at Bloor and Dufferin. The report is going to the September 21, 2015 Executive Committee meeting.
Ever since the site was first put up for sale by the TDSB in 2013, I have been working hard to try to create a community hub on the site. The report was a direct result of my motion asking City staff to assess the City's interests in the Bloor-Dufferin school lands as a site for such a purpose.
The report discusses the concept of creating a landmark community hub for food and learning on the Bloor-Dufferin school lands, and notes that this is a promising location for Toronto's first Urban Agriculture Centre/Food Hub. A key factor for this is that FoodShare and its Kitchen Incubator program currently operates on the site.
This initiative would establish Toronto as a leader in cross-cutting social, educational, environment, and economic development innovations. The creation of parkland and the capital expansion of infant and child care spaces would also be prioritized as part of any community hub plan.
It is also exciting to see so many expressions of support from an unprecedented number of City departments, namely: Children's Services, City Planning, Economic Development and Culture, Parks, Forestry, and Recreation, Social Development, Finance and Administration, and Toronto Public Health. This proves what I have been saying for years; this is a special site that has the potential to provide benefits to our community and city for generations to come.
The report seeks authorization for the City to approach the TDSB, the Toronto Lands Corporation, local community partners, and the Province of Ontario to explore and develop this concept.
I have already reached out to our local Trustee and I am looking forward to exploring this concept as well as the multiple expressions of interest from community groups with our elected representatives, local residents, and community stakeholders – while working towards a common vision for a community hub at Bloor and Dufferin.
If you have any comments or questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.
To find out more about the history of this site and my efforts to save and preserve it for community use, please click here.
If you are interested in reading the report and its recommendations, please click here.