Skip to main content

Chris Bolton, Chair of the TDSB Board, speaks to the media on Toronto on Jan. 11, 2013 following a board meeting.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

The Toronto District School Board will receive capital funding from the provincial government to renovate only one school, despite receiving project approval for six.

Chair Chris Bolton said that puts Canada's largest school board in a position of having to sell properties to pay for urgent renovations and rebuilding needed to cope with student growth.

"Selling off properties that are important community spaces to support capital needs is not sustainable. We should be getting our fair share of provincial funding," Mr. Bolton said.

Story continues below advertisement

The Ministry of Education had announced $700-million for capital improvements for schools across the province. The TDSB learned on Friday that only Bloor Collegiate Institute will receive government funds.

The ministry had approved five other priority sites – George Webster, Avondale, Sprucecourt, Chief Dan George and Highcastle – but the TDSB will have to finance those, the board said.

Selling land tends to be controversial among trustees, some of whom say it may be needed in the future.

"In their board approved capital plan, the TDSB identified that it would self-fund their 2013-14 capital projects that they submitted to the Ministry," a spokeswoman for Education Minister Liz Sandals said. "We have communicated to TDSB on various occasions that we expect the board to self-fund a portion of their capital needs. We have also let the board know that the Ministry will contribute to addressing a portion of the board's capital needs."

Trustee Shelley Laskin said she was frustrated that the TDSB, which supports 12 per cent of the province's student population, was not given proportional access to funding.

"Why are we expected to fund growth pressures created by new development? This is not sustainable. TDSB needs access to equitable funding and development charges to support school space pressures that result from development," Ms. Laskin said.

The TDSB has faced widespread criticism for the way it spends on construction projects, and a $10-million budget overrun at Nelson Mandela Park Public School prompted the Ontario government to cut off funding for new TDSB building projects in the fall of 2012. That money was restored in exchange for a promise from trustees to sell unused school land.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter