Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Central Technical School and its closed playing field are seen in Toronto on May 21.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

An Ontario Superior Court judge has denied the Toronto District School Board's bid for a zoning exemption that would have allowed a private company to operate a recreational facility at one of its high schools.

The decision, released Friday, could potentially jeopardize the school board's plans to enter into private partnerships and build a handful of championship fields at other schools. Many local residents fear that these private facilities on public land would limit their access to school grounds before and after classes and during the summer.

The TDSB had asked Justice David Corbett to overturn the city's decision and allow Razor Management to build and operate a $6-million sports field, which includes a seasonal dome, at Central Technical School, near Bathurst and Harbord streets.

Story continues below advertisement

The city argued that the new construction on TDSB land did not qualify for the "teaching or instructional purposes" bylaw exemption. The courts agreed.

"Commercial exploitation of TDSB facilities is not a 'school use' of TDSB premises," Justice Corbett wrote in his decision. He said that the bylaw exemption calls for "incidental use" of school land for purposes other than education or instruction. "The proposal falls well across the line of 'incidental use' of TDSB facilities for commercial purposes. It is not covered by the exemption," he wrote, calling the city's decision "reasonable."

The TDSB was not available for comment on Friday.

A favourable court decision for the school board could have meant that it would be able to build these facilities without any approval from the city or input from the community. The Central Tech proposal is the second of six domed facilities the TDSB wants to construct.

The TDSB has also appealed the city's decision to the Ontario Municipal Board. A hearing has not as yet been scheduled.

The school board had planned to enter into a 21-year lease agreement with Razor to create and maintain a facility for soccer, football and other field sports at Central Tech. A dome would cover the sports field and track during the winter. Central Tech students would have use of the facility on weekdays during the school year. Razor would have exclusive use during the evening hours and all day on weekends and receive all revenue. Five per cent of the time was to be provided free to community groups.

A similar deal between Razor and the TDSB for a facility at Monarch Park Collegiate, near Coxwell and Danforth avenues, was given the go-ahead a few years ago. The TDSB leased the facility for $1 a year to Razor, according to the licence agreement obtained by The Globe and Mail.

Story continues below advertisement

Some residents around Central Tech opposed the proposed facility, saying they were concerned about reduced community access to the field and traffic congestion.

Justice Corbett noted those concerns in his decision. "There may be concerns about its overall impact on the character of the neighbourhood. There are obvious benefits to enhanced athletic facilities at a high school. And there are obviously benefits to having and encouraging the use of recreational facilities by the general public," he wrote. "But just because there may be benefits does not mean that legitimate planning concerns should not be addressed through the usual process."

Toronto Councillor Mike Layton, who represents the adjacent ward, said the decision reinforces the fact that the city has jurisdiction over land use.

Mr. Layton said some local residents favour the project, but "a majority of folks don't like the idea of systematically losing green space."

"The board has taken the position that it is the board's space, but, look, I grew up playing pickup football on that exact space. Once we turn it over, dome or no dome, you would now be almost permanently taking that field away from public use, " he said.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the authors of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
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

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies