Central Tech Deal - community letter
Ward 20 City Councillor Joe Cressy, Ward 19 City Councillor Mike Layton, and TDSB Ward 10 Trustee Ausma Malik released the following open letter today to residents today to announce that the OMB mediation process has resulted in a new deal for Central Technical School.
Read the letter content below:
As you may know, after years of discussions, and at times rather difficult debate, a resolution to the Central Tech field has been found. In recent weeks, a successful mediation process has taken place at the Ontario Municipal Board. Parties representing the TDSB, Razor Management, the City, and different community groups were able to arrive at a solution that everyone agreed to.
Parties at the mediation included the Harbord Village Residents’ Association (HVRA), the Palmerston Area Residents’ Association (PARA), the TDSB, Razor Management Inc., City of Toronto staff, the Friends and Neighbours of Central Tech (FANCTS), and Ceta Ramkhalawansingh. All seven parties have endorsed the new field and sports facility agreement, and all parties have signed off on the final plan.
When the TDSB announced that they would be contracting with Razor Management to bring their Championship Field program to Central Tech, reaction was very mixed. While everyone agreed that the school needed a new field, local representatives, City staff, and many community members had serious concerns about the original proposal.
The mediation process reviewed all elements of the proposal, including the field, winter dome, traffic and parking concerns, and community access to the new space. The mediated settlement represents a middle ground consensus that all parties felt they could accept, rather than risking it all at an OMB hearing.
Details of the new field and space include:
- New, professional-grade field and track at Central Tech
- A smaller temporary dome structure, providing coverage for three recreational soccer fields during winter months
- Better views of Central Tech, a designated heritage building, when the dome is up, and greater setbacks from the sidewalk
- Significantly improved community access to the new field
- Major improvements to sidewalk space and streetscaping along Bathurst and Harbord, with a larger public open space being created at the intersection of the two streets, in keeping with the Bathurst Corridor Visioning Study
- The establishment of a Facility Management and Community Liaison Team that will work to identify, discuss and resolve operational issues, and will include representatives from the community groups in the mediation
- Strict limits on capacity, noise, lighting, and hours of operation,
- The TDSB will submit a parking management plan, to be reviewed by the City, and make changes to nearby parking facilities
This agreement is not perfect, but we believe it represents the best resolution for our community. It is a testament to the hard work of everyone at the table, who came into the room with a willingness to work together to arrive at a solution. The students are getting a new sports field, and many of the concerns of the community have been addressed through this process.
Contentious issues such as this facility can become highly toxic, and can do lasting harm to a community. We applaud the hard work of the OMB mediation parties who worked together to find a real resolution. As the elected representatives of the area, we were happy to bring this resolution to City Council and the TDSB for approval, and we are happy to share it with you. We look forward to sharing updates about progress on the new field as it becomes available.
Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina
Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina
TDSB Ward 10, Trinity-Spadina