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New ward 18 councillor stresses importance of access after $20.5-million sale of her alma mater

The city announced the sale of an underused school last week, and the local councillor is worried it will mean an end to neighbourhood soccer games.

"[I]t remains unclear how accessible the school's facilities will remain to the area and residents," newly elected Councillor Ana Bailao, a Toronto Western alumna herself, said in a press release.

Toronto Western Collegiate and its grounds, near College and Lansdowne, were sold to the French public school board for $20.5 million. In the 2009-2010 school year, its last, the school was estimated to have been about 90 per cent vacant.

According to the councillor's special assistant, Deyan Kostovski, the school's gym, football field and track have been well used community amenities.

"For those who have developed a habit or routine of using the gymnasium or the field in the summer," Kostovski says, "we're welcoming [the French board] into the neighbourhood and hoping they'll be open to the community."

School trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher was less sanguine about the city's decision to divest.

"I find myself just so pissed off that we are again doing something that is patently stupid. We are selling something that we are going to regret," she told the CBC. "And I hate that kind of situation."

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Deyan Kostovski

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