On 9 January, 2018, myself and Councillor Joe Cressy held a joint TCDSB / City of Toronto Open House at Monsignor Fraser College – Annex Campus, to inform the local community of an exciting new partnership that will see the current fence-enclosed asphalt playground on Markham St turned into an urban green space with areas for both student programming and the wider Seaton Village community.
The space will see the fencing on the east and south ends of the school removed to allow for easy community access. TCDSB staff have worked with the community and City staff to finalize the elements of the space that will be used by Monsignor Fraser students and staff during school hours, and by the community when school is not in session (including evenings, weekends, and during Christmas, March and summer breaks).
It is expected that the new space will include an amphitheatre, raised planters, trees, walkways, grass areas, and new seating. Staff are looking into a possible greenhouse for use by the Monsignor Fraser students as part of their outdoor programming.
Work is expected to start at the end of June, 2018, and to take approximately 3 months to complete. The City of Toronto has committed approximately $300,000 to the project, and well as to the ongoing maintenance of the site, which will see the southern portion of the Monsignor Fraser College site transformed into a shared use urban green space. A model, we hope, for other such partnerships between the TCDSB and the City of Toronto to improve our city’s neighbourhoods.
Thank-yous must go to many: to Councillor Joe Cressy for his advocacy for this project, TCDSB and City staff for taking this from concept to reality, the local Seaton Village residence association and wider community for their support and input, our local ‘green’ partners including Food Share, Evergreen and the David Suzuki Foundation, and finally, to the inspiration and impetus behind this whole project – the students and staff of Monsignor Fraser College – Annex campus.
As the local TCDSB trustee, I am thrilled to have been a part of making this space a reality, and to see that years of work by so many behind the scenes have resulted in this wonderful space for students and the community to be enjoyed for years to come.
Here is a view to the new urban green space: Monsignor Fraser – Annex Green Space