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Toronto Loft Conversions

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Unique Toronto Homes

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Condos in Toronto

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Toronto Real Estate

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Condo boom causes overcrowding in some Toronto schools

CTV Toronto

There’s been an obvious condo boom in the Yonge and Sheppard area, and that’s left new residents with insufficient school services in this hot housing neighbourhood.

More than 400 students in the area have been shut out of attending McKee Public School. Parents moving into the Yonge and Sheppard area expect to send their kid to a school close by.

“We are walking-distance to a school that we can’t go to,” said mother Alisa Yampolsky “It doesn’t make sense at all.”

Poor planning and lack of communication between the city and school officials is at the root of the problem. Toronto District School Board Trustee Mari Rutka says she’s noticed that overcrowding has been a problem for the past decade – and has gotten worse.

Condo developers hadn’t expected families with kids to move into the area. “They thought it would be all retirement type or young people that didn’t have families moving in,’ Rutka told CTV Toronto.

Students who could be within walking distance to the school are now sitting on a bus for 30 minutes or so, depending on traffic in the area. The yearly cost of a bus to accommodate students being shuttled to different schools is $40,000.

The schools are making the most out of the space they have.

At McKee, a divider sits in the gym during lunch hour. Students eat on one side and play volleyball on the other. The school has also resorted to using rooms that were built to be offices as classrooms.

At Avondale Alternative Elementary School, which is a 10-minute walk from Sheppard subway station, the school library is the size of an office.

School numbers provided by Rutka indicate that the problem will continue in coming years:
* Number of students expected at Earl Haig Secondary School within five to ten years: 2800
* Number Earl Haig was built for: 1800

The problem of overcrowding is not limited to the Yonge and Sheppard area. There are a number of trustees whose areas are also facing over-enrollment. It’s an issue occurring where there is growth in condos across Toronto.

The city is hoping to tackle overcrowding problems, school closures and redevelopments with a task force that will meet next week.

The Toronto School Boards Task Force, approved by council in 2010, aims to strengthen communication between the city and school officials.

A meeting is set to take place Tuesday, Nov. 26 where trustees representing the four school boards, The Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board, Conseil Scolaire de District Catholique Centre-Sud and Conseil Scolair Viamonde, will meet with six Toronto councillors to address overcrowding issues.

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Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto Realtor with Century 21 Regal Realty. He did not
write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who are
interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.

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