Sisters sell Loretto Abbey school

Catholic School Board to continue to run the institution

The Toronto Catholic District School Board has purchased Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School from the religious group that had owned it for more than 150 years.

On March 9, the all-girls school was sold by the Sisters of Loretto, who originally established it as a private school in 1847. The school has been at its current location at 101 Mason Blvd. in York Mills since 1927. It joined the Catholic school board in 1986, and is currently home to over 900 students.

Declining numbers among the Sisters led to the decision to sell the property, according to their provincial superior, Evanne Hunter.

“Our numbers are decreasing,” Hunter said over the phone. “It’s a very big building and for the number of people who will be living in it in the next five years we just can’t justify keeping it.”

A 24-bed infirmary at the property will house some of the Sisters until 2030. The majority will relocate downtown to Loretto College and will leave their North York site by 2015.

“All of the significant events in our lives took place there,” Hunter said. “So it’s very sad.”

Hunter said the Sisters are happy that their contribution to Catholic education in the city has been recognized and that it was the Catholic school board who bought the property.

The board’s associate director of planning and facilities, Angelo Sangiorgio, says the purchase was made “so we can continue to offer the secondary school at that location.”

Although no plans to change the building exist at this point the board is looking into it, he says.

“We’re in the process of assessing the condition of the building to determine its renovation needs,” Sangiorgio said.

One thing that won’t change, Hunter said, is the Sisters’ relationship with the school.

“Our history will continue in that location and we’ll be able to continue to have a relationship with the school,” she said.

Loretto Abbey’s principal echoed that sentiment, saying the Sisters will remain actively involved with the school.

“That relationship that we have with the sisters is crucial,” said principal Alda Bassani. “The sisters will always continue to be part of the community and it’s an incredible opportunity for the students to have that positive influence in their lives.”

About this article:

By: Tristan Carter
Posted: Apr 6 2011 5:53 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto