City unlikely to buy Bannockburn School greenspace

Councillor says no money, trustee has new plan

The greenspace at Bannockburn School is unlikely to be purchased by the city, according to Ward 16 councillor Christin Carmichael Greb.

She said in a late January interview that the city has enough money to buy only a small portion of the property, not the entire 2.19 acres, and a parkette will not serve the community’s needs.

“The city doesn’t have enough money to buy the whole property,” she said. “I’ve been working with senior staff, the community and the trustee to try to get something that will work.”

Community members fighting the proposed severance and sale of the greenspace attached to Bannockburn School are now asking school trustee Jennifer Arp to have the TDSB shelve the idea altogether.

The move came two weeks after an Ontario Municipal Board hearing on the issue was adjourned to mid-May to allow for the city and school board to reach an agreement for the city to purchase the Avenue Road and Wilson Avenue area property.

A report to purchase part of the land was brought to the city’s executive committee Jan. 22 and was deferred, allowing time for Arp to bring forward a plan to the school board.

Arp says she is working on something with staff now, but didn’t wish to divulge details until a plan was finalized. She said she’s hoping to bring it to a board meeting in March.

Keeping Bannockburn a greenspace is an issue the Ward 8 trustee campaigned on. She says she wants to follow through.

“We need to come up with the best solution for the community, which is to keep it green,” she said. “It’s my hope to come up with a resolution to save that greenspace while also still being able to address some of our capital needs we have at the board.”

The community formed Save Bannockburn Green Space shortly after catching wind of the plan in late 2013, and is currently in a fight before the OMB with the school board.

The city’s committee of adjustment ruled against the severance last May, saying the TDSB did not follow its own policies in making the proposal and citing the importance of the greenspace to the community.

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Posted: Feb 4 2015 12:41 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto