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Toronto Catholic District School Board

To the Dante and Regina Mundi
School Communities

Update on Proposed Community Hub Joint Use Facility

February 21, 2018
Parents and students are justifiably frustrated that it has taken so long to address the facility issues at Regina Mundi and Dante Alighieri Academy Catholic Schools. The joint project between TCDSB and Villa Charities was based on the strong cultural bonds that have existed for the past four decades in our community. It was always our intention to deepen and build upon that connection - not destroy it.
The proposed joint project with Dante and Columbus Centre turned our community upside down. The opposition to the project and politics surrounding the debate has negatively impacted students, parents, neighbours and seniors. At least seven years have passed since the proposal was initiated to move Regina Mundi to Dante and build a new school for Dante students integrated with the Columbus Centre. This project has experienced many setbacks over the years and last week we encountered another stumbling block.
The Minister of Education has intervened in the present plan between TCDSB and Villa Charities by stating that it will not support the joint use facility on the property owned by Villa Charities on Lawrence Avenue West. Although we are concerned that the Minister of Education is undermining the autonomy of the school board, the Board respects that decisions need to satisfy both political needs and community values.
Please find attached a letter from the Minister of Education and Early Years, Indira Naidoo-Harris, that the Chair of TCDSB received on February 14, 2018 indicating that the Ministry of Education will not support a joint use facility and is encouraging the Board to pursue other options.
As you are aware, the Toronto Catholic District School Board and Villa Charities have been engaged in public consultations regarding proposed plans to build a new intergenerational community hub. This process is now completed and the staff report will be presented to the Board of Trustees on February 22, 2018.
We cannot turn back the hands of time; we can only move forward. The Board remains dedicated to working with the Ministry of Education, our neighbours and school communities to determine the best options available to accommodate the needs of our students today, and in the future.
The Board will keep the communities informed as we continue to explore solutions to the accommodation needs in this community.
Rory McGuckin                Barbara Poplawski              Maria Rizzo
Director of Education       Chair of the Board              Trustee Ward 5
Copy All Trustees
         M. Caccamo, Superintendent Area 3