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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Toronto Catholic District School Board and Sisters of the Good Shepherd Toronto announce the completion of a Land Purchase
The Toronto Catholic District School Board and Sisters of the Good Shepherd are pleased to announce the completion of a Land Purchase Agreement for 25 Good Shepherd Court to pave the way for the construction of a new school for Dante Alighieri Academy.
This acquisition of the 3.15 acre property is an important piece of a $60 million redevelopment project in the Lawrence and Dufferin area. Considered to be the first of its kind in Canada, in addition to a new Dante Alighieri Academy, the joint development with Villa Charities will see the construction of a new Columbus Centre, Carrier Art Gallery, Child Care and other services currently provided by both organizations.
“This community urgently needs a new facility to house the students from Dante Alighieri Academy,” says Michael Del Grande, Chair of the TCDSB. “The agreement allows us to proceed with a renaissance-type initiative that will transform the educational, cultural and artistic landscape in this part of the city.”
The new, state-of-the-art secondary school will be home to 1,300 students, and include shared use with Villa Charities of a theatre, dance studios, and expanded fitness and music facilities. Dante is currently housed in three different buildings in the area.
TCDSB Trustee Maria Rizzo, a long-time champion for the development in her Ward, says: “I am thankful to the Sisters of the Good Shepherd for completing this historic agreement—it is now a part of a legacy that will benefit future generations through the creation of a new Dante Alighieri Academy.”
The construction of the state-of-the-art multipurpose educational and cultural arts centre is the largest and only co-development project of this magnitude currently underway in North America. It also provides much needed capacity to service Toronto’s burgeoning performing and fine arts community.
“Our mission is for the Spirit of the Good Shepherd to permeate all that is done in our agencies and programs in Canada through collaboration and guidance,” says Sister Gilda Fernando, the Spiritual head of the Order. She adds, “We are pleased this Spirit will spark a new school that contributes to the educational, cultural and volunteer opportunities for students in this community.”
The first phase of the project, which includes the construction of the new Dante Alighieri Academy, is targeted for completion in 2018.