Colum­bus Cen­tre plan heads to OMB

North York Post - - News - Josh Colle Ward 15 Coun­cil­lor

A re­de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion for the Colum­bus Cen­tre and Dante Alighieri Acad­emy was re­cently sub­mit­ted to the City of Toronto. The prop­erty own­ers, Villa Char­i­ties, and the Toronto Catholic Dis­trict School Board are propos­ing to re­place the cur­rent cen­tre with a four-storey build­ing that would house a new Colum­bus Cen­tre and a high school.

The Colum­bus Cen­tre is the fo­cal point of cul­tural and so­cial ac­tiv­ity for the re­gion’s Ital­ianCana­dian com­mu­nity and a hub for re­cre­ation and ser­vices for North York res­i­dents of all ages and back­grounds.

Many res­i­dents have con­tacted me with ques­tions and con­cerns. Res­i­dents and par­ents of stu­dents are very anx­ious to see a plan that would in­clude much-needed new fa­cil­i­ties.

In re­sponse to com­mu­nity con­cerns, I brought for­ward mo­tions to en­sure any new de­vel­op­ment would in­clude a swim­ming pool, run­ning track, a home for Cen­tro Scuola and the Ital­ian Fallen Work­ers Me­mo­rial. City coun­cil also re­cently voted to be­gin eval­u­at­ing the prop­erty for po­ten­tial in­clu­sion in the her­itage reg­is­ter. I have stated my op­po­si­tion to mov­ing St. Charles Church from the cor­ner and am pleased that Car­di­nal Collins has con­firmed that they have no plans to do so.

How­ever, Villa Char­i­ties has ap­pealed this ap­pli­ca­tion to the On­tario Mu­nic­i­pal Board. Al­though I un­der­stand this is a pri­vate fa­cil­ity, this is a site that has been built, funded, used and cher­ished by the public, and our com­mu­nity’s voice must be in­cluded.

A ren­der­ing of the pro­posed four-storey build­ing

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