Columbus Centre plan heads to OMB
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