School board votes to save Drake’s alma mater

Former students pleased Vaughan Road Academy won’t be redeveloped


Published:

Robin Daprato graduated from the school in 2011

On Feb. 8, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) voted against selling Vaughan Road Academy, to the relief of local residents. The school will close later this year, and although the building’s future remains unclear, locals argue it should be used as a community centre.

The TDSB’s decision to keep the property as a core holding means it won’t wind up in the hands of a developer any time soon. Instead, the community hopes the building will be opened up for public use. There is already an active daycare in the building as well as a heavily used pool. 

“So how do we maintain those services?” said TDSB Ward 9 trustee Marit Stiles. “We want to make sure what happens there is something that really benefits the community.”

“One thing we do know is that the recreational programs will continue. Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation run youth programs, and their camps will continue,” Lyba Spring, of the Oakwood Vaughan Neighbourhood Action Partnership (OVNAP), said.

The school’s closure came as a result of low enrollment, with only 200 students in a building meant for 1,179 in 2016.  

Spring said the community has been pushing to use the building as a “neighbourhood hub.”

“I would have been really sad if it was sold to developers and turned into condos.”

“I’ve worked very closely with others from OVNAP, and we wrote a report following a meeting where a hundred community residents came out and said very clearly that it was important to maintain the building and that there was a serious lack of services in the area,” she said.

But former students are still disappointed to learn Vaughan Road will be closing in June. The school, famous for being Toronto rapper Drake’s alma mater, has had a variety of specialized programs.

Robin Daprato graduated in 2011 from the Interact program, with a focus on music, and grew up about five blocks away.

“I think there’s such an opportunity to do something more with that space. Especially in that area, there’s not really [many] places like it there,” she said. 

“If they could keep it open as a public resource, I think that would be great,” said Lenny Solomon, a former student from 1972. “I would have been really sad if it was sold to developers and turned into condos.”

In the meantime, the option of reopening the school, in case demographics change in the next few years, is still a possibility.

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

Operanation pairs fashion and opera for a dazzling night in support of the COC

Operanation pairs fashion and opera for a dazzling night in support of the COC

Operanation is the main squeeze of the COC’s year and their signature fundraiser. All proceeds from the night go straight to the Ensemble Studio, which trains all of Canada’s young wannabe opera artists.
Posted 10 hours ago
Pomona Mills Creek remediation begins

Pomona Mills Creek remediation begins

A creek running behind Langstaff Road and Yonge Street will be getting much-needed restoration as part of a plan to develop the area.
Posted 15 hours ago
Dr. Jess on Sex: Think of sex as food

Dr. Jess on Sex: Think of sex as food

A good meal sets off similar chemical reactions as a romp between the sheets
Posted 15 hours ago
Work Out with Monika: Getting all fired up to race dragon boats on the lake

Work Out with Monika: Getting all fired up to race dragon boats on the lake

A dragon boat consists of 20 paddlers sitting two abreast in a boat with a cox who steers at the rear and a drummer who sets the pace at the front. It is a popular team sport and Sunnyside Paddling Club is the largest dragon boat club in North America, with over 125 teams and 2,500 paddlers.
Posted 4 days ago
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit Module