TLC annual plan re TDSB properties

Sports Fields Inventory Threat - Toronto District School Board

The Toronto Sports Council continues to pursue its role as the Voice for Sport in Toronto by participating on various City and community committees. Representation at the City of Toronto Sport Organizations (SORG) committee and the TDSB Community Use of Schools Advisory Committee (CUSAC) are examples of where the TSC is ensuring sport organizations have a voice.

CUSAC meets regularly once a month and significant issues such as user fees and permit issues are addressed.  The TSC along with representatives of some sport organizations are working on the Field Users subcommittee of CUSAC to discuss concerns regarding field conditions and user access. The intent of the group is to find common ground in developing an even more collaborative working arrangement with the Field Maintenance crews of the TDSB. Several recommendations from the group are now being considered in the management level of both the TDSB and the Union.  Once these items are reviewed at the Board we will post the information for you here on the TSC website.

Another issue of high importance and an offshoot of CUSAC is the question surrounding sales of School Board properties. We are all keenly aware of the financial restraints facing the TDSB but we are also concerned that the properties which they hold are what we consider a part of the public domain. There are several communities which are now threatened with the loss of significant green space, including playing fields, which have always been crucial to the active living pursuits of the people in the relevant school neighbourhoods. The TSC hosted a community meeting on Dec. 5, 2013 at which time a working committee was struck in an effort to examine the facts and figures needed to persuade the City and the Province of the detrimental impact sales of Board properties would have on local communities and the City as a whole.  It is recognized that the Funding Formula of the Ministry of Education, hence the Province, does not provide the Board many options with respect to sourcing out monies for sorely needed capital expenses so sale of properties becomes the potential as a source for revenues. Neither does the Formula account for the needs of the greater population. We have heard from rate payer associations as well as sports groups representing all areas of the City from the east to the west. It is obvious to us that the issue of preserving green space and playing fields for family pursuits,  leisure and sport is paramount.

Currently the TSC is attempting to collate information with respect to categorizing the number and quality of playing fields in order to demonstrate the great demands and needs of a City the size of Toronto. The City of Toronto Parks Forest and Recreation has already created a categorization chart and we hope to reconcile that information with the properties held by the School Boards.

The task is daunting so at some point we hope that we may call on our readership to help with aspects of this undertaking.

Field Strategy Working Group

Hello Everyone,

Thank you for your interest in the Field Strategy Group meeting held December 5. The meeting notes are posted on this page.

 

As a first step we have begun discussions and are working to develop a comprehensive inventory of all fields so we have a clearer picture of what we have and what we still need. One item we would like to develop is a categorization of all fields that is consistent across all City and Board properties.

 

Currently Doug Blair of North Toronto Soccer Club, Karen Pitre and myself are working on the small committee so if you are able to volunteer some time please contact me: heather@torontosportscouncil.ca

 Best regards,

 

Heather Mitchell,

Board Member

Toronto Sports Council

 

Community Meeting December 5th: Preserving Fields for Community and Students

To School Field Permit Holders, interested community members and community sport organizations:

On Thursday December 5, 2013 the Toronto Sports Council (TSC) hosted an organizational meeting to discuss community concerns regarding loss of community space and strategies to keep this space in the community while still allowing the TDSB to meet the needs of students.

The TSC has been made aware of the potential sale of a number of TDSB school properties which will result in the following:

· significant reduction in the number of playing surfaces available for permit
· communities loss of green space now used for leisure and physical activities

While these properties fall under the jurisdiction of the School Board they must be viewed as public assets. We are very pleased that Councillor Karen Stintz introduced, and City Council passed, a resolution asking City staff to look at ways to save the Bannockburn and other TDSB fields, and to work with TDSB to alter the Province’s capital funding of TDSB schools. http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2013.MM41.38

The TSC is aware of the Provincial constraints faced by the TDSB however the premature sale of school properties without community discussion and input is concerning. At the Province's insistence, the TDSB continues to sell playing fields to pay for urgently needed school additions and repairs.

If we are going to save these fields for community use, we need to start a conversation now and continue it throughout the winter and into spring. It is important that the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation department along with the Province and the School Boards hear the concerns and work with the community to save our fields.


TSC

Permit Fee Documentation, 2013

December 5th Meeting Notes

Community Fields Meeting Agenda

Update on School Board Properties and the School Lands Acquisition Framework

A report on an "Update on School Board Properties and the School Lands Acquisition Framework" will be presented to the City of Toronto Executive Committee on Thursday December 5.

http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2013.EX36.11

The Toronto Sports Council supports the following sports: