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  • News
  • February 13, 2017

Our advocacy helps to achieve a major milestone in the fight to save Silver Creek

TDSB decision protects the green space and services for children and families in the Buttonwood community

The Fight to Save Silver Creek so far

Protecting the important services and green space around Silver Creek Public School has been a key focus of MPP Yvan Baker for the past year.

Two important organizations call the site home. The Etobicoke Children’s Centre serves 1,200 children, youth and families annually, while Silver Creek Pre-School has an average annual enrollment of 70 students. Both the Etobicoke Children’s Centre and Silver Creek Pre-School provide support for the delivery of programs for children with special needs in Etobicoke Centre.

MPP Baker has been a strong advocate on this issue, working alongside members of the community like Friends of Silver Creek and both Silver Creek Pre-School and the Etobicoke Children’s Centre.

MPP Baker's efforts to save Silver Creek include raising awareness amongst his constituents, delivering statements in the Legislature and raising the issue with his fellow Members of Provincial Parliament. He has also been raising this important issue with several Ministers.

These efforts have been successful so far. The province has committed to the protection of the services provided by Silver Creek Pre-School and Etobicoke Children’s Centre. In addition, it has committed to protecting the on-site green space.


Recent Events

Recently, the Toronto Catholic District School Board has indicated their need for a school in Etobicoke Centre, as the other Catholic schools in the community are over capacity. Two properties owned by the TDSB which are not being used as public schools would fill this need—Silver Creek and another property called Buttonwood Hill Public School.

Because Silver Creek is being used by Silver Creek Pre-School and the Etobicoke Children’s Centre, both would have to move if Silver Creek is purchased by the Catholic Board, meaning a loss of vital services for thousands of the most vulnerable children in Etobicoke Centre and beyond.

MPP Baker has joined the Friends of Silver Creek, representatives of the Buttonwood community, the Etobicoke Children's Centre and Silver Creek Pre-School in urging TDSB trustees to sell Buttonwood to the Catholic Board as this is in the best interests of the Buttonwood and Silver Creek communities, the children of both school boards and the children with special needs served by Etobicoke Children's Centre and Silver Creek Pre-School.

On Wednesday February 8th, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) voted to refer Buttonwood Hill Public School to the Toronto Lands Corporation for sale, which will allow the Toronto Catholic District School Board to purchase the property.


What This Means for Etobicoke Centre

This is a very positive step for the Buttonwood community, as it will:

  • Ensure that the property remains in public hands for years to come;
  • Protect the services and green space for children, students and families in the Buttonwood community;
  • Protect the Learning Jungle child care centre, as the Catholic Board has promised that it will retain the Learning Jungle as a tenant; and
  • Keep Leonardo Da Vinci Academy where it is until 2020, as the Catholic Board has committed to honouring their current lease.

This is also a major boost in the fight to save Silver Creek Public School. The referring of Buttonwood to the Toronto Lands Corporation and its sale to the Catholic Board will:

  • Allow the Catholic Board to address its need for an elementary school in Central Etobicoke, ensuring that it will no longer need to purchase Silver Creek Public School.
  • Allow the Government of Ontario to finalize its discussions with the TDSB on the Silver Creek property so that it can protect the services provided to children with special needs at the Etobicoke Children’s Centre and Silver Creek Pre-School.

Next Steps

  1. After the Toronto Lands Corporation circulates the property, the Toronto Catholic District School Board must make a formal offer to purchase the Buttonwood property.
  2. The TDSB will need to pass a motion to move Silver Creek to the Toronto Lands Corporation for circulation.
  3. The Government of Ontario and the TDSB can then finalize discussions on the Silver Creek property.

MPP Baker remains confident that Silver Creek will be saved, and he continues to work hard to ensure a positive outcome for the community.

Keep in Mind...

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