Ground-breaking ceremony for Toronto’s new Canoe Landing facility symbolizes new partnership

Mayor John Tory and several other City of Toronto and school board officials were on hand this morning to celebrate the start of construction of the Canoe Landing multi-use facility formerly known as Block 31.

Participating officials included Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 10 York Centre), Chair of the Community Development and Recreation Committee, Councillor Joe Cressy (Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina), Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Chair Robin Pilkey, Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) Vice-Chair Frank D’Amico, TDSB Trustee Ausma Malik and TCDSB Trustee Jo-Ann Davis.

“I am very proud of this partnership between the City, the TDSB and the TCDSB,” said Mayor Tory. “This is a wonderful example of how we are building healthy communities by working together. This co-operation is exactly how we build a stronger, fairer city.”

Integrated with the neighbouring Canoe Landing Park, the new facility will include two elementary schools, a community centre and child care centre. Bishop Macdonell Catholic and Jean Lumb Public Schools will each serve 550 children from kindergarten to Grade 8. Canoe Landing Child Care Centre will serve a total of 54 children, from infants to preschoolers.

“This facility will become a destination for children, youth and seniors alike,” said Councillor Pasternak. “For families to truly thrive, we need to ensure that they have access to child care, education and recreation opportunities.”

Notable features of the facility include a green roof, shared gym, separate outdoor play areas for each age group and numerous energy efficiency elements within a modern, three-storey structure.

“I’m excited that families living in higher density communities such as this one will have access to these much-needed services,” said Councillor Cressy. “Not only will this facility fit with the surrounding architecture but it will be seamlessly integrated with the very popular Canoe Landing Park to provide more public space for the community to enjoy.”

“This multi-use facility is a result of a joint vision and hard work,” said TDSB Chair Pilkey. “It will support the needs of the local community while expanding learning, recreational and social opportunities for everyone living in the downtown area.” 

“I am thrilled that schools, a community centre and child care are becoming a reality in this amazing, growing neighbourhood. This collaborative project sets an example for how together we enrich and meet the needs of a vibrant and high density community. The benefits will be felt now and for many generations to come,” said TDSB Trustee Malik.

The site, formerly known as Block 31, is located at the corner of Fort York Boulevard and Brunel Court in the CityPlace neighbourhood of Toronto. It sits adjacent to Canoe Landing Park, in the area referred to as the Railway Lands. In 1992, Canadian National Railways (CNR) transferred ownership of Block 31 to the City of Toronto. The City has since entered into an agreement with the TDSB and the TCDSB to develop the site. Development levies were used to fund the construction of this facility.

“We are pleased to see this long-awaited development project get underway,” said TCDSB Vice-Chair D’Amico. “Many young families already live, learn and play in the downtown area, and this type of community hub will provide some exciting new services for families.”

“This is an exciting day for all of us as we see the long-term vision for the families come to life,” said TCDSB Trustee Davis. “With continued input from the entire community, this project makes it easier for families to set down roots and be part of the new, vibrant downtown core.” 

It is anticipated that the new facility will open in September 2019. Updates on this project are available at Information about upcoming school programs is available at and

This news release is also available on the City’s website:

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is the largest and one of the most diverse school boards in Canada. It serves approximately 246,000 students in 584 schools throughout Toronto and more than 160,000 life-long learners in Adult and Continuing Education programs. You can learn more about the TDSB at 

The Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) educates more than 91,000 students from diverse cultures and language backgrounds in 195 Catholic elementary and secondary schools, serving close to half a million Catholic school supporters across the City of Toronto. As the world’s largest publicly funded Catholic school system, the TCDSB educates students in an inclusive learning community rooted in the love of Christ, where they are challenged to grow in grace and knowledge and to lead lives of faith, hope and charity. At Toronto Catholic we transform the world through witness, faith, innovation and action.

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