Photo: Cristian Carrara/Flickr
With its subway access and tall towers along Yonge Street, North York can feel like downtown Toronto. And certainly, the land prices are reaching levels that are about as expensive as the core with many houses fetching a million dollars or more on the market.
It’s easy to see why developers would jump at the chance to buy a few acres of land in North York. A number of unusually large subdivisions on the go in the city’s north end were previously lands owned by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB).
Back in 2007, the Toronto Lands Corporation was created as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Toronto District School Board in order to manage the board’s real estate revenues. Between September 2008 and August 2013, 67 sites were declared surplus and put up for sale. During that period, 57 sites were sold, generating $312 million worth of gross revenue for the school board, according to the Toronto Lands Corporation’s 2013-2014 report. Most of these properties were shuttered schools though some were vacant land or administrative and maintenance sites.
Of the sold properties, 30 were picked up by other school boards and public agencies such as the City of Toronto. But 47 per cent of the surplus properties sold to private owners, many of which were real estate developers. We’re taking a closer look at which sites are being redeveloped into infill projects and subdivisions, as these acreages are among the last large pieces of property still available in the quickly growing city.
Last week, we took a look at six sites sold in Scarborough. This week, we’re looking north, where townhouses and luxury singles are sprouting up in former school sites:
Page Public School
Address: 50 Page Avenue
Site size: 4.3 acres
Date sold: May 2010
The TDSB leased the former elementary school building to the North Toronto Christian School, a privates school, for 29 years before the land was declared surplus. Orchard Ridge Homes, the low-rise division of the Sorbara Development Group, picked up the property for Crafthouse, a collection of 20 single-family homes. Currently under construction, prices for available units start from $1,800,000.
TDSB administrative offices
Address: Formerly known as 17 Fairmeadow Avenue, changed to 9 Fairmeadow Avenue.
Site size: 2.4 acres
Date sold: January 2012
According to documents from the City of Toronto, the site will be developed into 11 lots for single detached dwellings. Sorbara Development Group, the owner of another former TDSB site, is listed as the agent, though there’s no word yet of the name of the project.
Vacant land owned by TDSB
Address: 55 Antibes Drive
Site size: 6 acres
Date sold: June 2010
Kenton Public School (vacant land portion)
Address: 50 Kenton Drive
Site size: 2.7 acres
Date sold: February 2012
The school closed down in 1982 and the northern part of the property was declared surplus by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in February 2011 (the former school building still stands and operates as the Kenton Adult Learning Centre). The surplus portion was bought by Grandfield Homes for Kenton in Toronto, a collection of 15 detached houses.
Vacant land owned by TDSB
Address: 155 McNicoll Avenue.
Site size: 4.9 acres
Date sold: November 2012
The site of the McNicoll Public School, built in 1966, was split into two parcels with the existing structure remaining as a TDSB property and leased to Adventure Place, the City of Toronto, and a child care centre. The adjacent lands became surplus in June 2011 and were bought by LiVante Developments, according to city documents. The developer is planning on building 22 freehold homes, dubbed The Enclaves of McNicoll, on the parcel.