The Toronto Catholic District School Board buys St. Joe’s

By 
  • December 13, 2007

{mosimage}TORONTO - The Toronto Catholic District School Board has closed a  $10-million deal with the Sisters of St. Joseph that will keep the board’s downtown, all-girls high school exactly where it has been since 1960.

The board bought 74 Wellesley St. W. from the Sisters of St. Joseph, ensuring that St. Joseph’s College School will remain at its old address. For two years since the Sisters announced they would not renew the lease with the TCDSB the board, parents, students and staff have been waiting to hear whether the school would have to find a new address.

Board chair Catherine Leblanc-Miller called the purchase price “a fair deal.”

“It’s a great school. It has a great history and tradition. It’s downtown, city of Toronto,” Leblanc-Miller told The Catholic Register. “You may recall that we closed some schools back in 2000 and 2002 in the downtown. For me, personally, it is very important for us to show people who live downtown that we are committed to keeping schools there.”

Equally important is the fact that St. Joseph’s remains an all-girls school, she said. In a review of parent demand and board priorities in 2000, the board found parents want the option of all-girls and all-boys high schools.

St. Joe’s history actually goes back before Confederation when the Sisters of St. Joseph established St. Joseph’s Academy for Young Ladies on Power Street, near St. Paul’s Basilica, in 1854. The school moved to Bay and St. Alban’s Street. When the province expropriated the school, the Sisters were compensated with the property across the street.

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