Update on Friends of Toronto Waldorf School Community Bond proposal

View from the five acres, looking towards the Toronto Waldorf School.

Back in December we posted about an initiative from the “Friends of Toronto Waldorf School Foundation”. The Friends proposed to raise $3.6 million in community bonds so that they could extend a mortgage to the school thus making it possible for the school to not sell land. The new mortgage would replace an existing mortgage coming due in April 2014 and provide some additional interim funding.

Hesperus Fellowship Village, a recently built seniors’ residence viewed from the five acres.

Although the original deadline was set for January 10th, that has since been extended and declarations of interest are still being sought. The Friends are planning a Town Hall style meeting for tomorrow, Tuesday Jan. 28, at 7 pm, in the Toronto Waldorf School music room, to update the community on plans and progress. As well, the Hexagon group (of TWS alumni) have posted an online survey to gather views and opinions from the school community.

A new proposal for the use of the land is being put forward by the Friends. They envision a large-scale Waldorf daycare facility as well as biodynamic gardens on the land that has been slated for sale to a local housing developer. The Friends feel this would meet a growing need in the region for daycare, as well as complement other initiatives on campus and provide a feed of potential students for the Toronto Waldorf School. Click this link for a description of the proposed project on the Friends’ website.

Artist’s conception of Daycare, ECE, and gardens on the five acres, as proposed by the Friends of Toronto Waldorf School Foundation. Image via the Friends’ website.

So far the missing link in the Friends’ plans has been buy-in from the school’s board and administration, although discussions have been ongoing and there’s still hope of a rapprochement. Informal discussion has also been taking place in the “TWS Online Forum” group and in the “Toronto Waldorf School Alumni/ae” page on Facebook. Both are closed groups. Other potential solutions to the financial/land sale situation may also be under consideration.

As an interesting sidelight, the Jaffari Islamic Centre, located immediately to the south of the Toronto Waldorf School campus has submitted an elaborate development plan to the City of Vaughan for approval. The Jaffari proposal includes two 14-storey residential towers, one of which is to be located on Bathurst Street, incorporating commercial and office space. The plan also calls for 60+ town homes. A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for Feb. 4th. The Jaffari developments would be carried out by a developer who is also a member of their community.

Jaffari Islamic Centre site plan as of August 2009. The central building is already there. The new plan, to be addressed at a Feb. 4 meeting, calls for two high-rises and more than sixty town homes.

Friends of Toronto Waldorf School Foundation website.

Waldorf School Governance (Association of Waldorf Schools of North America)

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