Dr. G.W. Williams Relocating to Bayview Ave.

With the decision by the Board to relocate Williams from Dunning to Bayview, many have commented as to why this decision has been made and what will happen with the current location once the new location opens. I will state today what I have stated from day 1. I truly believe that Aurora needs a 3rd public High School. And I have expressed that belief in my discussions with the Minister as well.. Aurora needs a high school on the Bayview side. In fact, one should have been built years ago. However it is short sighted to choose one part of town over another, to simply shuffle students around rather than build extra – and arguably needed – capacity. The Province is pushing for more intensification – expecting Aurora to absorb up to 90000 residents (by 2041). With that in mind, the capacity issues we have on the east side of town today will simply be transferred in 5 to 10 years to the south west area of Aurora. This isn’t a north east/south west Aurora issue (or it shouldn’t be) it’s a community issue, and one that can be addressed by forward thinking. A proactive approach to planning for growth is needed.

As for the many residents questioning what will happen to the lands, speaking for myself, I know I will do whatever it takes to make sure that these lands do not become yet another housing development!!! As our residents have made it clear, they aren’t interested in “building Aurora”, they want to build our community, and that takes much more than simply building more houses.

I think that now that the board has made this decision and that the school on Dunning will be closing..(and Council has no role in the decision to close Williams for those that are asking why Council did not stop it) I believe Council can step up and take a role in what will become of The land and Building on Dunning. I think that this location would be the perfect location for the new recreation facility ( a centre of excellence) . The Town could work with the board and create a facility that could be world class!! It would be in the heart of the Town and would keep the area thriving and busy not only during lunch hours but all day, everyday – even weekends. This facility, if built in collaboration with the Board, would allow for the Schools to utilize the facility. There’s more than enough space to create the multi-use facility identified in the master rec plan and in doing so could accommodate the many identified sports and rec needs – there could be an indoor track, a 50m pool, gymnasiums, fitness centre… and onsite medical and massage therapists etc… The building could be repurposed and renovated saving the historic features of the building. A true multi purpose facility that would be able to draw tournaments, and events from across the province. The last thing this area needs is more housing jammed in… So while I believe that it is short sighted to not build a third high school, I am glad to see that we will – at least – be getting a much needed high school on Bayview.

Going forward, I think we, as a Council need to consider what we can achieve in collaboration with the School Board. Think of it….. a centre of excellence in the heart of Aurora, that’s #GettingThingsDone.

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7 Responses

  1. Overall – extremely disappointing decision.

    The town of Aurora and the William’s Alumni are loosing yet again a piece of it’s historical identity; this is tragic. If let to developers – our community will loose again more green space that can never be reclaimed.

    The densification of Aurora is stifling. From the day to day ‘getting around’ to the overall identity of our once quaint, friendly, tree laden smaller community Aurora is loosing quality of community.

    From developers, greed and the unwillingness of the council, mayor and people who have the ability and power to say “no more” houses, no more devastation of green-spaces shame on you for not upholding our community values. It was difficult enough to have the green space of the former highlands golf course eviscerated from our town and now this. so sad! so very very sad if noting is done to rectify this before the property is developed.

  2. The next green space to disappear from Aurora will be 50/100 Bloomington Road, where the Ontario Government Building and OPP are located. The beautiful old building will probably be torn down too. Designs have already been drawn up for condos and homes to be located there. Come and speak up at the next meeting at Aurora Council (no date yet). Aurora is well on its way to becoming a concrete jungle. Now is the time to act and stop any further destruction of green space and paving of Aurora.

  3. This is no longer the same community of Aurora, where I was privileged to raise my children. A cozy, friendly, family oriented place that will be forever etched in my mind. Too many housing development have made Aurora just another sprawling, amalgamated space, like Markham, Richmond Hill and Newmarket. I bid farewell to what was as I re-locate.

  4. The Williams property is the perfect place for a modern recreational facility. The site previously mentioned on Bloomington would serve Richmond Hill residents, not Aurorans. The Williams site is accessible for all Aurora residents. Keep working on this idea.

  5. Dunning Ave / Williams isn’t suitable for a recreational facility because that will draw more traffic into that residential area – imagine those poor houses across the street from Williams that would be looking out at a rec facility with cars coming and going from 7am to 10pm 7 days a week – that’s way worse than the current school buses twice a day. Aren’t rec facilities better located on major streets that can accommodate the traffic (ie. Yonge & Bloomington) and don’t interfere with residents peace and quiet? ie. SARC is on Wellington St, AFLC is on Industrial Pkwy

    How about the Williams site become a bungalow community geared towards retirees with a large park in the center of the development?

  6. How about turning it into affordable, rental accommodation? Its within walking distance of public transportation and shopping. Its perfectly situated for such badly needed housing.

  7. The influx of young families has increased greatly in the last five years just in my subdivision running through Mclellan alone. I can only imagine on the other side of Henderson and the new homes being built on Bathurst. The generations are getting old and the new young families are moving in again. What if there’s too many kids again for one high school to handle on this side of town.?Why should we have to get our kids all the way to the other side of town?You need to the look ahead at the future numbers, there is a need for the school being there it’s just a transition period right now. It is a big mistake to close and our children are going to pay for it with overcrowding and large class sizes!!!

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