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Davisville Junior Public School Demolished
Catherine Nasmith | December 24, 2018

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From Issue No. 272 | December 24, 2018

Even though this has been coming for a couple of years, nothing prepares for the actual wicked, wasteful and wanton destruction of a building so many hoped to save. The week before Christmas 2018, photographer Vik Pahwa spent time recording the destruction. 

For those who had leant their time and expertise to trying to get the attention of the province and the TDSB about the looming disaster of squandered environmental and cultural resources inherent in current public policy  this demolition marks a failure, yet those efforts are to be applauded. Public policy is slow to change. In this era of global warming, conserving resources should be the default position. 

Architectural Conservancy Ontario, and Built Heritage News would like to send out a special thanks to Mod Squad members Kim Storey and Carol Kleinfeldt, Lloyd Alter, Monica Contreras and Luigi Contreras for their efforts in making the case for conservation, as well as journalists Alex Bozikovic and Dave LeBlanc for excellent media coverage of the campaign. More recently Andrew Pruss of ERA and architect Joey Giamo took another kick at the can, reported by Alex Bozikovic. They analysed the plans for the new school and compared them with the costs of adaptive re-use and additions to the existing building and found it would cost some 3M less to renovate. But once the wheels of bad public policy start turning, no alternative argument, no matter how sensible, stands a chance. 

Over the week there was an ongoing twitter debate between architectural critic Alex Bozikovic and Toronto District School Board trustee Shelley Laskin, un-apologetic until the end.

In 2017, architect Peter Pennington, the key design architect for Davisville Junior Public School was awarded the ACO's Post 1945 Award for an outstanding body of modern architecture. On the good news front, another of his buildings, the Lord Lansdowne Junior Public School is being restored after several years as the poster child for TDSB deferred maintenance. The Adult Learning Centre at 1 Danforth Avenue is another Pennington masterpiece currently suffering neglect. 


Editors Notes: Sorry for not being able to include a photo, technology challenges!
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