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Toronto District School Board considering Elementary School for the Arts

In 2016 area residents approached our School Trustee Chris Moise and the Toronto District School Board about the feasibility of establishing an arts focused middle school (Grades 6-8) within Toronto Centre-Rosedale. We have been advised that the School Board’s planning department is actively working on a plan for an Elementary Arts Programs in the downtown core to likely open in September, 2019. They will first conduct a study in the 2017-2018 school year.

Should you have any interest or concerns about the proposal the contact person at TDSB is Administrative Liaison Joselyn Nalli email Please cc us at You can also have a look at their website regarding program proposals. Click here.

Here is a brief outline of our proposal to the board and Chris

Why is there a need for an elementary arts program?

A. Magnet programs similar to the one we are proposing exist in the north and west part of the city but currently there is no arts focused middle school in the downtown core.

Examples in the west & north:

  1. Karen Kane School of the Arts in Etobicoke (Grade 6-8) is often a de facto feeder school for Etobicoke School of the Arts
  2. Claude Watson School for the Arts in North York (Grades 4-8) is often a de facto feeder school for Earl Haig – Claude Watson.

* Rosedale School of the Arts at Castlefrank and Bloor does not have a de facto feeder school.

B. At present, a number of families within the catchment area choose not to send their children to our local schools.

We believe that an arts school would work to change a negative perception that many people in our community have of our schools. Specialized programs can also work to enrich the culture of a school and the community. An example of how a program can change a community’s perception of its local school is the IB program at Monarch Park Collegiate. This program made people consider MPC as a viable academic alternative for their children, even if they were not going to be attending for the IB program.

C. There are existing private & separate school options for families that can afford an enriched arts education thus indicating a demand (of course, these draw students out of the public school system).


  1. Voice Intermediate School, Distillery District – Tuition $17,000 plus additional costs
  2. St Michael’s Choir School – Tuition $5,475 plus additional costs
  3. National Ballet School – Tuition $15,575 plus additional costs

D. An arts school would provide an equal opportunity for students and families who are seeking an enriched arts education.

An arts school in our neighbourhood would also create a larger pool of diverse applicants for the established arts high schools and local high school arts programs. It would also attract students and families into the community who are looking for this type of opportunity.

E. It would also create an opportunity for students and staff to partner with community arts organizations:

Possible partnerships:

  1. Regent Park School of Music
  2. Native Earth
  3. Young People’s Theatre
  4. Soulpepper Theatre Company
  5. Crows Theatre Company
  6. Canadian Rep Company
  7. CanStage