I became a supporter of Pamela Gough in 2011, when she played a key role in ensuring that Parkview School, at 85 Forty First St. near the Long Branch Go station, stayed in public hands.
In any such successful community self-organizing project, many people usually play a key role. That is the nature of such a project.
Two Toronto residents who were familiar with municipal and provincial archives played a key role in keeping Parkview School in public hands. Then-MPP Laurel Broten played a key role, as did officials of the Toronto Lands Corporation, the redevelopment and/or sale of properties no longer required by the school board.
As a resident, I was in ongoing communication with Pamela Gough, who was at that time the public school trustee for the Toronto District School Board’s Ward 3. Based on my communications with her at that time, I can say without question that Pamela Gough was a key player in saving Parkview School.
As a result of many months of negotiations, and a two-stage letter-writing campaign involving large numbers of local residents (each of whom was a key player, as each letter mattered hugely), the province provided $5.2 million to enable the French-language board, Conseil scolaire Viamonde, to purchase Parkview School from the TDSB.
The school, renamed École élémentaire Micheline-Saint-Cyr, now operates as a French language elementary school. The school building has been extensively renovated and the grounds have been extensively landscaped. As part of the landscaping, the school parking lot has been repaved, following extensive prior preparation of the area for paving, and new, impressive, well-designed exterior stairways have been constructed at two sides of the building.
A quick overview of the Parkview story is available at a recent post entitled: