About 200 people rallied outside an elementary school in midtown Toronto on Thursday to protest the planned development of a condo tower right next door.
The protest included children who attend John Fisher Junior Public School, 40 Eskine Ave., near Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue. A developer is poised to build a 35-storey condo next to the school.
"S.O.S., save our school," children chanted in front of the school as they held handmade signs.
Mayor John Tory and Coun. Jaye Robinson, Ward 25 — Don Valley West, joined the early morning rally, which was organized by parents opposed to the development. Parents are concerned about noise, dust and traffic that the construction would generate.
Tory told reporters that it's unbelievable that the development was proposed metres from school grounds and that it was approved by the Ontario Municipal Board.
"It's preposterous. It's a distortion of priorities," Tory said."I just think we have to do something about that and that's why we're all here. We are all working together in both public settings and otherwise to see if we can find a solution."
Tory said the Toronto District School Board is assessing whether the students at the school should be moved during construction.
On the weekend, Tory issued a statement saying he will do whatever he can to protect the health and safety of students at the school during construction.
Tory said the city is opposed the development, but it was forced on the city by the OMB.
The developer, KG Group, initially wanted to use part of the school grounds as a staging area for construction but it has indicated it no longer wants to do so.
The school, which runs from kindergarten to grade six and which offers French immersion, is the oldest elementary school in the Toronto District School Board.