Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Farewell North Toronto C.I

So it's been a wonderful trip home to Canada for the holidays. Thanks to the generous hospitality of my parents I've been able to make the most of my time at home, enjoying both some much needed rest and relaxation as well as the chance to catch up with all the friends I've missed while I've been away at law school this past year.

One of my first excursions was taking my dog Bailey on a trip to my old high school, North Toronto C.I. When I started high school in 1997 the building was decrepit and falling apart; the clanging, banging noises emanating from the radiators would (sometimes mercifully) drown out the teacher's voice and most of the windows wouldn't open: not ideal for writing June final exams on the third floor of an un-air-conditioned building.
Despite the peeling paint and the crumbling plaster, I loved the history and character of the school's architecture. The location was great too- how many people can say they went to school within walking distance of some of the best restaurants and shopping in the city!

Since the building, located at Yonge and Eglinton, happens to be on the Toronto District School Board's most valuable piece of property, the solution to the building's condemnation was the Board's striking a partnership deal with condo developers. In exchange for building two huge condos in what was the school's baseball field, the developers are footing the bill for a new school building. While I know the students need and deserve a better learning environment, it is still sad to say goodbye: the original building is slated for demolition once the new school opens this summer.
The original North Toronto C.I. was completed in 1912, and the new building is going to incorporate some of the "heritage components" of the original building. Still, I'm sad that I will never again be able to visit my high school and walk down the halls recalling memory after memory of five years spent growing from an awkward, shy teenager to young adult. As tumultuous and full of angst as those years were, I do enjoy being able to go back and think about how far I've come.

So farewell original building, North Toronto C.I. I'll miss getting to include you in my "blast from the past" tours of Toronto.