Councillor Josh Matlow

South Bayview Bulldog: Who will help give Davisville Village a Hub — and a heart?

August 15, 2015
South Bayview Bulldog




John Hiddema, Stephanie Rickard Chadda and Chris Trussell have a dream. They’re among many residents of Davisville Village who want to see the Ward 22 community with a modern place for recreation, health care and social services. Things like a swimming pool, advice to the elderly and immigrant families, daycare and  play areas can easily be imagined in such a place. It would be a community social centre open to everyone, regardless of address,  and a heart for Davisville. They call this dream the Midtown Hub and John, Stephanie and Chris have identified a nearly-one acre parcel of land on the southwest corner of the crumbling Davisville Public School property at 43 Millwood Rd.




The location, near the corner of Davisville Ave. and Yonge St., would place the hub near the subway and other transit. The whole property is 3.84 acres. There would be room for a new school, playground and a hub. The land is owned by the Toronto and District School Board (TDSB) which is under pressure from the province to sell excess property.  Can the idea of a one-acre public hub survive the money crunch and if so on what terms?  The TDSB’s property arm had been scheduled to simply sell off the Davisville property as early as June. The efforts of Josh Matlow (Ward 22) obtained a reprieve from that decision until October. It reveals how perilous the dream may be. Matlow continues to work on finding so-called “section 37 envelopes” — money paid by developers to do business with the City. He has undertaken the compilation of what such a hub might include and of efficiencies. Might a gymnasium at the hub serve both the school and the public? Such details are critical if the hub is to survive review by hard-headed political and business interests.




The desired parcel is on the north side of Davisville Ave. and zoned at lower density, taking a bit of pressure off the likely price. Kicking around numbers, $100 a square foot would yield a figure of maybe four million. And that might be cheap. Planning and construction will cost many millions more. Is it possible to find money from the piggy banks of ordinary households that is worthy of the millions that reside with government and private sources? It is no doubt within the means of a City like Toronto and its wealthy residents but the inspiration in such quarters remains an open question. Great as the challenge may seem, the task will get easier for each newly-found friend of the hub. It is a populous part of town. Ward 22 alone had 65,000 residents in 2011, the last year for which numbers are available. The best way to do your part toward the creation of the Midtown Hub is to go to the website and complete the survey there. You are not required to give your name. Follow the progress of the effort to accomplish this worthwhile dream at the website. Participate if you can and encourage others to do so. There is an email for questions:

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