Back then, PCVS was the only secondary school in the city. In 1952, Kenner CVI was built to serve the expanding south end, named after PCVS graduate Hugh Kenner, who had become a notable English professor in the U.S. In 1960, Adam Scott was built in the north end, and as the baby boom children began reaching their teenage years, Crestwood and TASSS were added to the fleet in 1963 and 1967 to serve not only the city’s west and east ends, but also the outlying rural areas and smaller towns.
city and county school boards merged in 1969, all five high schools were in place and the population of the city was about 50,000 – about 10,000 in each ward. Peterborough
Forty-two years later, the city’s population is about 75,000 – an average of about 15,000 in each ward. This growth rate is equal to about 1% per year - an eminently manageable rate if there ever was one. The pattern of population growth has been reasonably uniform across the five wards, with Monaghan Ward, now home to over 17,000 citizens, the area which has experienced the most growth. You’d be hard-pressed to find another city in
which has shown a more predictable, steady, and evenly-distributed pattern of growth. Ontario
Prior to the 2010 Municipal Election, the City of
undertook a study to determine whether any changes were needed to the ward boundaries. After studying ten different options, including proposals to reduce the number of wards from five to four, City Clerk Nancy Wright-Laking concluded that the best system was the one already in place. You can read her report here. Wright-Laking wrote that, in addition to the aim of keeping ward populations relatively equal at least ten years into the future, her review team took into account the natural boundaries of the Otonabee River and major thoroughfares (such as Parkhill, Lansdowne, and Monaghan Road) and the distinct characters of the city’s neighbourhoods. No matter how they tried shuffling the boundaries, none of the possible configurations did any better job than the one we’ve been using. If it ain’t broke, the clerk and city council sensibly concluded, don’t fix it. Peterborough
While the City of
was reaching this conclusion, the brilliant minds at KPR were thinking otherwise. Having decided to invest huge sums of public money into technology, board managers needed to find ways to economize. The first idea they ran with was the Accommodation Review designed to force one of the city’s five secondary schools to shut down on the premise that fewer schools with more students each would be able to offer more course options. Peterborough
The ARC, as documented in detail in a series of posts on this blog in November, didn’t have much of an opportunity to look at any aspect of
’s secondary school network. They weren’t instructed to examine Peterborough ’s neighbourhoods, history, or natural boundaries. They weren’t given the City Clerk’s report on ward boundaries as a reference. They weren’t given population projections ten years into the future. They weren’t given any of the tools needed to do the job, in fact, and the sense that the committee members collectively had that something wasn’t right was reflected in their recommendation that a school be closed only as a last resort. Rusty Hick, however, whose personal and professional history is not in Peterborough but in York Region, ignored the group’s sole substantial recommendation, and attempted to charge ahead with a plan to close the last remaining school in Town Ward. Peterborough
KPR’s complete and utter disregard of the urban geography of Peterborough is most clearly evident from this simple map, showing the empty space at the city's center where PCVS should be.
According to Canada Post letter-carrier maps, fully one-half of
The kind of “doughnut-hole” approach to planning in which KPR is indulging is exactly what progressive urban designers and conscientious city staff across North America have been trying to avoid in the past twenty years, learning from the negative examples of decaying industrial towns in southern Ontario and the American midwest.
If KPR isn’t going to provide any full-service schools to Town Ward, why should Town Ward property owners share any of their tax dollars with KPR? What’s to stop Town Ward property owners from simply checking off a different box on their property tax form?
How would the all-knowing KPR number-crunchers feel if Town Ward property-owners suddenly felt like directing their millions of tax dollars to the
system instead of KPR, or the Catholic board, or even the French Catholic board? French Public school
Maybe then they’d see the effect of their doughnut-hole planning as they bite into their budgets to find an empty space where the money should be.
Not all new development will be confied to the city’s core, however, as some degree of suburban expansion is inevitable. The area most likely to be next to be built up is the city’s northwest. New subdivisions are already in progress just north of
Highland Heights Public School and in the Ravenswood area off Parkhill West. The city has designated the areas around , much of which is currently outside existing city limits, for development. West of Fairbairn is the Lily Lake Planning Area, while west of Ravenwood is the Jackson Planning Area. On November 7, just five weeks after KPR Trustees voted to shut down PCVS, Jackson Creek councillors authorized a $3.5 million upgrade to the pumping station at 1100 Parkhill Road west in anticipation of future residential development in these areas. You can read the utility services report here. Peterborough City
It's obvious that KPR strategists have “no clue” as to the urban evolution of
Such a visit might even afford them a chance to say hello to PCVS, the "Mother Tree" of