Durham looking for ideas from the public on the future of Oshawa’s Ritson Road School

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Published June 30, 2023 at 3:54 pm

Durham Region is hoping local residents can help in figuring out the best use of the 100 year-old Ritson Road Public School, which the Region purchased last year for $7.49 million with a dream of converting it into affordable housing.

The property, located on 300 Ritson Road, just north of Olive Avenue, will provide an “opportunity” for the Region to help meet the “current and future needs” of residents through community programming and affordable and market-rent housing.

The former elementary school was built in 1923 (and expanded in 1928) and was in use as a school until 2012. The unused parts of the property will provide the best way to introduce mixed-use, sustainably built housing, while preserving the neo-gothic heritage qualities of the building, said Durham Chair John Henry.

“The Ritson School has a legacy of serving the community and this exciting project will honour that through community supports and services and affordable housing,” Henry said. “I encourage all residents to help shape this project by joining an engagement event – your voice matters. I look forward to redeveloping this property into something that will continue to make a positive difference in Durham Region.”

Oshawa Councillor Brian Nicholson was happy when the deal was done last year – Durham Region took possession January 26, 2022 – especially with the promise of affordable housing.

“This will be a signature redevelopment site which will set the tone for future affordable housing projects in our city,” Nicholson said. “The strong support from the community and leadership of both Oshawa and Regional Councils has made this project a reality and a terrific advancement for the community and the residents of Oshawa.”

Residents are invited to help shape the vision of the project by asking questions and sharing ideas at a Community Engagement Drop-In Event on Tuesday, July 11 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the auditorium of the Oshawa Public Library’s McLaughlin Branch.

Oshawa local business owners and community service providers are invited to provide feedback on July 18 at the Spark Centre at 2 Simcoe St. S. in downtown Oshawa. There will be a local business workshop from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. (Register) and a community service providers workshop from 10 a.m. to noon. (Sign up).

For more information about the Ritson School Project and to get involved visit durham.ca/RitsonSchool.

The front doors of Ritson Road School in Oshawa

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