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Blame vandals for Danforth Collegiate schoolyard lockdown: The Fixer

It’s a shame that a few idiots have spoiled it for people who’d like to use the running track and playing field at an inner-city high school.

One of the good things about a school in the neighbourhood is that kids and even adults will play there, if there’s a soccer field, baseball diamond or just a wide swath of grass.

It’s why schoolyards are a focal point for recreation. If there’s a soccer pitch behind the school, or even basketball nets on an asphalt tarmac, children not glued to an X-Box or PlayStation will likely be using them.

So when the schoolyard is bordered by fencing sturdy enough to contain the inmates at a prison, and there’s no way to get in, residents are left to wonder why they’ve been locked out.

A reader named Nancy emailed us to ask why the running track and the playing field inside it have been closed all summer at Danforth Collegiate and Technical School, on Greenwood Ave.

“At East York Collegiate there is a track and many people run on it in the evenings and weekends,” she said.

“At Danforth Tech there is a track and it is surrounded by a fence and no one can access it in the evenings or weekends.

“Given that it is paid for by the neighbourhood taxpayers, I wonder why we cannot use it.”

We went there and found the running track and playing field completely surrounded by a three-metre-high chain link fence, with every entrance locked to prevent anyone from getting inside.

An older man was sitting on a bench just outside the fence, so we asked him if he knew why the schoolyard is on lockdown.

Vandalism, he said, noting that a lot of damage was caused over the past couple of years by idiots who did it under the cover of darkness.

STATUS: We asked the Toronto District School Board why the schoolyard has been off limits all summer. Shari Schwartz-Maltz, who deals with media for the school board, emailed to say: “The reason it’s closed to the public (remains open for permit holders) is because of several incidents of vandalism; for example — motorcycles have been driven on the track which caused extensive damage that necessitated costly repairs.” So, blame it on knuckleheads.

What’s broken in your neighbourhood? Wherever you are in Greater Toronto, we want to know. To contact us, go to thestar.com/yourtoronto/the_fixer or call us at 416-869-4823 email jlakey@thestar.ca . To read our blog, go to thestar.com/news/the_fixer . Report problems and follow us on Twitter @TOStarFixer.


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