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toronto | october 1–3

Facing change and guiding Ontario into the next quarter century

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303: School Closures – From Crisis to Opportunity

October 01, 2019

2:30PM - 3:30PM

Many rural communities and urban neighbourhoods have experienced the permanent shuttering of schools. This outcome is often the result of rapidly changing economic, demographic and environmental structures which no longer make these facilities viable. The immediate response from communities tends to be visceral, and the decision viewed as indicative of a community in transition, or worse, decline. Research also demonstrates that closing schools disrupts the community fabric and removes an important communal facility that is not easily replaced. This session will highlight several case studies that exemplify opportunities to build community resiliency and enhance social capital by moving from crisis to opportunity. Participants will gain a better understanding of why and how schools close, the community-based impact of these decisions, and importantly, how these outcomes can lead to significant opportunity for community growth and the integral role of planners to facilitating these processes.