A city executive committee meeting that took place yesterday saw mixed results after ward 32 councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon moved to amend two items on the agenda in order to save the S.H. Armstrong pool from closure.
McMahon motioned to increase the city’s 2017 parks, forestry and recreation operating budget by $85,000 as a way to reverse potential cuts to the S.H. Armstrong pool and keep city programming at the community centre. That was taken off the table as an option following a 8-4 vote against by committee members. The vote came as a shock to some due to an earlier tweet by Mayor John Tory that seemed to convey a show of support for the pool.
McMahon also motioned to establish a working committee that would include representatives from the Toronto District School Board, surrounding community, and city staff to work on a plan that would increase the number of people and groups using the pool. The committee would be expected to report findings to the Community Department and Recreation Committee by the fourth quarter of 2017.
Although McMahon’s motion to transfer city programming was ultimately lost, she said she was heartened to find that her second motion to establish a working committee to increase utilization of the pool was carried.
“I’m still using that as an opportunity that we can work on,” she said. “I’m hopeful that we will live to fight another day at council.”
City council will meet February 15 to determine the fate of the pool but in the meantime, Mayor John Tory has penned an open letter to Penny Oleksiak following the February 7 vote. Read the letter here.
This post has been updated.