New track and field facility could be coming for this City Centre area high school in Mississauga


Published March 14, 2023 at 1:36 pm

Aerial view of T.L. Kennedy Secondary School in central Mississauga shows the existing gravel/dirt track used by students.

One of Mississauga’s oldest high schools could be among the next in line to get a new track and field facility built on its grounds.

While nothing official is in the works, City of Mississauga Ward 7 Councillor Dipika Damerla, in whose ward you’ll find T.L. Kennedy Secondary School, floated the idea last week at the City’s meeting of general committee.

Damerla congratulated her Ward 5 colleague, Carolyn Parrish, on finally getting a $3.3 million joint-use track and field facility at a school in her area–Ascension of Our Lord Secondary School in Malton–off the ground.

Under the joint-use agreement, the City of Mississauga and Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board split the cost evenly–$1.65 million apiece.

In concluding her brief remarks, Damerla turned her focus to T.L. Kennedy Secondary School, which opened nearly 70 years ago, in September 1953, to about 450 students and still houses a dirt/gravel 400-metre track on its property.

Today, the Cooksville area high school, located on Hurontario St. just north of Dundas St., boasts about double its original student population–and it could use a new track and field facility, said Damerla.

As she congratulated Parrish for her area’s new sports facility, which was finally approved after five years of discussion back and forth between the City and the school, the Ward 7 councillor said she has her eyes on a similar prize.

“I want to do something, not the same, but similar at T.L. Kennedy (Secondary School), but I don’t know, it’s going to be like birthing 10 elephants if you had five,” Damerla said, referring to Parrish’s remarks that getting the Ascension facility deal done was “worse than birthing five elephants.”

Damerla didn’t elaborate on why she anticipated a difficult road ahead in planning for any new T.L. Kennedy track and field facility.

She noted that the Ascension project is “pretty big, but what we are hoping to do there (at T.L. Kennedy) is much bigger. It may never come to pass, but really well done that you were able to do it and we’ll see how it goes in Cooksville. We’ll look at all options to get where we need to.”

It’s not out of the question that a track and field complex similar to the one just approved at Ascension of Our Lord Secondary School could be on the horizon for T.L. Kennedy and other Mississauga high schools.

The City has stated it’s interested in pursuing such joint projects with both school boards in Peel.

Mississauga’s 2019 Parks and Forestry Master Plan supports such initiatives and “specifically recommends that we engage school boards in discussions to explore the joint development and maintenance of sport fields and hard-surface courts.”

An earlier report from Jodi Robillos, Mississauga’s commissioner of community services, recommending the Ascension facility proceed concluded that such “shared-use facilities are a cost-effective strategy for providing access to new park facilities.”

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