Article by Victoria Gibson, The Toronto Star
Premier Kathleen Wynne has ordered that school boards be given a say in where provincial marijuana stores are located, noting that boards are likely to know “where their kids go at lunchtime (and) where they go after school.”
Her demand came after the announcement that Toronto’s first outlet of the Ontario Cannabis Store would be located in Scarborough, 450 metres from Blantyre Public School. The Toronto District School Board said it had asked to be consulted about the location, but never was. Concerned Blantyre parents discussed the news at a school council meeting last week.
But is there anywhere in the city a marijuana store could land without customers crossing paths with schoolchildren and teens?
According to data compiled by the Star, more than half the city is within 450 metres of a school, even without factoring in areas where children and teenagers spend their recreational time.
The blank spaces left over range from industrial areas to High Park to the Toronto South Detention Centre, a maximum-security correctional facility.
While debate rages on at Queen’s Park, several of Toronto’s business improvement areas (BIAs) told the Star they’d actually welcome a provincially run marijuana shop — and that, regardless of proximity to schools or child-centric areas, kids wouldn’t be able to just waltz in and buy pot.