OTTAWA -- MPP seeking support for building Catholic elementary school in Findlay Creek

Findlay Creek is a growing area in the southern part of Ottawa, and there’s a push to build a new Catholic Elementary School for the subdivision.

Goldie Ghamari, the Progressive Conservative MPP for the area, has launched a petition seeking to collect signatures from the community in support.

“What I’m hoping to do with this petition is to signal the need for these schools,” she said. “It was a really good strategy that worked with Riverside South Public High School.”

The neighbourhood does have a public elementary school, but students who want to attend the Catholic Board have to travel.  

Parents like Valeriia Tyschemko would like to see one built close to home.

“My son is one year old, so in three years we will go to Catholic School,” she says. “It’s a new community, and it grows so fast; I think we have a lot of kids in our community.”

Valeriia Tyschemko

According to the Ottawa Catholic School Board, approximately 330 junior kindergarten to Grade 6 students who live in Findlay Creek attend St. Thomas More School in the Hunt Club Park neighbourhood. That school is around 10 kilometres away.

A spokesperson for the Catholic board said in an email that St. Thomas Moore School is projected to have an enrolment of 557 students in 2022-2023, and a need for the use of two portables.

“With continued growth, enrolment figures for the school are forecast to increase to 584 students and three portables for the 2026-2027 school year,” the statement said.

The board already owns a “seven-acre (2.83 hectares) site in Findlay Creek that will accommodate the new elementary school, should the project be funded,” according to the e-mail.

The land is located next to the existing Vimy Ridge Public School, and Ghamari would like to see the Catholic school built there.

“For the school board, the need for a new Catholic elementary school in Findlay Creek is at the top of the list,” she says. “These communities in Carleton, they’re growing exponentially.

“Population is increasing, and I’ve also received a lot of e-mails from parents in Findlay Creek, voicing their support for getting more schools built.”