COLUMBUS ATHLETIC & SOCIAL ASSOCIATION
send CASA your
2 VISTA HUMBER DRIVE,
& THE $2 SALE
HE CONDEMNS THE PARTNERSHIP WITH THE SCHOOL BOARD.
WHAT HE DID WHEN HE FOUND THE VILLA CHARITIES FOUNDATION BEHAVING IRRESPONSIBLY.
THE TWO DOLLAR, APRIL 11, 1979, BILL OF SALE.
WHAT HE WOULD LIKE TO SEE IN THE FUTURE.
Tony (Anthony) Fusco is a founder of the Columbus Centre. In 1979, already a very successful businessman, in his early forties, he helped negotiate the $2 purchase of 10 acres of land from the Province of Ontario for the Italian Canadian Benevolent Association (the predecessor of Vill Charities) . On this page you can find the original sales agreement that created our community centre. It clearly spells out the intent of the founders and the government. You will read that it was"not to be sold, leased or otherwise disposed of to any organization other than a community service organization without the approval" of the Provincial Government, otherwise they would have the right to buy it back for the same $2. Villa Charities is now in the process of selling it to Toronto Catholic District School Board for $30,000,000. The TCDSB, as part of a government department, is not a "community service organization".
For decades, Tony served as a Governor of Villa Charities Foundation. He not only donated his time but was a major financial donour. One of his favourite projects was the purchase of the dozens of statues that enhance the attractiveness of the Columbus Centre campus. When you enter the main lobby you see his name inscribed high on the marble walls.
Following are two letters. The first, dated December 11, 2017 expresses his disgust with the decisions made by the current directors of Villa Charities to align themselves with the Toronto Catholic District School Board in order to sell and demolish a Canadian-Italian heritage icon. The second letter, dated February 15, 2013 explains why, due to a lack of transparency, he felt "legally responsible" to resign as Governor of the Villa Charities Foundation.
At the end of this page are Tony's wishes for the Columbus Centre and the questions he would like answered by Villa Charities Inc
FOR THE FUTURE
Tony Fusco in December, 2017, wrote that to properly assess the Villa Charities/Toronto Catholic District School Board joint venture the community needs to be able to see:
1. A copy of the deal between the School Board and Villa Charities.
2. A coy of the operating agreement for the joint project.
3. A financial summary of Villa Charities involvement in the sale and the construction of the proposed building.
4. The administrative cost of Villa Charities for the last 5 years.
5. The total income of Villa Charities for the last 5 years.
6. The departmental Profit & Loss for each segment of Villa Charities Inc. for the last 5 years.
7. A summary of all legal actions facing Villa Charities Inc.
8. The number of Villa Charities employees earning more than $100,000.
TONY'S WISHES FOR 2018
1. Seeing Villa Charities exit from the joint venture with TCDSB.
2. Amendment of the Villa Charities membership by-laws.
3. A restructuring of the Villa Charities Board of Directors.
4. The creation of plans to update the Columbus Centre property to code.
5. Introduct the concept that the Columbus Centre is a community centre, funded and managed by the Italian Canadian community for , and on behalf of all communities.
6. Adopt a program to showcase the values and contributions of the Italian Canadian culture e.g. art , music, library, language, products, social, etc.
7. Restore the Health Centre for all ages e.g. cleanliness, programs & courses
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December 11, 2017
Mr. Aldo Cundari
Pursuant to an invitation issued by the executive of Villa Charities Inc. In September 2017, I feel that is is required of me, to reinforce my negative reply to the members and executives of Villa Charities Inc.
Based on the facts, or rather lack of the same, my reply that evening was overwhelming against the proposed joint partnership between VCI and the TCDSB, as amateurishly submitted to me and to my past president colleagues.
That evening (any other time since then) I was not presented nor have I seen any meaningful rationale as to why the Italian Canadian community should enter into an agreement to sell off community property at this time, particularly to the TCDSB and or to any other potential purchaser or purchasers.
No proper financial data and projections submitted to me made any sense. The financial verbal statements were backed with no evidence as to the status of the Columbus Centre, besides suggestions that the existing Columbus Centre was falling apart and required millions of dollars to bring it up to specs. My own inquiries with professionals in the regard disprove this fact, as the problems in the Centre are related more to neglect in its maintenance and repairs and not to any more fundamental causes requiring its demolition. I am satisfied that the buildings are structurally sound, although they have been sorely neglected by the current administration and the members of the VCI board.
Statements were further submitted to me that this project was contemplated with the Catholic School Board as valuable partners. With further investigation I have reached the conclusion that the TCDSB is not a suitable partner, assuming that a partner is in fact required, as it is my opinion that it is not. In addition, trying to establish what benefits a joint building project would do for the community, I cannot find any item and programs that the joint project would provide to the Community that the Community does not already enjoywith the facilities and programs currently provided by the Columbus Centre.
A further investigation with regard to the rezoning and building plans submitted firstly to the City of Toronto and now in front of the OMB show a public road cutting the Columbus Centre lands into two distinct portions. Based on the proposals submitted to me, this road is ridiculously unnecessary and unjustifiable given the current needs of the surrounding community. It detract from the tranquility and enjoyment of the campus by the senior population that occupy Casa Del Zoto, Casa Caboto and Villa Columbo, the latter, as you know, being the germ seed of the Italian Canadian Community and its original base. I object in thestrongest possible way such a dramatic change to the configuration of the Columbus Centre Campus.
Subsequent to our September meeting, it has been disclosed that in January 2017 the TCDSB acquired, for the not-unsubstantial sum of $18,000,000, additional acreage from the Sisters of the Good Shepard,something that was not disclosed by either Boards but has come to the surface thanks to the investigations of other parties. Add to this the (probably material) rumour that the TCDSB will be obliged to purchase from Villa Charities a similar acreage for more or less the same amount, making its cost of acquiring the land portion only for this project over $36 million. This suggests that the School Board is in a different trajectory than the building of a new (now unnecessary) school and it has too much money in its hands, something that has compelled me to redirect the educational portion of my municipal taxes from the Catholic School Board to the Public one.
Regrettably, I have not received nor have I been informed of any facts that would induce me to modify this position. On the contrary, one must be blind not to be impressed by the overwhelming displeasureexpressed by the Italian Canadian community, the Columbus Centre membership and other New Canadian communities that have rallied to oppose this unjustifiable project.
I feel that the harm caused by the irresponsible actions of Villa Charities in its unholy alliance with the TCDSB is a serious setback to the mandate and the mission of the original owners of the Columbus Centre campus, namely the Italian Canadian Benevolent Coproration.
It is common knowledge that the current Villa Charities lands, acquired through obscure legal maneuvering, have appreciated substantially during the past decade, with the likelihood that such appreciation will continue as the city grows and land becomes scarcer. In dealing with this issue, it is my opinion that the current Villa Charities Board have failed to comply with their obligations for transparency and accountability that is embedded in the Charitable Institutions Act of Ontario. This was point out to the Board back in 2013, as per my letter of resignation from the board of Villa Charities Foundation which I am attaching to this letter. This modus operandi by Villa Charities has gotten worse since then, as witnessed by the complaints and remarks of numerous stakeholders.
For all the reasons outlined above and in light of my long-standing involvement with all aspects of the Columbus Centre, Villa Charities and especially Villa Colombo, I must take an unequivocally contrary stand against the current proposal entered into by the directors of Villa Charities Inc. and the TCDSB....and to this, I say Amen!!
Anthony J. Fusco Sr.
The Letter or Resignation
February 15, 2013
Mr. Mauro Baldassarra
Villa Charities Foundation
901 Lawrence Ave W
It is with deep regret, I find it necessary to submit to you this letter of resignation as Govenor of Villa Charities Foundation.
I find my position on the board, is in direct conflict with my understanding of the fiduciary responsibilities that I and all other members of the Board are legally responsible to abide by.
I am concerned about the continued erosion of the necessary transparency and of the modus operandi of the Foundation, and more specifically, in its relationship with Villa Charities Inc. which I find unacceptable.
I ask you therefore, to accept and record and acknowledge this letter of resignation effective immediately. As well, this serves to cancel any and all pledges made, for annual donations to Villa Charities Inc.
Anthony J. Fusco