Blyth Academy London
Blyth Academy London News
September 28, 2016

Blyth Academy moving to former Labatt head office in downtown London

A private high school is moving to a heritage property in downtown London putting London Knights students closer to ­Budweiser Gardens.

The former Labatt headquarters at 441 Ridout St., yellow brick heritage properties just north of Museum London, will be home to Blyth Academy, a private secondary school moving from Richmond Street North.

“One of the ways we can bring downtown back is more education (institutions) including high schools. This is a great heritage building and it has to be occupied to put life into it,” said ­Shmuel Farhi, the landlord who is leasing the property to Blyth.

Blyth also is the school some London Knights players attend to complete their secondary education, and the move will make it that much easier.

“It’s a great partnership,” said Dylan Hunter, defensive coach with the Ontario Hockey League team.

“They go from school right to practice,” he said of the eight to 16 Knights players who attend Blyth. The players can walk from school to Budweiser Gardens.

“When you can go to a parent and show them a school with Blyth’s record, it is great. We show them what they can take, the teacher-student ratio. It is a marketing tool for us.”

Blyth has been in London three years, and also has an elementary school at Western Fair District that will not be part of the move, as it is being phased out, said school principal Jennifer Flynn-Clarke.

“We love being back in the downtown core. We can get our students out of the classroom and we can partner more with Downtown London,” she said.

“Museum London, Eldon House, Grand Theatre and the market here, there are so many opportunities for learning and there is the visibility.”

The head of Downtown London also praised the move, saying it brings a long-term tenant to a core heritage site as well as more people ­downtown.

“Its a double whammy. We have a heritage building that is occupied and to have another school downtown is amazing,” said the agency’s chief executive.

“It’s a perfect match. We’re happy about it.”

Coun. Tanya Park agreed.

“It shows Blyth’s dedication to London, growing in the core. It is nice to see their heartstrings are firmly attached to the city.”

The heritage property next to the school, at 451 Ridout St. N., is vacant, but Farhi envisions a highrise behind it overlooking the ­river.

The land is in the flood plain, and the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority has concerns over any building there, said Farhi.

“We have been working on a plan for three years . . . I hope we can do something.”

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News from Blyth Academy London

September 28, 2016
Blyth Academy London
Blyth Academy moving to former Labatt head office in downtown London

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