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What are the Best High Schools in Toronto?

[OP]
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Jun 1, 2004
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What are the Best High Schools in Toronto?

One thing I have noticed is that there has really hasn't been a thorough, comprehensive study assessing the quality of high schools in the GTA. As a result, apart from hearsay, many parents don't really know how great the high school that their child is attending really is which is bad for both parent and child. The National Post did do a ranking of GTA high schools once, but I seriously think the methodology was flawed for that one (Pearson above Markham District?!).

So why hasn't a decent ranking of high schools ever been done here? Does it have to do with the prototypical Canadian anti-elitist everyone-is-middle-class outlook? In America, there are magnet schools with facilities comparable to some small-scale Canadian colleges, and then there are schools with metal detectors at the entrance. In Canada, one would think that every Collegiate is exactly the same in every which way.

I want to break the status quo. Out with mediocrity, in with excellence! Let's do it! Let's spark change! Let's do it free-market style! We need competition and rankings so Principals fearing lower enrollment bolster their programs to deliver more high-quality public high schools for the next generation!

So,without further adue, which are the best public high schools in Toronto for academics?

Here are five main criteria I would use to guage the quality of a high school:

% students enrolled in and passing Academic/University-prep courses
% graduates that are Ontario Scholars
% decline in marks from Senior year to 1st year University
% quality & quantity of extracurriculars offered (ie. music, sports, councils, DECA etc.)
% students gaining distinction in national competitions (ie. Canadian Mathematics Competition, Sir Isaac Newton Physics Contest, Leonardo Da Vinci Engineering Contest, FIRST Robotics etc.)
% Asian students (haha kidding =P)

So I'd like to know which are the reputable high schools in Toronto, so here are some schools that I'm just throwing out:

North Toronto Collegiate (A high school admissions book claimed that 50% of graduates from NTCI are Ontario Scholars. Is that true?!)
Northern Secondary
Newtonbrook Secondary
Earl Haig Secondary
Albert Campbell Collegiate
R.H. King Academy


There are also schools that are going downhill due to out-migration of smart students, and schools that are "on the rise". I'd like your thoughts on some of these as well.
296 replies
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Aug 20, 2004
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Definetly Newtonbrook Secondary...

The amount of scholarships awarded in the past year to students reached 6 figure funds..
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Jul 13, 2003
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Brebeuf

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Wh00t, 'brook represent!
yeah, we had quite a few scholarships last year.
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Oct 24, 2004
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I'd like to vouche for Emery C.I. but I don't know...just took a quick glance at the 41'st annual commencement book and it seems that only about 25% of the students are Ontario Scholars. But the schools pretty involved too. It's been involved in FIRST Robotics, Duke of Edinbrough (sp?) [Lots of media attention when one of the Prince's came to 'award' the school with a rock o.O), Venture, boys senior & junior basketball teams are raping it up, lots of other contests and such as well. I dunno...it seems like a decent environment to learn in [if you overlook the shooting 5 years ago XD).
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Aug 2, 2004
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I went to the oldest high school in the province. Jarvis C. I.

When I was a student (long time ago), and threre was a grade 13, over 80% were Ontario Scholars.

I can't vouch for the condition of the education now, but back then, it was really good.

I have also heard good things about Upper Canada College.
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Jan 22, 2003
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Austin/Markham
Upper Canada College
Earl Haig
Unionville High School ->Also other skules with arts or gifted programs for smart ppl located in York Region. I guess almost any school in the rich areas of York Region would be first class IMHO.

There was some skule that would get first in the FIRST robotics competition and DIVINCHI and Math contests every where, I forget the school now, but they would be there too.
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Aug 28, 2003
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my observations of Riverdale CI

Located: Jones and Gerrard

Safety: Rated 2nd safest school in the tdsb board

Student body: something along the lines of 60% Asians (school survey some time back) Lack for a better word nerds and alot of them so it seems. School seems to always have several students that do extremely well (top 5%) in Math, Science and Computer Science contests. However, many fail the Literacy test because more than 15% of school population are immigrants.

Sports: consistantly doing well in volleyball(qualify for ofssa), never loses in badminton, i think they do really well in ping pong too and well rounded in other sports.

extracurriculars: quite a long list compared to other schools. quality i'd think that it would depend on the club presidents and how they are run.

teachers: most of them are fairly good maybe with one or two exceptions but they seemed to have slowly disappeared as full time teachers and became substitutes.
Gee wrote:I went to the oldest high school in the province. Jarvis C. I.

When I was a student (long time ago), and threre was a grade 13, over 80% were Ontario Scolars.

I can't vouch for the condition of the education now, but back then, it was really good.

I have also heard good things about Upper Canada College.
I don't know too much about the quality of education at jarvis but i've heard from friends that lately there have been several cases where teachers have been caught having inappropriate relationships
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Sep 20, 2004
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There's Woburn C.I. I think it has the only gifted program in Scarborough
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May 19, 2003
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w00t! Earl Haig! :cheesygri

But seriously...IMHO Ontario Scholars is a really unreliable way to measure academic quality of a school, especially if the teachers are really easygong with marks.

I think generalized testing is the only way you can compare schools to one another.
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Oct 12, 2002
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martingrove CI and richview CI are pretty good compared to many.
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May 8, 2004
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I go to Albert Campbell, not really a good school in my opinion. Most of the teachers shouldn't be teachers and there has been rumors that the SAC steals money from the safe... Couple of large fights this year already
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Mar 15, 2004
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Newtonbrook wtf? I pass by that school everyday and it looks ****ed up.
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awestruck wrote:Newtonbrook wtf? I pass by that school everyday and it looks ****ed up.
Don't judge a book by its cover :cheesygri :cheesygri :cheesygri
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Aug 26, 2001
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no Mississauga representation, so I have to say... Woodlands! har-har-har. :evil:
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Jan 7, 2004
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I went to Pearson C.I, Its not that bad of a school.
My GF went to Newtonbrook, i had visited a few times.

The way I see it is, it doesn't matter what school the kid goes to, if they are smart they will excell in their studies. Teachers should not have to push students to do their work. Teachers can't baby the students and spoon feed them, cus when they get to university they are fuked.

Highschool is no big deal as I see it......I should have slacked off more in highschool.....university is where it matters. I got good enough grades to get into university, even got a scholarship, wasnt much, but i didn't end up accepting it bcus I got into a better program.

Slack off jus enough to get into uni and then work your ass off in uni, and get good grades when it really matters, like me.
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Nov 30, 2003
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High school results are really skewed; since a large portion of the students that attend are there based on geographical location instead of merit, it's really hard to compare in a usable manner.


Graduate of Dr. Norman Bethune Collegiate, in 2001. Place is dirty, most of the teachers were morons when I left.

I'm still very bitter that the school was so unbelievably filthy, that my health was in extreme decline for the entire 5 years of hell I was there. Once I went to college, my grades skyrocketed. Being able to breathe oxygen regularly is usually a good ingredient for success (or survival).
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Aug 20, 2004
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proud newtonbrook h.s. graduate (class of 2004).
Teachers at brook push you so hard...at uni its all wired in...study!
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gmail wrote:proud newtonbrook h.s. graduate (class of 2004).
Teachers at brook push you so hard...at uni its all wired in...study!
Ditto, 2k4 class as well
erm... which teachers pushed you hard exactly? Mine were all pretty good and easy...
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[OP]
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Jun 1, 2004
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The thing that has struck me most in this thread far is...

80% of graduates at Jarvis CI are Ontario Scholars?! That is awesomely ridiculous for an inner-city high school. Then again... it could be that the dumb kids drop out, and the ones that do graduate are big-time keeners. But so much for the poverty=poor achievement equation. :cheesygri

It's hard for me to formulate a trend here. There are schools in rich neighbourhoods that are good (ie. Unionville High) and schools in middle-class neighbourhoods that stink (ie. Dr. Norman Bethune, Albert Campbell). And, inexplicably, there are schools in the ghetto that are good (Emery CI, Jarvis). Moronto really is one whacked-out city! Hmm...

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