You’re familiar with the real estate mantra, “location, location, location”? Proximity to green space, public transit and necessary amenities not only enhances your lifestyle, but also goes a long way to help preserve and grow the asset value of your home.
One amenity of particular interest in your neighbourhood should be access to good schools. Even if you don’t have immediate need for schools in your household, their presence is immensely attractive to prospective homebuyers when you do go to sell. It’s all about creating additional value around your property so that you can get top dollar.
Toronto is home to a number of quality Public and Catholic Board schools, but also boasts an impressive list of globally known private schools. Depending on your needs, educational goals and school environment, the good news is that Toronto students and their parents have abundant choices.
Lots Of Quality In Toronto Public Schools
Every year, think tank The Fraser Institute releases their school ranking for various provinces in Canada. The rankings are based on objective, publicly-available data (i.e. scores made available from standardized provincial tests, etc.). While these lists are a good measure because of their objectivity, it is important to note that not all schools are included, for a variety of data-driven reasons.
One measure in Ontario are the EQAO (Educational Quality and Accountability Office) tests. EQAO tests are administered in Grades 3, 6 and 9 to gauge success in Math in English. While it is the students that are getting marked, it really is the schools and the teachers that are being marked. It measures the successful delivery and student comprehension of the curriculum.
The Toronto School Board serves one of the most diverse student populations in the country. Over 40 per cent of their students rank as Ontario Scholars (graduates with 80 per cent or higher) and 80 per cent of graduates carry on to University or College.
That said, Toronto is home to a number of over-achievers in that department. Take for example dual track immersion John Ross Roberston Public School located at 130 Glengrove Ave West, is ranked 62 out of 2900 elementary schools in Ontario. Students at this school scored extremely high based on the most current data: In reading, 93 per cent of students surpassed the provincial standard; 98 per cent surpassed the standard in writing and 91 per cent surpassed it in math.
In Grade 9, they measure math only, and Lawrence Park Collegiate (125 Chatsworth Drive) knocked it out of the park, with 97 per cent of their students surpassing the provincial standard. They also have an award-winning music program and is well known for its student support in the arts.
Not all excellent schools are on “the list”, and a number of schools prove that providing a well-rounded student is important as well, giving kids opportunities out of the classroom. Glenview Senior Public School that has a triple track program (English, French Immersion, Extended French) is located at 401 Rosewell Ave, Toronto, is highly regarded for its academics, but also for an extensive extracurricular and a strong sports program. They field a number of sports teams and have an aquatics program. Since Glenview only has Grade 7 and 8, they aren’t part of the rankings, as the testing is done in Grade 3, 6 and 9.
Private Schools In Toronto
Private schools (also known as independent schools, because they operate independently from Government funded schools) have been traditionally been viewed as “elitist enclaves”; in actual fact, private schools operate largely to give parents options in how their children receive their education. Here is an interesting article from the Toronto Sun- called “Private Schools- Not What you Think”. And here is an article that explains some of the differences between public schools and private schools.
Private schools vary widely in their curriculums, philosophies and teaching methods, but many offer smaller class sizes, enhanced extracurriculars, impressive university admissions statistics and tailored programming to address children’s alternative learning styles to achieve academic and social success. For example, there are arts-based schools and student-directed learning schools, where children can establish independence at an early age.
Some of the benefits of private schooling include enriched academic curriculums, a smaller school community that sets the stage for parental involvement and a chance to learn in an environment that accurately reflects your family’s values. Different schools espouse different educational philosophies, so it is important to select one that aligns with your educational goals.
Here are six of Toronto’s best private schools, four of which are located in - or very near - the Lawrence Park neighbourhood:
1451 Avenue Road, Toronto
If your image of private school involves ivy covered buildings steeped in history, then Havergal College is one for you to check out. This all-girls school has deep roots in Toronto, established in 1894. It boasts the largest all-girls campus in the city (22 acres) and offers programming from JK through to Grade 12.
A liberal arts college, Havergal has an impressive 100 per cent university admissions rate for graduates studying at the university of their choice. Philosophically, Havergal’s students are “taught how to think, how to learn and how to question” with an emphasis on leadership and community.
200 Lonsdale Road, Toronto
UCC is an International Baccalaureate World School, with global presence. It has an impressive campus and top-notch facilities, including a two-pad arena, an Outdoor Education Centre, tennis courts, state-of-the-art labs and music studios with professional recording equipment.
This independent school has history that goes back 180 years. They offer schooling for boys from SK all the way through to Grade 12. According to their mission statement: “We believe in boys. And we have the expertise, resources, faculty and facilities to develop the potential and awaken the ambition in each and every boy, whatever his unique strengths and learning needs are.”
585 Cranbrooke Avenue, Toronto, 3180 Bathurst Street, Toronto
For the younger set, Forest Hill Montessori offers programming for 18 months to 12 years, with an enriched extended care program onsite, which is a huge convenience for working parents. Forest Hill Montessori is split between two campuses that are located right across the street from each other.
Their programming philosophy is to “inspire and promote intellectual curiosity, creativity and individual growth through the integration of academics, arts, athletics, community service and leadership.” All teachers are trained in the Montessori Method, which targets a student-centered approach. It’s highly individualized and focuses on how a student learns as opposed to how a teacher teaches.
298 Lonsdale Road, Toronto
This all-girls school is the oldest independent girls’ school in Canada. They have a deep connection to the past, but are very much focused on educating girls for the future: “We exist to inspire girls to be fearless and educate them to be leaders.” They implement best practices in education drawn over their many decades to prepare girls today in university preparation. The emphasis is on innovative learning, which is part of daily life from JK through to Grade 12.
Their tagline is simple, but powerfully succinct: “Girls can do anything.”
2356 Bayview Avenue, Toronto
This all-boys school offers “character-based education” for boys from Grade 3 through to 12. They are about strong work ethic and fostering relationships, with a strong emphasis on leadership. Crescent School employs mentoring and relational learning. Teachers work to connect with each boy to motivate them and help realize their individual potential.
They have a ‘character in action” philosophy, where co-curricular activities give boys a chance to get hands on with a number of athletic, arts and robotics opportunities.
1320 and 1639 Yonge Street, Toronto
The York School (TYS) is a co-educational JK to Grade 12 independent school located in the heart of Toronto, Ontario. The York School was founded in 1965 and is the first school in Canada accredited to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) from Junior Kindergarten (JK) to university entrance (Grade 12). The York School's motto is "Experientia Docet" or "Experience Teaches."
The York School has two campuses. JK-Grade 5 students are located at 1639 Yonge Street. Grades 6-12 are at 1320 Yonge Street, in the Summerhill district.
Can you envision having these educational opportunities right at your doorstep? Talk about having the world at your feet. Check out our new listing, Magnificent on Mona Drive Near Avenue And Lawrence, located within a 15-minute walk from Havergal College, Glenview Senior PS and John Ross Roberston PS. Lawrence Park CI is about a 5-minute drive and the other schools on this exclusive list are about a 10-minute drive away.
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