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Ontario girls

Ontario girls' schools

Find girls' schools in Ontario listed below.

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If there is a birthplace of girls' schooling in Canada, it is most certainly in Ontario. The oldest girls' schools are located here, and the tradition of girls' schooling was developed here as well. 

The birth of the tradition

The oldest independent girls’ boarding school in Canada is Bishop Strachan School, founded in Toronto in 1867. From the beginning, the school was lead by a series of forthright women who had lived at the boundaries social and intellectual life, an experience that they brought to their role as educators. In the 1870s, Mrs. Anne Thomson, then principal of the school, addressed the students at convocation saying “Remember girls, you are not going home to be selfish butterflies of fashion. The Bishop Strachan School has been endeavoring to fit you to become useful and courageous women. I believe you will yet see our universities open to women. Work out your freedom, girls! Knowledge is now no more a fountain seal’d; drink deep!”

Thomson’s views were revolutionary for the time, and they were also extremely influential. In Canadian education, girls’ schools were the leading edge of a focus on individual growth and expression. Throuughout their history, they sought to to provide, in the words of  Deryn Lavell, the current head of school at Bishop Strachan School, “an opportunity for each girl to understand who she is, her place in the world, to become an independent young woman, to have a chance to learn leadership skills, [and] to find a voice in a multiplicity of voices.”          

The benefit of gender-based instruction

Gender-based environments receive a lot of attention among parents and in the national media, and it’s understandably one of the top questions on parents’ minds when choosing a private school. For girls, that’s especially true, and often for good reason. Despite the advances in the rights of women, traditional gender roles nevertheless are often unwittingly reinforced in academic and extracurricular settings. Science and technology are more likely to be promoted to boys than to girls; English and the arts are more likely to be promoted to girls than to boys. Athletics, the prom, and many other aspects of student life can reinforce traditional roles and expectations.

New opportunities 

Girls’ schools have been shown to have a role in disrupting the patterns and the messages that accrete around an understanding of gender, ability, and possibility. Studies by the National Association for Choice in Education (NACE) and others have shown that girls in a single-sex environment are more likely to explore non-traditional subjects and activities. Absent from boys, girls perceive new areas of opportunity, something that is encouraged by the presence of female mentors and role models.

An environment of possibility

In other ways, participation is the result of little more than the environment itself. To be the best hockey player in the school—rather than the best female hockey player in the school—can provide an added motivation. Girls are more likely to join a robotics club, for example, when they don’t run risk being the only girl in the room, or when participation won’t be read as an act of defiance to a perceived status quo. Certainly, that’s the tradition that girls’ schools in Canada continue to this day. It’s not about isolation, it's about providing a space for a greater freedom of interest, engagement, and identity.

Below is a list of girls' schools in Ontario. 

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List of Ontario girls' schools

    School NameTypePaceCost

    Elmwood School (est. 1915)

    • Ottawa, Ontario
    • PS to 12 Girls
    • Day school (370 students)
    Elmwood School is Ottawa's pre-eminent school for girls from JK to Grade 12. Our high academic standards, small class sizes and safe, supportive environment ensure that each girl is inspired to reach her full potential. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    • International Baccalaureate
    Standard-enriched$12,956 to $22,980Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day12956

    Branksome Hall (est. 1903)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (834 students)
    • Boarding school (66 students)
    Branksome Hall is an all girls school in Toronto, from JK to Grade 12, including 56 boarding students. Tuition ranges from $28,995 to $31,245 for day students. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    • International Baccalaureate
    Standard-enriched$29,590 to $56,855Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day29590

    Trafalgar Castle School (est. 1874)

    • Whitby, Ontario
    • 5 to 12 Girls
    • Day school (140 students)
    • Boarding school (70 students)
    Located just 45 minutes east of Toronto, Trafalgar Castle School offers world-class curriculum in a small-school environment that inspires and encourages growth. * Day and boarding * All Girls * Grades 5 to 12 [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    Standard-enriched$21,860 to $52,230MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day21860

    Hawthorn School (est. 1989)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • NS to 12 Coed/Girls
    • Day school
    Hawthorn School is an all-girls school in Toronto that offers programs from toddler to grade 12. Our unique mentoring program is tailored to each girl to help them reach their full potential. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    Accelerated$10,000 to $31,400Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Coed Day Homestay10000

    Alive Montessori & Private School (est. 2014)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • PS to 8 Boys/Girls
    • Day school (5 students)
    50% off the first three months for new elementary students. [View profile]
    • Montessori
    Accelerated$7,500 to $14,500Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Girls Boys Day7500

    The Bishop Strachan School (est. 1867)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (825 students)
    • Boarding school (80 students)
    Located in Toronto, The Bishop Strachan School is Canada's oldest independent JK to Grade 12 day and boarding school for girls, welcoming students from Toronto and around the world. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    • Reggio Emilia
    Student-paced$31,740 to $60,130Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day31740

    Havergal College (est. 1894)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (870 students)
    • Boarding school (50 students)
    Havergal College is an all-girls school in Toronto for students in JK to Grade 12. Preparing Young Women to Make a Difference Since 1894. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    Standard-enriched$31,725 to $58,000Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day31725

    St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School (est. 1891)

    • Oakville, Ontario
    • PS to 12 Girls
    • Day school (550 students)
    Oakville's SMLS continues to be a premier independent school for girls Preschool to Graduating Year since 1891. "Millie" graduates take on the world with confidence and the knowledge that they can do anything. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    Standard-enriched$9,000 to $26,300Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day9000

    The Linden School (est. 1993)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (115 students)
    The Linden School provides a challenging academic program for girls from JK - Grade 12. We create opportunities to discover the joys of learning and foster the development of critical thinking and physical well-being. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    Standard-enriched$14,000 to $19,400Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day14000

    St. Clement's School (est. 1901)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • 1 to 12 Girls
    • Day school (470 students)
    St. Clement's School develops outstanding women who are intellectually curious, courageous and compassionate. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    Standard-enriched$28,350Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day28350

    Venture Academy Troubled Teens Program (ON)

    • Barrie Area, Ontario
    • 7 to 12 Boys/Girls
    Venture Academy is a therapeutic treatment and education program for students who may be struggling with ADHD, learning challenges, underachieving, behavioural issues, and a variety of clinical diagnoses. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-pacednot providedMiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boys Homestay9999999999

    Holy Name of Mary College School (est. 2008)

    • Mississauga, Ontario
    • 5 to 12 Girls
    • Day school
    Holy Name of Mary College School in Mississauga, is an independent Catholic school for girls in grades 5-12 offering an enriched university preparatory programme. The average class size is 12 students. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    Accelerated$16,350 to $44,500MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day16350

    Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc (est. 1954)

    • Ottawa, Ontario
    • JK to 8 Girls
    • Day school
    In our all-girls environment, academic achievement in both official languages is the norm. A Joan of Arc Academy bilingual education prepares the women leaders for the challenges of tomorrow. Come and see the difference. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    Student-paced$14,825Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Girls Day14825

    Odyssey Heights School for Girls

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • 3 to 12 Girls
    • Day school
    OHS has three programs: Core Comprehensive, Pre-Professional Dance, and Equine Science & Equestrian Studies. Tuition inc. overnight OEE trips & riding lessons. School starts at 10am with 1hr of yoga, dance, or fitness. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    • Montessori
    Student-paced$3,100 to $37,995 /programMiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day3100

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