Ontario girls

Ontario girls' schools

Find girls' schools in Ontario listed below.

Find a list of schools  

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 extra-curricular 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


  • Name
  • Cost
  • Elmwood School (est. 1915)   261 Buena Vista Road, Ottawa, Ontario, K1M 0V9
    (Buena Vista Road / Springfield Road)

    • Preschool to 12 (Girls)
    • Day school (375 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.  
    • Progressive
    • International Baccalaureate
    • Standard- enriched
    $12,956 to $22,980 /year
    Day Girls 12956 2-17 Ottawa

    Hawthorn School for Girls (est. 1989)   101 Scarsdale Road, Toronto, Ontario, M3B 2R2
    (York Mills / Leslie)

    • Nursery/Toddler to SK (Coed)
    • 1 to 12 (Girls)
    • Day school
    • Homestay 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.  
    • Liberal Arts
    • Accelerated
    • Christian
    $10,000 to $31,400 /year
    Day Coed Girls 10000 1-17 Toronto

    Trafalgar Castle School (est. 1874)   401 Reynolds Street, Whitby, Ontario, L1N 3W9
    (Brock Street / Hwy. 2)

    • 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  
    • Liberal Arts
    • Standard- enriched
    $21,860 to $52,230 /year
    Day & Boarding Girls 21860 10-17 Whitby

    Branksome Hall (est. 1903)   10 Elm Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 1N4
    (Bloor Street East / Mount Pleasant Road)

    • 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.  
    • Liberal Arts
    • International Baccalaureate
    • Standard- enriched
    $29,590 to $56,855 /year
    Day & Boarding Girls 29590 3-17 Toronto

    St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School (est. 1891)   1080 Linbrook Road, Oakville, Ontario, L6J 2L1

    • Preschool 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.  
    • Progressive
    • Standard- enriched
    • Gifted
    • Christian
    $9,000 to $26,300 /year
    Day Girls 9000 2-17 Oakville

    Bishop Strachan School (est. 1867)   298 Lonsdale Road, Toronto, Ontario, M4V 1X2
    (Bathurst St / St Clair Ave W)

    • 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.  
    • Traditional
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Student- paced
    • Christian
    $31,190 to $59,100 /year
    Day & Boarding Girls 31190 3-17 Toronto

    Venture Academy Troubled Teens Program (ON)   3761 Horseshoe Valley Road West, Minesing, Ontario, L0L 1Y0

    • 7 to 12 (Boys)
    • 7 to 12 (Girls)
    • Homestay school
    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.  
    • Traditional
    • Student- paced
    • Troubled Teens, Special needs
    Varies /year
    Boys Girls 12-17 Minesing

    Holy Name of Mary College School (est. 2008)   2241 Mississauga Road, Mississauga, Ontario, L5H 2K8
    (Mississauga Rd / Dundas St W)

    • 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.  
    • Progressive
    • Accelerated
    • Christian
    $16,350 to $44,500 /year
    Day Girls 16350 10-17 Mississauga

    Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc (est. 1954)   2221 Elmira Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K2C 1H3
    (Iris St / Woodroffe Ave)

    • JK to 8 (Girls)
    • Day school (108 students)
    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.  
    • Progressive
    • Gifted
    $14,825 /year
    Day Girls 14825 3-13 Ottawa

    Linden School (est. 1993)   10 Rosehill Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4T 1G5
    (Yonge / St. Clair)

    • 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.  
    • Progressive
    • Standard- enriched
    $14,000 to $19,400 /year
    Day Girls 14000 3-17 Toronto

    Havergal College (est. 1894)   1451 Avenue Road, Toronto, Ontario, M5N 2H9
    (Lawrence Avenue West / Avenue Road)

    • JK to 12 (Girls)
    • Day school (860 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.  
    • Liberal Arts
    • Standard- enriched
    • Christian
    $30,820 to $55,500 /year
    Day & Boarding Girls 30820 3-17 Toronto

    St. Clement's School (est. 1901)   21 St. Clements Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4R 1G8

    • 1 to 12 (Girls)
    • Day school (470 students)
    St. Clement's School develops outstanding women who are intellectually curious, courageous and compassionate.  
    • Liberal Arts
    • Standard- enriched
    • Christian
    $28,350 /year
    Day Girls 28350 6-17 Toronto