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Toronto Waldorf School

9100 Bathurst Street, Thornhill, Ontario, L4J 8C7

Grades (Gender):
Nursery/Toddler to Gr. 12 (Coed)
$4,100 to 20,900/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
12 to 25
Day: 280 (Gr. NS - 12)

School Address
9100 Bathurst Street, Thornhill, Ontario, L4J 8C7

About this school:


Toronto Waldorf School is the leader in holistic education. Our focus on child development ("The right thing at the right time") and our arts-infused curriculum distinguish us from traditional schools. Waldorf students are responsible, confident, life-long learners, who can problem-solve, think creatively, and serve their communities. Take a tour, see the school, feel the difference. Experience Toronto Waldorf School. — Visit school website



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Our Take: Toronto Waldorf School

our take

Not all Waldorf programs are created the same, and the Toronto Waldorf School is a great example of that. The program extends through grade 12 which, for some, may be surprising given that the method is so firmly associated with the ECE years. As such, it calls into question what Waldorf is, and what it can mean in the life of a child. For TWS, it means a commitment to active learning, process over product, and cross-curricular, collaborative learning. Families that enroll typically are also attracted by an overt attention to ethics, environmental stewardship, interpersonal values, and the encouragement of individual expression. While the curriculum is strong, it’s often that values peice that tips the balance. The ideal student is one who will thrive in an interactive learning environment that builds from the students shared curiosity.


Curriculum Waldorf

Primary Curriculum: Waldorf

Often conflated with Montessori schools (incorrectly), Waldorf schools focus on developing the "whole child" -- emphasizing collaborative, hands-on learning, along with the arts and music, which are integrated into all areas of study. Waldorf schools are unmistakably "progressive". Their intellectual forefather is Rudolf Steiner, who believed the educator's first task should be to help students develop an aesthetic appreciation for life and learning. If you want to learn more about Waldorf education, check out our comprehensive guide.

What Toronto Waldorf School says: The Waldorf curriculum revolves around child development and the key concept of "doing the right thing at the right time." An emphasis on a three-fold approach, integrating "head, heart and hands" is a fundamental component in all classes. Cross-curricular connections are made wherever possible, using arts, movement, music and drama in the learning process, bringing greater engagement and emotional connection to the child's experience.

  • Approach:

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Equal Balance

      These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What Toronto Waldorf School says: See our Teaching Approach in the Lower School: http://www.torontowaldorfschool.com/lower_school/teaching_methods/index.php#.VtiYJubju4M and in the High School: http://www.torontowaldorfschool.com/high_school/deeper_perspective_on_HS/index.php#.VtiYm-bju4M

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    Early Reading Balanced Literacy

      Balanced reading programs are typically Whole Language programs with supplementary phonics training. This training might be incidental, or it might take the form of mini-lessons.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  

    • What Toronto Waldorf School says: See this for details on our teaching approach: http://www.torontowaldorfschool.com/why_waldorf/curriculum_chart/grade1/english.php

    • DIBELS Testing: This school does not use DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What Toronto Waldorf School says: This information is not currently available.

    Writing Equal balance

      Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  

    • What Toronto Waldorf School says: Details can be found on our website by looking at teaching writing in different grades: http://www.torontowaldorfschool.com/why_waldorf/curriculum_chart/grade1/english.php

    Science Inquiry

      Inquiry-based science emphasizes teaching science as a way of thinking or practice, and therefore tries to get students “doing” science as much as possible -- and not just “learning” it. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: Learn more here: http://www.torontowaldorfschool.com/why_waldorf/curriculum_chart/grade1/science.php

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature Equal Balance

      These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What Toronto Waldorf School says: Refer to this chart for details: http://www.torontowaldorfschool.com/why_waldorf/curriculum_chart/index.php

    Social Studies Thematic

      The Thematic approach organizes the curriculum around certain themes or cultural universals. Students might spend time focused on food. Then they might focus on transportation or government, and so on.
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What Toronto Waldorf School says: Our approach to teaching social studies can be found here: http://www.torontowaldorfschool.com/why_waldorf/curriculum_chart/grade1/social_sciences.php

    Humanities and Social Sciences Equal Balance

      These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  

    • What Toronto Waldorf School says: Our teaching approach can be found here: http://www.torontowaldorfschool.com/why_waldorf/curriculum_chart/grade7/social_sciences.php

    Foreign Languages Equal Balance

      These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  

    • What Toronto Waldorf School says: We offer French from Grade 1 to 12. Here's a closer look at each grade: http://www.torontowaldorfschool.com/why_waldorf/curriculum_chart/grade1/languages.php

    • Studying a foreign language is required until:   9
    • Languages Offered: • French

    Fine Arts Equal Balance

      These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  

    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What Toronto Waldorf School says: Please refer to our curriculum page for details: http://www.torontowaldorfschool.com/why_waldorf/curriculum_chart/index.php

    Computers and Technology Light integration

      Computers are used in the classroom from time to time, but integrating technology into everything students do is not a dominant focus. Digital literacy is understood to be a legitimate skill in the 21st century, but not one that should distract from teaching the subject at hand, or more fundamental skills and literacies. The idea is today’s students, being “digital natives”, are likely exposed to computers and new media enough outside the classroom: the role of the school, rather, should be to develop competencies that may otherwise get missed.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  

    • What Toronto Waldorf School says: The Waldorf perspective is that computer exposure should not be based on capability but on developmental appropriateness. While many applaud adult-like thinking in young children, we observe that a child’s natural, instinctive, creative and curious way of relating to the world may be repressed when technology is introduced into learning environments at an early age. Computers and digital technology are not part of the early grades curriculum, although mechanical technology and the practical arts are incorporated at all levels. In our school, Grade 7 and above can access to our computer lab.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Toronto Waldorf School says: Please refer to our curriculum chart for details: http://www.torontowaldorfschool.com/why_waldorf/curriculum_chart/index.php

    Sex and Health Education
    Topics covered in sex and health education: This information is not currently available.

    What Toronto Waldorf School says: This information is not currently available.

    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.

    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.


    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.


    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.

    What Toronto Waldorf School says: This information is not currently available.

    Preschool/K Curriculum Waldorf

    • Play-based
    • Montessori
    • Waldorf
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Academic

    Highly group-oriented and with a strong emphasis on creative and imaginative play, Waldorf preschool and Kindergarten programs have very little to no emphasis on academics. A Waldorf environment will often feel more like a home than a traditional classroom -- the goal being to instill comfort and and a sense of predictability in students’ day. This emphasis on comfort and predictability also manifests through a heavy use of repetition: for example, teachers might read the same story multiple days in a row. Waldorf schools ask parents to refrain from offering children TV or computers at home, and aim to develop in children a connection to the natural world. If you want to learn more about Waldorf education, check out our comprehensive guide.

    If you want to learn more about preschool education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also read our in-depth answers to important preschool questions: What is preschool? What are the main preschool programs? What are the main pros and cons of preschool? What do children learn in preschool? How much does preschool cost?  What makes for a great preschool?

    What Toronto Waldorf School says: Toronto Waldorf School's early years programs have a play-based approach and learning through experience, art and movement. Healthy rhythm and routine, ample outdoor time as well as time for rest are built into each day. Participation in crafts, painting and chores are some of the daily activities of the preschool and kindergarten child. A rich oral story telling tradition, including puppet shows, help build the young child's language capacities as well as imaginative thinking.

    Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What Toronto Waldorf School says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

    Academic Culture Supportive

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

    What Toronto Waldorf School says: This information is not currently available.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced, Emotional

    Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
    Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Emotional
    Emotionally intelligent and confident individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others.

    What Toronto Waldorf School says: This information is not currently available.

    Special Needs Support Indirect Support

    Indirect Support

    Students remain in a regular classroom for the whole day; the teacher receives special training in accommodating special needs and/or learning disabled students.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Extra support
    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Learning disabilities
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Williams syndrome
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Clinical anxiety
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Multiple sclerosis
      Cerebral palsy
      Muscular dystrophy
      Spina Bifida
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Forms of support delivery:
      Support Type = offered
      A regular class with indirect support
      A regular class with resource assistance
      A regular class with withdrawal assistance
      A special education class with partial integration
      A full-time special education class
    • Additional Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
      Speech-language therapy

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    Toronto Waldorf School does not offer any specialized programming for gifted learners.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What Toronto Waldorf School says:

    This information is not currently available.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Field Hockey
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Community Service
      Outdoor Education
      Robotics club
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    Day Day (Half day)
    Day (Half day)$4,100$12,500$11,500


    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    Full payment all students4%

    Need-based financial aid

    Grade range that need-based aid is offered: PS to 12
    Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid0%
    Average aid package size$0
    Percentage of total enrollment on financial aid0%
    Total aid available$0

    Application Details:

    This school works with Apple Financial Inc. for processing financial applications
    Application for Financial Assistance should be done in tandem with the application to the school. Please see our website pages for more details.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 280
    Average enrollment per grade16
    Average class size12 to 25
    Gender (grades)Nursery/Toddler to Gr. 12 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    InterviewNS - 12
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Toronto Waldorf School says:

    The following documents are required: application form, detailed questionnaire, copy of birth certificate, and copy of most recent report card. 


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Toronto Waldorf School is looking for: This information is not currently available.

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypeNSPSJKSK123456789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class size18
    *Canadian "Big 6" placements2
    **Ivy+ placementsN/A

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University, University of Alberta, or Dalhousie University.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)

    Schools our students are admitted to (last 4 years): Western, Queens, Ryerson, Wilfred Laurier, King's College, Waterloo, McMasterm Guelph, Lakehead, Quest, Pratt, Acadia, York, McGill, University of Toronto
    Schools our students attend (last 4 years): Western, Queens, Ryerson, Wilfred Laurier, King's College, Waterloo, McMasterm Guelph, Lakehead, Quest, Pratt, Acadia, York, McGill, University of Toronto, Dalhousie

    Notable Alumni

    Alumnus Graduation Year Accomplishment
    Martina Sorbara 1997 Martina is a singer-songwriter and lead singer of the band Dragonette. The band won the Canadian Juno Award for Dance Recording of the Year in 2012.
    Ariel Nasr 1997 Ariel wrote The Boxing Girls of Kabul, which won the Canadian Screen Award (The Best Short Documentary). He was nominated for an Oscar (Live Action Short Film) for Buzkashi Boy.
    Anna Purcell 1991 Anna Purcell was elected with the most votes as a city councillor in Nelson, BC in November 2014.
    Nathaniel  Anderson-Frank 2003 Nathaniel was appointed to the #4 chair of London's Philharmonia Orchestra first violin section in 2011. He also won the Concerto Prize at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
    Jessie Cook 1982 Professional Guitarist and Juno Award winner. Jesse has recorded seven studio albums since 1995 and has toured in many countries around the world.

    Stories & Testimonials


    We love Parent & Tot

    We love our Parent and Tot program (I feel like it belongs to us because this is our 3rd child to attend the program). I love the atmosphere and the peaceful environment. I love the gentle guidance of our beloved teacher Lea. I love the suggestions and articles that we can always discuss, the feeling of zero judgment. I love the various crafts – all the different levels of difficulty from folding a paper box to knitting a rabbit. I love the free play and our walks to feed the goat, the circle time and the beautiful little puppet play at the end of it. I love seeing the wonder in my child’s eyes and the excitement with which he waves good bye to his brothers knowing we are coming to Parent and Tot (no one can resist those muffins).  

    Thank you for offering such a beautiful and simple way to meet like-minded parents and getting to know Waldorf education on a more personal level!


    Meeting the Needs of Our Children

    I love TWS because the way I see the education meeting the needs of our children, specifically today’s children. I feel like I read articles weekly that point out gaps in current education and each time I realize there is a way that the Waldorf curriculum meets that need, whether it is nature deficit disorder, incidents of high school burn out due to extreme performance pressure, lack of exposure to diverse career opportunities through the arts, wood working and metal working or the fact that IT leaders like the late Steve Jobs hold off on exposing their children to technology, as they recognize it can be extremely addictive.

    I don’t think all the wisdom of the Waldorf curriculum could be realized if it were not for the incredibly devoted group of teachers we are lucky to host at TWS. I think I have not met any educators in my life who are as passionate about seeing and meeting the needs of each and every child they encounter.

    Thank you to the many people, founders, teachers, administrators and volunteer parents who work so hard to keep this education not just available but thriving.  We are excited for the years ahead.


    Dedicated Teachers

    The teachers are the most dedicated group of educators you will ever meet. Their deep commitment to the children's learning and social development is obvious as soon as your child begins their journey at TWS. They focus on each child as an individual and work with the child based on their needs.  The teachers offer the fulsome academic, musical, artistic and physical education. This dedication and attention cannot be found anywhere else. This results in the best education we can offer our child worldwide. We are extremely grateful to our son's teacher and the specialty teachers.

    Equally as important are the values that we see demonstrated at TWS. Respect for others, deference for god and the environment, playfulness (where else can you build a log fort at recess?), kindness, calmness, and instilling the love of learning and excellence are the values we see at TWS.  We are grateful that the teachers, Board, administration and TWS families share these values.


    In the News


    December 14, 2015 - Grade 12 Reclaimed Ash Bench Donated to Richmond Hill Community Centre

    Our students designed and built benches with wood that came from ash trees that was affected by the emerald ash borers. ...

    June 24, 2014 - Toronto Waldorf School Alum Won King's Medal at Univ of Kings College

    Brenna Sobanski ('09) graduated with the highest mark in an arts / science honours program ...

    May 12, 2014 - At Toronto Waldorf School Screen-Free Week is Every Week!

    Waldorf schools encourage parents of pre-school and elementary school-age children to choose a ‘screens-free lifestyle' ...


    • The Associated Waldorf School (AWSNA) Associations

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