Toronto special needs schools

Toronto special needs schools

Find the top special needs schools and programs in Toronto and the GTA

Find a list of schools  

There are plenty of great special need schools in Toronto. These schools offer special education programs for your child, tailored to their unique learning strengths and weaknesses. 

Special needs and special education

Toronto has several different kinds of special needs schools and programs. Some of these schools are focused exclusively on special needs students, and provide full-time support for them. Others offer a full-time, dedicated special education class or program for students with some kinds of special needs (a class that takes place alongside other classes). And others offer certain kinds of in-class or out-of-class accommodations for special needs children.

Each of these schools provides specialized support for children with special needs. Only some of them, though, provide support for all or most special needs children. Most focus on specific kinds of special needs. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, there are schools providing support for one or more of the following kinds of special needs:

Keep in mind, different types of special needs children require different accommodations. For instance, a gifted student may require subject-specific enrichment or acceleration. A student with ADHD, on the other hand, may need to be placed in a smaller class, whether they can work in a calm environment and receive special attention. And a student with dyslexia may need extra time and support for reading and writing assignments.

The benefits of special needs schools

If you’re child has a special need, it’s important to address it. They can’t just be left to deal with it on their own.

A special needs school, whether it offers a full-time dedicated program or part-time support, is a step in the right direction. Your child will likely be assigned a special education teacher. They also will likely receive specialized programming in the form of an independent education plan (IEP). This will help ensure they receive the accommodations they need, and don’t fall through the cracks.

This can also allow your child to avoid some common problems. Children with unaddressed special needs often fall behind in their school work. This can lead to frustration, boredom, and feeling disconnected. It also frequently leads to social and behavioural issues.

By going to a school that addresses their special need(s), your child can avoid these pitfalls. In fact, if you find a school that’s a good fit, one that offers the right kind of program and environment, your child can excel, academically, socially, and emotionally.

Finding a special needs school in Toronto

To aid you in your search for the right special needs school, attend one of our annual private school expos. Meet with Toronto's top ranked private schools and the best boarding schools across Canada at the Halton-Peel expo and the Toronto expo in October. These one-day events are a must for any parent or student considering an alternative education.

Below, we list special needs schools in Toronto and the GTA (including Mississauga and Brampton). Click on a school to learn more about it. 

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List of Toronto special needs schools


  • Name
  • Cost
  • Shoore Centre for Learning (est. 1975)   801 Eglinton Avenue West, #201, Toronto, Ontario, M5N 1E3
    (Spadina / Eglinton)

    • 5 to 12 (Coed)
    • Day school (60 students)
    Shoore Centre for Learning is a special-needs private school that offers programs from grades seven to 12 in Toronto. Its average class size is six students.  
    • Traditional
    • Student- paced
    • Special needs
    $29,000 /year
    Day Coed 29000 10-17 Toronto

    WillowWood School (est. 1980)   55 Scarsdale Road, Toronto, Ontario, M3B 2R3

    • 1 to 12 (Coed)
    • Day school (250 students)
    We are a new style of independent school for diverse learners where all students learn with dignity; where a warm and nurturing school serves as a foundation for remarkable lives; and where the whole person who matters.  
    • Traditional
    • Standard- enriched
    • Special needs
    $18,900 to $20,000 /year
    Day Coed 18900 6-17 Toronto

    Kohai Educational Centre (est. 1976)   41 Roehampton Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4P 1P9

    • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
    • Day school (35 students)
    Kohai Educational Centre is a special needs private school that offers programs from pre-school to grade 12 and beyond in Toronto. Its average class size is two to six students.  
    • Traditional
    • Student- paced
    • Special needs
    $32,975 /year
    Day Coed 32975 2-17 Toronto

    YMCA Academy (est. 2003)   15 Breadalbane Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4Y 1C2
    (Breadalbane St / St Luke Ln)

    • 9 to 12 (Coed)
    • Day school (70 students)
    The YMCA Academy is an alternative high school serving youth with learning disabilities and learning style differences.  
    • Progressive
    • Student- paced
    • Special needs
    $21,500 /year
    Day Coed 21500 14-17 Toronto

    Arrowsmith School (est. 1980)   245 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto, Ontario, M4V 1R3
    (St. Clair Ave West / Avenue Road)

    • 1 to 12 (Coed)
    • Day school (75 students)
    Founded on the science of neuroplasticity, Arrowsmith Program provides students with the skills necessary to overcome their learning disabilities and transform their academic, cognitive, emotional and social lives.  
    • Traditional
    • Student- paced
    • Special needs
    $2,500 to $23,500 /program
    Day Coed 2500 6-17 Toronto

    Dunblaine School (est. 1969)   21 Deloraine Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M5M 2A8
    (Yonge St. / Lawrence Ave.)

    • 1 to 8 (Coed)
    • Day school (40 students)
    The Dunblaine School empowers students with learning disabilities to reach their full potential. It offers programs for students from grade one to eight, with an average class size of 5-7 students.  
    • Traditional
    • Student- paced
    • Special needs
    $20,900 /year
    Day Coed 20900 6-13 Toronto

    Magnificent Minds (est. 2011)   47 Glenbrook Avenue, North York, Ontario, M6B 2L7
    (Dufferin / Lawrence)

    • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
    • Day school
    Magnificent Minds caters to learners whose needs are not being met in traditional school environments, pursuing academic excellence, and individual greatness.  
    • Traditional
    • Student- paced
    • Special needs
    $16,000 to $21,400 /year
    Day Coed 16000 2-13 North York

    Bright Start Academy (est. 2003)   318-4630 Dufferin Street, North York, Ontario, M3H 5S4
    (Dufferin St / Finch ave)

    • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
    • Day school
    Bright Start Academy, a special needs school in North York, focuses on helping children with autism and learning differences, from PS to grade 12.  
    • Traditional
    • Student- paced
    • Special needs
    $12,500 to $25,000 /year
    Day Coed 12500 2-17 North York

    Avenue Road Academy (est. 2010)   1650 Avenue Road, Toronto, Ontario, M5M 3Y1
    (Avenue Road / Lawrence Avenue)

    • 9 to 12 (Coed)
    • Day school
    Academy C60 is a small school in Toronto for grades 9 to 12. Students earn credits while developing skills that best prepares them for post secondary education.  
    • Traditional
    • Student- paced
    • Troubled Teens, Special needs
    $12,500 /year
    Day Coed 12500 14-17 Toronto