Ontario private school rankings

Tools to help parents make the best choice


We hesitantly offer the Ontario school rankings below. Please use these with caution. Over the years, at Our Kids' school expos, many parents have requested that we give them a ranked list of schools. Of course, there is no way for any external "expert" to tell parents or families what is right for your child. At their worst, ranking lists such as those provided by the Fraser Institute and others lead parents to enroll child(ren) in a school that can be the wrong environment for them.

That said, ranking schools by selected criteria (as provided below) can be helpful to parents seeking clarity on some important issues such as class size or admission rates, etc. Our Kids benefits from a long relationship with private schools in Ontario, working with schools for many years to help them elucidate what makes their school(s) distinct. If used properly, these ranking lists can help parents discover schools they may not have previously been aware of.

Lists below should only be a small tool in a comprehensive, well-advised, extensive school search process that explores different options, in which you fully research everything specific private schools offer.  Focusing on rankings or on one factor does a great disservice to schools and to your children. Along with the schools themselves, we encourage you to deeply consider admissionsacademicscourse pedagogies, extracurricular activitiesspecial needs support (if needed), gifted programming, and many other aspects.

The rankings presented below are given with those provisos in mind.

Ontario private schools with the lowest admission rates

A low admission rate would seem to entail that a school only accepts the best students. In turn, a school with a low acceptance rate might seem like an environment that will bring out the best in your child academically. Acceptance rates are often driven by schools' high academic standards against the number of families applying. Other mitigating factors (including but not limited to marketing, prestige and location) affect parents' demand for specific schools.

Remember:

  • Acceptance rate is an oversimplified measure of how good any school is.
  • Many private schools with a 100% acceptance rate offer an excellent education that will assure children's long-term success.
  • It's more important to focus your search on finding a school that will most benefit your child.
School Location Grades Acceptance rate
1 University of Toronto Schools Toronto, ON 7 to 12 20%
2 York School Toronto, ON JK to 12 20%
3 Crescent School Toronto, ON 3 to 12 22%
4 Crestwood Preparatory College Toronto, ON 7 to 12 30%
5 Havergal College Toronto, ON JK to 12 30%
6 Appleby College Oakville, ON 7 to 12 32%
7 De La Salle College Toronto, ON 5 to 12 33%
8 Sterling Hall School Toronto, ON JK to 8 35%
9 Bishop Strachan School Toronto, ON JK to 12 40%
10 Royal St. George's College Toronto, ON 3 to 12 40%


Most expensive private schools in Ontario

For some parents, a private school's tuition is simplistically correlated to the quality of education offered. This is certainly not guaranteed. Many of the best Ontario private schools charge very reasonable tuition and create learning environments that help some students thrive better than they would at more expensive schools.

That said, there is validity in thinking that more expensive schools may offer better facilities, more highly qualified instructors, a greater number of extracurricular activities, etc. However, along with schools themselves, Our Kids urges you to focus your search on finding the school that will help your child thrive both academically and personally.

School Location Grades Tuition
1 Oakwood Academy Mississauga, ON JK to 12 $20,180 to $68,860
2 New Haven Learning Centre Etobicoke, ON PS to 12 $25,000 to $64,000
3 Appleby College Oakville, ON 7 to 12 $38,850 to $47,170
4 St. John's-Kilmarnock School Waterloo Region (Breslau), ON JK to 12 $17,415 to $40,500
5 Rosseau Lake College Rosseau, ON 6 to 12 $21,100 to $37,860
6 Greenwood College School Toronto, ON 7 to 12 $37,700
7 St. Andrew's College Aurora, ON 5 to 12 $37,655
8 GlenOak Academy Mississauga, ON SK to 8 $18,500 to $37,000
9 Dewey Institute Bracebridge, ON 1 to 12 $18,000 to $36,950
10 Ridley College St. Catharines, ON JK to 12 $20,910 to $36,670

Oldest private schools in Ontario

Below, we offer a list of Ontario private schools with the earliest founding date. Some parents interpret establishment date as an important marker of what makes a good school, but we encourage parents to think as holistically as possible when deciding on your child’s education.

School Location Grades Founded
1 Upper Canada College Toronto, ON SK to 12 1829
2 Pickering College Newmarket, ON JK to 12 1842
3 De La Salle College Toronto, ON 5 to 12 1851
4 St. Michael's College School Toronto, ON 7 to 12 1852
5 Albert College Belleville, ON JK to 12 1857
6 Trinity College School Port Hope, ON 5 to 12 1865
7 Bishop Strachan School Toronto, ON JK to 12 1867
8 Trafalgar Castle School Whitby, ON 4 to 12 1874
9 Lakefield College School Lakefield, ON 9 to 12 1879
10 Ridley College St. Catharines, ON JK to 12 1889

Most notable alumni

Listed below are Ontario private schools that have produced the most notable alumni, ranked in order. The criteria for choosing these is whether alumni have been granted a Wikipedia page, a credible indicator of renown today. Bear in mind that some schools are much older and so have had more time to produce notable graduates. Newer schools may, in fact, offer more progressive approaches to education and numerous other advantages.

School Location Grades Notable alumni
1 Upper Canada College Toronto, ON SK to 12 99
2 St. Michael's College School Toronto, ON 7 to 12 47
3 Royal St. George's College Toronto, ON 3 to 12 31
4 University of Toronto Schools Toronto, ON 7 to 12 22
5 St. Andrew's College Aurora, ON 5 to 12 17
6 Bishop Strachan School Toronto, ON JK to 12 15
7 Trinity College School Port Hope, ON 5 to 12 13
8 Appleby College Oakville, ON 7 to 12 13
9 Havergal College Toronto, ON JK to 12 9
10 Lakefield College School Lakefield, ON 9 to 12 8

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