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Girls' schools

Guide to private schools for girls

Branksome Hall

Looking for an all-girls private school? Consider Branksome Hall, a leading all-girls day and boarding school in Toronto.

Each day we challenge and inspire girls to love learning and to shape a better world."

At an all-girls school, young women have the opportunity to develop a strong sense of themselves and their abilities in a comfortable environment with staff who understand the unique learning styles of girls and seek to surround them with positive role models. Read more

List of all-girls schools

  • Toronto, Ontario
    Spadina/St Clair Ave W
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $33,830 to $64,090

The Bishop Strachan School is a leading independent JK-Grade 12 day & boarding school for girls. Students build the academic skills to thrive at university and beyond. Over $1.6 million available in financial assistance.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Progressive
The Bishop Strachan School 33830 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Buena Vista Road/Springfield Road
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • $14,800 to $28,300

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.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Elmwood School 14800 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    York Mills/Leslie
  • NS to 12 Girls/Coed
  • $15,200 to $36,500

Hawthorn School is located in Toronto. We offer a co-ed toddler-SK program and an all girls program for grade 1- grade 12. Our unique mentoring program is tailored to help students reach their full potential.

  • Day/Homestay
  • Liberal Arts
Hawthorn School 15200 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Homestay Day Girls Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Lawrence Avenue West/Avenue Road
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $35,000 to $64,000

Havergal College has been preparing young women to make a difference since 1894.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Liberal Arts
Havergal College 35000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • $19,000 to $29,280

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.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School 19000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Bloor Street East/Mount Pleasant Road
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $33,630 to $66,805

Branksome Hall is Toronto’s only all-girls, all-years International Baccalaureate (IB) World School.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
Branksome Hall 33630 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Yonge/St. Clair
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $16,800 to $22,600

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.

  • Day
  • Progressive
The Linden School 16800 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Iris St/Woodroffe Ave
  • JK to 8 Girls
  • $16,175

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.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc 16175 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Yonge St./Eglinton Ave.
  • 1 to 12 Girls
  • $31,900

St. Clement's School develops outstanding women who are intellectually curious, courageous, and compassionate.

  • Day
  • Liberal Arts
St. Clement's School 31900 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Mississauga Rd/QEW
  • 5 to 12 Girls
  • $18,750

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.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Holy Name of Mary College School 18750 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Montreal, Quebec
    chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine/Avenue Claude Champagne
  • 7 to 11 Girls
  • $4,950 to $15,400

École secondaire francophone privée pour jeunes filles située à Outremont, Qc. Les frais de scolarité sont de 4 500 $ par année. Elle offre les profils Éducation internationale, Danse-études et Musique-études.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie 4950 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Montreal, Quebec
  • 7 to 12 Girls
  • $17,355 to $58,374

Since 1861, The Sacred Heart School of Montreal, the city’s only all girls English Catholic high school, has been graduating exceptional leaders. We offer grades 7 to 12, day school and boarding.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Traditional
The Sacred Heart School of Montreal 17355 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Day Girls
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $14,180 to $65,490

St. Margaret's School (est. 1908) is an independent school in Victoria, BC, offering empowering education for girls from JK to Grade 12. At SMS, girls don't just get equal opportunity; they get every opportunity.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Traditional
St. Margaret's School 14180 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $25,200

With over 120 years of excellence in all-girls’ education, our rigorous academic program is complemented by strong arts, design technology and athletic programs. Financial assistance is available.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Crofton House School 25200 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Whitby, Ontario
    Garden Street/Hwy. 2
  • 4 to 12 Girls
  • $24,270 to $65,615

Trafalgar Castle offers a close-knit, academically challenging environment where girls feel a strong sense of belonging and discover their unique talents and interests.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Liberal Arts
Trafalgar Castle School 24270 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Westmount, Quebec
    Mount Pleasant Avenue/Cedar Avenue
  • K to 11 Girls
  • $19,050 to $22,160

Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School is a Tier 1 school for girls in Kindergarten through Grade 11, located in Westmount, Quebec. For every girl who has a mind of her own, we have a school to nurture it.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School 19050 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • London, Ontario
    Richmond Street/King Street
  • 9 to 12 Coed/Girls
  • $21,200 to $26,000

A Canadian Private Secondary Boarding school, located in the heart of London, Ontario. LIA is authorized to grant the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

  • Boarding
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
London International Academy 21200 HighSchools Boarding Boarding Coed Girls

The Study  

  • Westmount, Quebec
    The Boulevard/Place Breaside
  • K to 11 Girls
  • $21,750 to $24,250

The Study, founded in 1915, is one of Canada's premier all-girls' school. Dedicated teachers offer a warm and stimulating bilingual mother-tongue environment from kindergarten to grade 11. The World Needs Great Women.

  • Day
  • Progressive
The Study 21750 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls

In this type of atmosphere, your daughter can feel free to ask questions, express her feelings, and state her opinions without the restrictions and self-consciousness she may otherwise feel in a coed environment. There are great all-girls boarding, Montessori, gifted, special needs, Christian, Catholic, preschools, and Jewish schools

Video: All-girls independent schools

Many parents find that their daughters feel less pressure at a girls school than they would elsewhere. For many young ladies, boys are intimidating and girls feel a need to worry about their appearance in front of them. An all-girls setting removes a lot of these stresses and allow students to focus on academics first and foremost.

Private girls schools also provide your child with a comfortable forum to discuss distinctly female issues. In a different kind of environment, talking about such things as female body image, expectations, and sexuality might make students feel uncomfortable. However, at all girls schools, the environment facilitates more openness and girls gain confidence.

Benefits of an all-girls education

One of the key advantages of a girls-only school is a sense of empowerment in all aspects of the curriculum. In the past society has dictated that certain subjects such as science or technology are primarily ‘boys subjects’, however when introduced to a single-sex environment, various studies outlined by the National Association for Choice in Education show that girls are more likely to explore non-traditional subjects and to try things they might not otherwise. Consider for a moment how likely it is that girls are willing to take a chance on a different subject when they’re surrounded by peers who have similar experiences as young women and who are surrounded by strong women role models.

According to NACE, teachers can also employ strategies in the all-girls classroom that might not work as well or at all in a coed classroom. They recognize differences in the way girls learn and instead of reinforcing gender stereotypes, as can often happen in a co-ed environment where those roles are intensified (what they call 'gender intensification'), they encourage and celebrate the diversity among girls with the understanding that some girls prefer sports and computer science just as much as they enjoy English and arts.

Additional studies have shown that girls in single-sex schools generally perform better than girls in coed schools, regardless of socio-economic and ability levels. The Goodman Research Group, who conducted The Girls’ School Experience: A Survey of Young Alumnae of Single-Sex Schools, also stated that 93 per cent of girls school grads are very or extremely satisfied with their school’s ability to provide individualized attention and 80 percent strongly feel encouragement to develop their own interests.

Increased career aspirations

Single-sex schools often give students the confidence to pursue lofty goals both at school and in the workforce. 95 percent of recent graduates of all-girls schools said that having a career and profession was very or extremely important to them, and 78 percent added that it was very or extremely important that they hold leadership positions in their professional lives as well.

“More than 80 percent of girls’ school grads consider their academic performance highly successful,” says Dr. Linda Sax, UCLA, Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College.

Identity awareness and confidence

While many young girls are caught up in self-consciousness, doubt and cattiness, an all-girls school can provide an environment to foster sisterhood and self-expression. Girls are able to pursue areas of their choice, surrounded by strong role models to follow.

The National Association for Choice in Education states that, in contrast to boys, "girls generalize the meaning of their failures because they interpret them as indicating that they have disappointed adults, and thus they are of little worth. In addition, because girls view evaluative feedback as diagnostic of their abilities, failure may lead them to incorporate this information into their more general view of themselves." One of the advantages of a girls-only private school is that it can adapt to this, recognizing that girls respond this way and give feedback accordingly.

Learn more about the advantages from Elizabeth Falco, Canadian Liaison for The National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, in discover the benefits of all-girls education.

Criticisms of an all-girls education

Apart from the common criticisms that separating children into gendered classrooms is sexist and that it’s difficult to conduct sound research on the benefits of single-sex education, another important area of concern is that girls’ overall social development is hindered by a lack of interaction with boys.

However, a study conducted by Neville Bruce and Katherine Sanders called "Incidence and duration of romantic attraction in students progressing from secondary to tertiary education” in the Journal of Biosocial Sciences found that not only do girls at single-sex schools have just as many heterosexual friendships and relationships as girls at coed schools but that girls in single-sex environments have more control in their interactions with boys, have more autonomy in their personal relationships, and are much less likely to experience an unwanted pregnancy.

At an all-girls school students still have opportunities to interact with boys but they are much more likely to have a broader social circle that includes boys and whom they can choose to interact, instead of their complex social circle being a central focus as is often the case in coed schools.

Bullies at all-girls schools

In general, due to a number of factors such as individualized attention, lower student-to-teacher ratio, increased supervision, closely monitored technology, and supportive and inclusive learning environments, private schools have increased resources to better handle instances of bullying or problems before they escalate.  

Learn more about bullying in private schools.

Differences in culture at an all-girls school

The overall culture of a single-sex environment compared to co-ed is perhaps felt most strongly during a school visit. Where girls may feel more prone to getting lost in the shuffle or overshadowed by their male counterparts at a coed school, among a strong culture of women in the hallways and classrooms each student can feel free to stand out and be herself, empowered to excel throughout her day without the competition of boys.

Things to consider when choosing a girls' private school

Plenty of all girls schools offer programs from pre-K until Grade 12. And, some schools have both elementary institutions ("feeder schools") that are affiliated with middle or high schools.

Get more information on choosing a school, how to apply, and ways to pay for private school.

For a much more in-depth look into all-girls schools, visit one of our annual Private School Expos. Here, you will learn about what you need to know to navigate the private school selection and admissions processes.

Series: Girls Schools


In the spotlight:

Latest Articles

September 25, 2019
Benefits of an all-girls education
Elizabeth Falco shares how girls are celebrated and empowered

September 24, 2019
Testimonials: What it's like at an all-girls school
Students share what they love most about their experience

August 14, 2019
How single-sex schools let kids flourish
A more in depth look at the learning differences between boys and girls

August 14, 2019
Coed vs. single-sex schools
Do girls and boys learn better together or separately?

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