Testimonials: What it's like at an all-girls school

Students share what they love most about their experience

"I have never seen a group of young women more sure of themselves." Read more

List of private all-girls schools


Toronto, Ontario — 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 $2 million available in financial assistance. View School Profile.

  • Founded in 1867
  • Specializing in the learning needs of the 'whole girl'
  • Co-curricular programs and clubs
  • 100 per cent university placement
  • Extensive leadership opportunities
JK to 12 (Girls)
Progressive, Reggio Emilia
$35,800 to $69,145
Avg. Class:
18 to 20
The Bishop Strachan School 35800 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls

Toronto, Ontario — Branksome Hall is Toronto’s only all-girls, all-years International Baccalaureate (IB) World School developing the leaders of tomorrow through the nurturing of curiosity and critical thinking at every age. View School Profile.

  • 13-acre downtown campus
  • Athletics and Wellness Centre
  • IB programs: JK to Grade 12
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Boarding starting in Grade 7
JK to 12 (Girls)
Liberal Arts, International Baccalaureate
$37,130 to $75,020
Avg. Class:
16 to 22
Branksome Hall 37130 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls

Toronto, Ontario — Havergal has been preparing young women to make a difference since 1894 through its innovative curriculum and future-ready programming with a focus on wellness and student agency. View School Profile.

  • Beautiful 22-acre campus in the heart of Toronto.
  • Innovative curriculum and future-ready programming for students.
  • Small class sizes with a focus on wellness and student agency.
  • Award-winning Art, Music and Drama departments.
  • More than 80 co-curricular athletic teams.
JK to 12 (Girls)
Liberal Arts
$36,950 to $68,540
Avg. Class:
18 to 22
Havergal College 36950 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls

Toronto, Ontario — Our goal is for SCS students to understand learning as an outcome in and of itself. Learning that doesn't follow a straight path. And if it gets messy, that's okay, because at SCS it's safe to explore and be who you are. View School Profile.

  • Girls' school, founded in 1901
  • Enriched and balanced academics at all grade levels
  • Unrivaled Advanced Placement course offerings
  • 100% university acceptance
  • Extensive athletic, arts, and co-curricular programs
1 to 12 (Girls)
Liberal Arts
Avg. Class:
St. Clement's School 34500 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    York Mills/Leslie
  • NS to 12 Girls/Coed
  • $15,000 to $40,000

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.

  • Homestay/Day
  • Liberal Arts
Hawthorn School 15000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Day Day Girls Coed
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $18,860 to $72,555

St. Margaret's School is a girl-centred day and boarding school, and Canada's first-all-girls STEM-X school where leadership skills are a focus.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Progressive
St. Margaret's School 18860 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Buena Vista Road/Springfield Road
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • $16,160 to $30,900

Elmwood School is Ottawa's pre-eminent school for girls from PreK to Gr. 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 16160 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $25,180 to $32,310

Oakville's SMLS continues to be a premier independent school for girls Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 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 25180 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Iris St/Woodroffe Ave
  • JK to 8 Girls
  • $16,600

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
Academie Jeanne d'Arc 16600 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Girls
  • London, Ontario
    Richmond Street/King Street
  • 9 to 12 Coed/Girls
  • $28,000

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

  • Boarding
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
London International Academy 28000 HighSchools Boarding Boarding Coed Girls
  • Westmount, Quebec
    Mount Pleasant Avenue/Cedar Avenue
  • K to 11 Girls
  • $19,750 to $23,950

Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School offers a Tier 1 education for girls from K-11, located in Westmount, Qc. We develop bold leaders and creative thinkers — equipping each girl to be the entrepreneur of her own future.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School 19750 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls

The Study  

  • Westmount, Quebec
    The Boulevard/Place Braeside
  • K to 11 Girls
  • $24,460 to $27,610

The Study, founded in 1915, is one of Canada's premier all-girls' schools. 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 24460 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Whitby, Ontario
    Garden Street/Hwy. 2
  • 4 to 12 Girls
  • $26,125 to $70,625

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

  • Boarding/Day
  • Liberal Arts
Trafalgar Castle School 26125 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • JK to 12 Boys/Girls/Coed
  • $14,370 to $20,130

With a global network of schools around the world, a rich and proud history, and a strong and unique set of core values, Sacred Heart offers not just an education but an experience that is unparalleled in Nova Scotia.

  • Day
  • Traditional
Sacred Heart School of Halifax 14370 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Day Boys Girls Coed
  • Aurora, Ontario
  • 5 to 9 Girls
  • $34,585 to $37,280

Girls at St. Anne's will thrive in an inspirational and progressive learning environment. The school’s focus on STEM/STEAM, community giving, leadership, and wellness will develop well-rounded, global-minded citizens.

  • Day
  • Traditional
St. Anne's School 34585 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Langside St./Westminster Ave.
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • $16,500 to $69,400

We offer a supportive environment for girls’ learning with a strong sense of community. We encourage the love of learning in a place of belonging that nurtures resilience, inspires creativity, and celebrates diversity.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Balmoral Hall School 16500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Calgary, Alberta
    17th Ave SW/Richmond Road SW
  • K to 12 Coed/Girls/Boys
  • $14,000 to $16,000

In addition to academics, our focus on mentorship, hands-on learning in and outside the classroom, and character development, will allow our students to thrive academically and personally as they discover who they are.

  • Day
  • Progressive
North Point School 14000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Day Coed Girls Boys
  • St Catharines, Ontario
    Ontario St./Welland Ave.
  • NS to 12 Coed/Girls
  • $57 to $10,000

Heuristic & autodidactic, inspired by Sudbury & democratic models. Students are self-directed, and holistically empowered. Voluntary attendance, year-round calendar, agency, & consent inspire free learning. Also Forest

  • Day/Boarding/Homestay/eSchool
  • Progressive
Agate Private School 57 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Homestay eSchool Coed Girls
  • Montreal, Quebec
  • 7 to 12 Girls
  • $20,432 to $44,909

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

  • Day/Boarding
  • Traditional
The Sacred Heart School of Montreal 20432 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Day Girls
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Mississauga Rd/QEW
  • 5 to 12 Girls
  • $23,695 to $24,495

We strive to take the best aspects of Catholic teaching & interpret it in a modern context for the confident young woman of today. They are imbued with a strong work ethic, sense of purpose & a desire to change the world

  • Day
  • Progressive
Holy Name of Mary College School 23695 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $27,200

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 27200 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Yonge/St. Clair
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $21,050 to $28,350

The Linden School's transformative teaching and socially-progressive values inspire academic excellence, wellness, and civic engagement, empowering students to become changemakers ready to take on complex global issues.

  • Day
  • Progressive
The Linden School 21050 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls

Our Kids Media traveled to several all-girls schools to chat with some of the young women about their school life and they took a few minutes out of their day to highlight the benefits of education in a single-sex learning environment. Check out the video to hear more!

(Thank you to the young women of Branksome Hall, St. Clement's School and St. Margaret's School. This video was produced by Our Kids Media videographer Luke Krajcarski)

Other current students and alumni also shared their experiences at an all-girls school, including how this type of environment shaped their success. Read their stories below.

Plenty of extracurricular activities

Six years ago, her parents were down to two choices: a coed option or the all-girls environment of St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School (which is also a Reggio Emilia and gifted school in Oakville, Ontario). And as she finished up Grade 12 as head girl at St. Mildred’s, Alexa Vogel was more than satisfied with the decision her parents ultimately made.

“Personally, I love it,” says Alexa, 18. “The girls aren’t afraid to voice their opinion, because they aren’t second guessing and thinking ‘will a guy think this?’”

Not that contact with the opposite sex is completely lacking. The school arranges mixed social events, while Alexa has several male friends from her extracurricular activities, such as travels that have included work at a hospital in Africa and a semester studying in Australia. In fact, she’s quick to suggest that outside activities for all-girls’ school students are important for getting them used to socializing in mixed environments. “If there are clubs and sports or something that a child in a single-gender school can get involved with that’s in a coed environment, I think that makes a big difference,” she says.

—Lisa Van de Ven

Inspired by a “be yourself” environment

Ask Jacqueline Nivet how she went from student council president to helping to save the world, and she’ll point back to her education for the answer.

Nivet currently works for the United Nations World Food Programme, which comes to the rescue of millions after their darkest hours. She says that a focus on helping others was instilled in her during her years at an all-girls school, which places an emphasis on character education. 

“If I had stayed at my old school, I would be a completely different person today,” she says.
The school she attended changed everything about her life, she says—her interest in school activities, her academic capabilities, her sense of belonging, her confidence in the contributions she could make, and above all, her friends, who constantly challenge and push her to be a better person. 

“I know I would never have achieved even half of what I have without them or without all that the school has given me over the years,” says Nivet.

While she attended Hawthorn School for Girls (a Catholic school in Toronto, Ontario), from Grade 5 to OAC, she became student council president, as well as co-developer and co-editor of the first student publication.

“I think those two activities were most influential for my later career choices: acting as a leader, serving others and writing,” she says.
It’s been a decade since she graduated, and Nivet has travelled and lived abroad in a number of countries. Despite the distance however, her closest friends are still from her school days.

“It’s not a coincidence,” she says. “Students could really be themselves without the peer pressure we heard about in other middle and high schools.”
Nivet will always value the friendships she made at school.

“No matter what our career choices or countries we live in now, we are all still Hawthorn girls at heart,” she says. “We have so many memories and experiences that we still share.”

—Julie Greco

You can take chances

In an all-girls school, there is one less variable in teaching. “Research shows that girls really like a more communicative, collaborative approach to learning,” says Elizabeth Falco, head of school at The Study, in Westmount, Quebec. “As a teacher in an all-girls classroom, you can cater to that.” Confidence often blooms as a result.

“Girls change when boys are out of the picture and opportunities that might not have existed in a coed environment are suddenly available. Possibilities seem infinite. There are no limits in their imagination about what they can do.”

At Trafalgar Castle School in Whitby, Ontario, Amy, 18, agrees. There, most of the teachers and all of the students are female. “You can be more yourself instead of trying to impress the boys. You can take chances. You can try anything and not be afraid.”

—Heather Greenwood Davis

“We both said, that’s the school!”

“We were trying out different schools. My mom wanted me to go to an all-girls school. We came to an open house (at Trafalgar School for Girls in Montreal, Quebec), and as we were walking out, we both said, that’s the school! Because it’s so homey, you feel comfortable there.”

First impressions turned out to be accurate for Jenna, 13, who has just finished Grade 7. “I enjoy going there every day to see my friends—and the teachers. I’ve tried all different things, soccer, and I was manager of the basketball team. I was in the junior drama production and I am in the choir. Some days I get to school at 7:30 and don’t come home until 5:30. I see Mr. Dowd (principal Geoff Dowd) more than I see my parents.”

Her mother’s preference for an all-girl school? “At first I thought it would be weird because I had gone to a coed elementary school. But it’s actually nice because everyone is so comfortable, everyone can say things freely without feeling embarrassed.”

—Frank Jones

Additional Notable Alumni

Girls school alumni include women leaders who testify about the value of single gender education in video and testimonial, including:

Research provided by the National Association for Choice in Education shows that 82 percent of recent girl’s school graduates are satisfied or extremely satisfied with the how well their schools instilled self-confidence and that 84 percent give their schools top marks for providing leadership opportunities.

Series: Girls Schools


In the spotlight:

Latest Articles

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

Girls' schools  
Guide to private schools for girls (September 24, 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? (August 14, 2019)


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