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Havergal College:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades JK TO 12 — Toronto, ON (Map)


Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Havergal College (2021)

Havergal College alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Martha, Alex had to say about the school.

Video Contents

Highlights from the Q&A discussion

Martha — current parent

Martha has one child that has graduated and three daughters who are currently attending Trinity College School. Two of them are in the boarding program, and one of them is living at home, and attends the school as a day student. She originally chose the school because she knew that it would develop her children into independent thinkers, but also give them the support they need to excel. Martha feels that the school caters to all of her children’s unique needs, and fosters a caring and comfortable atmosphere for them to learn and grow.

  • “We did a fairly thorough search when looking for schools, knowing that we had four kids and we have four very different kids. We did want to send them eventually all to the same school. I think what we loved about [Trinity College School] was we knew it would foster independence in our kids, which is really important, I think, especially in this day and age. … We wanted to develop independent thinkers and kids who could make decisions on their own.”
  • “We do have some [kids who are] high-performing athletes, then we've got some kids who are a bit hesitant [to play sports]. The fact that [Trinity College School] is going to encourage them, and that they would all have that opportunity, and be supported at different levels of play was important, because you don't always find that often. There are schools where some kids might not make the team, and then feel shy or back away from sports. [At Trinity College School] there's every level and ability again to build confidence. That's what we were looking for in a school.”
  • “[Trinity College School] exceeded our expectations. Our kids are super independent, and what I love is that they feel they're making their own choices. I'm behind the scenes and have great support from the school and their teachers, but I feel like they feel they're in charge, and I think they really are. They're picking their courses with their advisors. They're excited to tell me about it, as opposed to me leading that discussion. I think, as a result, our relationship between my teenagers and my husband and I is a lot better.”
  • “[The biggest impact Trinity College School has had on my children is] their sense of independence. … I think it's their sense of control. I also noticed they're stress and anxiety levels have gone down. I think before … we had one daughter in a very academic IB Programme. Now, having come to [Trinity College School], she can still be challenged academically, but she doesn't feel the pressure. I think they all have really good relationships with their teachers.”
  • “[My kids] feel like they can ask questions and they're being heard, and on the flip side, from a parent perspective, I feel like even though I've got two [kids] in boarding … I know the teachers really well and I can reach out. So there's that great relationship where [the students have] got it. They're doing it on their own, but behind the scenes, I can watch their school calendars if I need to. If there are things that are falling behind, the teachers reach out to me.”
  • “I watched my son go off to university this year with so much confidence. It was awesome. … His connection back into the [Trinity College School] community is amazing. He's come back this summer, and that's his world. He's reconnected with all these buddies, whether he's going on camping trips with them, visiting in Toronto, out here in Port Hope. That's really cool, that he continues that sense of community, and I think the school really fosters that.”
  • “What I love is that [Trinity College School] and the teachers get to know the kids. One of my daughters this year, realizing what kind of learner she is, will go to do academic support, and a learning strategies course this term. That's going to help her enormously. She'll be able to move out of the study hall into an assisted study session in the evenings, and get the support she needs. We watched, with my son, how that helped him.”
  • “If the kids are feeling challenged, there are people [at Trinity College School] who are recognizing that, and helping them to develop their confidence, so that by the time they finish school, they're fully able to do it on their own. I would say, if my kids were to talk about the school from last year, they really missed their friends. So when they were online, that was the hardest part, as they loved that sense of community, and they were just getting into the thick of the school spirit.”
  • “I think this sense of community [at Trinity College School] is so broad because it's worldly, which is incredible. My kids now have friends all around the world, and they bring friends home from all around the world, and that is incredible. It's like I don't know how many. I think there are about 50 countries represented at [Trinity College School], or there have been, give or take, in different years. That is an incredible opportunity to learn from other people's cultures.”
  • “Three words [that describe Trinity College School are] community-minded, courageous and warm, and wise at the same time. … I would put an emphasis on the warm part, too. I think that every staff member, and especially for kids who are going away from home for the first time, it's amazing that you know the people who are helping clean your clothes, but you feel like they're an aunt or an uncle, and everyone in that whole community is amazing.”
  • “I love the fact that [Trinity College School] chooses the children based on their potential. So it's not about who's the most academic. … It's all about the child and the family that they come from. So the values of wanting to be challenged, the values of being kind, and having potential. … Knowing that this child will rise to the occasion, I think, is so great. My kids meet kids from different countries, but I think the similarity is everyone comes from a wonderful, nurturing family that is taking a leap to send their kids to a school that they often haven't even seen.”
  • “As we meet [Trinity College School] families along the line, everyone is so welcoming and inclusive. Our kids have friends who come and stay, and their parents will reach out right away. I feel like my community is expanded just from having my kids at [Trinity College School].”
  • “I think the campus being as beautiful as it is, and historic as it is, brings out a level of respect from the kids. They wear the uniform with so much pride, but also the fact that they're in Chapel and they're in these old buildings. They're so proud. When my kid’s friends come to visit now, the first thing they do is walk up to [Trinity College School] and show off the campus.”
  • “My kids came from other schools. My daughter came from a competitive girls’ school in Toronto where I felt like it's completely fine, but I felt like they were spending a lot of time marketing, and trying to create who they were, and the buzz words changed. What I love about [Trinity College School] is it knows the school it is. It stands by the fact that it's about developing kind kids with courage who are going to be out in the world and be independent.”
  • “[Trinity College School] spends alot of time getting to know the kids, and the correspondence is very direct and smart. … I don't find it wishy-washy at all. I just find the answers are there. I didn't find that with the other schools my kids went to.”
  • “From my perspective, I really think that [Trinity College School] is such a strong school. The best thing is that any kind of kid can go to [Trinity College School] and thrive. I'm seeing that from four different perspectives, so I really don't have any negative [comments].”
  • “[Trinity College School] makes the kids feel so relaxed from day one, and they walk them through the whole boarding school opportunity.”

Alex — alum

Alex is an international student from Germany who graduated from Trinity College School in 2014. He also had two other siblings that went to Trinity College School before him. His favourite thing about the school was the variety of sports he was able to be involved in, and the support he felt from the school community. He felt that the community encouraged him to try harder in both sports and in his academics. He appreciated the multicultural aspect of the school, which allowed him to make friends from all over the world. He also enjoyed the beautiful campus, the delicious food they served, and the many close bonds he felt with the teachers and staff there.

  • “What I personally really loved about [Trinity College School] is whatever happened on the sports field, the whole community always knew about it, and you were always cheered on. … Every morning in Chapel, the team captains would go up and announce that their team was playing today, or the score from the weekend. They really had the whole school cheering for them, which I always felt created an even greater sense of community, and always motivated me to play even harder.”
  • “I'm very happy to say that I was very, very surprised by how good the food really is at [Trinity College School]. Even since I've graduated, I've made some friends, went to other boarding schools in the Toronto area, and they were all saying that they always love coming to [Trinity College School] to play sports because then they'd get to stay for lunch or dinner.”
  • “I think another important point was my relationship with my teachers at [Trinity College School]. It always felt like we were on the same level. It never felt like they were the instructor telling me what to do. It always felt like it was a relationship that really went both ways. I could ask questions, anything I wanted. If I felt like there was an assignment where I wanted to do something different, or explore something with a little twist to it, all the teachers were always happy to explore that with us. While also obviously drawing the boundaries at some point, saying, ‘well, this is the task, this is what you do.’”
  • “[At Trinity College School] we weren’t always told what to do. It always felt like we had a lot of choices ourselves, and I guess that's where the independence really came in for me.”
  • “Something I really loved [about Trinity College School] is we'd be challenged to take on this big essay, but then once you're getting into it, you could still go back to your teachers, and just ask, ‘hey, am I going in the right direction?’ And your teacher will reassure you, or tell you, ‘hey, maybe look at this.’ So I never felt like those tasks were too big, but it still felt like I had to push myself to reach those goals.”
  • “Any [Trinity College School] alumni I meet, everyone has that connection. You so easily connect with people who have been there. I think that speaks a lot to the community that really is fostered there.”
  • “When I was at [Trinity College School] my first roommate was from Taiwan, and then my second roommate was from Hong Kong in my second year. It's funny now, looking back. … I only now realized that I actually picked up a lot of different cultural cues, and just little things that I never thought of at the moment. … Now, looking back, it's like, ‘wow, this is amazing.’ I've now gone to Australia to see a [Trinity College School] friend, Hong Kong, and throughout Europe to three different places.”
  • “I know that moving forward, I have a bunch of friends [from Trinity College School] who are from Bermuda and the Bahamas, so obviously I want to go there. I know that even though I haven't spoken to some of them in two or three years, if I call them up and say, ‘hey, I'm coming.’ They will say, ‘Yes. Let's hang out. Let’s reconnect.’”
  • “I would say [Trinity College School is] open minded, warm, and challenging. … Warmth to me is probably the biggest one, because that's what I really felt. That's something I never felt with my teachers in Germany. I really felt like all the teachers and all the staff, not even just the teachers. It's the entire staff. If it's someone in the kitchen, or cleaning staff, or the headmaster, it's really all of them. They actually care about you as a person.”
  • “The headmaster, usually within the first two or three weeks, held on to everyone's name. It's just those little things that I think make [Trinity College School] so awesome.”
  • “[Trinity College School] teaches everyone to show a level of respect, no matter who it is. That's something that I always felt. Sometimes I feel like it can feel like cleaning staff or kitchen staff. …You better be respectful to them, and say thank you. You actually develop a normal relationship with them.”
  • “While I was [at Trinity College School], sports were a huge part of my life. I played soccer, squash, and tennis. So for me, those things were probably the biggest thing I liked about [Trinity College School], and then the community aspect. ... Now that I've left, it's definitely the overwhelming community aspect, and really just the idea of being open-minded to a lot of new things is something that I really took away from [Trinity College School].”
  • “[When my mom] dropped me off at [Trinity College School], I think I gave her a semi- hug, and ran away. Then she shed some tears after, but I was just too excited to hang out with my friends, and she told me afterwards that maybe wasn't the nicest thing to do to her. In the grand scheme of things, even to this day, I will always say that going to [Trinity College School] is probably the best decision I've made in my life so far, and my parents would agree that that's the best decision that we've made together.”
  • “Another great thing about [Trinity College School] is the campus. It's such a beautiful campus. I'm always reminded, whenever I now drive by Port Hope. I always try to just drive by the campus because it is so stunning.”
  • “The food is the biggest [differentiator of Trinity College School from other schools]. ... Also, the relationship with my teachers. …. I never felt like people [from other schools] had the same connection that I had with my teachers and house masters. It even went as far as I would sit down with my house masters at night, and they'd even be open to talking about my girl problems with me.”
  • “That sense of community and the relationships you have with everyone [at Trinity College School] is just different. It really is. I guess if you want to put it into one gesture, it would be the opening of the door. That was something that was hammered into me by everyone at [Trinity College School], and it's something that I've really taken away, is just hold the door for someone, and say ‘Hi.’ It's just such a simple, small thing, but it goes so far.”

More about Havergal College

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Key insights on Havergal College

Each school is different. Havergal College's Feature Review excerpts disclose its unique character. Based on discussions with the school's alumni, parents, students, and administrators, they reveal the school’s distinctive culture, community, and identity.

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Our Kids Feature Review

The 50-page review of Havergal College is part of our series of in-depth accounts of Canada's leading private schools. It provides a unique and objective perspective on the school's academics, programs, culture, and community.

  • A strong and impressive tradition gives life to the culture of the school.
  • Its academics are rigorous, as is its dedication to social and emotional development.
  • The school allows girls to take risks in a safe setting.
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Our Kids Feature Review video

Learn about Havergal College's unique and defining characteristics through this informative video.

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Roundtable Q&A (2021)

Watch our Havergal College Q&A discussion with Buffy (Parent), Yasmin Porter (Alum), Carrie Porter (Parent) to gain fresh insight into the school’s culture, values, and strengths.

Alum, Yasmin Alameddine (2021)

Watch our alum interview with Yasmin Alameddine to learn about the unique experience of attending Havergal College.

Alum, Charlotte Anderson (2020)

Watch our alum interview with Charlotte Anderson to learn about the unique experience of attending Havergal College.

More written reviews


Parent, Alnar Meghji (2019)

Our daughter’s experience at Havergal has been extremely rewarding. She started at the school in JK and is currently almost finished grade 2. My husband and I had researched same-sex independent sch...


Parent, Ruth Ley (2019)

My daughter loves attending Havergal and each year gets better for her! She looks forward to each and every day. She loves her friends, the clubs, programs and most important the faculty and staff at ...


Parent, Dana Rippon (2019)

My daughter loves being a student at Havergal College. She really enjoys all of her classes and and speaks so positively of her teachers, and I believe that the enthusiasm all of her teachers' share ...
See all written reviews (5 total)

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Havergal College

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