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St. Michael's College School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Gr. 7 TO Gr. 12 — Toronto, ON (Map)

St. Michael's College School:

REVIEW OF St. Michael's College School BY Alum, Liam Abbott

  • Date of Review
    February 23, 2024
  • Grades (year)
    Gr. 9 - Gr. 12 (2016 - 2019)
  • University (major)
    Chapman University (Filmaking)
  • Gender
  • Enrolment
    Day Student
  • Job/Career

(5) Overall Experience

Overall looking back, my experience at St. Michael's College School was rewarding. I had high expectations for the school and was not really sure if these expectations were realistic. Regardless, the school has surpassed all expectations I had and has delivered a level of education that cannot be easily imitated. Each day I was really excited and expectant to go to school and see what the day held for me. St. Michael's ultimate goal is to develop strong, independent, young vibrant leaders, who will make a positive impact. This definitely made an impact in grooming my character and personal attributes. Up to this day, I'm very much grateful. When coming to St. Mike's, one should be ready to learn to be a communicator, knowledgeable, inquirer, thinker, principled with integrity, open-minded, caring, reflective and balanced.

(4) School Leadership

Reflecting back on my time at St. Michael's College School, I find the leadership to be very accommodating and very attentive. This provided the students the opportunity to overcome their fright and gain confidence in their abilities. The connections between administrators, leadership and staff are something I immensely appreciated. Most of the administration and leadership would greet students by name and with warm, caring smiles. I would safely say we developed trusting relationships and mutual respect with leadership, administration and teachers in order to reach my full potential.

(5) Teaching

I have always felt confident that the St. Michael's teachers had my best interests at its core. Communication between the school teachers, the child and the parents is paramount to the academic, social, physical, spiritual and emotional success a child will have at school. St. Michael's believes in this philosophy as well and strongly encourages and practices open lines of communication with the families. Teachers provide continuous feedback on the progress of each child, including phone calls, emails, visuals (photos and video updates of learning), and many opportunities for in-person feedback. I received a high level of instruction from her teachers, who ultimately tried to ensure she reached her full potential. Concepts were taught in a variety of methods, through group and individual discussions, investigative research, hands-on activities, numerous real-life connections, textbook and workbook activities, etc., all of which contribute to a child’s deeper level of understanding.

(5) Academics

I credit much of my success to my time at St. Michael's and its ability to prepare me for university. I do recall in my first year at Chapman University, I was in a Political Science class and there were many students struggling to write an essay. I had done a lot, while at times challenging and indeed stressful, was a very important piece of my academic journey. The academic program intensifies as the years progress, however a philosophy of a balanced life is simultaneously emphasized. We were taught to manage our time accordingly, not only to complete academic requirements but to participate in a variety of extracurricular and sporting activities. Academic work is broken down into steps so that they can achieve sometimes what appears to be very difficult tasks and make learning easier. For instance, they build rubrics and checklists for tasks for speeches, their portfolios and Maker Fair projects. If the pace is too quick, each student's progress is individualized and students are challenged yet complete work at a manageable pace so it doesn't appear overwhelming.

(5) Extracurriculars

At St. Michael's there are many opportunities for the students to participate in extracurricular activities which are too many to list. Activities give students many choices to foster an existing interest or give them a chance to try something new in a fun, non-judgmental environment. These extracurricular activities give students a chance to socialize outside of class time and help to form new friendships. This also helps maintain balance in students' life. The school has produced more than 180 professional hockey players, a raft of hall-of-famers among them. That said, the school is best known in the popular imagination because of its storied athletic program.

(4.5) Students

There were many school events that contributed to the enthusiasm and excitement of the students of St. Mike's, for example, we would have the Inter-house Olympics, Halloween Dance, and Remembrance Day Assembly. We had many opportunities to work collaboratively and build our community. I forged relationships and friendships I believe are of core value to this date. The school spirit we had was just intense, we were like troopers. Whenever the Kerry Blue's Football Team had a game, the turnout and atmosphere were unforgettable. The homecoming game definitely goes down as one of my best memories, the vibe, oneness and cheers gave me chills, and it gave me a sense of belonging. It was one diverse group that would join to conquer regardless of background, race or religion.

(4.5) School Life

The overall quality of student life at St. Michael's College School is balanced. I for sure loved going to school there. We had extracurricular activities as well after school. We could join clubs that match our interests and I was in a chess club. Students were very loyal and carried the name of the school with pride. I used to wear a lot of my high school regalia in university even. The M stuck with you everywhere you go. Other students were happy but obviously, it doesn’t mean we did not have some that were stressed. However, there were available counseling services and a safe space for certain different difficulties that would normally stress students. Towards exams, we would have activities to reduce stress and students would often participate to cool down.

(4.5) Community

What stands out to me about the broader community at St. Michael's College School, including my experience of the alumni community, is the involvement and how welcoming it is such that coming in as a new student, fitting in, or standing out will not be a problem. Parents are always very welcome to be involved in the life of the school. There is effective communication online with staff, students, teachers, parents and alumni. There is great emphasis on collaboration. I am part of the Alumni Association and we meet informally and formally just to keep up and stay posted. It is heartwarming how we all rally up to support current initiatives at the school regardless the fact if you have a child there or not.

(5) School Location

St Michael's is definitely one of the oldest schools in Canada and is steeped in legend, having descended directly from a secret school founded in the mountains of central France during the French Revolution. Located near the Bayview, and easily accessible from all over the Greater Toronto Area. It's the only independent Catholic boys' school in Ontario and one of only a few in Canada, so obviously they have to live up to the expectations with their infrastructure and surroundings hence high maintenance is practiced.

(4.5) Admissions

I would advise someone trying to get admitted to St Michael's to apply early. The application process now is quite almost flawless but scrutinized as it's mostly done online and most students look to get it. Ensure you have all the required documents gathered up so as not to waste time with the back-and-forth request of documents since they process a lot of applications. I remember at some point I was requested to obtain a reference letter from my teacher when I was transferring to St Michael's, it did kind of slow down the processing time. After the online application, we then had to come for an in-person interview and write an entrance test as well. I admit, it was kind of stressful but very worth it. Part of the test is to see which subjects would be the right fit for each student upon admission.

(4.5) University placement and counselling

The university counseling program is one part of the plan of care given to each student at St Mike’s by the Student Affairs Department. For me, Student Affairs was a place where I would get help to navigate through the complexities of life. Whether it be academic and credit counseling, learning strategies and accommodation, or digital and print resources, Student Affairs would help in the development of my student life. The department is comprised of the Guidance Department, the Learning Enrichment Centre, and the Odette Library, the Student Affairs Department works as a team to ensure each student at the school is adequately prepared for life at St. Michael’s as well as life after it. The department provided me with quality personal, informational, and technical resources in order to develop a personal, successful, and relevant plan for success such that I felt more than supported through my university application process.


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More written reviews


Parent, Don Marino (2020)

We love who our three boys have turned out to be. The teachers give so much of themselves, and the personal time they put into the boys amazed us. The retreats our sons participated in were life-chang...


Parent, María Corral (2020)

Our family has been part of St. Michael's College School since the year 2017, with our 2 older sons are currently attending the school. Since the very beginning, we were very impressed with St. Mike'...


Alum, Michael Marcon (2020)

As an Alumnus of St. Michael's College School, I can say firsthand that my experience was excellent. I have had the pleasure of being taught by some of the best teachers around and been coached by som...
See all written reviews (4 total)

More video reviews

Parent, Nancy Nash (2022)

Watch our parent interview with Nancy Nash to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend St. Michael's College School.

Alum, Michael Tighe (2020)

Watch our alum interview with Michael Tighe to learn about the unique experience of attending St. Michael's College School.

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: St. Michael's College School

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