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The York School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades JK TO Gr. 12 — Toronto, ON (Map)


REVIEW OF The York School BY Alum, Elyse Creamer

  • Date of Review
    May 22, 2018
  • Grades
    Gr. Nursery/Toddler - 12
  • University (major)
    Dalhousie University

(5) Overall Experience

Throughout my time at HSC, I had the opportunity to make so many special memories that picking one is almost impossible. I will never forget the amazing atmosphere in each classroom and how each student was treated as an individual-with unique strengths and skills to be further cultivated. With opportunity to excel in so many different courses, extra curricular activities, and community outreach programs I was able to truly find my passions. As I began my university degree at Dalhousie University, I found myself drawing parallels from what I was learning in my lectures to what I had mastered through the Hillfield curriculum. The transition from the Senior School to the first year of my undergrad was effortless as HSC had prepared me in such a phenomenal fashion.

(5) School Leadership

Reflecting back on my time at Hillfield Strathallan College, what stands out about the school leadership and administration is the constant conversation between these vastly different areas of the school. Students felt that their voices mattered and were heard by the administration. Through the many different opportunities for student based leadership, I found myself looking up to the administration for advice on how to be a better leader. Overall, Hillfield Strathallan College instilled respect through leadership which translated over to disciplinary issues and other type of issues at the college. We were encourage to see how a leader would handle such situations and strive to do the same in the future. Leadership is a key aspect of life at Hillfield Strathallan College, from as earlier as kindergarten to grade twelve and everyone between.

(5) Teaching

The teachers at Hillfield Strathallan College are the greatest aspect of the school. Not only are they experts in their field of study but they go above and beyond for every student they interact with. The dynamic between teachers and students is unique to Hillfield Strathallan College, as teaching does not end at the end of a class. Rather, the teachers are involved in almost every aspect of the students college life; helping run such activities as competitive sports, clubs, and community outreach committees. The teachers were passionate and knowledgeable about their subjects whether that be in the classroom, on the field, or in a community initiative. I found that each teacher took the time to communicate effectively and provide constructive feedback for myself and the other students individually. Through watching their passion they helped myself and other students develop a love of learning.

(5) Academics

The academic program at Hillfield Strathallan College is both rigorous and rewarding. The academic strengths are based in the core fundamental courses. In recent years the transition to more modern courses has furthered the schools unique academic curriculum. The academic culture and atmosphere at Hillfield Strathallan College are both traditional and modern which allows each student to reach their potential. The general atmosphere of the student body when it came to academics was very much based in community and supportive competitiveness. Students were able to challenge themselves as well as one another. The academic program at Hillfield Strathallan College prepared me for my life's next steps, what specifically about the academic program prepared me well was the encouragement from both teachers and students. I was able to use the skills I gained at Hillfield Strathallan College to pursue my career.

(5) Extracurriculars

Hillfield Strathallan College offers many different and unique extracurricular opportunities for all students from ages 5 and up. One of the greatest joys as an alumnus is coming back to Hillfield Strathallan College to cheer on a sports team or enjoy an art or music exhibit. Almost every student is involved in an activity they truly enjoy and have interest in. This is all possible because of the amazing teaching and support staff at Hillfield Strathallan College. Teachers easily transition from the classroom to the field or stage. Hillfield Strathallan College offers both competitive and 'just for fun' extracurricular opportunities. Many of the leadership, teamwork and life lesson are learned during these extracurriculars helping to develop well-rounded students. I will cherish the memories of my extracurricular opportunities at Hillfield Strathallan College as they shaped who I am today.

(5) Students

The student body at Hillfield Strathallan College is rather larger. With four different schools: Montessori, Junior, Middle and Senior the feel is organized chaos. With so many different students, teachers, and staff; the school feels electric and spirited. What stands out about the general atmosphere of the student body is the sense of community you feel throughout the four schools and as a whole. The "typical" student at Hillfield Strathallan College is an enthusiastic individual with an understanding of community and leadership. These qualities garnered the most respect from other students and shape how new students see themselves. The major values that students -- as a whole -- tended to share is community and the benefits of working together towards a common goal or overcoming a tribulation.

(5) School Life

I loved my time at Hillfield Strathallan College for so many different reasons; the amazing teachers and coaches who provided me with the tools and support I needed to achieve my goals, the opportunity to find what my passions were and cultivate them further into career, and the amazing community atmosphere that fills the halls of Hillfield Strathallan College. The transition from traditional to more modern teaching styles and topics is now furthering the quality of life of its students. You are unable to walk down the halls at Hillfield Strathallan College without seeing children laughing, learning and discovering who they are.

(5) Community

What stands out to me about the broader community at Hillfield Strathallan College, is the similarities of the experiences as a student and as a member of the alumni community. No matter if you are a current student or an alumni ,Hillfield Strathallan College always feels like home. Every member is welcome to enjoy and celebrate what Hillfield Strathallan College is all about. Through events like Open houses, arts nights, musical performances, athletic games, Homecoming and charity events; Hillfield Strathallan College includes everyone. After my time at Hillfield Strathallan College I moved across the country to pursue my undergrad but that did not effect my relationships with my classmates, teachers, and school life. As an Alumni I was encouraged to stay connected and share in the changes of my life and the college life.

(5) School Location

Hillfield Strathallan College is located in the heart of Hamilton. It sits on edge of the Hamilton mountain which overlooks a picturesque view of the city and lake Ontario. The school is set in the middle of several large sport fields, between two major streets and is surrounded by a residential area. The neighbourhood and community around Hillfield Strathallan College is family friendly. Located beside Mohawk College and down the street from St. Joseph's Hospital. The area is becoming a bombing education centre for the whole community. Students in grade 10 and up are allowed off school property during the lunch period. Many students use their lunch break to visit around the area as well as enjoy many different and interesting restaurants. Overall the area is a perfect fit for Hillfield Strathallan College.

(5) University placement and counselling

The university counselling program at Hillfield Strathallan College aided in every stage of my university placement. I was supported from when I began to educate myself on potential schools to when I full accepted my offer. Through guest speakers, information nights and one on one university prep I never doubted my chances of reaching my full potential. I do feel as if i was given the appropriate guidance in a timely fashion to apply successfully to my first-choice post-secondary programs. has an excellent record of students attending post-secondary institution. I was able throughout the application process to turn to not only my counselor but teachers, alumni and experts in my field of study. I was able to confidently apply to the top schools in Canada knowing I had a support system at Hillfield Strathallan College.


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Our Kids Feature Review

The 50-page review of The York School 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.

  • York is the definition of an urban school, one that identifies with, reflects, and makes significant instructional use of the urban context.
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