Waldorf education in Ontario

Find the top Waldorf schools and programs in Ontario.


On this page, we cover private Waldorf schools in Ontario. This includes Waldorf schools in Burlington, Hamilton, Halton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Oakville.

For a more complete guide to Waldorf education, including a detailed discussion of the Waldorf philosophy and curriculum, read our Waldorf school guide.


Table of Contents


  1. List of Waldorf schools in Ontario

  2. Choosing a school

  3. Tuition at Ontario Waldorf schools

  4. Compare Waldorf schools

  5. A primer on Waldorf education
  6. Further resources


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There are many private Waldorf schools in Canada, including in Toronto, Ontario, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Most of these are schools are at the preschool or elementary (or lower school) level. There are also Waldorf middle and high schools, though. All of these schools have an individualized curriculum. They also focus on more than just academics. They aim to educate the whole child: the intellectual, practical, and artistic sides of students.



  School NamePaceCost

Alive Montessori & Private School   (est. 2014)  

  • Preschool to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (45 students)
  • Montessori, Waldorf

Toronto, Ontario

NOW WITH LICENSED DAYCARE! Bring your child for a free trial to let him or her experience the difference. Don't be surprised if he or she doesn't want to go home at the end of the day! SUMMER CAMP PROGRAMS AVAILABLE!  View profile


$15,500 to $17,500
User reviews (1)

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  • Accelerated
$15,500 to $17,500
User reviews (1)

View profile

Trillium Waldorf School   (est. 1996)  

  • K to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (160 students)
  • Waldorf
Guelph, Ontario

Trillium provides a comprehensive, vibrant and academically vigorous Waldorf education. Students are welcomed into a warm environment with teachers who care deeply for them, and support their holistic development.  View profile


$5,936 to $13,941
User reviews (3)

View profile
  • Not specified
$5,936 to $13,941
User reviews (3)

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Agora Prep   (est. 2020)  

  • 1 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (16 students)
  • Day school (60 students)
  • Progressive, Waldorf

Aurora, Ontario

Flexible, techy environment. Freedom of choice. ALL ABILITIES welcome and no ideals taught outside the scope of academia. We are a COMMUNITY of incredible future leaders with innate creative genius!  View profile


$18,000 to $20,000
User reviews (1)

View profile
  • Student-paced
$18,000 to $20,000
User reviews (1)

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ACK-Autism Centre for kids   (est. 2020)  

  • K to 1 (Coed)
  • Day school (20 students)
  • Traditional, Waldorf

Vaughan, Ontario

The only Kindergarten that will prepare your child with special needs to grade one,we are using the Miller Method and DIR/FloorTime.our ratio is 1:4 student.  View profile


$35,000
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  • Accelerated
$35,000
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Waldorf Academy   (est. 1987)  

  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (150 students)
  • Waldorf
Toronto, Ontario

Small class sizes and our unique curriculum - infused with Arts, Movement, Outdoor Education - create deeper connections across subjects, at all child development stages. Parents describe us as “schooling with heart".  View profile


$14,325 to $22,650
User reviews (5)

View profile
  • Standard-enriched
$14,325 to $22,650
User reviews (5)

View profile

Polaris School and Centre   (est. 2018)  

  • JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (40 students)
  • Waldorf
Ottawa, Ontario

At Polaris artistic expression, practical skills & movement are interwoven into academic subjects. Learning becomes an engaging journey of discovery of the world and of oneself through hands-on and experiential learning.  View profile


$6,000 to $12,000
User reviews (3)

View profile
  • Standard-enriched
$6,000 to $12,000
User reviews (3)

View profile

Halton Waldorf School   (est. 1984)  

  • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (230 students)
  • Waldorf
Burlington, Ontario

Halton Waldorf School offers an education that fosters confidence, independence and intelligence. Located on five forested acres, the school has been uniquely designed to support the goals of Waldorf education. Est 1984  View profile


$10,500 to $17,600
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  • Standard-enriched
$10,500 to $17,600
View profile

Carmel New Church School   (est. 1892)  

  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (40 students)
  • Liberal Arts, Waldorf

Kitchener, Ontario

Carmel New Church School provides a loving, peaceful place with indoor and outdoor classrooms where students are taught to become productive and caring people, both in this life and the next.  View profile


$1,900 to $4,850
View profile
  • Not specified
$1,900 to $4,850
View profile

Toronto Waldorf School   (est. 1968)  

  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (360 students)
  • Waldorf
Thornhill, Ontario

Toronto Waldorf School offers a curriculum that integrates academics, arts and movement while addressing the intellectual, physical, emotional and social aspects of child development from preschool to gr. 12.  View profile


$18,000 to $21,000
View profile
  • Standard-enriched
$18,000 to $21,000
View profile



Our Waldorf school guide goes into detail in terms of what to expect in Waldorf schools. For general advice on choosing and assessing private schools, read our choosing guide.

Private school expos

Private school expos are a great way to research and learn about a school. The Toronto private school expo is our biggest one: it allows you to speak with many schools, all in the same place. Our Ottawa private school expo is also well-attended and lively. Find a Waldorf school near you.

Parent discussion forum

Another resource to help you in your school search is the Our Kids parent discussion forum. The forum is a great place to discuss private Waldorf schools with a community of parents, educators, and education experts.

Open house events

Open houses are great venues for learning about schools and getting a feel for their environment. For general advice on open house visits, check out our guide on school visits. You can also read our guide to questions to ask private schools and private school interview questions.





The cost of Waldorf schools in Ontario is, on average, lower than the cost of other private schools in Ontario. It’s also on the lower side of private school tuition in general.

Keep in mind, many Ontario Waldorf schools offer needs-based financial aid, such as bursaries or tuition relief. Other schools offer scholarships, which are given based on merit. Learn more about needs- and merit-based financial aid in our guide to financial aid.

Below, you’ll find the range of costs for private Waldorf schools in Ontario (including schools in Toronto and Burlington):
 


 
Tuition (day school)Students receiving financial aidGrade eligibility for financial aidAvg. aid package size (annual)
Trillium Waldorf School
  • Guelph, Ontario
  • K to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (160 students)
  • $8,594 to $13,941
  • $13,94123%K - 8$9,535
    ACK-Autism Centre for kids
  • Vaughan, Ontario
  • K to 1 (Coed)
  • Day school (20 students)
  • $35,000 to $35,000
  • $35,00030%JK - 1$20,000
    Waldorf Academy
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (150 students)
  • $4,160 to $19,150
  • $17,700 to $19,15020%JK - 8$9,000
    Polaris School and Centre
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (40 students)
  • $6,000 to $12,000
  • $10,000 to $12,000
    Halton Waldorf School
  • Burlington, Ontario
  • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (230 students)
  • $17,600 to $17,600
  • $17,600K - 12
    Toronto Waldorf School
  • Thornhill, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (360 students)
  • $12,470 to $23,400
  • $19,230 to $23,400JK - 12$4,000



     
     
    Primary curriculum
    Secondary curriculum
    Curriculum pace
    Academic culture
    Average class size
    Language immersion
    Special needs support
    Tech integration
    Alive Montessori & Private School
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (45 students)
  • $10,000 to $16,500
  • MontessoriWaldorfAcceleratedRigorous10 to 16No supportLight integration
    Trillium Waldorf School
  • Guelph, Ontario
  • K to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (160 students)
  • $8,594 to $13,941
  • WaldorfIndirect Support
    Agora Prep
  • Aurora, Ontario
  • 1 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (16 students)
  • Day school (60 students)
  • $500 to $18,500
  • ProgressiveWaldorfStudent-pacedSupportive14 to 16Special needs schoolHeavy integration
    ACK-Autism Centre for kids
  • Vaughan, Ontario
  • K to 1 (Coed)
  • Day school (20 students)
  • $35,000 to $35,000
  • TraditionalWaldorfAcceleratedSupportive5 to 20Special needs schoolLight integration
    Waldorf Academy
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (150 students)
  • $4,160 to $19,150
  • WaldorfStandard-enrichedSupportiveResource AssistanceLight integration
    Polaris School and Centre
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (40 students)
  • $6,000 to $12,000
  • WaldorfStandard-enrichedSupportive8 to 12Indirect SupportLight integration
    Halton Waldorf School
  • Burlington, Ontario
  • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (230 students)
  • $17,600 to $17,600
  • WaldorfStandard-enrichedSupportive16 to 24No supportLight integration
    Carmel New Church School
  • Kitchener, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (40 students)
  • Liberal ArtsWaldorf6 to 15No support
    Toronto Waldorf School
  • Thornhill, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (360 students)
  • $12,470 to $23,400
  • WaldorfStandard-enrichedSupportive12 to 25Indirect SupportLight integration





     Legend:

     ADHD

    Learning disorders:
     Dyslexia
     Auditory processing disorder
     Dyscalculia
     Dysgraphia
     Language processing disorder
     Non-verbal learning disorders
     Visual motor deficit
    Development disorders:
     Autism
     Asperger's

    Behavioural and emotional:
     Troubled teens
     Depression
     Suicidal
     Substance abuse
     Oppositional defiant disorder
    Physical:
     Dyspraxia
     Blindness
     Deafness
     Cystic fibrosis
     Multiple physical
     
     
    Alive Montessori & Private School
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (45 students)
  • $10,000 to $16,500
  • Trillium Waldorf School
  • Guelph, Ontario
  • K to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (160 students)
  • $8,594 to $13,941
  • Agora Prep
  • Aurora, Ontario
  • 1 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (16 students)
  • Day school (60 students)
  • $500 to $18,500
  • ACK-Autism Centre for kids
  • Vaughan, Ontario
  • K to 1 (Coed)
  • Day school (20 students)
  • $35,000 to $35,000
  • Waldorf Academy
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (150 students)
  • $4,160 to $19,150
  • Polaris School and Centre
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (40 students)
  • $6,000 to $12,000
  • Halton Waldorf School
  • Burlington, Ontario
  • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (230 students)
  • $17,600 to $17,600
  • Carmel New Church School
  • Kitchener, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (40 students)
  • Toronto Waldorf School
  • Thornhill, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (360 students)
  • $12,470 to $23,400








  • Waldorf education, introduced by Rudolf Steiner in the early 20th century, continues to grow in popularity. There are over 1,000 Waldorf schools in the world, including about 30 in Canada, and 10 in Ontario. These are sometimes referred to as "Steiner schools."

    Below, we discuss some of the main features of a Waldorf education. Keep in mind, though, that schools vary in the way they implement the Waldorf approach, in Ontario and across Canada.

    Student-centred 

    Waldorf schools have a student-centred approach. Teachers rarely give long lectures to students or try to impart knowledge to them through tests or assignments (at least before grade 6).

    Instead, students, with the help of teachers, co-construct the Waldorf curriculum. This means students have plenty of flexibility to pursue their own projects and interests. That said, teachers follow a broad curriculum, and students must meet benchmarks (though benchmarks can be met in different ways by different students).

    Focus on creativity 

    On the Waldorf approach, in Ontario and elsewhere, there's a huge focus on creativity. Students take many subjects focusing on creativity and the imagination. And we’re not just talking about art and music.

    Waldorf students take poetry, drama, and creative writing. They also sometimes learn folk and fairy tales.

    Students also are taught a number of fine and practical arts. These include painting, drawing, sculpting, knitting, and weaving. They also learn to play different musical instruments, including the recorder and pentatonic flute.

    Moreover, music and the arts aren’t just taught on their own. They’re integrated throughout the curriculum. Lessons often start with a story, a song, music, drama, visual arts, or poetry. This is thought to engage students more in the material. It’s also thought to excite their passions and enliven their imaginations. And these aims are hallmarks of the Waldorf philosophy.

    Minimal grades 

    Learning is non-competitive. At least in Waldorf preschool and elementary school, students aren’t graded on tests or assignments. Letter grades are sometimes given in middle school and high school.

    It’s believed that grades can be harmful to education. They can impede a student’s motivation and natural curiosity. They also can interfere with a student’s love of learning.

    Instead, progress is assessed in other ways. Teachers review students’ portfolios of work developed over the school year. They discuss these portfolios with students and sometimes with parents at parent-teacher conferences. They also gauge academic progress and personal growth in other ways. For instance, they observe and reflect on how students focus, work, and interact in the Waldorf classroom.

    Minimal textbooks 

    Typically, teachers don’t use textbooks, even in the latter parts of elementary school. Instead, in some classes, each student has their own lesson book. These are books students use to write down their thoughts and experiences. In some Waldorf schools, more conventional textbooks may be used occasionally for some subjects, such as math or grammar.












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