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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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  • Toronto Waldorf School
  • Halton Waldorf School
  • Dewey Institute
  • Waldorf Academy


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 NameTypePaceCost

Toronto Waldorf School (est. 1968)  

  • Thornhill, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (360 students)
Toronto Waldorf School offers a curriculum that integrates academics,arts & movement, and addresses the intellectual, physical, emotional & social aspects of child development. Preschool to gr. 12. [View profile]
  • Waldorf
Standard-enriched$18,000 to $21,000

Halton Waldorf School (est. 1984)  

  • Burlington, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (180 students)
Halton Waldorf School in Burlington, Ontario offers a licensed preschool, kindergarten and grades 1 to 12. It’s average class size is 15 to 21 students. [View profile]
  • Waldorf
Standard-enriched$8,800 to $14,620

Dewey Institute   

  • Bracebridge, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Boarding school (130 students)
We uphold and pursue a pragmatic, balanced education with an emphasis on art, sports and music to cultivate talents to lead the new century. [View profile]
  • Traditional
  • Waldorf
Accelerated$20,000 to $35,000

Waldorf Academy (est. 1987)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (240 students)
Waldorf Academy offers programs from childcare to grade eight in downtown Toronto. Its average class size is 18 students. [View profile]
  • Waldorf
Standard-enriched$5,040 to $19,950
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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)
Toronto Waldorf School
  • Thornhill, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (360 students)
  • $4,100 to $20,900
  • $17,900 to $20,900Preschool - 12
    Halton Waldorf School
  • Burlington, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (180 students)
  • $12,000 to $14,620
  • $12,000 to $14,620K - 12
    Waldorf Academy
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (240 students)
  • $4,160 to $19,150
  • $17,700 to $19,15020%JK - 8$9,000



     
     
    Primary curriculum
    Secondary curriculum
    Curriculum pace
    Academic culture
    Average class size
    Language immersion
    Special needs support
    Tech integration
    Toronto Waldorf School
  • Thornhill, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (360 students)
  • $4,100 to $20,900
  • WaldorfStandard-enrichedSupportive12 to 25Indirect SupportLight integration
    Halton Waldorf School
  • Burlington, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (180 students)
  • $12,000 to $14,620
  • WaldorfStandard-enrichedSupportive15No supportLight integration
    Dewey Institute
  • Bracebridge, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Boarding school (130 students)
  • TraditionalWaldorfAcceleratedSupportive12 to 17Special needs school
    Waldorf Academy
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (240 students)
  • $4,160 to $19,150
  • WaldorfStandard-enrichedSupportive12 to 20Resource AssistanceLight 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
     
     
    Toronto Waldorf School
  • Thornhill, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (360 students)
  • $4,100 to $20,900
  • Halton Waldorf School
  • Burlington, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (180 students)
  • $12,000 to $14,620
  • Dewey Institute
  • Bracebridge, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Boarding school (130 students)
  • Waldorf Academy
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (240 students)
  • $4,160 to $19,150








  • 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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