Bell High School (Ottawa)

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Bell High School
Vitam Impendere Vero
Seek truth in life
40 Cassidy Road
Ottawa, Ontario, K2H 6K1, Canada
Public transit access OC Transpo: Chartered "600" Series, or 152 (morning, noon, afternoon), 118, 96, 69 (Peak Periods only)
School board Ottawa Carleton District School Board
Principal Mark Lafleur
Vice principal Nancy Dlouhy, Catherine Montebourg
Staff ~80
Grades 9-12
Language English, French
Area Nepean, Ottawa
Campus Suburban
Mascot Bruin
Team name Bell Bruins
Colours Red, Black and White             
Newspaper GloBELL Roar Newspaper [1]
Founded 1962
Enrollment 1126 (2011-2012)
Communities served Nepean, Rest of Ottawa for Gifted Education

Bell High School is a high school located in the Bells Corners neighbourhood of Ottawa, Ontario. Established in 1962 by the Carleton Board of Education as a public high school, it currently serves as one of only two facilities in the CBE with the OCDSB Gifted Program.[1] It also offers a comprehensive French Immersion and ESL program in addition to the normal academic program.[2]


The school consists of roughly 50% students from local districts as well as another 50% from other districts who transfer in order to attend its Gifted Program, French Immersion Program or ESL program.

Academically, Bell has one of the highest university placement rates in Ottawa. Virtually all students of its gifted program and a plurality in the academic program enter respectable university programs in Canada or internationally. Students often go to the local Carleton University and University of Ottawa, with others going to Queen’s University, McGill University, McMaster University University of Waterloo or University of British Columbia in Canada. Some graduates go to the United States; in the past, students have gone to Cornell University, Yale University and Harvard University.

Bell High School also offers comprehensive French Immersion studies for students wishing to pursue accreditation and fluency in French as well as a full range of Advance Placement courses and examinations for those whom wish to attain university credits during high school. AP Courses offered include:[3] Physics B, Calculus, English Literature, French, Macroeconomics and Studio Arts.

Beyond special academic curriculum, Bell High School offers a diverse and extensive range of academic studies. Reinforced by its excellent educational infrastructure and exceptional staff to student ratio of 13.3 (~1000 students to ~80 staff), Bell High School students almost always perform exceptionally in national mathematics, biology and business competitions. In the University of Waterloo Math Competitions, Bell has consistently ranked within the top 50 schools in the nation.[4]

To enforce Bell’s academic reputation, it is not uncommon for its students to travel across the nation to visit various institutions for enrichment studies. Some examples include the Canadian Light Source synchrotron (a particle accelerator) in Saskatchewan,[5] Huntsman Marine Science Center,[6] the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo,[7] McGill University and the University of Toronto for its Model United Nations conferences.[8] Many of Bell's students have been selected to attend the prestigious Shad Valley summer enrichment program for excellence in science, math, business and engineering.[9]

Bell also has an international travels program which sends students across the world in order to broaden their horizon. Destinations include Continental Europe, Asia, Japan and the Galapagos Islands.

Facilities and infrastructure[edit]

Bell High School is located on a spacious 25 ac (10 ha) campus, the school building itself is in the shape of the letter "E" and divided into several “wings”. Each wing contains the faculties of a different educational discipline, with Science, Mathematics and English and Social Studies each with their own wing. The school also has standard facilities, such as an art studio and cafeteria. Bell High School offers a large variety of educational infrastructure to enrich the studies of its students. This includes the active integration of technology: including projectors, four modern computer labs, and SmartBoards as well as a large range of physical infrastructure.

The school also has a two-storey library with computer access, a student services office, two music rooms, a drama studio, an extensive costume storage room, a dance studio, a drafting studio, a full-sized gym with bleachers, a greenhouse, an automotive garage, two construction workshops and indoor weight training and exercise facilities.

Because of the size of its campus, Bell High School offers a full range of sports amenities and well as a large degree of recreational green space. The school has two baseball diamonds, two full-sized soccer fields (one doubles as a football field, with bleachers), an all season indoor hockey arena (Bell Centennial Arena) and a 400 m gravel track either directly owned by the school or owned by the City of Ottawa immediately adjacent to the property.

Due to the large number of students attending Bell High School from other neighborhoods, four “600” series buses, as well as a special 93, 152 and 188 route (to Bell H.S. only) have been charted from the OC Transpo to run a custom route in order to transport students.[10]

Student activities[edit]

Bell High School has an extremely active student population which hosts a huge variety of activities such as leadership camps (a massive 3 day affair involving more than 30% of the school population) to games and other fun events. An elected Students' Council holds this event, as well as World Vision's 30 Hour Famine, and other events for charity and awareness.

Beyond activities, Bell also engages extensively in fundraising efforts. Through these efforts, Bell has contributed significantly to the local community and even managed to construct a sister school in Kenya[11] which it maintains as an on-going humanitarian project. Other than its fundraisers and humanitarian projects, Bell High School also hosts a plethora of events to actively promote arts and culture, though performances, banquets and shows.

The students of Bell also run a diverse list of clubs from philanthropic organizations to academic groups. Among the list are Anime Club, A/V (Audio/Visual) Crew, BISA (Bell Islamic Students' Association), Breakfast Club (Bell's Christian group), Chess Club, Community Science Club, Debate Club, the GloBELL Roar Newspaper, Rainbow Alliance (Supporting the LGBTQ Community), Interact Club (Part of Rotary International), Key Club, OSAID (Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving), Reach for the Top (placing first nationally in 1993), the University Math Club, Pokémon Club and a host of others.[12]

Bell is also known for its exceptional drama program, consistently earning recognitions at the annual Sears Ontario Drama Festival. The 2008 production, "Whitechapel," was published in "Festival Voices," an anthology of plays written by students and teachers for the Festival. Bell also has an annual musical production which has been regarded by local media as professional quality for its outstanding production values.[13] It is also consistently recognized by “The Cappies” for its excellence in the field.


Bell High School has a large roster of sport teams which participate in all fashions of sports under the Bell Bruins name (the mascot of the school, a bear). Out of its roster, Bell particularly excels at rugby, basketball,[14] badminton, wrestling and track and field, frequently qualifying for nationals and Pan-American level competitions.

The teams offered by Bell High School (all teams have male and female divisions) include: soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, badminton, field hockey, rugby, cross country running, Nordic skiing, Alpine skiing, hockey, track and field, curling, baseball, wrestling and swimming. In 2010, badminton players from Bell earned two OFSAA provincial gold titles and a silver title in an unprecedented performance by one school.[15]

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Steve Yzerman, member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning
  • John Manley, Canadian lawyer, businessman, and politician.
  • John Baird, Canadian politician, current Minister of Foreign Affairs.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bell High School - The Gifted Program". Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  2. ^ "Bell High School - School Profile". Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  3. ^ "Bell High School - School Profile". Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  4. ^ = 26 December 2009 "Bell High School - Success Stories". 
  5. ^ "Bell's synchrotron team". Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  6. ^ "Huntsman Marine Center". Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  7. ^ "ISSYP participation list". Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  8. ^ "SSUNs Conference". Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "OC Tranpso - High Schools and Middle Schools". OC OC Transpo. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "Bell Raises money for school in Kenya". Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  12. ^ "Bell High School - About". Archived from the original on 26 November 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  13. ^ "Sears Drama Festival: Ottawa-Carleton Awards 2009". Retrieved 26 December 2009. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Bell Basketball Champions". Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  15. ^ "National Capital athletes give record-breaking performances at OFSAA badminton championships". Archived from the original on 13 July 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°19′33″N 75°48′35″W / 45.32583°N 75.80972°W / 45.32583; -75.80972