David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute

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David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute
David and Mary Thomson CI Logo.svg
Nil Sine Magno Labore
Nothing without great effort
David and Mary Thomson CI.jpg
2740 Lawrence Avenue East
Bendale, Scarborough, Ontario, M1P 2S7, Canada
Coordinates 43°45′12″N 79°15′34″W / 43.75333°N 79.25944°W / 43.75333; -79.25944Coordinates: 43°45′12″N 79°15′34″W / 43.75333°N 79.25944°W / 43.75333; -79.25944
Public transit access TTC:
North/South: 21 Brimley, 57 Midland
West/East: 54 Lawrence East, 131E Nugget Express
Rapid Transit: Kennedy, Lawrence East, Scarborough Centre
School number 4130 / 903590
School board Toronto District School Board
(Scarborough Board of Education)
Oversight Toronto Lands Corporation
Religious affiliation none
Superintendent John Chasty
Area trustee David Smith
Principal William Papaconstantinou
Vice Principals Nicholas Leslie English
Alison Kelsey
Staff Shannon McKibbin
School type Public High school
Grades 9-12
Language English
Team name Thomson Titans
Colours Red and Black         
Founded 1959
Status Active
Enrollment 1221[1] (2013-14)
Homepage David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute

David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute (sporadically known as David and Mary Thomson CI, DMTCI, DMT, D & M Thomson or Thomson) is a semestered English-language high school located in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada originally sanctioned by the Scarborough Board of Education until its merger with its successor board, the Toronto District School Board in 1998.[2]


The plaque for the David and Mary Thomson C.I. dated 1957 on the wall.

The David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute school building was built in 1958 and opened on September 8, 1959 by the Scarborough Board of Education splitting off the population of Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute and R. H. King Collegiate Institute. This school is located in the heart of historical Scarborough. The building was designed by the architects, Peter L. Allward and George Roper Gouinlock.

Being opened as the sixth secondary school in the borough. W. A. Porter Collegiate Institute, the fifth secondary school, had been opened the year before. These two years marked the beginning of the fantastically accelerating growth period in the Scarborough school system necessitated by the equally fantastic growth in business and industry and in the general population.

Scarborough's first Director of Education, the late Dr. Reginald H. King, and the first Superintendent of Secondary Schools, the late A. E. Robinson were, of course, deeply involved in all new school planning. And one of their prime considerations was to develop multi-purpose buildings which could be used by the general public both during and outside of regular school hours. Hence the accessibility of such areas as the auditorium, the gymnasia, the library, the cafeteria, the offices, and in some schools the swimming pools became particularly important. So in the planning of Thomson, as with other schools, many hours were spent by the Board and the officials in meeting with the architects.

Dr. King, a classical scholar, was deeply interested in history but particularly in local pioneer history. For this reason he strongly advocated naming this new school after Scarborough's first European pioneers, David and Mary Thomson. The land David and Mary Thomson C.I. is located on was owned by descendants of the Thomson family. After the Board had accepted this suggestion a list was developed of present descendants of the Thomson family not only in Scarborough but in other parts of Canada and the United States as well. The school's secretarial department then typed hundreds of invitations to the official opening ceremonies.

Surprisingly enough the event brought large numbers of Thomson relatives from all over the United States and Canada. The family tree was investigated in detail by enthusiastic groups who sometimes discovered aunts, uncles and cousins never known to each other before. In an effort to establish some sort of a permanent information bureau which could be consulted in future years, the meeting elected Dick Thomson, a lawyer and a popular resident of Scarborough, to accept the difficult task of working on this idea. Dick's aunt, the late Dr. Isabella Davidson, who had been a medical missionary in India, had vivid childhood memories of one of the early Thomson homes. A talented amateur artist, she painted a picture on one of these homes which she personally presented to the school at its First Commencement in 1960. Today this picture hangs in the main office. Later, other members of the family contributed pioneer artifacts for display in the school.

At the time Thomson was in the planning stage, the potential for television in education was a popular topic for discussion but not much had been done about it. Here again Dr. King provided the incentive for experimentation and Thomson became the first secondary school in Scarborough, if not in Canada, to have cable television incorporated in the structure of the building. Some of the earliest experiments in this system involved transmitting a display or experiment produced in one classroom simultaneously to several other classrooms. For example, a teaching model of the Shakespearian Globe Theatre was telecast in this way, as was the dissection of a frog from a science lab. Since that time the invention and perfection of video tape machines have entirely changed the original concept of educational television.

The cornerstone "1958" was erected in 1961.

As a new and innovative school in a new and rapidly growing metropolitan area where many opportunities for promotion were inevitable, Thomson attracted a wealth of applications from both experienced and inexperienced personnel for both Faculty and Secretarial positions. Staff connections with Malvern Collegiate Institute in Toronto were so numerous that it was jokingly suggested that the school should be called David and Malvern instead of David and Mary.

Despite the handicap of occupying a building still under construction, the school opened on time. the cafeteria was the only large area available for the first few weeks. Hence in addition to its primary purpose, it became a temporary assembly hall. The gymnasium and the auditorium were far from being finished. This confused situation was compounded by weekly and sometimes daily visits from groups of educators near and far who wished to see the television experiment in action. With the school officially opened on February 17, 1960, the "1958" cornerstone of the David and Mary Thomson C.I. was erected in 1961.

The school underwent additions in the 1960s and 1970s such as extra classrooms, new double gymnasium, science labs, enlarged library, and vocational shops.

In 1986, due to Bill 30, a law in Ontario after the province funded Roman Catholic separate schools announced in 1984, Thomson was considered to be shared by the Metropolitan Separate School Board (now known as the Toronto Catholic District School Board) by the Scarborough Board of Education, but was vetoed by parents due to concerns (Thomson, however, would serve as the temporary site of Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies after the SBE gave up Tabor Park Vocational School to the MSSB in 1989.)

Merger and possible sale of the site[edit]

A new "superschool" will be built behind Bendale, resulting Thomson site to be potentially sold or leased to another school board.

On February 4, 2009, The Toronto District School Board approved a plan to merge David and Mary Thomson with the neighbouring Bendale Business and Technical Institute, forming an expanded state-of-the-art education campus on Midland Avenue, north of Lawrence Ave.

The plan originally called for eventual demolition of Thomson Collegiate and the sale of its prime land fronting Lawrence Avenue for commercial development.[3][4][5] The Thomson site and building (12.3 acres) was declared surplus by the Toronto Lands Corporation in June 2012 and was originally acquired by Conseil Scolaire Viamonde in early 2013 for its future use for a high school, and the offer was terminated due to the Ministry of Education has not approved their funding leaving Thomson's future unclear. [6] [7]


David and Mary Thomson has maintained a reputation for academic excellence. The programs for Grades 9 to 12 are semestered to accommodate the program needs of all students. The school's population of approximately 1250 is ideal for teacher/student mentoring. In Grade 9, students receive special attention throughout the year in order to ensure a smooth transition to high school. Extensive use is made of peer leaders in Grade 9 classes, as well as PASS (Peer Assistied Student Success), and peer tutors.

Thomson offers students the opportunity to experience a rich variety of program choices. The goal is to encourage students to become successful productive citizens through experiences in all facets of the curriculum. Students are encouraged to take an active role in developing leadership skills through participation in clubs, activities, and school-wide committees and initiatives. The co-curricular activities, and the strong academic program combine to encourage student success, which is measured in terms of both academic and personal development. Access to computer technology is available in all areas through subject-specific and cross-curricular labs.


Floor plans of David and Mary Thomson

David and Mary Thomson is situated in a 15 acre land out of 38 acres sharing the property with Bendale, Highbrook Senior Public School/Learning Centre and Donwood Junior Public School. The 232,239 sq. ft. campus was built in a modern two-storey building consisting of 52 academic classrooms with department offices for English, Math, Social Sciences and Canadian/World Studies, nine science labs, two drafting rooms, two large gymnasia (one front and one back) that can be partitioned into four gyms with each training rooms in the upper area that no school has, two music rooms, a drama room, two art rooms, a sewing room, a home economics, a 500-seat auditorium in the upper and lower sections with a stage named after Stanley Farrow - a music teacher at the school, a cafeteria complex with servery, large atrium, two courtyards, a student council room, faculty lounge, a larger but expanded library, the main office with one room for the principal, two for the vice principals, and the conference room, guidance office, and six specialized shops (two wood shops, art, automotive with 3 bays, machine, and drafting). It also has 9 staircases with fire exits.

Somewhat the rooms/hallways are groups in the 00s and 10s per floor in the eastern side of the original building (save for the 130s), while the 40s, 50s, and 60s are constantly numbered from the western/centre portions of the building from the additions built in the 1960s. The lockers come in various designs painted bright yellow.

The Fix-It Shop is an 18 week pre-apprenticeship Carpentry program operated by Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies that originated from the former Tabor Park Vocational School in 1986.

12.2 acres or the original 15 of the Thomson property was to be sold with Conseil Scolaire Viamonde the potential buyer . After the funding was rejected, the TDSB has to reconsider the future use of the David and Mary Thomson property.[8][3] The fate of the SCAS Carpentry program remains unknown.

Music Department[edit]

The Thomson Music Department offers a comprehensive band and vocal program with a regular concert season featuring its signature ensembles: The Thomson Singers, Junior Concert Band, Jazz Band, and The Thomson Senior Concert Band. There is also a Music Executive which facilitates and assists in concert planning and music events.


As Reginald H. King was a classicist, he had accumulated a large collection of Latin mottoes, many of which had already been adopted by existing schools as their own. Thus the problem became one of selecting a suitable motto for Thomson which was not already in use. The motto, "NIL SINE MAGNO LABORE" was selected as being the most appropriate. Certainly it expressed one of Dr. King's deepest convictions that nothing without great effort. This motto was incorporated in the Thomson logo which continues in use at the present time. It appears at the base of a scarlet maple leaf on which is shown a lamp of learning and the initials D and M in white. The leaf is flanked by a large C and I both in black. Finally the name Thomson, white on a scarlet, background, surmounts the rest of the design. Embarrassingly enough, after these colours were selected, scarlet, black and white, it was realized that they were the same as those of Nazi Germany.

School song[edit]

Into the darkness of the forest to pioneer the land, David and Mary Thomson bravely came
Where proudly now we stand. Never the fear of toil dismayed them; May we their sons the same
Ever be striving to bring honour to, The school that bears their name.
Hail Thomson! We will fight For Scarlet, Black, and White.
The Maple Leaf our emblem for Thomson for ever more!

Notable Alumni[edit]




Assembly areas[edit]

Stan Farrow Auditorium[edit]



Vocational Shops[edit]

Academic Services[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute Facts and Figures". Find a School Database. Toronto District School Board. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2012-12-23. 
  2. ^ http://www.tdsb.on.ca/schools/details.asp?FeatureID=S&schno=4130&schoolId=1140&Status=L
  3. ^ a b Disposition of Midland-Lawrence Redevelopment - TCDSB
  4. ^ http://www.thomsonforever.ca/2012/11/25/thomsons-fate-is-sealed/
  5. ^ "Public board to merge Bendale and Thomson high schools". Thomson site likely to be sold as part of plan. Scarborough Mirror. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  6. ^ http://www.thomsonforever.ca/2013/11/29/thomson-ci-site-and-building-have-been-acquired-by-french-school-board/
  7. ^ http://www.thomsonforever.ca/2014/06/30/new-complication-in-plans-for-disposition-of-thomson-ci-site-and-lands/
  8. ^ http://www.tdsb.on.ca/boardroom/bd_agenda/uploads/May_29_2013/Operations_and_Facilities_Management_Committee/130529_Lawrence_Midland_2105.pdf

External links[edit]