Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute

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Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute
Eastern Commerce Collegiate.JPG
Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve.
16 Phin Avenue
East Danforth, Toronto, Ontario, M4J 3T2, Canada
School number 5810 / 902375
School board Toronto District School Board
(Toronto Board of Education)
Religious affiliation None
Superintendent Mike Gallagher
Area trustee Jennifer Story
Principal Jennifer Chan
Vice Principal Leonor Lopes
School type Public High school
Grades 10-12
Language English, French
Team name Eastern Commece Saints
Colours Red, Black, and White             
Founded 1925
Status Active
Enrollment 65 (2014-15)
Homepage Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute

Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute (also called as Eastern Commerce CI, ECCI, or Eastern Commerce; formerly known as Eastern High School of Commerce) is a public high school in Toronto, Ontario part of the Toronto Board of Education begore being incorporated into the Toronto District School Board. It offers a range of courses leading to all Ministry pathways: University, College, Apprenticeship, and Workplace. Co-operative Education is an integral part of the curriculum. The motto is "Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve".


Early years[edit]

The school began its roots after World War I. In October 1923, pupils east of the Don River needed easier access to secondary schooling with an emphasis on business and commercial studies. The school board purchased 12 lots of land for $42,300 for a planned 12-room school facility. [1]

Cornerstone was laid by Edmund Gunn on January 29, 1924. Beneath the cornerstone were placed four Toronto newspapers; data and blueprints relating to the school’s construction; Board of Education by-laws and annual report; a few silver and copper coins. That October, during construction, the Board of Education decided to install coal-burning furnaces in the new school instead of oil heaters, to cut costs. Students voted for a 40-minute noon recess instead of the hour and a half requested by a parent; the shorter lunch break meant a 3 p.m. dismissal.[1]

When the school opened in Septemer 1925 as Eastern High School of Commerce, only some of the classrooms were ready. Te gymnasium, auditorium, or basement have yet to be built. For Physical Training (P.T.) classes, students walked along Danforth Avenue and surrounding areas for fresh air and exercise. Typewriting classes were held in the hall near the principal’s office. Students ate lunches on a plank sidewalk that led to a ravine behind the school, which held a city dump. (The ravine was later filled in with horse-drawn cartloads of earth to become a playing field for school sports clubs, including rugby. In winter, the field became a skating rink.) All classes had to adapt to the noise and movements of building operations. The founding principal was Walter Keast, who served until 1943. There were 21 teachers and 851 students.[1]

During the 1926-1927 year, the school’s popularity grew quickly. The three-storey south wing, containing 18 new classrooms was completed. The next year, the Student Council was founded under Its inaugurating president, Ernest H. Partridge.[1]

With more students enrolled between 1930 and 1931, 6 more classrooms, an auditorium, a swimming pool, two gymnasia, and a cafeteria opened. (Boys and girls were separated in the cafeteria, as they were in classrooms at the time.)[1]


In 1933, due to the Great Depression, Many students had to leave school to find work. Some returned later to finish and to go on to university. The enrollment 1,713 students during the day and 2,200 at night. [1]

During World War II, the ratio of girls to boys was about 10:1. The Junior Red Cross planned many concerts and dances; organized a knitting club which sent socks, sweaters, scarves, and gloves to Canadian troops. Some Eastern Commerce students worked on: “rehabilitation of French children whose parents were forced to give them up during the war


First graduates of the four-year Junior Clerical Course received their certificates in 1951.[1]

As the school grows during the post war years, overcrowding ensues. As a result, between 1961 and 1966, six additional classrooms and two music rooms opened with the North wing, along Chatham Avenue, also contained a health centre and new cafeteria and the South wing. A third gymnasium, a library, a large-group instruction room, data processing room, language lab, and business machines room were also added. In 1967 the Grade 13 departmental exams were discontinued.[1]

Present day[edit]

In 1973, Subway Academy I, the first alternative school, began sharing Eastern’s building and principal, but otherwise ran separately. The school celebrated its 60th anniversary in 1985.[1]

Beginning in 2003, the school was renamed to Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute[1]

In 2009, Eastern Commerce began a “late start” policy. Classes would start at 10 a.m. “to provide an optimum accommodation for the sleep and study needs particularly required by teenagers.”

Decline and impending closure[edit]

When the school rose to enrollment in its early years of existence, the population began to shrink by 400 students in 2009. However by 2014, only 65 students were registered in the under-used building that could fit for 1,100 students.[2] In January 2015, during the turmoil between the TDSB trustees and the Ontario Minister of Education Liz Sandals, a report of the list of changes was published by Margaret Wilson. The Globe and Mail reported that Eastern Commerce is one of five schools that could face possible closure by June 2015 due to declining enrollment.[3][2]


For students entering post-secondary education, the school offers a Specialist High Skills Major in Business and Marketing. For students going into the workforce, two Business certificates can be linked with Co-op and Information Technology: The National Retail Business Certificate and an internationally recognized Computer Licence Certificate. In 2002, the department won the Kenneth Fryer Award for excellence in mathematics teaching[citation needed]. Classes are integrated with technology including computer labs with Internet access and Smart Boards.

Located close to Donlands subway station, Eastern is readily accessible to students from all parts of the City of Toronto. Eastern Commerce shares the building with Subway Academy I, and it is also very close to Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute.

Specialist High Skills Major - Business[edit]

A Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) – Business is a type of ministry-approved specialized program. A SHSM allows students to focus on knowledge and skills that are of particular importance in certain business sectors, and to obtain certifications recognized in the business field, as they work towards meeting the requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Students will graduate with a Business SHSM designation on their diploma. They are prepared for success in the business sector and in the postsecondary destination of their choice, whether it be apprenticeship training, a college or university program, or the workplace.


Eastern Commerce offers several extra-curricular sports:

Intramural activities are scheduled to begin at Eastern Commerce in September 2009.


Eastern Commerce is well known for its elite basketball program. The Senior Boys have won eight provincial championships and many students have gone on to receive NCAA scholarships. Recently, the Senior Girls team has become a success, winning provincial championships in 2007 and 2008.

Despite its small size, Eastern Commerce always competes at the top level of provincial competition in basketball. During the 2008-2009 season, the school became the first institution to win Boys and Girls AAAA Basketball Titles.

The basketball program will conclude at the end of the 2014-15 season due to low student body.[2]

Student Clubs[edit]

Eastern offers a variety of co-curricular programs.

Student Senate[edit]

The Student Senate supports programs for school-wide enrichment. The 2014/2015 Student Senate consists of President Sofian Hashim, Vice President Muhammad Haroon, and Secretary Ahmad Abidi who represent the school in many different events. Other leadership programs include the Eastern Ambassadors, selected to represent the school in various community functions, and Future Leaders, a mentor ship program assisting junior students. The School Council meets regularly and assists in the shared decision-making process. Eastern provides a balance between academics and school/community participation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j http://torontofamilyhistory.org/kingandcountry/tdsb/secondary-a-f
  2. ^ a b c Sbiet, Tariq Eastern Commerce Toronto Basketball Legacy Will Live On Forever - NorthPoleHoops.com, 24 November 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  3. ^ Fatima, Sahar and Howlett, Karen One in five Toronto schools targets for possible closing - The Globe and Mail (Mobile), 29 January 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • Erdman, Wayne. Eastern High School of Commerce 60th anniversary, 1925-1985. Toronto: The School, 1985. unpaged; ill.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°40′45″N 79°20′11″W / 43.679266°N 79.336409°W / 43.679266; -79.336409