Hillfield Strathallan College

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Hillfield Strathallan College
Hillfield Strathallan College
Motto Velle Est Posse and Excelsior[1]
Established 1901
Type (Co-ed)
Headmaster Mr. Marc Ayotte
Students 1200
Grades J-K to 12
Location Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Mascot The Trojan
Website www.hsc.on.ca

Hillfield Strathallan College is a Canadian private, co-educational day school in Hamilton, Ontario. The academic program runs from Junior Kindergarten or Montessori, until Grade 12. The current headmaster is Mr. Marc Ayotte, and their Educational Director is Brenda Zwolak.

Hillfield Strathallan College is divided into 4 unique schools – Montessori, Junior, Middle, and Senior School.


Postcard of Highfield School, circa 1910

Founded in 1901 as Highfield School for Boys, this school was the first private residential and day school for boys in the city of Hamilton. It was a prep school for boys planning to enter the Royal Military College of Canada. Many graduates played key roles in the Canadian military. A series of name changes, reconstructions, new construction, and amalgamations with other institutions have since occurred, resulting in a single modern co-educational facility. Strathallan College was a school for girls nearby. Eventually, the two schools merged and began a co-education program. Alumni from all founding organizations attended the centennial celebration in 2001.


  • 1901 – Highfield School for Boys founded with premises on Aberdeen Avenue between Bay Street South and Ravenscliffe Avenue
  • 1920 – Hillcrest School was founded on the Northwest corner of Main & Queen Streets, as a replacement for the previous school that burned down two years prior.
  • 1923 – Strathallan School founded with premises on 15 Robinson Street in Hamilton.
  • 1929 – Hillcrest School and Highfield School were merged into Hillfield School, with new premises on Main Street West in Hamilton.
  • A memorial plaque was unveiled as a list of honour In proud memory of Boys of Highfield School who gave their lives in the Great War [2]
  • mid-50s – 25 Robinson Street was purchased to augment the facilities.
  • 1959 – The Hillfield School program was extended through Grade 13 and the school was renamed Hillfield College.
  • 1961 – Strathallan School was renamed Strathallan College.
  • 1962 – The two colleges, now named Hillfield-Strathallan Colleges, were put under a single Board of Governors, which ran the colleges in co-ordinated but separate manner during a transition period. The current site of the college was acquired, a 50-acre (200,000 m2) campus on 299 Fennell Avenue West on the Hamilton Mountain.
  • 1963 – The schools operated as co-ordinate schools with a headmaster and headmistress.
  • 1970s – The administrations consolidated and first the Primary, then the Senior and finally the Junior schools came together and co-educated. The 'New' Gym, now the Michael G. DeGroote Gym, was built and the Junior School extended.
  • 1980s/1990s – Major additions to the campus, included the Library, new science labs, the Early Education Gym, the ARC, a new Montessori school (early education), state of the art music and art facilities and a brand new auditorium, the "Artsplex". The academic program was redesigned to reflect modern practice.
  • 1994 – The bubbling rock is turned on in the redesigned Ketchum Forecourt for the first time.
  • 2001 – The College celebrated its centennial year, after 100 years of education in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
  • 2004 – The school spent just over $2 Million Canadian on a major Gateway and Entrance renovation, called the "Centennial Gateway" that took nearly 8 months to complete.
  • 2005 – Hillfield Strathallan College acquires its own official coat of arms and a new HSC crest and flag, all unveiled for the first time by the Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
  • 2012 – The new Michael G. DeGroote Senior School opened its doors for the first time.

Mission statement[edit]

"At Hillfield Strathallan College, we prepare young people for higher learning and life by emphasizing academic excellence and the nurturing of the whole child."

The College's buildings[edit]

The buildings have all been named after staff or benefactors who contributed to the development of the College.

Building names[edit]

  • Page Building – Contains the page gym, along with all the locker rooms, and on the top floor is Lawson Hall, where the students eat lunch, and some formal functions take place.
  • Holton Building – The school's administration building, home to the main office, the admissions office and the office of the Headmaster.
  • Wansbrough Building – The ARC – College's libraries, Swap Centre, Campus store, main entrance (Rotunda), IT department and integrated design tech and comm tech classrooms.
  • Artsplex – A new building that houses the 450-seat, state-of-the-art theatre and the music facilities, including many practice studios (built in the 1980s and upgraded in 1999). Also attached to this building is the advancement office.
  • DeGroote Gymnasium – The newest school gymnasium, built by the generosity of Michael G. DeGroote, a very significant benefactor of the College.
  • Strathallan Building – Colloquially known as "Strath", this is currently being renovated into an office building.
  • Young Building – Also used by the Senior School and Middle School, this building houses the senior science labs, computer labs and other classrooms.
  • Heaven Building – Middle School building.
  • Collinson Building – Another Middle School building.
  • Foundation Portable – The HR & Alumni offices.
  • Parent's Association Portable
  • Board Room Portable
  • Montessori Building – It is the home to students in early education. Students ages 3–10 either attend the Montessori or Junior school.
  • Killip Building – Junior school

Killip Extension Building- Hold 2 Junior School classrooms, the Early-Ed Gym, and the Junior School nurse.

  • Transportation Building – A new building that opened in September 2006 to house transportation staff offices.

DeGroote Senior School- State of the art building that was opened in September 2012. It houses the senior school.

The House system[edit]

For generations, the HSC House system has provided a forum for friendly sporting competition, charitable work, and spirit-building. Every student and faculty member is a member of a house. The House system gives students a sense of belonging to a small cross-grade group within the school community and promotes school spirit.

Houses are familial tradition, so if the child of an Old Boy or Old Girl attends Hillfield Strathallan College, that child will be placed in the same house as their parent. However, if both parents attended the College, children will be placed in the house of their father.[3] House loyalty is very strong, and lives on through competitions for Old Boys and Old Girls at annual Homecoming celebrations.

Here are the brother/sister houses and the corresponding house colours:

  • Pine/Yre – Yellow
  • Maple/Tay – Orange
  • Birch/Earn – Red
  • Cedar/More – Blue

The Brother Houses are named after trees and their Sister Houses take their names from lakes in Scotland. Students wear house ties that combine their house colours with the traditional Hillfield green. Students hold weekly House Meetings, and participate in house competitions throughout the year. As well some houses fund raise for various charities by hosting bake sales and grub days. Upper-year students are chosen as House Captains in a vote of the entire house, and senior faculty members are appointed as House Masters or House Mistresses.


Hillfield Strathallan College has been known for its dramatic productions and musicals. Plays are performed in the fall term, and musicals take place in the spring. All theatrical performances take place in the College's auditorium, "The Artsplex."

The Artsplex is also the venue for the Concert Series, which promotes Canadian talent through the presentation of outstanding vocal and instrumental performances to audiences in the Hamilton area.

Notable alumni[edit]

Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra[edit]

The Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (HPYO) recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, still operating under the baton of the orchestra's founder, Dr. Glen Allan Mallory, who has since retired. The HPYO is the "Orchestra in Residence" at Hillfield [1]. Approximately 55 young musicians aged 9 to 44 are a part of the orchestra. For a number of years, this orchestra has used Hillfield Strathallan College's music facilities to conduct their rehearsals and also frequently as a venue for their concerts. Under Dr. Mallory's guidance, The Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra has performed in many cities, including Carnegie Hall in New York City, Rome, Ottawa, Montreal, Banff, Alabama & Northampton, England.[2]


  1. ^ Gageworth, Cresswell: Hillfield Strathallan College: The First Hundred Years pp. 12, 23
  2. ^ http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/nic-inm/sm-rm/mdsr-rdr-eng.asp?PID=8252 War Memorial plaque
  3. ^ Schneidenheim, Klaus-Helmutt (2001). Hillfield Strathallan College: An Illustrated History. Hillfield Strathallan Press. pp. iv–v, 3–5. ISBN 978-1-4033-8062-3. 

External links[edit]