Oakwood Collegiate Institute

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Oakwood Collegiate Institute
Oakwood Collegiate Institute.JPG
991 St. Clair Ave West
Toronto, Ontario, M6E 1A3, Canada
School board Toronto District School Board
Principal Ellen Austrom
School type Public High School
Grades 9-12
Mascot Barons
Colours Double Blue and Gold             
Established 1908
Enrollment 689 (Budgeted enrolment 2013-14)
Homepage http://schools.tdsb.on.ca/OakwoodCI/

Oakwood Collegiate Institute (known to students as OCI or Oakwood) is a public high school in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located near the neighbourhoods of Regal Heights, Oakwood-Vaughan and Bracondale-Hill/Hillcrest.

History & Alumni[edit]

Oakwood was founded in 1908. Originally situated above King Edward Public School (Jr. & Sr.), in 1911 the permanent location opened at the corner of St. Clair Ave. West and Oakwood Ave. Oakwood celebrated its 100th anniversary in May 2008 through the co-operation of the school and the Oakwood Collegiate Alumni Association (OCAA).Among its distinguished alumni: Writer and television star Patrick Watson, Spoken Word Poet and writer Boonaa Mohammed, writer Michael Hornyanski, CBC Children's Television executives Fred Rainsberry and John Kennedy, R&B singer Jully Black, jazz musician Jane Bunnett, Bob Ezrin, producer of Pink Floyd's Pink Floyd's The Wall, and Stephen Lewis, former leader of the NDP, broadcaster and diplomat, and renowned magician James Randi.Joe Spence graduated in 1949.went on to work in TV sports at CTV and then read the news on CBC Ottawa from 1973-1995. The school's motto, tempus litteris demus, is translated from the Latin in this context to mean "take the time to learn."


Oakwood's population studies in a three storey building and has a gym, weight room and art department located in the basement. The "centre" of the building is the school's auditorium, and can be accessed from the first and second floors. Two wings just out from the main building, one in a westerly direction (towards Dufferin St.), and one in a southerly direction (towards Davenport Rd.)

The basement houses the departments of Visual Arts and Technological Design, as well as the school's athletic facilities: two gyms, a smaller "games room" used for intramural sports, a pool with a viewing gallery, and a weight room.

During the last stretch of the Ontario New Democratic Party government of Bob Rae, Oakwood was next on the list of schools to be renovated, directly after Riverdale Collegiate Institute. After Rae had lost the 1995 provincial elections to the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario under Mike Harris, the plans for renovation were scrapped. Among them were plans for a re-orientation of the auditorium (which would face east, not south), and an orchestra pit.


Oakwood has a multicultural student body with many students from the Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Caribbean communities.


Contrary to an increasing number of schools in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), the school remains non-semestered; in other words, a course runs for a full year. Oakwood follows a four-day "block" cycle, although due to its status as a non-semestered school, classes are shorter and occur more frequently. Each period lasts approximately 75 minutes during a regularly scheduled day. Days that do not fit the regular pattern have modified period starting and ending times.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Oakwood is home to a wide number of clubs and services available to students

The Acorn[edit]

The Acorn is Oakwood's student newspaper. Articles, as well as stories, poetry, and comics, are submitted by student writers to be published in the paper. Various departmental newsletters exist to inform students of developments in each departments. Messages from the school's administration are handed out in a student's homeform class.


Oakwood is home to the Barons and the Lady Barons sports teams. The school has traditionally performed in soccer, rugby, hockey basketball, field hockey, and archery. The school is home to several intramural leagues (i.e. students against students), including basketball and floor hockey. Athletic teams are managed by the department of Physical Education, the Girls' Athletic Association (GAA) and the Boys' Athletic Association (BAA). The two gyms provide sufficient, yet limited use for games between Oakwood and other high schools. Intramural league games are held in a third gymnasium named the "Games Room"; a weight room is available to students during regular school hours.

Student government[edit]

Government is provided by the student organization Caput (Latin for "Head"). There are six positions available: The President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Social Convenor are all elected by students in the spring. The five elected students are responsible for electing a sixth student to the position of Executive Member.


Music students put on several performances a year: two main ones in November and April, jazz concerts throughout the year, and a Chamber Concert for senior students who perform concerti on their instrument. This is also an opportunity for senior students to organize and perform their own musical acts. Concerts traditionally end with a singing of the school song.


Every year the Oakwood Drama Society puts on a major production. Usually a musical, these are attended by family, friends, and many from the community. This year Oakwood performed three performances of the 1998 Broadway revival musical "Cabaret", music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. It had one of the largest casts Oakwood has ever had. It was enjoyed by many and held up the standards of Oakwood productions.


Various departments co-ordinate trips to international locations in order to enhance students' knowledge of the subject they are studying. Previous locations have included Beijing, China; Los Angeles, California; Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; Paris, France; Rome, Italy; Athens, Greece; Vienna, Austria; Prague, Czech Republic; New York City, New York; and Chicago, Illinois. Particularly within the Music Department, teachers keep the location of trips a well-guarded secret until it has been largely planned.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°40′43″N 79°26′11″W / 43.678621°N 79.436420°W / 43.678621; -79.436420