Trafalgar Castle School

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Trafalgar Castle School
Whitby, Ontario, Ontario Canada, L1N 3W9, Canada
Coordinates 43°52′43″N 78°55′58″W / 43.87856°N 78.93289°W / 43.87856; -78.93289Coordinates: 43°52′43″N 78°55′58″W / 43.87856°N 78.93289°W / 43.87856; -78.93289
Religious affiliation Non Denominational
Head of School Adam de Pencier
School type girls and young women Private Boarding/Day
Grades grades 5 through 12
Language English
Campus Suburban/Rural Ontario setting
Mascot Dante the Dragon
Colours Blue Marine and White
Founded 1874

Trafalgar Castle School in Whitby, Ontario is an independent day and residential school for girls and young women in grades 5 through 12, but available for boarding since grade 7 . It was founded in 1874 as "Ontario Ladies' College", making it one of the oldest independent schools in Canada.


The castle was built by Nelson Gilbert Reynolds, Sheriff of Ontario County, as a private residence in 1859. Reynolds was named after Lord Nelson and named his castle Trafalgar in honour of the Battle of Trafalgar.

The castle was the largest private dwelling in Canada until Casa Loma was built. It cost Reynolds $70,000, which was an exorbitant sum; a home at that time was built for $2,000, and a bank complete with vault could be built for $5,000 to $7,000. Reynolds was a colourful character and a gambling man, and indeed it was gambling losses that reportedly forced him to sell his beloved home to the Methodists in 1874 for the sum of $30,000.

The Methodists of that day were very interested in establishing higher learning institutions for young women. Rev. J. E. Sanderson convinced the Town of Whitby that this would be beneficial to its economy. James Holden, Esq. founder of the Dominion Bank, a local politician and businessman (with 5 daughters of his own) supported this idea. Sanderson and Holden were instrumental in raising the money and shares for the purchase of the castle and the establishment of Ontario Ladies' College.

Trafalgar Castle hosted its share of royalty and dignitaries through the years; both as Reynolds' residence, then as Ontario Ladies' College and now as Trafalgar Castle School.

Student life[edit]

The school has about 200 day and boarding students; all girls from grade 5 to grade 12. Boarding students from many countries including but not limited to Mexico, Korea, China, England, Spain, Nigeria, The Bahamas, Australia, Jamaica, and Japan. The boarding program starts in grade 7. While the school was historically Methodist, students today are from all faiths.

Students gather in the Chapel each morning for presentations based on different weekly themes, such as values or events occurring in the world. There is singing on Fridays. At lunch, everyone gathers for a communal meal in the Dining Hall where announcements about student sports and daily events are made. Students attend an Academic Advisor period before and after school.

The current Head of School is Adam de Pencier. He holds a BA and MA from Queen's University, an MA from the University of Chicago, and an M.Ed from Columbia University.[1]

House system[edit]

Trafalgar Castle School is split into four houses: Maxwell (sky blue), Farewell (olive green), Hare (yellow,) and Carter (maroon). Each house was named after a prominent member of OLC/Trafalgar’s history: Annie Allison Maxwell, dean of OLC for 29 years, Reverend Francis L. Farewell, 2nd principal of OLC, Reverend John James Hare.

Each student is assigned to a house upon arrival at Trafalgar, where they are to mingle and meet students within their house. Students accumulate house points for participation in academic and extracurricular activities. At the end of the year, the house with the most points wins the House Cup. Over the past 5 years, the succession of House Champions has been Hare 05-06, Hare 06-07, Hare 07-08, Carter 08-09, Farewell 09-10, Hare 10-11, Hare 11-12, Maxwell 12-13, Carter 13-14.


Trafalgar has teams of various age levels in the following sports:

  • Basketball - U20 - undefeated season 2010 and 2013
  • Running Club
  • Field hockey
  • Ice hockey
  • Soccer
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Track and Field
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball -U16-CISAA champions 2013 undefeated


Trafalgar offers many after school clubs such as:

  • FIRST Robotics (USFIRST Robotics Competition FRC Team 1547)
  • FIRST Lego League Robotics Team (FLL)
  • S.W.A.T. (Science Women And Technology)
  • Z.A.P. (Zealous Art Promoters)
  • Culture Club
  • Knitting Club (Sit and Knit)
  • Peer Mediation
  • Bookworms
  • The Castle Singers Choir
  • Band
  • Debating Society

See also[edit]


External links[edit]