Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School

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Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School
Bishop Macdonnell HS Guelph.JPG
200 Clair Road
Guelph, Ontario, N1L 1G1
Coordinates 43°29′38″N 80°11′45″W / 43.49389°N 80.19583°W / 43.49389; -80.19583Coordinates: 43°29′38″N 80°11′45″W / 43.49389°N 80.19583°W / 43.49389; -80.19583
School type Public Separate high school
Motto Wisdom, Honour, Courage
Religious affiliation(s) Catholic
Founded 1962
School board Wellington Catholic District School Board
School number 689661[1]
Principal Steve Gulyas
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 740 (2012)
Language English
Colour(s) Navy and Sky blue
Team name Celtics

Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School is a Catholic high school located in the south end of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. It is one of the three high schools in the Wellington Catholic District School Board, all of which are located within the city limits of Guelph.


Originally, this school was located in downtown Guelph at the intersection of Cork and Norfolk Street, next to the Church of our Lady Immaculate.

The school's roots date from when the Loreto Sisters, also known as the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, arrived from Toronto and opened a school for girls in 1856 (housed in the convent, the last remaining structure that is standing as part of the original school). The enrollment quickly increased, that in 1872 an addition was constructed. In 1883, it was decided that the younger grades would be moved to two other sites on the original property (St. Agnes school for girls - which is still standing and St. Stanislaus School for boys - which was rebuilt in 1977) and the convent school would continue to house the high school students. By 1926, enrolment was continuing to increase and the new Loretto Academy was built immediately next door the convent school, and the all-girls school continued to be operated by the Loretto sisters.

In 1953 the co-educational Notre Dame High School was erected, and at this time, laywomen and men joined the Sisters as part of the teaching staff. This building provided facilities for grades 9 and 10 and was infamous for its gymnasium and its "caged gallery". On the other hand, Loretto Academy also became co-educational and housed students in grades 11, 12, and 13. In 1962, Loretto Academy and Notre Dame were renamed Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School, after Bishop Alexander Macdonell (1762–1840), a well-respected Catholic leader in his own time, and a few years later in 1966-1967, the two schools were officially joined by an addition.

In 1992, a report highlighting the needs of the Catholic community through a Board-School-Church committee, recommended the closure of the original high school and a recommendation of a school of the same name to be built in the future. Despite a long and hard-fought battle with support from many members of the community, the school was closed in June, 1995 and the three buildings, with the exception of the original 1856 convent building, were demolished in 2004.

In September 2004, the recommendation of the committee finally came forth as the existing school on Clair Road West opened starting with grades 9 through 11. Grade 12 has since been added, thereby enabling full granting status of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, continuing the tradition of the Loretto Sisters and Celtic Pride in Guelph.

On June 16, 2009, Grade 9 student Isabel Warren was killed by a cinderblock wall collapsing on her in a washroom facility in Larry Pearson Park, which is located behind the school.[2]

Notable alumni[edit]

The school today[edit]

The school now has an approximate population of 749 students ranging from grades 9-12. It is a uniformed school. The uniforms are a blue tartan kilt, black dress pants, a golf shirt, and French cut white blouse for girls, and a golf shirt and black slacks for boys. The school's motto is “Wisdom - Honour - Courage".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School". Secondary School Profile. Ontario Ministry of Education. 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  2. ^ "Isabel Warren recalled as an athlete, painter and much more". Guelph Mercury. June 17, 2009. Retrieved June 17, 2009. 

External links[edit]