Bishop Strachan School

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The Bishop Strachan School
Bishop Strachan School.JPG
298 Lonsdale Road

, ,
Coordinates43°41′25″N 79°24′33″W / 43.6902°N 79.4091°W / 43.6902; -79.4091Coordinates: 43°41′25″N 79°24′33″W / 43.6902°N 79.4091°W / 43.6902; -79.4091
School typeIndependent, Day & Boarding
MottoIn Cruce Vinco
(In the cross I conquer)
Religious affiliation(s)Anglican
PrincipalAngela Terpstra
Colour(s)Burgundy and Grey         
Last updated: Feb 1, 2010

The Bishop Strachan School (BSS) (Strachan pronounced "Strawn") is an Anglican day and boarding school for girls in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[1] The school has approximately 900 students, including 80 boarding students, ranging from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 (approximately ages 4–17). The School is named after John Strachan, the first Anglican bishop of Toronto, and was founded by John Langtry in 1867. The founders' intention was to educate girls to be leaders.[2]

The campus is situated within the Forest Hill neighborhood of Toronto. The main building was designed by Henry Sproatt.

The boarding program starts in Grade 7, and boarders come from many parts of Canada and the world. The Senior School offers a wide range of courses in both traditional subjects as well as courses such as Film and Design Technology. It offers Advanced Placement courses in some subjects.

Student life[edit]

When students enter BSS, they are placed in a house with 8 to 10 other students from their grade. There are 12 different houses in the school: Pyper, Acres, Dupont, Grier, Griffith, Lamont, Langtry, Macnaughton, Marling, Nation, Rosseter, and Walsh. The school has approximately 80 boarders from Grades 7 to 12 from over 21 countries. Each boarder is a member of a boarding House (St. Hilda's or St. Monica's), as well as a day house. The boarding program includes regular evening study (including tutorial support). There are 11 prefects elected by the school and the grade 11 class to serve in their graduating year, with positions such as Head Girl, Head Boarder, Grad Prefect, House Prefect, and 7 other non-portfolio positions who work with various aspects of school life.

The school offers programs in the arts and a variety of musical ensembles. It stages a classical production and a musical annually with Upper Canada College. BSS also offers a co-educational summer academy during July.


Advertisement in The Busy Man's Magazine, 1907

The Bishop Strachan School had a variety of temporary homes since the founding:

First opened on September 1867 at Pinehurst, formerly Mrs Forster's Girls School (1853-1866) on west side of McCaul Street between Dundas Street and Grange Road near the Art Gallery of Toronto (currently the Art Gallery of Ontario)[3]. The site is now OCAD Sharp Centre.

Relocated in 1868 to John Strachan's Bishop's Palace on Front Street and York Street[4] after his death in 1867.

Relocated to Wykeham Hall near Bay and College Streets in 1870, this was the former home of Sir James Buchanan Macaulay or Wykeham Lodge. After the schools departure it became Central Military Convalescence Hospital and finally College Street Armouries before being demolished in 1928 to make way for Eaton's College Street store.[5] A marker on the College Park building at the southwest corner of Yonge and College Streets provides history of the site.[6]

In September 1915, The Bishop Strachan School opened as a large gothic-style structure, made of Credit Valley limestone, at its present-day Forest Hill location at 298 Lonsdale Road.[6] This new addition included new classrooms, a fitness centre, a full gymnasium and underground parking. The new wing creates a functional courtyard for playgrounds while reducing the mass of the building along the residential streetscape. To preserve the highly valued outdoor playing field and tennis courts, the fitness centre, gymnasium and parking are located below ground and connected to the main building via a skylit corridor link. This new structure pays homage to the original architecture, while bringing the school into the realm of 21st century architecture.


The school building was designed by the architectural firm of Sproatt & Rolph. The structure is listed in the City of Toronto's Municipal Heritage register; it confirms the school building opened in 1912 with the chapel opening in 1926.[7] "In 1911, the school purchased land for $72,000 in Forest Hill. The sod was turned in 1913 for the construction of a permanent site for the school, which opened in September 1915 at 298 Lonsdale Rd./ The Collegiate Gothic style structure — built from Credit Valley Limestone — was designed by architectural firm Sproatt & Rolph, whose other gems include Hart House at the University of Toronto, College Park and the Royal York Hotel. The construction of its chapel was delayed until after the First World War. By 1926, the neo-Gothic structure was built and dedicated. "[8]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "The Bishop Strachan School – Canada's Oldest Day and Boarding School for Girls". The Bishop Strachan School. Retrieved 2016-03-27.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-05. Retrieved 2012-01-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b "The Bishop Strachan School, Toronto, Ontario". Construction (Toronto). Toronto. 9 (8): 262–64. Aug 1916.
  7. ^ "Heritage Property Detail-Address:298 LONSDALE RD". City of Toronto's Heritage Register. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  8. ^ BRADBEER, JANICE (October 12, 2017). "150 years ago, a Toronto reverend wanted to educate his four daughters so he founded Bishop Strachan all-girls' school". The Toronto Star. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  9. ^ Worboy, Martha (August 2014). "On the Cover: Laurie Holden on life in Forest Hill, zombies, and trading horror for comedy". Post City Toronto. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  10. ^ "Linda Thorson is Star at 20 in Avengers". Gettysburg Times. November 9, 1968.
  11. ^ zh:蘇韻姿

External links[edit]

Official website