Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute

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Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute
Danforth Collegiate.JPG
800 Greenwood Avenue
Greektown, Toronto, Ontario, M4J 4B7
Coordinates 43°40′58″N 79°20′03″W / 43.682759°N 79.334274°W / 43.682759; -79.334274Coordinates: 43°40′58″N 79°20′03″W / 43.682759°N 79.334274°W / 43.682759; -79.334274
School type High school
Motto Faciendo Discimus
(We Learn by Doing)
Founded 1923
School board Toronto District School Board
(Toronto Board of Education)
Superintendent Lucy Giannotta
Area trustee Jennifer Story
Ward 15
School number 5615 / 903469
Administrator Jean Paul Bernier
Principal Rob MacKinnon
Grades 9-12
Language English, French, ASL , Spanish
Schedule type Non-semestered
Colour(s) Black, Red and White             
Team name Danforth Red Hawks
Information 879 (2015-16)

Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute (known as Danforth CTI, DCTI, or Danforth), formerly Danforth Technical School and Riverdale Branch Technical School is a secondary school in east Toronto, situated to the east of the city's Greek neighbourhood and between the Greenwood and Donlands subway stations. As the name suggests, it is set up as a technical school, with trades training and special shops for auto repair, carpentry etc. Danforth was built as a specialist technical school in 1922, so it has a number of specialist areas and a fair stock of equipment. It is a part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). Prior to 1998 it was within the Toronto Board of Education (TBE).[1] Attached to Danforth is the Toronto Urban Studies Centre, an outdoor educational school. The school's motto is "Faciendo Discimus," which means "We learn by doing."


Originally existed in 1912 as Riverdale Branch Technical School, the building has been added to many times since it was founded 1923, and there are sections of the school built in almost every decade of the twentieth century. Danforth has a reputation for its maze-like basement and general complexity. At least one basement level is permanently sealed to students creating a number of rumours about what might be down there (including a connection to the subway that runs under the school, a rifle range, and a bomb shelter). The sub-basement does in fact host the school's active Cadet Corps and National Defence course. According to the current principal the range is still mostly intact. The school has three gyms, which is remarkable in a Toronto public school, and a large 1920s auditorium which is occasionally used in films. Additional facilities include a weight room, and a swimming pool.

In 1932, Riverdale Tech was renamed to Danforth Technical School. It was renamed to Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute several years later.

Danforth is known for having sent more of its students and staff to the Second World War than any other school in Canada, and has a large stained-glass window in the library to act as its war memorial.

During World War II, the facilities of Danforth were used for Combined Operations Headquarters training.

The school celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1974 and 75th anniversary in 1998-99 school year.

On April 25, 2012, a 3-alarm fire occurred at the school. The fire began in the school's drama studio, and quickly spread to the adjacent music room. As of April 28, it is speculated that the cause of the blaze was arson; an investigation is currently being held by Toronto police.[2]

Unlike other schools, Danforth does not attract nearly as many students as it is capable of holding, because of other secondary schools such as East York Collegiate Institute and Riverdale Collegiate Institute causing Danforth to be in between them (longitudinally) so a number of specialist programs are also held there, including the Gifted and Enriched programs, special classes for students with disabilities (including a special program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) and a number of specialist technical courses, such as the Math, Science, and Technology ("MaST") program. As a result, Danforth draws students from a wider area of the city than most other secondary schools[citation needed]

Since Danforth's facilities can hold up to 2,130 pupils, the school is under enrolled with 879 students as of 2017. The school became the subject of the Pupil Accommodation Review Committee set by the TDSB in November 2015.


One of the most common and famous events is the Science Fair, into which each Danforth student including the Enriched / Gifted / MaST student enters their Science Project. Danforth students have gone on to win countless medals at the Metro Toronto Science Fair and the Canada Wide Science Fair.

Danforth's Student Council also holds an annual Grade 9 Day, a fun filled day planned for the incoming grade 9's, at the beginning of the year. Grade 9 Day often consists of 9 stations, each hosted by one of the 9 Student Council members. Games at the 2007-2008 Grade 9 Day include: Gagga Ball, Who Am I?, Relay Races, Rap Contests and many more.

One of the more famous events held by Danforth Collegiate is the Winter Holiday Show and Market Place happening usually the week before the winter break. Danforth's different departments often make cute little holiday presents, and sell it as a fundraiser. Then after the Market Place, the Drama, Music and Dance department put on the fantastic Holiday Show. The Show is so amazing that it often leaves the audience asking for encores.

Logos, Mottos, Symbols[edit]

This school is represented with the logo (left). The book on the top of the "shield" represents academics. The art utensils on the top 2 boxes in the logo represent the school's art and cosmetics programs. The gear represents the technical/engineering programs and the whistle represents athletics. For the DCTI (abbreviated) Athletics, they wear a uniform with a picture of a hawk and the name of the school on it which also represents the DCTI school.

See also[edit]

Notable Alumni[edit]

Notable Alumni of Danforth Collegiate include, Ethan and Michael Deibert. Other notable mentions include Dominic (YouTube rapper/songwriter), Ted Follows (actor), father of actress Megan Follows (Anne of Green Gables, Reign.) George Brigden (Brigden Place, Toronto) Benefactor to the school of the art department in 1926, and responsible for the construction of the band shell at the CNE in 1935. George sat on the school board with George Brown for 20 years. President of the CNE in the 1930s. Employed 2 of the "Group of Seven" as apprentices at Brigden Place (formerly Toronto Engravers) Glenn Ottoway, playwright and comedian from 1968 onward.


  1. ^ "Secondary Schools." () Toronto Board of Education. November 12, 1997. Retrieved on July 23, 2013.
  2. ^ Morrow, Adrian (27 April 2012). "Fire at Danforth Collegiate to be investigated as arson by Michael Antonio Boulougouris that hated school and got bullied at Danforth. I". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 

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