David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute
|David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute|
Nil Sine Magno Labore
Nothing without great effort
|2740 Lawrence Avenue East
Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, M1P 2S7
|School type||Public, High school|
|School board||Toronto District School Board|
|Oversight||Toronto Lands Corporation|
|Area trustee||David Smith|
|School number||4130 / 903590|
|Vice Principals||Nicholas Leslie English
|Campus size||15 acres|
|Colour(s)||Red and Black|
|Team name||Thomson Titans|
|Feeder schools||Donwood Park Public School
Edgewood Public School
John McCrae Public School
Knob Hill Public School
Robert Service Sr. Public School
St. Andrew's Public School
|Last updated: January 1, 2016|
David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute (sometimes called David and Mary Thomson, DMT, or Thomson) is a semestered English-language high school located in the Bendale neighbourhood in the Scarborough district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, originally sanctioned by the Scarborough Board of Education and since 1998 under its successor board, the Toronto District School Board. Its motto is Nil Sine Magno Labore (Nothing without great effort).
The David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute school building was built in 1958 and opened on September 8, 1959, by the Scarborough Board of Education, splitting off the population of Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute and R. H. King Collegiate Institute in the heart of historical Scarborough. The building was designed by the architects Peter L. Allward and George Roper Gouinlock.
It opened as the sixth secondary school in the borough. W. A. Porter Collegiate Institute, the fifth, had opened the year before. These two years marked the beginning of a rapid growth period in the Scarborough school system necessitated by equally rapid growth in business and industry and in population.
When Thomson was in the planning stage, the potential for television in education was a popular topic for discussion but not much had been done about it. Thomson became the first secondary school in Scarborough, possibly in Canada, to have cable television incorporated in the structure of the building. Some of the earliest experiments in this system involved transmitting a display or experiment produced in one classroom simultaneously to several other classrooms. For example, a teaching model of the Shakespearian Globe Theatre was telecast in this way, as was the dissection of a frog in a science lab. Since that time video tape machines have entirely changed the original concept of educational television. Thomson attracted a wealth of applications from both experienced and inexperienced personnel for both faculty and secretarial positions. Staff connections with Malvern Collegiate Institute in Toronto were so numerous that it was jokingly suggested that the school should be called David and Malvern instead of David and Mary.
The school opened on time although the building was not yet finished. For the first few weeks, the gymnasium and auditorium were not ready and the cafeteria thus served as a temporary assembly hall. The confusion was compounded by weekly and sometimes daily visits from groups of educators near and far who wished to see the television experiment in action. The official opening took place on February 17, 1960; the cornerstone inscribed "1958" was put in place in 1961.
The school underwent additions in the 1960s and 1970s including extra classrooms, new gymnasia for girls and boys, science labs, an enlarged library, and vocational shops.
In 1989, following the loss of Tabor Park Vocational School to the Metropolitan Separate School Board, Thomson became as a third campus for Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies; the latter moved to Centennial College in 1994.
In June 2000, Midland Avenue Collegiate Institute was closed; students in its former catchment area are now served by Thomson.
The capacity of the facility is 1,623 pupils. As of the 2015-16 year, the number enrolled is 972.
Reginald H. King, head of the Scarborough Board of Education when Thomson opened, was a classicist. The motto Nil sine magno labore (Nothing without great effort) was selected as most appropriate from his collection of Latin mottos and was incorporated in the Thomson logo, which remains unchanged. The motto appears at the base of a scarlet maple leaf on which are superimposed a lamp of learning and the initials D and M in white. The leaf is flanked by a large "C" and "I", both in black forming arcs of a circle with the lower sections of the motto. Finally the name "Thomson", white on a scarlet background, surmounts the rest of the design and completes the circle. The school colours were originally scarlet, black and white.
Academics and extracurricular activities
Thomson has the following departments: Visual and Performing Arts; Business, Coop and Careers; English; History/Geography; Languages (including ESL and modern languages); Mathematics; Physical Education; Science; Social Studies; and Technological Studies. The school offers pre-AP and AP courses in seven subjects.
The school fields teams in many sports: archery, baseball and slo-pitch, badminton, basketball, cricket, cross country, curling, football, field and ice hockey, rugby, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, Ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, and wrestling. There are a number of music ensembles including a jazz band and a Music Executive that facilitates planning and scheduling of music events.
Merger and sale of site
On February 4, 2009, The Toronto District School Board approved a plan to merge David and Mary Thomson with the neighbouring Bendale Business and Technical Institute to form a modern "superschool". The new school is scheduled to open in the 2017-18 year on Brockley Drive.
In June 2012 the Toronto Lands Corporation declared the Thomson site (12.3 acres) and building surplus. The land on which Thomson is located was donated by the family of David and Mary Thomson and there are no plans to protect and designate the site under the Ontario Heritage Act. Various boards and public bodies expressed an interest in buying the property, including the Toronto Catholic District School Board (whose Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School is over-enrolled), Conseil Scolaire Viamonde and Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud. In early 2013, Viamonde offered to purchase the property for future use as a high school, but then withdrew the offer because they had not received ministerial approval.
Both the Thomson and the Bendale sites are now slated to be used for housing, but this proposal has aroused local opposition, particularly over the loss of green space and over residents' impressions that they were told the Thomson site would be used for a school and that they were initially promised an urban farm. Per regulation 444/98, other public agencies should be given the right to make an offer before the property is placed on the open market. Midland Park Community Association, a residents' group in Scarborough, and the Greater Bendale Advocacy Team (GBAT), formed by Mark Weiser, protested the TDSB's plans for townhouses on the Thomson site, resulting in a decision by Scarborough Community Council to place a hold on any further sale or development on either school site pending community consultation. The TDSB appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board. At a protest rally organised by GBAT in February 2015, more than 160 signs were distributed. In May 2015 the local councillor, Michael Thompson, announced that an agreement had been reached with the school district to reserve almost 3 acres of the site for community uses, including a daycare centre that is to be part of the new school; many felt this was insufficient. The city approved the purchase of 2 acres of the site under this plan.
- Hon. David Stratas, Justice of the Federal Court of Appeal
- Jennifer Valentyne, television host
- Nancy Newman, television anchor and reporter
- "About Thomson". David and Mary Thomson Collegiate. Toronto District School Board. Retrieved 2007-12-26.
- "David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute Facts and Figures". Find a School Database. Toronto District School Board. November 30, 2015. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
- "David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute". Toronto District School Board.
- "David and Mary Thomson Collegiate". Retrieved April 9, 2016.
- "List of Teams". David and Mary Thomson Collegiate. December 28, 2014.
- "Public board to merge Bendale and Thomson high schools: Thomson site likely to be sold as part of plan". Inside Toronto. Scarborough Mirror. February 5, 2009.
- "Report to Corporate Affairs, Strategic Planning and Property Committee: Toronto District School Board Disposition of Surplus Property" (PDF) (pdf). Toronto Catholic District School Board. January 22, 2013.
- Raza, Ali (October 8, 2014). "Midland Park residents frustrated with misunderstanding over Thomson-Bendale school lands". Inside Toronto. Scarborough Mirror.
- Stevens, Cristina (September 19, 2014). "Some Scarborough residents concerned about high school revamp". Global News.
- "Meeting on development plans for Thomson/Bendale school site slated". Inside Toronto. Scarborough Mirror. November 26, 2014.
- Raza, Ali (November 28, 2014). "Midland Park, Bendale plan fight against townhouses on Thomson Collegiate land". Inside Toronto. Scarborough Mirror.
- Adler, Mike (February 12, 2015). "Greater Bendale Family Day event aims to show importance of 'school parks'". Inside Toronto. Scarborough Mirror.
- Adler, Mike (May 13, 2015). "Many in Bendale still unhappy with plans for Thomson C.I. lands". Inside Toronto. Scarborough Mirror.
- "City to buy two acres of David and Mary Thomson Collegiate site from school board". Inside Toronto. Scarborough Mirror. June 17, 2015.
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