David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute

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David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute
David and Mary Thomson CI Logo.svg
David and Mary Thomson CI.jpg
Nil Sine Magno Labore
Nothing without great effort
2740 Lawrence Avenue East
Bendale, Scarborough, Ontario, M1P 2S7
Coordinates 43°45′12″N 79°15′34″W / 43.75333°N 79.25944°W / 43.75333; -79.25944Coordinates: 43°45′12″N 79°15′34″W / 43.75333°N 79.25944°W / 43.75333; -79.25944
School type Public, High school
Founded 1959[1]
Status active
School board Toronto District School Board
(Scarborough Board of Education)
Oversight Toronto Lands Corporation
Superintendent John Chasty
Area trustee David Smith
School number 4130 / 903590
Principal William Papaconstantinou
Vice Principals Nicholas Leslie English
Alison Kelsey
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 972[2] (2015-16)
Language Canadian 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 (sporadically known as David and Mary Thomson , DMT, or Thomson) is a semestered English-language high school located in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada originally sanctioned by the Scarborough Board of Education until its merger with its successor board, the Toronto District School Board in 1998. Its motto is Nil Sine Magno Labore (Nothing without great effort).[3]


The plaque for the David and Mary Thomson C.I. dated 1957 on the wall.

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 located in the heart of historical Scarborough.[1] The building was designed by the architects, Peter L. Allward and George Roper Gouinlock.

Being opened as the sixth secondary school in the borough. W. A. Porter Collegiate Institute, the fifth secondary school, had been opened the year before. These two years marked the beginning of the fantastically accelerating growth period in the Scarborough school system necessitated by the equally fantastic growth in business and industry and in the general population.

The cornerstone "1958" was erected in 1961.

At the time 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. Here again King provided the incentive for experimentation and Thomson became the first secondary school in Scarborough, if not 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 from a science lab. Since that time the invention and perfection of 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.

Despite the handicap of occupying a building still under construction, the school opened on time. the cafeteria was the only large area available for the first few weeks. Hence in addition to its primary purpose, it became a temporary assembly hall. The gymnasium and the auditorium were far from being finished. This confused situation was compounded by weekly and sometimes daily visits from groups of educators near and far who wished to see the television experiment in action. With the school officially opened on February 17, 1960, the "1958" cornerstone of the David and Mary Thomson C.I. was erected in 1961.

The school underwent additions in the 1960s and 1970s such as extra classrooms, new double gymnasium, science labs, enlarged library, and vocational shops.

In 1989, it served as a third campus for Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies until moving to Centennial College in 1994 following the loss of Tabor Park Vocational School to the Metropolitan Separate School Board in 1989.

Since Midland Avenue Collegiate Institute was closed in June 2000, its students in the former catchment area attending are now served by Thomson.

To date, David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute's facility can hold up to 1,623 pupils. As of the 2015-16 year, only 972 students are attending the school.

Merger and sale of site[edit]

A new "superschool" will be built behind Bendale, resulting Thomson site to be potentially sold or leased to another school board.

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, forming an expanded state-of-the-art education campus on Midland Avenue, north of Lawrence Ave.[4]

The Thomson site and building (12.3 acres) was declared surplus by the Toronto Lands Corporation in June 2012 and was offered by various boards and public bodies such as the Toronto Catholic District School Board (who has Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School, overenrolled), Conseil Scolaire Viamonde and Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud. In early 2013, Viamonde purchased the property for its future use for a high school, but the offer was terminated due to the Ministry of Education has not approved their funding leaving Thomson's future unclear. A new housing subdivision on the site will be proposed but tensions and protests came from the community behind the school. The new school will open as planned in the 2017-18 year on Brockley Drive.

As of 2016, the current David and Mary Thomson facility remains in operation, but few repairs and refurbishments had been performed.

Redevelopment controversy[edit]

Following the Ministry's withdrawal of funding for Viamonde's proposed school on the Thomson site, many residents have been concerned over the loss of the urban farm which is yet to be replaced by townhomes. In September 2014, Global News attempted to contact Trustee David Smith but was away from town. Councillor Michael Thompson wanted a series of community consultations taking place.[5] A month later, Midland Park Community Association, a residential group in Scarborough revealed that the TDSB plans to sell the property to developers.[6] However, per regulation 444/98, the next offer should be given to another purchaser (such as the Toronto Catholic District School Board) before placing into the open market.[7][8][9] The lands have been donated by the family of David and Mary Thomson since its inception and there are no plans to protect and designate the site under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Midland Park and the Greater Bendale Advocacy Team (GBAT), which was formed by their president, Mark Weiser have started protests against the TDSB's plans for townhomes proposal on the Thomson site. The TDSB havs since appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board.[10]

In February 2015, GBAT organized a protests and rally on the Highbrook playground. More than 160 signs were distributed.[11]

During the meeting on May 11, 2015 in the Bendale Business and Technical Institute cafetorium, many residents remain disappointed to save an entire or portion of the Thomson Collegiate lands. Thompson stated a proposal that a 62-space child care facility; a second acre for parkland, a third acre expanding the proposed new school site, and the remaining 0.6 acres more for future parkland and possible community centre.[12]


Music Department[edit]

The Thomson Music Department offers a comprehensive band and vocal program with a regular concert season featuring its signature ensembles: The Thomson Singers, Junior Concert Band, Jazz Band, and The Thomson Senior Concert Band. There is also a Music Executive which facilitates and assists in concert planning and music events.

Lockers in the 140s Hallway.


As Reginald H. King was a classicist, he had accumulated a large collection of Latin mottoes, many of which had already been adopted by existing schools as their own. Thus the problem became one of selecting a suitable motto for Thomson which was not already in use. The motto, "NIL SINE MAGNO LABORE" was selected as being the most appropriate. Certainly it expressed one of Dr. King's deepest convictions that nothing without great effort. This motto was incorporated in the Thomson logo which continues in use at the present time. It appears at the base of a scarlet maple leaf on which is shown 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 through a circle. Finally the name Thomson, white on a scarlet, background, surmounts the rest of the design. The school colours were originally scarlet, black and white.

Notable Alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About Thomson". David and Mary Thomson Collegiate. Toronto District School Board. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  2. ^ "David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute Facts and Figures". Find a School Database. Toronto District School Board. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2012-12-23. 
  3. ^ http://www.tdsb.on.ca/schools/details.asp?FeatureID=S&schno=4130&schoolId=1140&Status=L
  4. ^ "Public board to merge Bendale and Thomson high schools". Thomson site likely to be sold as part of plan. Scarborough Mirror. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  5. ^ http://globalnews.ca/news/1573979/some-scarborough-residents-concerned-about-high-school-revamp/
  6. ^ http://www.insidetoronto.com/news-story/4904160-midland-park-residents-frustrated-with-misunderstanding-over-thomson-bendale-school-lands/
  7. ^ http://www.torontolandscorp.com/pools/images/reg%20444%202014tkversion4.pdf
  8. ^ http://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/980444
  9. ^ https://www.tcdsb.org/Board/TrusteesoftheBoard/boardmeeting/agendasandminutes/Agendas/Documents/Corporate%20Affairs%20Committee/January%2022,%202013/Corporate_Affairs_Agenda_2013-01-22_Disposition_of_Surplus_property.pdf
  10. ^ http://www.insidetoronto.com/news-story/5162342-midland-park-bendale-plan-fight-against-townhouses-on-thomson-collegiate-land/
  11. ^ http://www.insidetoronto.com/news-story/5335485-greater-bendale-family-day-event-aims-to-show-importance-of-school-parks-/
  12. ^ http://www.insidetoronto.com/news-story/5616025-many-in-bendale-still-unhappy-with-plans-for-thomson-c-i-lands/

External links[edit]