Havergal College

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Havergal College
Havergal College.JPG
1451 Avenue Road

Coordinates43°43′12″N 79°24′51″W / 43.7201°N 79.4143°W / 43.7201; -79.4143Coordinates: 43°43′12″N 79°24′51″W / 43.7201°N 79.4143°W / 43.7201; -79.4143
School typeAll Girls Primary & Secondary School
Religious affiliation(s)Anglican
Founded1894 (1894)
PrincipalCatherine Misson
Enrollment920 girls (boarders and daygirls) (2012–2013)
AreaLytton Park
Colour(s)Green and Gold         
Team nameHavergal Gators

Havergal College is an independent boarding and day school for girls from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The school was established in 1894 and named for Frances Ridley Havergal, a composer, author, and humanitarian.

Today, the 22-acre (8.9 ha) campus is located at 1451 Avenue Road, at the corner of Avenue Road and Lawrence Avenue in midtown Toronto. Facilities include an Upper School, an athletic centre with a pool and fitness center, music studios, a theatre, computer labs, and a Junior School.

In 2012, Havergal's elementary school was ranked first by the Fraser Institute amongst Toronto schools, receiving a "perfect score of 10."[1] In 2015, Havergal's secondary school was ranked second by the Fraser Institute amongst 749 Ontario secondary schools.[2]


Miss Ellen Mary Knox, first principal of Havergal College

Havergal was founded in 1894 as a Church of England Ladies' College, under principal Ellen Mary Knox. She held a first-class in the final honour examination at the University of Oxford, a Cambridge University diploma in teaching, and a First Division Government certificate. Havergal was the sister school of Ridley College for the first several decades of the schools' history.

In the spring of 1894, a school for girls at 350 Jarvis Street was about to close its doors, and a group of men led by The Honourable H. Blake formed an organization for taking over the building and making it the home of what became Havergal College. The group of men who founded Havergal College had great faith in the future of Canada and wanted to provide a sound academic education for their daughters. Being members and strong followers of the Anglican Church of Canada, they established the continuing policy of having its beliefs and teachings in their school. Miss Ellen Mary Knox was the First Principal of the school. She was a graduate of Oxford University, a teacher at Cheltenham Ladies College in England, a devout member of the Church and Principal of Havergal College for 30 years. The school cared about the education of women long before most women began to take themselves seriously.

— Catherine Steele 1928, M.A., D.Litt. D.S. Litt.[3]

In 1898, a new building was constructed for the school at 354 Jarvis Street.[4] By 1903, Havergal College had 120 boarders and 200 day girls, a staff of 20 resident teachers (chiefly from English universities) and a number of nonresident visiting teachers.[5] The former Havergal Ladies' College building at 354 Jarvis Street is now the Margaret McCain Academic Building at the National Ballet School of Canada.[6]

Gymnastics display at Jarvis Street Campus, 1908


Havergal has several symbols. The Havergal Crest, comprising maple leaves, laurel branches, a torch, and a lamp of learning, symbolizes the school motto of Vitai Lampada Tradens — passing on the torch of life. The marguerite was chosen as the school flower "because it grew so cheerily wherever its luck found it, and because it looked up so steadily at the light that its heart was pierced with purest gold, its petals the purest white." (First Principal Ellen Knox)[7]

Upper School (US)[edit]

The Upper School refers to both the Middle School and the Senior School (together, grades 7 to 12) and is located at 1451 Avenue Road. The building was completed in 1926.

Upper School curriculum[edit]

The Liberal Arts program exceeds the expectations of the Ontario Ministry of Education. All courses are college-preparatory and are at the advanced level. A credit is granted with the successful completion of a course for which a minimum of 110 hours has been scheduled. Many students choose to write Advanced Placement exams. Upon graduation, students receive the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.[8]


The Languages Department at Havergal offers courses in French, Spanish, Latin, and Mandarin.[9]

Technological education[edit]

Students learn the fundamentals of web design, video and multimedia production, animation, and graphic design. Courses provide the opportunity to explore current industry-standard software, including PhotoShop, InDesign, GoLive, Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Soundtrack, LiveType, Motion, Dreamweaver, Flash, and Microsoft Office.[10]

Advanced Placement[edit]

The Advanced Placement (AP) Program gives students exposure to university-level material and, in some cases, credit towards university courses, and helps students acquire the skills and habits they will need for success at university.[11] Havergal offers Advanced Placement courses in biology, calculus, statistics, French, and Spanish.[12]

Boarding school[edit]

The boarding school is a residence for approximately 50 students (Grades 9 to 12), representing countries all over the globe.[13] Fully integrated in the life of the school and with Day Students, boarding students participate in life skills programming, recreational programming and The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, in addition to the curricular and co-curricular programs. The Boarding School also hosts exchange students who visit for several weeks each term from partner schools located in six countries worldwide.[14]

Notable alumnae[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

House System[edit]

The house system forms the basis for organization in the school. The Houses have been named for women who have contributed to the welfare of Havergal.

House Name Colours Mascot
Agnes Hansen Pink & White Panther

Catherine Steele

Purple & Silver Unicorn
Edith Nainby Red & White Lion
Ellen Knox Green & White Frog
Frances Ridley Black & White Penguin
Kate Leonard Baby Blue & White Elephant
Marcelle De Freitas Royal Blue & Silver Dolphin
Margaret Taylor Orange & Dark Blue Butterfly
Marian Wood Yellow & Black Bumblebee
Mary Dennys Teal & Gold Dragon

The House tradition is a characteristic of the Havergal community is part of the history of the school. The House system recognizes the contributions of ten women within the life of the school, it also provides an important link between students and Old Girls throughout the generations.[19]


  • Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS)[20]
  • Conference of Independent Schools (CIS)[21]
  • The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS)[22]
  • National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)[23]
  • CIS eLearning Consortium (CISELC)[24]
  • Conference of Independent Schools Athletics Association (CISAA)[25]


  1. ^ "Havergal College lives up to academic expectations". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
  2. ^ "Toronto all-girls school ranks second in Ontario: Fraser Institute". Toronto. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
  3. ^ Havergal College Family Handbook. Havergal College. 2010. p. 2.
  4. ^ 354 Jarvis Street, Architectural Conservancy Ontario.
  5. ^ Morgan, Henry James, ed. (1903). Types of Canadian Women and of Women who are or have been Connected with Canada. Toronto: Williams Briggs. p. 190.
  6. ^ "Canada's National Ballet School – Facilities". Nbs-enb.ca. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  7. ^ Havergal College Family Handbook. 2010. p. 3.
  8. ^ "Ontario Schools Kindergarten to grade 12: Policy and Program Requirements, 2011" (pdf). Ontario Ministry of Education. 2011. p. 54. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  9. ^ Course Calendar 2011-2012 Academic Year. Havergal College. 2011. pp. 21–24.
  10. ^ "Havergal College Technological Education". Havergal College. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  11. ^ "Learn About Advanced Placement". College Board. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  12. ^ "Havergal College: Senior School". Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  13. ^ "CAIS Boarding". CAIS. Archived from the original on 9 April 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  14. ^ Havergal College Family Handbook. Havergal College. 2010. p. 27.
  15. ^ "Not One Person I Talked to at a Free Speech Event Could Recall Being Silenced". Vice. 2018-03-21. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  16. ^ Holt, Jared (May 29, 2018). "Faith Goldy Defends Her Recital Of '14 Words'". Right Wing Watch. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  17. ^ "Lessons from the Great Right North". The New Republic. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
  18. ^ Lett, Dan (August 19, 2017). "Rebel Media's meltdown and the politics of hate". Winnipeg Free Press. Archived from the original on August 20, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  19. ^ "House System". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  20. ^ "Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS)". CAIS. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  21. ^ "Conference of Independent Schools (CIS)". Conference of Independent Schools. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  22. ^ "The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS)". TABS. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  23. ^ "National Association of Independent Schools". Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  24. ^ "CIS eLearning Consortium Our Schools". Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  25. ^ "CISAA Member Schools". CISAA. Retrieved 19 June 2012.

External links[edit]