Lisgar Collegiate Institute
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|Lisgar Collegiate Institute|
|29 Lisgar Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 0B9
(Nourish the Flame)
|School board||Ottawa Carleton District School Board|
|Area trustee||Jennifer McKenzie|
|Vice Principals||Tricia Jones
|Communities served||Sandy Hill, New Edinburgh, Centretown, Rockcliffe Park, Ontario|
|Public transit access||Transitway stations Laurier and Mackenzie King. Also served by routes 5 and 14|
|School presidents||Ian Richardson
Lisgar Collegiate Institute, one of the country's best regarded public schools, is located in downtown Ottawa by the Rideau Canal and is only a few blocks from Canada's Parliament Hill. Lisgar was ranked 4th best highschool in Ontario and 2nd in Ottawa by the Fraser Institute in 2015/16. The school serves the neighbourhoods of Sandy Hill, New Edinburgh, Centretown, and Rockcliffe Park, and has many students transferring from other areas, attracted by the school's reputation and prestige. In previous years, parents and students have camped out overnight to secure a "coveted transfer spot" to Lisgar, causing some controversy in the news. Lisgar is known for its gifted student program, and was ranked number one for public schools in Ottawa and 12th in the province by the Fraser Institute in 2008. Its Reach for the Top team won the Canadian national finals in the 2008 and 2015 seasons. Lisgar has also won the National and International Whiz Quiz Trivia Challenge for the past two years Lisgar's Improv team is also well known for its continued excellence in the Canadian Improv Games, winning the National Tournament back to back in 1999 and 2000 and qualifying for the Canadian National tournament every year since 2004. Lisgar is also home to the student-run Ottawa-Carleton Educational Space Simulation.
In 1843, a grammar school with 40 paying students was opened in the Sandy Hill area of Ottawa in a house at the corner of Waller Street and Daly Avenue. In 1859, the school became one of the first in Ontario to admit girls. The school changed locations several times in the first few years, and was renamed first Bytown Grammar School and later Ottawa Grammar School. In 1871 the school was raised to a high school and in 1873 to a collegiate institute, becoming Ottawa Collegiate Institute.
The school found a permanent home in 1873 when a lot at what was then the southern edge of the city was purchased. The school board acquired the land on Biddy Street for $3,200 and paid a squatter $100 to give up any claims on the land. Biddy Street was renamed Lisgar Street in 1880 after Lord Lisgar, an Irishman who served as Canada's second Governor-General. A Gothic Revival style structure, designed by W.T. Thomas and W. Chesterton, was built at a cost of $26,000. Governor General Lord Dufferin (another Irishman) laid the cornerstone and the school opened in 1874.
In 1892, the school became the first public secondary school in Ontario to hire a female teacher. Four new classrooms were added on the south side in 1892, but a fire in 1893 caused the school to be temporarily closed. Lisgar was one of a limited number of buildings to survive the Great Ottawa fire. In 1903, the east wing was built with eight new classrooms. Ottawa architect Edgar Lewis Horwood added a west wing with laboratories and an auditorium in 1908. A rifle range for the cadet corps, in the now blocked-off fifth-floor attic, was added in 1912, and a basement cafeteria in 1923. After the school was split in 1922 to form Glebe Collegiate Institute, OCI was renamed Ottawa Lisgar Street Collegiate Institute, which was soon shortened to Lisgar Collegiate Institute. Officially, the school remained OCI for several decades. Since the split, Glebe and Lisgar have been traditional rivals.
In 1951, a new gymnasium was built across the street with a tunnel connecting it to the main building. It was not open for the use of students for many years, but it was re-opened in October 2015. The new building was enlarged in 1962. The old gym was turned into what is now the cafeteria. The old building and the newer building are now referred to as the North and South buildings, respectively.
In 1957, Lisgar was the first school in Ontario to introduce a special program for gifted students.
In the 1970s, a cash-strapped Ottawa Board of Education decided to close the school and sell its valuable downtown real estate. This action was blocked by community members and alumni, and the school was completely renovated instead.
In 1996, the third floor of the North building was completely renovated and the science labs were modernized. In March 2003, parts of the first and second floors and the basement of the North building were damaged by a water main break that closed the school for a week, coincidentally before the previously-scheduled March Break, thus giving the students two weeks off school. Some minor changes were made to the affected floors floor in the reconstruction.
The Ottawa Lisgar Collegiate Institute erected a brass plaque which is dedicated to the memory of students of Ottawa Collegiate Institute (now known as Lisgar Collegiate Institute) who gave their lives in the First World War. A memorial is dedicated to the memory of Lieutenant Alexis Hannum Helmer was who killed in action during the Great War and was part of the inspiration for In Flanders Fields. Unveiled in 2001, the plaque was erected by the Lisgar Alumni Association. The Lisgar Collegiate Institute erected a memorial plaque which is dedicated to the memory of former Lisgar students who died during the Second World War. A memorial framed poster erected by the Lisgar Collegiate Institute is dedicated to the sixteen Canadians awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery during the Second World War. The Lisgar Collegiate Institute erected a memorial which is dedicated to the memory of former Lisgar students who died or served during the Korean War/Conflict.
A brass plaque and print were erected by students and alumni in 1986 to Sergeant Edward James Gibson Holland, V.C. of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, a graduate of Lisgar Collegiate who was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in action during the Boer War at Leliefontein, Komati River, South Africa on November 7, 1900.
The Lisgar Collegiate Institute and Vintage Wings of Canada erected a memorial plaque unveiled in 2008, which is dedicated to the memory of Pilot Officer David Francis Gaston Rouleau, who had died during the Second World War trying to get to Malta. The Lisgar Collegiate Institute erected a memorial frame including a Canadian flag which was flown in Afghanistan which was presented to Lisgar by LCol Plourde.
Students have frequently placed highly in mathematics competitions. Lisgar students take part in the University of Waterloo contests, the Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge, the Canadian Math Olympiad, and the AMC 12. For instance, they have frequently placed in the top ten amongst Canadian Mathematical Olympiad Winners.
Students also take part in a lot of science contests. Lisgar offers the chance to take the University of Toronto Biology Exam (national competition), Avogadro Chemistry Contest, and Physics Contests. Many students have placed in the 90th percentile and above on these contests.
Lisgar has been the home of the Ottawa-Carleton Educational Space Simulation since 1990. The school is the only one in the region and one of the few in Canada to run such a program. Lisgar was also one of the original members of the now-defunct International Student Space Simulation.
Lisgar has a huge selection of ensembles to take part in. These include the Concert Band (Beginner level), Wind Ensemble (Intermediate Level), Symphonic Winds (Senior Level), Concert Orchestra (Beginner level), Sinfonia (Intermediate level orchestra), the Lisgar Symphony Orchestra (Senior level), String Ensemble, Choir, and Junior and Senior Jazz Bands. In total, there are 10 different groups. These groups take part in many music competitions, including the Ottawa Kiwanis Music Festival, where Lisgar has often taken home gold. Every year, there are two major performances given by all the ensembles, Winter and Spring Music Nights (in December and May). At these performances, students have the chance to demonstrate the skills they have achieved throughout the year to their parents and other spectators.
Lisgar has a large athletics department. Some of the sports Lisgar participates in include Rugby, Soccer, Hockey, Basketball, Rowing, Cross Country, and many others. Each year, tens of athletes are invited to city finals, and provincial finals in their respective sports, and each year, students bring home awards and medals.
Advanced Placement courses
Lisgar Collegiate Institute offers many Advanced Placement courses. Apart from Advanced Placement Latin: Vergil and Advanced Placement Spanish, students taking AP courses take an advanced form of a regular course, which provides them with an Ontario Credit, as well as taking the AP exam in May. As of 2016, Lisgar inaugurated its AP Capstone Program which requires students to take AP Seminar and AP Research as well as four other AP Courses with a score greater than 3.
- Music Theory – part of the theory curriculum of wind and string music courses.
- European History
- Calculus AB
- English Literature – Grade 12 English is mandatory, this course provides both an AP credit and a mandatory credit for graduation
- English Language – This course is known as The Writer's Craft
- French Language – The grade 11 extended French course
Lisgar has a wide variety of clubs available to its students, including:
- Debate Club
- Biomedical Club
- Model United Nations Club
- Chess Club
- Amnesty International
- Lisgar's Environmental Action Force (LEAF)
- Ottawa-Carleton Educational Space Simulation (Spacesim)
- Key Club
- Vox Lycei – yearbook
Lisgar's Student Council consists of nine committees that oversee events throughout the school year, including the well-known Annual United Way Pancake Breakfast and the Canned Food Drive for the Ottawa Centretown Food Bank.
In 2006, the school's Reach for the Top team became the first Canadian team to participate in the NAQT High School National Championships, placing 25th. In 2008, the Lisgar Reach team became the first team to qualify for both the Canadian Reach for the Top finals and the NAQT High School National Championships in Chicago, placing second in Ontario for Reach and first in their qualifying division (Ottawa) for NAQT. Electing to attend the Reach Nationals in Edmonton, Lisgar came from behind to beat two-time champion University of Toronto Schools 420–415 for the national title. In 2010, Lisgar was able to qualify two teams for the NAQT Chicago tournament.
Lisgar's Improv Team, founded in 1997 and affectionately known as 'Jimmy', has a reputation for being of the highest calibre. Regular attendees of the National Festival of the Canadian Improv Games and National Champions in 1999 and 2000, Jimmy has been a pillar of the Ottawa Improv community for years.
- Fay Beale (née Doyle, 1927–2011) – one of the early female Chartered Accountants in Canada; the only woman in Canada to qualify as a Chartered Accountant in 1953
- Henry Botterell – World War I Canadian Fighter Pilot
- Desmond T. Burke – Canada's Sports Hall of Fame marksman
- Adrienne Clarkson – noted broadcaster and 26th Governor General of Canada
- Peter Cureton – actor and playwright
- Eugene Forsey – Former Canadian Senator, constitutional expert
- Jessa Gamble – Author and science journalist
- Arnold Gosewich – Record industry executive and literary agent
- Lorry Greenberg – Former Ottawa mayor
- Lorne Greene – Newsreader, actor, and Star of TV's Bonanza
- Bruce Halliday – Physician and former Member of Parliament
- Laura Hannant – Child activist
- Ann Heggtveit – World and Olympic ski champion
- David Hein – Co-author and co-composer of Tony Award-nominated musical Come from Away
- Lieutenant Alexis Helmer – Inspiration for the poem In Flanders Fields
- Sergeant Edward J.B. Holland VC – a member of the Royal Canadian Dragoons who won the Victoria Cross for valour during the Battle of Leliefontein on November 7, 1900, in the Second Boer War
- Donald Jackson – World champion figure skater, first to perform a triple lutz jump
- Peter Jennings – ABC News anchor
- Martin John, professional soccer player, full back for Welsh soccer team Cardiff City.
- Evelyn Lambart – animator
- Dominic LeBlanc – Lawyer, former Member of Parliament, and former Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
- Rich Little – Impressionist
- Naomi K. Lewis – author
- Adam Logan – Former world Scrabble champion
- David McGuffin – CBC News Africa Correspondent
- Susan McMaster – Poet, performance poet
- Kagher Neiber-Shieg – World War I German fighter ace
- Matthew Perry – Actor, known for the role of Chandler Bing on Friends. 
- Paola Pivi – International multimedia artist
- Shelagh Rogers – Journalist, host of Sounds Like Canada
- Mike Shaver – Software developer
- Shane Smith – Journalist, founder of Montreal-based Vice Magazine
- Alex Trebek – Television personality, best known as host of the American television game show Jeopardy!
- Timco Mucunski – Deputy Minister of Information Society and Administration in the Government of the Republic of Macedonia
- Tom Cruise – actor, attended the school for a short time but did not graduate from Lisgar
- List of Ottawa, Ontario schools
- Ottawa-Carleton Educational Space Simulation
- List of designated heritage properties in Ottawa
- List of high schools in Ontario
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-05-29. Retrieved 2014-05-28.
- "First World War memorial (names of the fallen): Memorial Hall, Lisgar Collegiate Institute: Memorial 35059-170 Ottawa, ON". National Inventory of Canadian Military Memorials. Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
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- "Second World War Victoria Crosses: Memorial Hall, Lisgar Collegiate Institute: Memorial 35059-167 Ottawa, ON". National Inventory of Canadian Military Memorials. Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
- "Korean War memorial: Memorial Hall, Lisgar Collegiate Institute: Memorial 35059-165 Ottawa, ON". National Inventory of Canadian Military Memorials. Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
- "Holland memorial: Lisgar Collegiate Institute: Memorial 35059-056 Ottawa, ON". National Inventory of Canadian Military Memorials. Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
- "Rouleau memorial: Memorial Hall, Lisgar Collegiate Institute: Memorial 35059-166 Ottawa, ON". National Inventory of Canadian Military Memorials. Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
- "Canadian flag memorial: Memorial Hall, Lisgar Collegiate Institute: Memorial 35059-164 Ottawa, ON". National Inventory of Canadian Military Memorials. Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
- Ottawa Improv
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- Leroux, Marc. "Lieutenant Alexis Hannum Helmer". Canadian Great War Project. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
Lieut. Helmer was a close friend of Capt. John McCrae and was the inspiration for "In Flanders Fields".
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- By Ottawa Collegiate Institute. Ex-pupils' (January 12, 2010), A History Of The Ottawa Collegiate Institute 1843–1903 By Ottawa Collegiate Institute. Ex-pupils', Ottawa, Ontario: BiblioLife This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923.
- By Lisgar Collegiate Centenary Committee (1943), Lisgar Collegiate Centenary: 1843-1943, Ottawa, Ontario: Lisgar Alumni Association, Lisgar Collegiate Institute (Ottawa, Ont.)
- By Lisgar Alumni Association' (1993), A History Of Lisgar Collegiate Institute, 1843-1993, Ottawa, Ontario: Lisgar Alumni Association, Lisgar Collegiate Institute (Ottawa, Ont.)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lisgar Collegiate Institute.|
- School Website
- Lisgar Alumni Association
- OCDSB Website
- 2006–2007 OCDSB School Profile
- 2005–2006 OCDSB School Profile
- 2004–2005 OCDSB School Profile
- More Information on Lisgar
- Lisgar's Sports Site
- The CEMC Waterloo Math Contest Website
- Lisgar Environmental Action Force
- Science Teachers at Lisgar
- Picture Peter Jennings in Lisgar
- Ottawa Citizen on Fraser Institute Secondary School Rankings for 2008