Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School

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Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School
MMCSS Logo.png
1107 Avenue Road
Midtown, Toronto, Ontario, M5N 3B1
Coordinates 43°42′27″N 79°24′34″W / 43.7076°N 79.4095°W / 43.7076; -79.4095Coordinates: 43°42′27″N 79°24′34″W / 43.7076°N 79.4095°W / 43.7076; -79.4095
School type Catholic High school
Motto Faith Is Our Medium
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Founded 1998
School board Toronto Catholic District School Board
Superintendent John Shain
Area 4
Area trustee Maria Rizzo
Ward 5
School number 561 / 730653
Principal Rita Leone
CSAC Chair Danusia Figiel (2013-14)
Faculty 65
Grades 9-12 (non-semestered)
Enrollment 1080 (2017-18)
Campus Urban
Colour(s) Grey, Navy, White             
Mascot Moose
Team name McLuhan Rebels
Parish St. Monica's Church
Specialist High Skills Major Information & Communication Technology
(awaiting approval from the Board)
Program Focus Advanced Placement
Extended French
Cyber Arts

Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School (Marshall McLuhan, MMCSS, Marshall McLuhan CSS, or McLuhan) is a coeducational, non-semestered, Catholic high school in midtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada managed by the Toronto Catholic District School Board. It was named after Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian educator, philosopher, and scholar—a professor of English literature, a literary critic, a rhetorician, a communication theorist, and a committed Roman Catholic. The school was formally founded in September 1998 to replace De La Salle College Oaklands campus in the same area. The school site was once owned by the Toronto Hunt Club while the building was built by the Canadian Forces as the Canadian Forces College and was used until 1994. Its motto is "Faith is our medium".


Toronto Hunt Club[edit]

The Toronto Hunt Club was established in by British Army officers of the Toronto garrison (Fort York) in 1843. It held gymkhana equestrian events at various sites around the city. In 1895 it acquired its first permanent home in a rural area east of the city between Kingston Road and the waterfront. In 1898, the streetcar was extended eastward to the site, and soon the area became a cottage district and then streetcar suburb of Toronto. This forced the equestrian activities to move further afield. In 1907, the horses were thus moved to a site in Thornhill (Steeles' Corner at Steeles Avenue and Yonge Street).

In 1919 the club moved to a location closer to town at Eglinton Avenue and Avenue Road. Known as the Eglinton Hunt Club, a polo arena, clubhouses and other facilities were erected. The 1930s saw the club run into financial difficulties.

The original Hunt Club site in Scarborough was turned into a nine-hole golf course in the 1930s, and it remains an exclusive private golfing club today. The current club champion is Chris Jones, as was determined on the annual Champions Day, September 18, 2010.

Air force base[edit]

But with the onset of World War II, the federal government purchased of the club, and it became a secret air force research facility known as the No. 1 Clinical Investigation Unit, and later the Royal Canadian Air Force Institute of Aviation Army. Dr. Fredrick G. Banting was employed at the site and conducted research regarding the physiological effects of combat flying.

Another noted employee, scientist Wilbur R. Franks, developed the world's first anti-Gravity flying suit (G-Suit) at the facility.

Following WWII, the Royal Canadian Air Force stationed squadrons here to defend Toronto during the Cold War. Eventually, the site became a staff school for training, educating over 10,000 officers before finally closing in 1994.


Marshall McLuhan was born in Edmonton, Alberta, to Elsie Naomi (née Hall) and Herbert Ernest McLuhan. His brother, Maurice, was born two years later. "Marshall" was a family name: his maternal grandmother's surname. Both of his parents were born in Canada. His mother was a Baptist schoolteacher who later became an actress. His father was a Methodist and had a real estate business in Edmonton. When World War I broke out, the business failed, and McLuhan's father enlisted in the Canadian army. After a year of service he contracted influenza and remained in Canada, away from the front. After Herbert's discharge from the army in 1915, the McLuhan family moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where Marshall grew up and went to school, attending Kelvin Technical School before enrolling in the University of Manitoba in 1928.[1]

He is known for coining the expressions the medium is the message and the global village, and for predicting the World Wide Web almost thirty years before it was invented.[2] Although he was a fixture in media discourse in the late 1960s, his influence began to wane in the early 1970s.[3] In the years after his death, he would continue to be a controversial figure in academic circles.[4] With the arrival of the internet, however, there was renewed interest in his work and perspective.[5][6][7]

The school[edit]

Catholic high school education in North Toronto dates back not far as 1851 when the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools founded De La Salle College. The Brothers, who arrived in Montreal in 1837 and founded the first permanent community of De La Salle Brothers in North America. At the request of Bishop De Charbonnel, five Brothers came to Toronto in 1851 and established a grammar school at the corner of Lombard and Jarvis Streets. In September of that year, the Brothers extended their ministry to St. Paul's School, which is still in existence today. Among their early graduates was Denis O'Connor, who became the 5th Bishop of Toronto in 1899. The Brothers opened their own secondary school in 1863 on Jarvis Street, originally called 'Christian Brothers Commercial Academy'. In 1870, the school was moved to Duke Street and the name was changed to De La Salle Institute. By 1890, the school was extended to include secondary education and was relocated to what was then the Bank of Upper Canada. The name De La Salle Institute was changed to De La Salle College in 1880 when university entrance courses were added to the commercial curriculum. This building still stands at the corner of Adelaide and George Streets as 252 Adelaide Street East and is currently part of George Brown College.

In 1913, De La Salle College took over part of the 67 Bond Street building, right next to St. Michael's Cathedral. The senior section was relocated to De La Salle Moore Park in what is now Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in 1925 when these classes were moved to De La Salle College "Oaklands" in 1932-1933 which had opened in 1931. The land was once part of the Crown Lands deeded to Honourable John Elmsley in 1798. In 1950, after a great deal of effort and sacrifice on the part of the Brothers and the alumni of the school, the present structure was officially opened. De La Salle had always been a completely private school until 1967 when the school were placed under the Metropolitan Separate School Board (now called the Toronto Catholic District School Board) for grades nine and ten. By 1987, when the full funding came in place in 1984, the maintenance, curriculum, funding and control of the entire high school was under the MSSB. With the re-privatization of De La Salle in September 1994 as a co-ed university preparatory school, there was no catholic high school serving that area.

To fill in the void with De La Salle`s re-privatization, the school board began the process to replace De La Salle. In 1995, the MSSB acquired the 2.7 hectare Canadian Forces Staff School although the homeowners were worried to see their homes expropriated.[8]

The MSSB has approved the name of the new school, Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School on June 13, 1997. During that period, the facility were used before the opening by St. Michael's College School during renovations and the students and staff from St. Anselm Catholic School due to renovations to their school. On September 29, 1998, McLuhan opened its doors to 100 Grade 9 pupils under its founding principal, Michael Pautler (the school's opening was delayed to two weeks due to the province-wide strike). The first McLuhan students graduated in June 2002. The $14,600,000 addition of an existing military college structure, designed by Global Architects Inc., was completed in February 2001 and its facilities consisted of the cafetorium, gymnasium, library, well-lit atrium, chapel, and multiple computer labs.


McLuhan offers a wide range of sports that suit the preferences of many students and has committed to run strong Rugby programs, and more recently, Track & Field and Cross Country teams as well. In other sports, they gained an excellent reputation and compete strongly in all. The school has awarded many titles of their sports achievements by the OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletics Association).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gordon, pp. 99–100.
  2. ^ Levinson, Paul (1999). Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-19251-X.
  3. ^ Plummer, Kevin. "Historicist: Marshall McLuhan, Urban Activist". Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  4. ^ Stille, Alexander (14 October 2000). "Marshall McLuhan Is Back From the Dustbin of History; With the Internet, His Ideas Again Seem Ahead of Their Time". The New York Times. p. 9. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  5. ^ Beale, Nigel (28 February 2008). "Living in Marshall McLuhan's galaxy". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  6. ^ Wolf, Gary (January 1996). "The Wisdom of Saint Marshall, the Holy Fool". Wired 4.01. Retrieved 2009-05-10.
  7. ^ Boxer, Sarah (3 April 2003). "CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK; McLuhan's Messages, Echoing On Iraq". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  8. ^ Hurst, Lynda "Outrage at sale of city army base Deal `stinks,' homeowners say" - Toronto Star, February 12, 1995. Retrieved on January 1, 2016. "All the board knows at present is that it's going to have some kind of high school on the property to make up for the loss of De La Salle College, which has reverted to private-school status."

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