Midland Avenue Collegiate Institute

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Midland Avenue Collegiate Institute
(operates as the Midland Avenue Learning Centre)
Midland Avenue CI Logo.svg
Midland Avenue Collegiate Institute.JPG
720 Midland Avenue
Kennedy Park, Toronto, Ontario, M1K 4C9
Coordinates 43°43′42″N 79°15′20″W / 43.728364°N 79.25549°W / 43.728364; -79.25549Coordinates: 43°43′42″N 79°15′20″W / 43.728364°N 79.25549°W / 43.728364; -79.25549
School type Public High School
Motto Semper Ad Optimum
(Always Striving for the Best)
Religious affiliation(s) Secular
Founded 1962
Status Active / Partially leased out
Closed 2000
School board Toronto District School Board
(Scarborough Board of Education)
Oversight Toronto Lands Corporation
Superintendent Audley Salmon
Area trustee Parthi Kandavel
School number 926213
Principal Nadine Seagal
Grades 9-13
Enrollment 608 (1999-2000)
Language English
Campus size 13 acres
Colour(s) Green and Gold         
Team name Midland Mustangs
(Magic and Marauders)
Feeder schools Charles Gordon Sr. Public School
Robert Service Sr. Public School

Midland Avenue Collegiate Institute (also known as Midland Avenue CI, MA, MACI, Midland CI, or Midland; formerly Midland Avenue Secondary School) is a Toronto District School Board-owned alternative learning complex in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada as the Midland Avenue Learning Centre consisting of Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies (SCAS), South East Year Round Alternative Centre (SEYRAC), and Caring and Safe Schools Midland program. Formerly a regular public high school, it opened in 1962 for the Scarborough Board of Education until its closure in 2000 due to low enrolment. Midland's motto is Semper as Optimum which transliterates to "Always strive for the best".


Originally named Midland Avenue Secondary School (Midland Avenue SS, MASS or Midland SS), the school facility laid its cornerstone in 1959 with a time capsule was buried at that time.[1] Built in 1961 on 13 acres behind the railway line, the school was then designed by an architectural firm Craig, Madill, Abram and Ingleson. It opened its doors in September 4, 1962 under its first principal James Hamilton as Scarborough's eighth collegiate and the first composite secondary school. Aside from Cedarbrae Secondary School as the first trade-academic institution, Midland Avenue Secondary opened for students in the area who attended many secondary schools surrounding it such as Agincourt, R. H. King, Churchill, W. A. Porter and Thomson Collegiates. Midland Avenue Secondary was itself renamed to Midland Avenue Collegiate Institute in 1965. The sections of the original building such as the commercial and technical wing was added along with the swimming pool built in 1963 and 1964 as well as the library in 1974.

During the 1980s, Midland experienced a sharp shift due to an overall lower birth rate of the overall population as with most schools in the Toronto area. The school body had also undergone a demographic shift from an influx of new immigration to the nearby area since the early 1990s. This was accompanied and complicated by a drop in attendance from students who lived in the area, who starting in the mid-1980s chose to go other schools in the area[citation needed]

In 1988, Midland was risking closure as hundreds of students, parents and teachers jammed the meeting in protest. Trustees were scrambling to find a place to put Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies to that location (see below)[2] SBE has decided to transfer the adult school because it didn't want to part with an ordinary high school due to nearby Tabor Park Vocational School (which is a 2-minute drive) was handed over to the Metropolitan Separate School Board (now the Toronto Catholic District School Board) by July 1989. The reason given was that enrolment at Midland was declining as projections up to 1996 showed that about 740 students attended the school.[3][4]

Several incidents happened at Midland such as two female students accused a group of boys of molesting and threatening them in 1990.[5] Meanwhile, in April or May 1994, a student tipped the school administration to a hidden cache of knives and high-powered ammunition and stated that there was a fight planned. Police seized more than 59 ammunition rounds and a kitchen knife and an army combat knife. Two teenagers were placed under arrest.[6]

The province defunded the adult day school at Midland Avenue in 1999, causing it to stop operating. The time capsule was opened by Nadine Segal, the principal, in 2000.[1]


When Scarborough became a part of Toronto in 1998, the Scarborough Board of Education became part of the new, but one of the largest boards on the continent, the Toronto District School Board. Changes in the new funding structure caused the creation of a short-list of 138 schools in Toronto proposed to be closed. The list was a reaction to a creation of a funding formula based on students per square footage of the school, which prompted debate over the issue rather than the actual closure of the schools. Since the physical building was large with a good state of repair, and the population was smaller, it was placed high on the list. This ultimately became justification for closing the school. The closing can be ultimately summed up due to a School Trustee who did not support the teachers and residents' wishes, a lack of civic participation, and a lack of knowledge and participation of new immigrants.[citation needed]

According to principal Nadine Seagal, the TDSB argued that since Midland Avenue was under-utilized, with only 650 students in the 216,521-square-foot (20,115.5 m2) campus that can hold up to 1,358 students, it should be closed. Staff and students advocated for the school to remain open.[7]

As an ultimate consequence, the school was permanently closed at the end of June 2000.[8] The Toronto Catholic District School Board, meanwhile, attempted to consolidate Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School (at the former Tabor Park grounds) and Blessed Cardinal Newman Catholic High School (at the St. Augustine's Seminary site) at Midland, but it was never materialized.[8]

The Midland Avenue C.I. attendance area was then reassigned to David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute, R. H. King Academy, Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute, SATEC @ W. A. Porter Collegiate Institute and Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute.


Following the closure, in 2001, Midland operated for quite a number of years as the Bond Education Group, a private school leasing the facility from the Toronto District School Board. While public tax dollars goes to education and upkeep of local schools, the public is generally unaware and not usually kept informed of what happens to public properties like school buildings, once a school is closed. While many might have thought the building was outright sold, it seems as if it was just leased to the Bond Education Group, possibly a ten-year lease. By the end of June 2010, Bond was relocated at 1500 Birchmount Rd.

The Toronto District School Board reoccupied parts of building beginning in 2005, establishing South East Year Round Alternative Centre and Safe and Caring Schools Program Area C in the process with the Staff Development in the basement (later moved to Thomson Collegiate). In September 2010, the TDSB relocated Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies, from its location at Centennial College to the building as Centennial expanded the teaching space by acquiring the latter site and Midland was originally to be the site of the new SCAS just more than 20 years prior.[9] As of 2013, Midland currently leases the parts of the building to Not Your Average Day Care[10] and, since 2001, Olympia Swimming on the northwestern side of the building.[11]



Midland Avenue CI is a larger 225,191 sq. ft. facility built in a 13.2 acre land and typical of high schools built in the baby boom generation of the 1950s and 1960s. It included many modernist design features including five stairwells, a circular cafeteria that looked onto Midland Avenue, a two floor library with two seminar rooms, wide guidance area, larger atrium, and a larger auditorium with more than 928 seats. Other features included 33 academic classrooms, four drafting rooms, two home economics rooms, one large lecture hall, four performing art rooms for music/dance/drama, two visual art rooms, five science labs, three gymnasia with the larger one that can be partitioned into two smaller gyms, swimming pool, and several tech programs consisting of hairstyling room, large multi-car automobile repair hangar/repair and carpentry/construction shops with four garage doors that most schools did not have. It also has the large athletic field as well the track and football/soccer fields with an attached hill. Portables were placed on that site for the surplus needs of students.

The school is built in a hill-like structure with three floors such as the first floor and its halls shaped as a "C", the second/main floor, and the third floor also has its hallways "T"-shaped. The lockers were originally painted green and gold (save for the orange, beige, and olive green colors in the tech wing) but has since been repainted to shades of blue (ground floor), green (main floor) and teal (top floor).


Midland offered many academic resource opportunities for assistance and enrichment along with its ESL, co-op and transitional credit programs, leadership opportunities for all students, a strong music, visual arts and drama department and their excellent facilities to provide a broad based technology program. The school previously operated under the OS:IS curriculum before the OSS was issued in 1999.

During its last years, the school's grade 9 program was non-semestered to allow for consolidation of basic skills. Midland Avenue had the its SHSM in cosmetology.

Co-curricular Activities[edit]

The school offered many clubs and activities such as Student Administrative Council, MARS, Math League, Prefects, the Midland Avenue Athletic Council (MAAC), Peer Tutors, Band, Choir, and Drama Club.

Midland was the first collegiate in Scarborough to have cricket in the 1960s. It then participated in the SSAAA and TDSSAA in basketball, baseball, softball, football, ice hockey, wrestling, track and field, cross country, gymnastics, soccer, and other sports.

School Song[edit]

We are from Midland, proudly we hail thee, onward with the green and gold!
Onward to victory, honour and glory, we are striving for these goals!
Always we'll try to cherish our motto, Semper ad Optimum!
Proudly we hail her! Honour we'll gain her! Honour for the green and gold!


  • James Hamilton
  • Jay Watt
  • James Wade
  • Stella H. Dasko
  • Nadine Segal

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Rushowy, Kristin and Louise Brown. "When a school is lost, we all feel hurt." Toronto Star. July 3, 2000. News p. B01. Retrieved on October 14, 2013.
  2. ^ Daly, Rita. "Scarborough centre for adult learning needs new home." Toronto Star. January 10, 1989. Neighbors p. E3. Retrieved on July 29, 2013.
  3. ^ Daly, Rita "Board backs off as hundreds protest threatened closing of high school" Toronto Star. October 6, 1988. News, Page A3. Retrieved on August 14, 2013.
  4. ^ "School Confusion" Toronto Star. October 11, 1988. Editorial, Page A11. Retrieved on August 14, 2013
  5. ^ Gombu, Phinjo. "Three more students charged after complaints of assaults." Toronto Star. October 10, 1990. News p. A6. Retrieved on October 13, 2013.
  6. ^ Irish, Paul. "Midland principal praises student for tip on ammo." Toronto Star. May 5, 1994. Scarborough/Durham p. SD2. Retrieved on October 13, 2013.
  7. ^ Talaga, Tanya. "Why us? Midland students ask ; High school can fit 1,358 students but has only 650." 'Toronto Star. April 27, 1999. News p. 1. Retrieved on October 14, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Rushowy, Kristin. "Board considers secondary closings." Toronto Star. June 14, 2000. Retrieved on October 13, 2013. "Southwest Scarborough schools: Jean Vanier and Cardinal Newman. The report recommends moving the two schools on to one site, possibly at Midland Collegiate, which the Toronto public board will close this month. Jean Vanier and Cardinal Newman could be turned into single-sex schools."
  9. ^ http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/691119/-10-8-million-budget-surplus-and-24-enrolment-growth-fuels-expansion-plans-at-centennial-college
  10. ^ http://www.nyad.org/
  11. ^ http://www.olympianswimming.com/

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]