Richmond Hill High School (Ontario)

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Richmond Hill High School
Richmond Hill HS COA.jpg
201 Yorkland Street
Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4S 1A2
Coordinates 43°54′7″N 79°23′50″W / 43.90194°N 79.39722°W / 43.90194; -79.39722Coordinates: 43°54′7″N 79°23′50″W / 43.90194°N 79.39722°W / 43.90194; -79.39722
School type Public High school
Motto Sapere Aude
(Latin, variously translated as: 'Dare to Learn', 'Dare to Know', 'Dare to be Wise', 'Have the courage to think for yourself' or 'Have courage to use your own reason')
Religious affiliation(s) Secular
Founded 1851
School board York Region District School Board
Superintendent Rita Russo
Area trustee Corrie McBain
Principal Sandra Haliburton
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1699[1] (October 2015)
Language English
Colour(s) Forest Green & White
Mascot Raiders
Last updated: December 2016
Front entrance to Richmond Hill HS

Richmond Hill High School is a secondary school located in the Town of Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. It is the second oldest high school in York Region Municipality (and behind Newmarket High School c. 1843), being established in the mid-19th century. Richmond Hill High School has a strong academic standing and reputation, often placing well in academic contests as well as provincially mandated standardized testing. In the 1998–1999 year, RHHS was ranked the #1 non-private school in Ontario, according to the Fraser Institute, scoring a 9.8/10 ranking (academic) [2][out-of-date reference]. In the most recent Fraser Institute rankings (2014–2015), the school ranked 25th in the province (within the top 4%) and 9th in York Region (including private and religious schools), with an overall score of 8.7/10[3]

The Fraser Institute also reports that amongst the school's population, 20.9% of students are registered as English as a Second Language and 10.1% are 'special needs' students.[4]

The school is a host to several regional special education programs, including the town's sole Gifted Program, Advanced Placement Program, Alternative Education Program, Co-Op, Developmentally-Delayed Program and an Orthopedic Program. There is also a very large variety of academic and hobby clubs open to students.


Richmond Hill High School is one of the oldest secondary schools in the Greater Toronto Area, founded on December 2, 1851. It has expanded and changed locations on several occasions including in 1853, 1872, 1897, 1924 and 1950, having had been located on Yonge St. and Wright St. in 'downtown' Richmond Hill before moving to its present location at 201 Yorkland Street in September 2000. The older location is now the French Immersion school École secondaire Norval-Morrisseau

In 1948-9, the Richmond Hill High School Literary Society erected a metal plaque as a list of honour memorial dedicated to the former students of the school who died in service during the First and Second World Wars.[5] The plaque is now mounted on the east wall between the outer and inner doors of the main entrance of the school.

In 2005, former president of South Africa and 1993 Nobel Peace Prize Winner F.W De Klerk visited the school, spoke to students and staff about his part in the end of the apartheid system and answered students' questions during an hour-long session. During his speech, he pointed to Canada as a model for multiculturalism South Africa could look to and also lauded the school for its dedication to the global community through charities, events and awareness raising on global issues.

Building & Site[edit]

The current school building on Yorkland Street is a two story structure measuring 180,174 square feet (16,738.7 m2), was completed and opened in 2000. It houses two gymnasiums, a fitness and weight training room, a cafetorium including a stage, a library, a communications technology room including a green and blue screen, vocal and instumental/band mucic rooms, two visual art studio classroom/workspaces and six 'pods' with a central computer lab surrounded by four conventional classrooms, a science lab classroom and two teaching staff workrooms/offices.

The original Yorkland Street building was built to accommodate a student population of 1400 students[citation needed], but due to continued residential building in the school's catchment area and the strength of the school's academic reputation, the school has consistently enrolled 1600+ students since shortly after its opening. This has necessitated the use of portables as classrooms, with the number of portables growing to nine as of September 2016.

The two older buildings still survive, with the old 1851 building now a coffee shop on Yonge street, and the 1950 building continuing to operate as the French secondary school "École secondaire Norval-Morrisseau"

Clubs and Extra-curriculars[edit]

Student Council[edit]

The Student Council (also known as "StuCo") oversees many of the school's student-organized events, including school dances, the annual Semi-Formal, "spirit days", and the annual Carnival. It is also in charge of distributing funding and resources to school clubs.[6]


Richmond Hill High School has numerous clubs that operate year-to-year. Most of these clubs meet after school once a week. While most clubs are dedicated to pursuit of interests (Such as chemistry or computer science), there are others that are dedicated to promoting external organizations or events (such as Best Buddies), and still others that meet only as required (Tech crew).


The RHHS Spyglass is Richmond Hill High School's official student-run, student-oriented newspaper, currently printed in the form of a magazine. The paper has been a seasonally published variety tabloid that mixes international news, politics, and local events with student commentary. Issues of the Spyglass were previously published online.

'Raiders' Teams and sports clubs[edit]


Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "York Region District School Board - Monthly Enrolment Report" (PDF). York Region District School Board. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  2. ^ The Fraser Institute: Report Card on Ontario's Secondary Schools : 2001 Edition: Ranking the schools
  3. ^ The Fraser Institute: Report Card on Richmond Hill High School
  4. ^
  5. ^ War memorial plaque
  6. ^ "RHHS Student Council". RHHS Student Council. Retrieved 2017-02-12. 
  7. ^ "Farley Mowat's Remarkable Teacher". Professionally Speaking. Ontario College of Teachers. June 1998. Retrieved 2007-11-22. ...who taught English to Mowat from 1937 to 1940 at Richmond Hill High School in Richmond Hill. 
  8. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (2007-01-13). "From student council to head of the class". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2007-11-22. Kathleen Wynne was a track star and student council secretary when she graduated from Richmond Hill High School in 1971. 
  9. ^ Westwood, Rosemary (February 26, 2015). "Video: GTA stages a 'breeding ground' for K-Pop talent". Metro. Metro International. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 

External links[edit]