St. Michael's College School
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|St. Michael's College School|
1515 Bathurst Street|
Forest Hill, Toronto, Ontario, M5P 3H4
Catholic Private High school|
Catholic Private Elementary school
Doce Me Bonitatem et Disciplinam et Scientiam|
(Teach Me Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge)
|Sister school||Holy Name of Mary College School|
Metropolitan Separate School Board (1967–1985)|
Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario
|President||Rev. Jefferson Thompson, CSB |
|Language||English, French, Italian, Latin, Spanish|
|Colour(s)||Light blue, Navy(referred to as "double blue")|
Bubba LouBlue Leprechaun
|Newspaper||The Blue Herald|
|Public transit access||Subway: St. Clair West|
St. Michael's College School is a private, all-boys Roman Catholic day school in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Administered by the Basilian Fathers, it is the largest school of its kind in Canada, with an enrollment of approximately 1,080 students from grades seven to twelve. It is well known for its high standard of athletics and academics, notably its ice hockey and football programs. The hockey program has graduated numerous future National Hockey League ice hockey players. St. Michael's is the brother school of Holy Name of Mary College School, an independent, Catholic all-girls school in Mississauga. The school was once part of the Metropolitan Separate School Board from 1967 to 1985, and now operates within the Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario.
The Congregation of St. Basil (Basilian Fathers) was established as a religious congregation in France in 1822. As a result of the closing of seminaries in France during the French Revolution, two diocesan priests opened a secret school in the mountains of central France.
After several years of operation and a change in the French laws, ten priests serving there openly bound themselves into a religious community. They reasoned that the school, by then located in the nearby city of Annonay, would have a better chance of continuing if it were conducted by a religious congregation that could accept and train new members to continue its operation after the founding fathers’ retirement.
In the middle of the nineteenth century, the French Basilians came to Canada on an invitation from Bishop de Charbonnel of Toronto. The Bishop clearly saw the need for Catholic schools for the young people of his parishes, especially at the high school level. In his plans to bring Catholic education to more of his people, the Bishop immediately thought of his own education in France. He had been educated at the College of Annonay near Lyon, a school established by the Basilian Fathers.
In September 1852, St. Michael’s College opened. It quickly outgrew its original facilities in the basement of the Bishop’s Palace on Church Street. In 1856, it was moved to Clover Hill, a property donated to the Basilian Fathers by the Honourable John Elmsley. Clover Hill was outside the city at that time, in an area now bounded by Bay, St. Joseph, and St. Mary’s streets. In 1881, St. Michael’s was affiliated with St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto for post secondary education. The school specifically targeted Irish immigrants. The high school section expanded much more rapidly than the College section. In 1902, a new wing was added to the original building and the high school remained in this building until 1950.
In the years after World War II, it became apparent that the Bay Street buildings were not equal to the challenge of serving a growing student body. At this point the high school section was separated from the College. In September 1950, St. Michael’s College School opened its doors in a new building at Bathurst Street and St. Clair Avenue, where it is situated today.
In 1967, St. Michael’s College School began an important new phase in its history. A decision was made to enter into partnership with the Metropolitan Separate School Board (now today as the Toronto Catholic District School Board) and to educate the Board’s students in grades 9 and 10. This decision made St. Michael’s both a public and private school, which lasted for approximately 20 years. In September 1985, the Basilian Fathers decided to refuse provincial aid beyond grade 10 and return St. Michael’s to its roots as a fully independent, Roman Catholic high school.
From 1985-89 the school went private in phases.
In 1995, a major capital expansion program upgraded the school to include a new east wing complete with modern classrooms, a new library (Odette Library), music and visual arts facilities, a design and technology facility, a new 250-seat lecture hall, and an expanded gymnasium. In September 1998, St. Michael’s College School expanded its academic program to include a grade 7-8 program. The Preparatory school was previously active during the early 1900s.
On September 15, 2002, St. Michael’s College School celebrated its 150th Anniversary.
The school’s athletic stadium was retrofitted in September 2004 to include a new, state-of-the-art athletic field (artificial grass), an electronic scoreboard, stadium lighting, and an air supported structure that covers a third of the field for use during the winter months. The Performing Arts Centre was the fourth and final phase of this revitalization project, completed in the spring of 2010.
The St. Michael's College School Centre for the Arts opened in 2010, and hosts school stage productions of musicals and dramas.
The school's campus is at Bathurst Street and St. Clair Avenue at the edge of Toronto's Forest Hill neighbourhood. The main school building was designed by Canadian architect Ernest Cormier and completed in 1950. Its most recognizable features are the distinctive chapel tower and yellow brickwork, similar to Cormier's earlier work at the Université de Montréal.
In the late 1990s, a major expansion programme was undertaken, with two major academic wings and a gymnasium extension added to the original building. The additions contain classrooms tailored to the science, art and music programmes, a substantial lecture hall, several computer laboratories, and a large library. An outdoor courtyard adjacent to the cafeteria overlooked by classrooms is popular for major school events. The school's residence wing, originally built to accommodate boarding students, functioned as a Basilian house until 2008 when it was removed to make room for the school's new "state-of-the-art" performing arts centre. The $10 million facility was completed in the spring of 2010.
There are a number of sports facilities located on campus, including the St. Michael's College School Arena. The school's basketball court is named after former vice-principal, teacher, and coach, Paul Dignan. In 2005, a major overhaul of the stadium was undertaken. Renamed in honour of its benefactor, alumnus Eugene Melnyk, it features an artificial turf field, a rubberized running track, and lighting for evening events. During the winter, an inflatable dome covers part of the track and field to allow for use in adverse weather conditions. When the stadium reopened, it attracted substantial attention from the Toronto media.
St. Michael's is well known for its athletic programme, and its extensive sports offerings prove consistently popular among students from year to year. The school has been particularly successful in ice hockey, track and field, cross country, rugby and football. Other programmes offered by the school include volleyball, golf, baseball, soccer, basketball, swimming, skiing, tennis, mountain biking, lacrosse, and archery. The school competes with other independent schools as well as Catholic and public schools in the Toronto area.
The school is perhaps best known as a producer of hockey and football players. Over 180 St. Michael's alumni have played in the National Hockey League, including Hockey Hall of Fame inductees Bobby Bauer, Gerry Cheevers, Red Kelly, Tim Horton, Dave Keon, Ted Lindsay, Frank Mahovlich, Reg Noble, and Joe Primeau. The school's flagship hockey team, the Toronto St. Michael's Majors, won the Memorial Cup four times before ceasing operation in 1961. The Majors name was revived as an expansion franchise in the Ontario Hockey League from 1996 to 2012, then sold off to become the Mississauga Steelheads. The school also operates the St. Michael's Buzzers, at the Tier II Junior "A" level. The school was featured on CBC's annual Hockey Day in Canada on January 13, 2007 because it was celebrating 100 years of hockey at the school.
The junior and senior football teams, known as the Kerry Blues, are considered among the best in Ontario. The Jr. Kerry Blues won their third Ontario Regional Invitational. (2002, 2004, 2008) In 2008, the Senior Kerry Blues won their seventh Metro Bowl, making the St. Michael's Kerry Blues the most bowl-winning team in Ontario. They have won the Metro Bowl three years in a row. There have been many Kerry Blues Football alumni that have gone on to win the CIAU National Football Championship with their respective universities. The 1993 Vanier Cup Champion University of Toronto Varsity Blues had several SMC Alumni: Christopher Tyndorf, Lou Tiro and Peter Woo. National Football League players Glen Young, O.J. Santiago and Michael Labinjo, each of whom have competed in the Super Bowl, played football while attending St. Michael’s.
The Blue Harrier cross country running team is arguably the most successful in the TDCAA, having won 25 consecutive Toronto District Colleges Athletic Association (TDCAA) team titles, and having fielded over 19 teams which have won the Ontario Championship. Coach Paul Barry was recently inducted into a local sports hall of fame for his work in maintaining this streak to date.
In addition, Leo Rautins, former All American, television basketball analyst and coach of Canada’s national basketball team, attended St. Michael’s. Rautins was the first Canadian to be selected in the first round of the National Basketball Association draft.
The school competes against many other private schools, as well as schools in the Toronto Catholic District School Board. Some of their most notable and competitive rivals consist of Upper Canada College, Crescent School, and St. Andrew's College. Many events, such as the Basil Bowl, are held to display this competition.
Notable former faculty
- Michael Colle - Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
- Dr. Michael W. Higgins - President of St. Thomas University and former president of St. Jerome's University
- Michael McGowan - English teacher, director of Saint Ralph
- Robert J. Birgeneau, 9th chancellor, University of California, Berkeley
- Michael Doucet, Professor, Ryerson University
- Gregory Kealey, Vice president, University of New Brunswick
- Joseph Pivato, Professor, Athabasca University
- David Staines, Professor, University of Ottawa; member of the Order of Canada
- Robert Deluce, Porter Airlines founder
- Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Fiat and Chrysler Group LLC
- Eugene Melnyk, Biovail Corporation, owner of Ottawa Senators
- Mikey Bustos, Entertainer, Canadian Idol finalist
- Michael Enright (honorary diploma recipient), CBC Radio host
- Estanislao Oziewicz, The Globe and Mail journalist,
- Stuck On Planet Earth, Canadian Alternative rock band
- Patrick Brown, former Member of Provincial Parliament for the riding of Simcoe North, former leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.
- Josh Colle, Toronto City Councillor for Ward 15, Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission
- Joe Mihevc, Toronto City Councillor for Ward 21
- Jaggi Singh, anti-globalization activist
- Bobby Bauer, National Hockey League player
- Andrew Cogliano, National Hockey League player
- Les Costello, National Hockey League player
- Murray Costello, National Hockey League player, Hockey Hall of Fame
- Bill Dineen, Canadian Football League player and ice hockey coach
- Luke Gazdic, National Hockey League player
- Red Kelly, National Hockey League player, Member of Parliament
- Justyn Knight, distance runner
- Mike Labinjo, Canadian Football League player
- Michael Liambas, National Hockey League player
- Frank Mahovlich, Canadian senator, National Hockey League player
- Peter Mahovlich, National Hockey League player
- Cesare Maniago, National Hockey League player
- Dominic Moore, National Hockey League player
- Steve Moore, National Hockey League player
- Leo Rautins, Canadian National Men's Basketball Team coach, television commentator, journalist
- Jason Spezza, National Hockey League player
- Tyler Seguin, National Hockey League player
- Chris Tanev, National Hockey League player
- Daly, Rita. "A crowd of parents and students lashed out at Metro ..." Toronto Star. October 15, 1993. News p. A26; retrieved September 23, 2013.
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