St. Michael's College School
|St. Michael's College School|
|1515 Bathurst Street
Forest Hill, Toronto, Ontario, M5P 3H4
|School type||Catholic Private High school
Catholic Private Elementary school
|Motto||Doce Me Bonitatem et Disciplinam et Scientiam
(Teach Me Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge)
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic
|Sister school||Holy Name of Mary College School|
|School board||Metropolitan Separate School Board (1967-1985)
Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario
|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 (NHL) 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 (now Toronto Catholic District School Board) from 1967 to 1985
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, the Basilians opened St. Michael’s College in Toronto, offering in the French style a combination of what we would call high school and university education. The school specifically targeted Irish immigrants.
St. Michael’s College quickly outgrew its original facilities in the basement of the Bishop’s Palace on Church Street, and 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 high school section expanded much more rapidly than the College section, so 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, and 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 Catholic roots as a fully independent, Catholic high school.
From 1985 to 1989 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. 1975
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 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. St. Michael's College School Arena was the home of the OHL's Toronto St. Michael's Majors. The Team has since moved to Mississauga, and is now known as the Mississauga Steelheads, playing out of the Hershey Centre. 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 standard of hockey exceeds others to a level that their junior hockey team competes on the Senior Tier two stage. The school's flagship hockey team, the St. Michael's Majors, won the Memorial Cup four times before ceasing operation in 1961. A franchise with this name entered the Ontario Hockey League in 1996, but has never been run by the school. The school now operates a team, known as 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.
St. Michael's College School, after building the St. Michael's College School centre for the Arts, has produced many impressive musicals, with very talented casts. Since the Theatre's opening many Drama's and Musical's have been performed with outstanding success, breaking the streotypical understanding of a high school musical and creating a hub for theatre performance. The Theatre sits about 450 people and is state of the art in technology. The Theatre opened in 2010, and has been home to many productions since.
Notable former faculty
- Michael Colle - Former Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
- Dr. Michael W. Higgins - Current president of St. Thomas University and former president of St. Jerome's University
- Michael McGowan - Former English teacher, director of Saint Ralph
- Robert J. Birgeneau - 9th chancellor, University of California, Berkeley
- Michael Doucet Professor of geography, Ryerson University
- Gregory Kealey, Vice president of research and provost, University of New Brunswick
- Joseph Pivato, Professor, literary scholar, writer, Athabasca University, Edmonton
- David Staines, Professor of English, University of Ottawa; member of the Order of Canada
- Robert Deluce, Porter Airlines founder
- Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Fiat S.p.A. and Chrysler Group LLC
- Eugene Melnyk, Biovail Corporation founder, owner of the Ottawa Senators
- Mikey Bustos, Entertainer, Canadian Idol finalist
- Michael Enright (honorary diploma recipient), host (CBC Radio One's The Sunday Edition)
- Estanislao Oziewicz, journalist (The Globe and Mail)
- Stuck On Planet Earth, Indie rock band
- Patrick Brown, Member of Parliament for Barrie, Ontario, Canada. 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, NHL player
- Andrew Cogliano, NHL player
- Murray Costello, NHL player, Hockey Hall of Fame, Builders category
- Bill Dineen, CFL player and ice hockey coach
- Luke Gazdic, NHL Player for the Edmonton Oilers - Draft: 2007 - 6th round (172nd overall) by the Dallas Stars
- Red Kelly, NHL player; won eight Stanley Cups; former MP
- Mike Labinjo, CFL player
- Frank Mahovlich, Canadian Senator, former NHL player
- Peter Mahovlich, NHL player
- Cesare Maniago, NHL goaltender from 1960–78, most notably for the Minnesota North Stars from 1967-76.
- Dominic Moore, NHL player
- Steve Moore, NHL player
- Leo Rautins, Canadian National Men's Basketball Team head coach, television commentator, and journalist for the NBA Toronto Raptors
- Jason Spezza, NHL player
- Tyler Seguin, 2nd Overall Draft Pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Attended from Grade 8 until Grade 10
- Chris Tanev, NHL Player for the Vancouver Canucks Attended from Grade 9 until Grade 10
- Basilian Fathers
- University of St. Michael's College
- Holy Name of Mary College School
- St. Michael's Majors
- St. Michael's College School Arena
- Daly, Rita. "A crowd of parents and students lashed out at Metro ..." Toronto Star. October 15, 1993. News p. A26. Retrieved on September 23, 2013.
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