Trinity College School

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Trinity College School
55 Deblaquire Street North
Port Hope, Ontario, L1A 4K7
Coordinates 43°57′42″N 78°17′11″W / 43.9616°N 78.2863°W / 43.9616; -78.2863Coordinates: 43°57′42″N 78°17′11″W / 43.9616°N 78.2863°W / 43.9616; -78.2863
School type Co-ed Private Boarding/Day
Motto Beati mundo corde
(Blessed are the pure in heart)
Religious affiliation(s) Anglican
Founded 1865
Headmaster Stuart Grainger
Grades 5 - 12
Enrollment 550
Language English
Campus 100 acres (0.40 km2) in a rural Ontario setting
Colour(s) Black, Maroon, and White
Mascot Trina the Polar Bear
Team name Bears
Rival Lakefield College School
The Memorial Chapel.jpg
Lunch in Osler Hall.jpg
Students in chemistry class.jpg
Students on lawn.jpg
Classroom setting.jpg

Trinity College School (TCS) is a coeducational, independent boarding/day school located in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada. TCS was founded on May 1, 1865, more than 2 years prior to Canadian Confederation. It includes a Senior School for grades 9 to 12 and a Junior School for grades 5 to 8.

Among its notable alumni (Old Boys) are The Honourable Mr. Justice Ian Binnie, William Bridges, Edgar Bronfman, Sr., Ian Brown, Lew Cirne, Reginald Fessenden, Roy Heenan, Peter Jennings, Archibald Lampman, Archibald Cameron Macdonell, Yann Martel, Mark McKinney, David Macfarlane, Sir William Osler, Peter Raymont, Godfrey D. Rhodes, Casimir Cartwright van Straubenzee and Charles Taylor. Conrad Black lasted less than a year when he attended Trinity College School before being expelled for insubordinate behaviour.


The Senior School runs on a house system, all ten named after former headmasters and other notable members of the school community. Although TCS is co-educational, both boarding and day houses are single sex.

There are six boarding houses: Bickle, Bethune, Brent, Burns, Ketchum, Scott; and four day houses: Hodgetts, Rigby, Orchard and Wright.


Trinity College School was first founded in the town of Weston, Ontario. The Rev'd William Arthur Johnson (founder) officially opened the school in his home on May 1, 1865.[1] The school was located in the rectory above the Old Mill (Weston) on east bank of the Humber River north of Lawrence Avenue (then called Dufferin Street).[2] At the time there were only 9 students and teaching staff. More and more people became interested in the school set up by Johnson, so its expansion was inevitable. At first, the school was moved to a building at the north-west corner of Rosemount Avenue and King Street in Weston, Ontario. Since a bigger structure was needed, sites at Guelph, Ontario; Whitby, Ontario; Niagara, Ontario; and Thorold, Ontario were all considered.

However, prominent citizens in Port Hope, Ontario were very much interested in hosting the school in their town. They offered to pay the rent for the School's premises for 3 years, a deal which was accepted. In September 1868 Trinity College School opened in Port Hope. The following 30 years were good ones for the School. During that time, under the direction of Headmaster Charles Bethune, Trinity College School grew from the motley collection of wooden sheds and buildings which existed initially at the site of Port Hope into a prosperous, thriving academic community.

Unfortunately, on a wintry night in 1895 an explosion of a coal oil lamp in one of the master's rooms started a fire which destroyed almost the entire School. Fortunately, no one was hurt and the School was rebuilt in only eight months.

James Augustus Ellis (architect) designed the TCS hockey rink (1911) on Ward Street.[3]

A second fire occurred in 1928. Again, virtually all of the School was destroyed. Rebuilding the School was not an easy task this time. Although TCS had received promises of funds to help with the rebuilding from the Old Boy community, on the heels of the fire came the Great Depression and many Old Boys had to renege on their promises.

Newly appointed Headmaster Philip Ketchum found himself in charge of a school on the brink of bankruptcy and he had spent the first few years of his tenure "cap in hand" trying to raise the funds to pay off a very onerous mortgage. Through the generosity of a handful of Old Boys, the debt was finally retired.

Since that time, Trinity College School has yet to experience any similar hardships. The School's physical plant has tripled in size, the student body has doubled and, under the leadership of Headmaster Rodger Wright, the first female student was admitted to TCS in the fall of 1991.

During the summer of 1997, the entire campus was cabled in order to make the School's computer network, and the Internet, universally accessible.

In 2002, the creation of a new arts facility, featuring music and dance studios, MIDI labs, classroom space, and a theatre, put a renewed focus on the arts at TCS. In 2003-2004, the science department opened two new facilities, the electron microscopy suite and the Anne Currie Observatory, which houses a high-powered telescope.

In September 2004, TCS welcomed its 11th headmaster, Stuart K.C. Grainger. Among the achievements under his leadership are the launch of the School’s first official strategic plan[4] in 2007, including a performance space; and the construction of a visual arts wing for the 2011-2012 academic year.


The academic school year at TCS is divided into three distinct terms (Fall, Winter and Spring), and different extracurricular programmes are offered for each. Extracurricular activities at the school include athletics, arts and music, and community service. A recreational sports programme is also available, allowing students the opportunity to participate in a non-competitive sports environment.

Students outside .jpg

Nicknames, mottos and traditions[edit]

The TCS athletics teams have been known since the 1980s as the Bears.

The school motto is Beati Mundo Corde, Latin for "Blessed are the Pure in Heart." TCS is known as “the school on the hill” due to its location. The school sports colours are black and maroon but the school's uniform and coat of arms incorporate the school's corporate colour of blue.

Every year starts off with the annual "New Students Fun and Games" in which the old students mix and mingle with the new students in a variety of activities across campus culminating in the favourite "Mud Pit" in which the Headmaster, faculty, and students take part in by diving into a mud pit to declare their entrance into the new school year.

In November of each year, the school holds one of its oldest traditions known as the Oxford Cup. This is a five kilometre race that utilises the school's cross country trail. Many alumni, as well as parents come to the school to participate in this event. The Oxford Cup is one of the oldest races in North America, second only to the Boston Marathon.


TCS participates in 19 competitive interschool sports,[5] including volleyball, basketball, hockey, rugby, harriers, track & field, swimming, baseball/softball, cricket, field hockey, football, golf, Nordic skiing, rowing and racquet sports (badminton, tennis and squash). Teams compete in the CISAA league and senior teams vie to participate at the OFSAA provincial championships.

The school mascot is Trina the Polar Bear and teams compete under the name “Bears.” The school fields Bigside (senior), Middleside (senior second team), Littleside (junior) teams as well as Under-14 and Under-12 teams. TCS has two gymnasia, an indoor swimming pool, ergonomic rowing room, indoor ice rink, three squash courts and an exercise/weight room facility in addition to many outdoor sports fields, a tennis centre and a 5 kilometre cross-country running trail.[6]


TCS has academic art programmes including music (vocal and instrumental), drama and visual arts.[7] The school also has extracurricular programmes in music (vocal and instrumental), drama, improv, visual arts, literary arts and dance.[8] All students participate in the intraschool House Debates programme, and TCS is a member of the Fulford Debate League.[9]

Arts facilities at include LeVan Hall, completed in 2002, which includes music rooms and studios, MIDI composing labs, the R. Samuel McLaughlin Gallery for art, a drama and dance studio and a performance theatre which was upgraded in 2009. In 2011 the school opened a new visual arts wing including two studios, classrooms and offices.[10]

Headmasters of TCS[edit]

Headmaster Years[11]
Rev. Charles H. Badgley 1865-1870
Rev. Charles J.S. Bethune 1870-1891, 1893-1899
Rev. Arthur Lloyd 1891-1893
Rev. R.E. Jones 1899-1901
Rev. Herbert Symonds 1901-1903
Rev. Oswald Rigby 1903-1913
Rev. Graham Orchard 1913-1933
Dr. Philip A.C. Ketchum 1933-1962
Angus C. Scott 1962-1983
Rodger C.N. Wright 1983-2004
Stuart Grainger 2004–Present



  1. ^ Humble, A. H. (Archibald Herbert); Burns, J. D. (14 September 1965). "The school on the hill : Trinity College School, 1865-1965". Port Hope, Ont. : Trinity College School. Retrieved 14 September 2018 – via Internet Archive. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ [2][dead link]
  4. ^ "Trinity College School - Realize what's within". Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  5. ^ "Trinity College School - Realize what's within". Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  6. ^ "Trinity College School - Realize what's within". Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  7. ^ "Trinity College School - Realize what's within". Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  8. ^ "Trinity College School - Realize what's within". Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  9. ^ "Trinity College School - Realize what's within". Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  10. ^ "Trinity College School - Realize what's within". Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  11. ^ "Headmasters of TCS". Trinity College School. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 

External links[edit]