Vaughan Road Academy

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Vaughan Road Academy
Vaughan road academy mon.jpeg

, ,
Coordinates43°41′27″N 79°26′12″W / 43.690786°N 79.436678°W / 43.690786; -79.436678Coordinates: 43°41′27″N 79°26′12″W / 43.690786°N 79.436678°W / 43.690786; -79.436678
Former namesVaughan Road High School
Vaughan Road Collegiate Institute
School typeHigh school
MottoIn Medium Quaesita Reponunt
(They lay up in store for common use whatever they have gained)
StatusCore Holding
School boardToronto District School Board
AreaOakwood Village
Colour(s)Blue, Red, and Gold    
MascotViper (formerly a Viking)
Team nameVaughan Road Vipers (formerly Vaughan Road Vikings)

Vaughan Road Academy (VRA), formerly known as Vaughan Road High School and Vaughan Road Collegiate Institute, is a Toronto District School Board (TDSB) facility that formerly operated as an International Baccalaureate high school in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was located in the Oakwood Village neighbourhood of the former suburb of York.

The former school is situated at the Vaughan Road and Winona Drive intersection, close to Oakwood Avenue. It worked in partnership with the J.R. Wilcox and Cedarvale Community Schools, and from 1998 until the school's closure, it offered the IB Diploma Programme for students in grades 11 and 12. In addition to the International Baccalaureate, it has also had cooperative education and INTERACT programs. The school ceased to exist as an operating school on June 30, 2017, due to low enrollment and the building remains under TDSB possession to be used as a holding school (i.e. a school used to hold another school's staff and students on a temporary basis).


Vaughan Road High School[edit]

Vaughan Road High School was the first high school built in York Township, the forerunner of the Borough of York. Construction of VRCI began in July 1926 and the cornerstone was laid by Lieutenant-Governor Henry Cockshutt in September 1926. The building was designed by architect George Roper Gouinlock, son of George Wallace Gouinlock.[4] George Evans, the first principal,[5] served from 1926 to 1957. In April 1927, the students moved into the school from temporary quarters in portables at Rawlinson Public School.

The school was later renamed Vaughan Road Collegiate Institute.

Vaughan Road Academy (1997–2017)[edit]

In 1997, the school was renamed Vaughan Road Academy, and began offering advanced academic, arts and athletic programs. It began offering the International Baccalaureate program in 1998.[6] Vaughan Road Academy students also began wearing school uniforms as well.

A section of Vaughan Road Academy is used as a community daycare centre as well, even after the school's closure.

The school closed on its 90th anniversary at the end of the 2016–17 school year in June 2017 citing low attendance operating at approximately 20% of its capacity (as compared with the 1970s and the 1980s when the school was overcapacity, reaching capacity again during the mid-2000s and declined since then). Many students who live in the school's catchment area end up attending other nearby high schools such as Forest Hill Collegiate Institute to the east, which is overcapacity, as well as the nearby Oakwood Collegiate Institute to the south, which is absorbing most of the remaining students and programs.[1][2]

Cynthia "Cindy" Zwicker-Reston was the school's final principal.

Since 2017[edit]

The facility, renamed 529 Vaughan Road, is used as a temporary school for students of Davisville Public School and Spectrum Alternative School beginning in the 2018–19 school year to accommodate the construction of a new school building in Davisville Village in Midtown Toronto to replace the previous school building there. Students in Davisville Village are bused to 529 Vaughan Road.[7][8]

School programs[edit]

International Baccalaureate[edit]

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program allowed students to earn an IB Diploma, while also earning the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (O.S.S.D.).


The INTERACT program was for students in the school who are heavily involved in the arts or athletics program outside of school. These students have flexible schedules to accommodate their auditions, rehearsals, performances, competitions, etc. Notable alumni of the INTERACT program include Drake, Elliot Page (then known as Ellen Page),[9] Alison Pill, Mark Rendall, Hans Wolfgramm and Tyler Nella. The program moved to nearby Oakwood Collegiate Institute in September 2017.

Cooperative education[edit]

Cooperative education, or Co-op, is a structured method of combining academic education with practical work experience. It was a four-credit semester program offered in World of Work (3) and Business English (1).


Vaughan Road Academy had interscholastic and intramural teams for badminton, ball hockey, baseball, basketball, cricket, cross country running, flag football, hockey, soccer, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field and volleyball and knuckleballs.

Vaughan Road competed in TDSSAA and Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) as the Vaughan Road Vipers, which was not to be confused with a similarly named junior hockey team in Vaughan, Ontario.[citation needed]

In 2004, the Vipers came second in the OFSAA 'AA' Provincial Championships and won the OFSAA 'AA' Provincial Championships in 2012.

Since the school's closure, Vaughan Road Vipers disbanded.

Vaughan Vox[edit]

Vaughan Road Academy had a school newspaper, once known as "The Von Vox, then "The Vaughan Vox", though it was sometimes simply called the "Vox". Typically, it was released twice a year. It was usually eight pages long and covered a range of school activities and issues.

Queer-Straight Alliance[edit]

Vaughan Road Academy had a large and active Queer-Straight Alliance until the school's closure in 2017. Founded in 2006 as a Gay-Straight Alliance by a small group of grade 12 students, it was reactivated in 2010.

Recognition for other activities[edit]

Vaughan Road students have participated in competitions such as the annual Sears Ontario Drama Festival, where several of the top awards for 2006 went to VRA students,[10] and the International Olympiad in Informatics, where a VRA student received a gold medal in 2005 and silver medals in 2004 and 2006.[11] In 2013, the short film "Homecoming," produced by grade twelve students in the Vaughan Road Academy film program, was shown in the TIFF Bell Lightbox "Jump Cuts" film festival. The following year, in 2014, Vaughan Road film students had another film in the "Jump Cuts" festival, "Nightlight."

School motto[edit]

The school motto was a quote from the fourth book of Vergil's Georgics, which describes the behaviour and society of bees: In Medium Quaesita Reponunt, which means "They lay up in store for common use whatever they have gained".[citation needed]

School architecture[edit]

VRA from above appeared as a near-isosceles right angle triangle with enclosed courtyard (in which a daycare for Vaughan Road students' children operates) of the same shape; the overall aerial view's reminiscence of The Pentagon lending the building the moniker "The Triagon". While the school letter is predictably "V" as chosen from the Latin alphabet, the lesser-known Greek school letter, Delta, is derived from the building's shape; as in the sciences, Delta denotes change.[citation needed]

The first wing of the school was built in 1926, the second in 1931, and the third, which closed the "L" and turned it into a triangle, in 1967.[citation needed]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b TDSB Optional Attendance: Drake's High School May Close, Revealing Ugly Truth In Toronto, Huffington Post Canada. Accessed December 5, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Helpful info" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Tribute" (PDF). 2017.
  4. ^ "Gouinlock, George Roper | Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada".
  5. ^ Shirley Jane Endicott (1 January 2006). China Diary: The Life of Mary Austin Endicott. Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press. pp. 173–. ISBN 978-0-88920-815-5.
  6. ^ "Goldstein: Vaughan Road Academy at 85". Toronto Sun, Lorrie Goldstein, May 07, 2011.
  7. ^ "New School". 10 May 2011.
  8. ^ "The Web site cannot be found".
  9. ^ "Star academy Vaughan Road celebrates 85 years". North York Mirror, Mar 03, 2011
  10. ^ "Welcome - Sears Ontario Drama Festival".
  11. ^ "Canada at the International Olympiad in Informatics".
  12. ^ a b c Vaughan Road Academy Hall of Fame, Vaughan Road Academy. Accessed August 7, 2007.
  13. ^ "Drake: 'I got my high school diploma'". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2015-10-25.
  14. ^ "Alumni bid fond farewell to 90-year-old Vaughan Road Academy | CBC News".
  15. ^ Daniel Kremer (9 October 2015). Sidney J. Furie: Life and Films. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 12–. ISBN 978-0-8131-6598-1.
  16. ^ Harris M. Lentz III (31 March 2016). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2015. McFarland. pp. 153–. ISBN 978-1-4766-2553-9.
  17. ^ a b c "Hutt, William (1920-2007)", Canadian Communications Foundation. Accessed August 7, 2007.
  18. ^ Ouzounian, Richard. "William Hutt, 87: Renowned stage actor", Toronto Star, June 27, 2007. Accessed August 7, 2007.
  19. ^ Zekas, Rita (18 April 2013). "Yourhome is no longer available". Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  20. ^ Arthur L. Schawlow: The Nobel Prize in Physics 1981, Accessed August 7, 2007. "I attended public schools there, Winchester elementary school, the Normal Model School attached to the teacher's college, and Vaughan Road Collegiate Institute (high school)."
  21. ^ "A Tribute to Vaughan 1926-2017" (PDF). Vaughan Road Alumni Committee. May 27, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  22. ^ Rita Zekas (2008-09-05). "At 13, Samantha Weinstein already a TIFF veteran". Retrieved 2014-12-12.
  23. ^ Morris, Nomi (29 November 1989), "Who does this kid think he is? Noam Zylberman, or what?", The Toronto Star, p. D1

External links[edit]