West Toronto Collegiate Institute

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West Toronto Collegiate Institute
West Toronto Collegiate.jpg
330 Lansdowne Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, M6H 3Y1
Coordinates 43°39′08″N 79°26′28″W / 43.652197°N 79.441018°W / 43.652197; -79.441018Coordinates: 43°39′08″N 79°26′28″W / 43.652197°N 79.441018°W / 43.652197; -79.441018
School type Public High school
Founded 1972 (closed 2010)
School board Toronto District School Board
(Toronto Board of Education)
School number 5850 / 951447
Grades 9-13
Enrollment 376 (2009-10)
Language English
Schedule type semestered
Colour(s) Black, Yellow and White             
Team name West Toronto Warriors

West Toronto Collegiate Institute (WTCI, West Toronto) is a former public high school in the Brockton Village neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from 1972-2010. It is located at 330 Lansdowne Avenue, just north of College Street. It was owned and operated by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and previously by the Toronto Board of Education. The TDSB transferred ownership of West Toronto Collegiate Institute to Conseil scolaire Viamonde (CSV) and the Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud (CSDCCS) in October 2011.[1][2]


West Toronto was constructed and opened in 1972 by the Toronto Board of Education. The school was built on the former southern section of MacGregor Park. The football field is the former location of a lumber yard. The actual site where the school stands used to be an old Eaton's Delivery Truck Depot. And where the tennis courts are, near St. Helen's, stood an old company named J.B. Smith's & Sons. Occasionally in the summer, a travelling circus/ Carnival would set up where the football field is. The construction of the school necessitated the closing of the section alongside the school of St. Helen's Avenue. The siding of the building on the east and west sides of the building is unique. It was installed as "raw" steel and allowed to rust to reach the intended brown colour, then preserved. The school was originally named in 1972, by its students as West Toronto Secondary School. This was subsequently changed.[citation needed]

The school, along with Monarch Park Collegiate, started its 'Steps to University' program to encourage the entry of high school students into university in 1992. Students could earn both high school and university credits in sociology while attending West Toronto.[3] That September of the same year, an area mall began housing an area which served as the location of West Toronto Secondary's satellite campus for the co-operative education program and the re-entry program for older students at Brockton High School.[4]

In July 2009, it was announced that the grade nine classes for the 2009-10 school year were cancelled due to a lack of students applying to the school. The school, facing a decline in enrollment since 2004, had to cancel programs and courses. The operation of the school and its programs then became the subject of a TDSB Accommodation Review Committee (ARC) review.[5] In August 2009, George Brown College expressed interest in leasing a floor of the school.[6]

On October 1, 2009, teacher Maria Campodonico was named the winner of the first-ever Toronto Star Teacher Award. Campodonico came to Canada from Ecuador when she was 13. She later graduated from York and the University of Western Ontario's faculty of education, and was the president of the board of directors of the Spanish-Speaking Education Network for four months. When she arrived at West Toronto in 2005, she started implementing what would become an award-winning breakfast program after seeing the number of kids who went hungry. She knocked on the doors of local businesses, including local supermarkets, soliciting food and donations. It also became a vehicle for teens to start collecting perishable items to send to impoverished nations.[7]

The Accommodation Review Committee recommended in November 2009 the permanent closure of West Toronto Collegiate effective August 31, 2010. The committee further recommended that the building remain in the possession of the school board for education purposes. West Toronto students transferred to other schools for the 2010-11 school year and the site was transferred to Toronto Land Corporation for sale.[8] The TLC transferred ownership of West Toronto Collegiate Institute to Conseil scolaire Viamonde and the Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud (CSDCCS) in October 2011.[9] The school boards paid $20.5 million for the property.[10]

The building re-opened in September 2012, as two schools, shared by the two French boards, as École secondaire catholique Saint-Frère-André and École secondaire Toronto Ouest. Renovations removed the swimming pool. The TDSB uses some floor space on the third floor.[11]


West Toronto offered grades nine through 12. When first opened in 1972, West Toronto opened with grades nine through eleven and added grades twelve and thirteen in following years. Grade thirteen graduation led to an Ontario Secondary Schools Honours Diploma. Grade thirteen was dropped Ontario-wide.

Special Programs:

  • Monthly Social Justice Student Conferences throughout the school year involving the entire student body. These conferences are led by school and community members and focus on specific social justice themes.
  • "Head Start" Course - English and Math preparation course for Grade 9 students to ensure strong literacy and numeracy skills in high school.
  • Steps to University - a specialized course that allows students to earn a University of Toronto Sociology Credit (1st Year). The course was team taught by a West Toronto teacher and University of Toronto Sociology Professor.
  • W-Pod - a self-directed learning program, facilitated by a West Toronto teacher, which allowed students to use computers to complete courses independently and at their own pace.
  • Technology Courses/Programs in: Business, Carpentry, and Culinary Arts and Hospitality (delivered in a newly renovated food preparation facility).

West T.O. had 20 sports teams, including basketball, football, soccer, swim team and volleyball.

  • Asian Club
  • Tibetan Club

Notable alumni[edit]

  • John Bortolotti - Director/Producer
  • Charmaine Crooks - Olympic athlete
  • Kareem Ali - Actor/Producer

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Le West Toronto Collegiate devient la propriété des conseils scolaire francophones". Conseil scolaire Viamonde. 
  2. ^ "Le CSDCCS devient copropriétaire de l’école West Toronto Collegiate Institute" (PDF). CSDCCS. 
  3. ^ Duffy, Andrew (January 14, 1995). "Big step up to college Project that gives poor kids crack at university at risk". Toronto Star. p. A2. 
  4. ^ Walker, Susan. "Mall now satellite campus to students." Toronto Star. September 17, 1992. News p. A5. Retrieved on September 30, 2013.
  5. ^ Brown, Louise (July 7, 2009). "Grade 9 erased at school; Cutback decided after only 7 teens sign up at high school hit with enrolment decline". Toronto Star. p. GT5. 
  6. ^ Leong, Melissa (August 11, 2009). "Schools need to close: chairman; Public Board; 110 institutions are 'less than half full'". National Post. p. A8. 
  7. ^ Rushowy, Kristin (October 1, 2009). "'If Miss C. was not here, I would not be here'; Maria Campodonico is the recipient of our first Toronto Star Teacher Award, chosen from 153 nominations". Toronto Star. p. V1. 
  8. ^ "West Toronto CI ARC Report and Appendices A to E" (pdf). Toronto District School Board. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  9. ^ "Le West Toronto Collegiate devient la propriété des conseils scolaires francophones" (in French). Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  10. ^ "West Toronto Collegiate to be sold for $20.5M". CBC News. February 10, 2011. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Plans de chaque étage" (PDF). École secondaire catholique Saint-Frère-André. Retrieved April 25, 2013. 

External links[edit]