Education and Childcare


There are two publicly funded school systems in Ontario: public (non-denominational) and separate (Roman Catholic). They are available at both the elementary and secondary school levels. All permanent residents between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend school as outlined in the Ontario Education Act which can be found in the Government of Ontario’s Web site at

Ages and Grades

Elementary school programs start at Junior Kindergarten (JK) and Senior Kindergarten (SK) for children who are 4 and 5 years of age, and Grades 1 through 8 for children 6 to 13 or 14 years of age. In some areas, Grades 7 and 8 are placed in a separate Junior High school.

Please note: Kindergarten may be half day, either a morning or afternoon session. Additional child care may therefore be required, if the school is not one that provides all day sessions.

High School or Secondary School

High schools or secondary schools accept Grades 9 through 12, with students generally graduating when they are about 18 years of age. To receive an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, students need to complete at least thirty credits during their time in secondary school (one credit normally equals one course).

Language of Instruction

English is the language of instruction in these schools; however, there is also a French language school board for children of francophone parents.

For information on the Ontario French Public Language District School Board for, please refer to the following Web site:

For information on the French Catholic District School Board, Centre South, please refer to the following Web site:

French Immersion

There are also French immersion programs offered in the public and separate school systems, which provide all or most subjects in French. French immersion programs are available in some schools.


The Ministry of Education in Ontario sets the curriculum throughout the Ontario public school system.

For more information on required courses and credits for a high school diploma in Ontario, please refer to

School Year

For the vast majority of schools, the school year begins in September and ends in June. Generally, the grade a child enters is based on where the child’s birthday falls within the January to December calendar year, not a September to August school year, as in some countries. School holidays are usually the same for all public school systems.

School runs from Monday through Friday. Depending upon the school, the school day typically starts at 8:30am or 9am and ends at 3pm or 3:30pm, but could start as early as 8:15am. In high school, 8am to 2:15pm is a typical time frame. There is vacation of approximately two weeks around the end of December, and a break in March that is approximately one week long. Schools are closed for the summer months of July and August (unless a summer school program is run). Please check with the school for details.

All school boards offer teachers professional or academic development days during the school year. Students do not attend school on these days.

School Locations

Children are generally required to attend the school in the area/neighbourhood in which they reside.

For More Information:

For more information on the school system in Ontario, please refer to the Ministry of Education’s Web site at

School Boards in Toronto and Surrounding Areas

For a map showing the various regions within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), please refer to the section About Canada.

Toronto District School Board:
This school board covers the areas of East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, Toronto, and York Region.

Toronto Catholic District School Board:
The Toronto area encompasses East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, Toronto, and York Region.

Peel District School Board:
The Region of Peel is located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) west of Toronto. It consists of the municipalities of Brampton, Caledon, and Mississauga.

Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board:
The Dufferin-Peel area includes Brampton, Caledon, Mississauga, Malton and Orangeville.

York Region District School Board:
York Region includes Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Whitchurch-Stouffville.

York Region Catholic District School Board:
York Region includes Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Whitchurch-Stouffville.

Durham District School Board:
Durham Region includes Uxbridge, Brock, Scugog Townships, Ajax, Whitby, Pickering and Oshawa.

Halton District School Board:
Halton Region includes Burlington, Milton, Oakville and Halton Hills.

Halton Catholic District School Board:
Halton Region includes Burlington, Milton, Oakville and Halton Hills.

Conseil scholaire de district du Centre-Sud-Ouest (CSDCSO)
(French Language Public District School Board):
This board covers central/southwestern Ontario (e.g. Toronto and the GTA) and is part of the Conseil de l’education et de la formation franco-ontariennes (CEFFO) or the Council for Franco-Ontarian Education and Training.

Private and Independent Schools

For information on private school options throughout Canada, including Toronto and the surrounding area, please refer to the Canadian Association of Independent Schools Web site at

Our Kids Publications is a Canadian publisher of annual magazines providing information to assist families to make informed decisions regarding education, leisure time, retirement-living and health care options. For more information, please refer to their website.

The following is a list of private and independent schools that are available in Toronto:

Arrowsmith School:
245 St. Clair Ave. W., Toronto (Avenue Rd./St. Clair Ave. W.)
A private school for students with learning disabilities.

Avalon Children’s Montessori School:
Two locations - 31 Wood Glen Rd., Toronto (Kingston Rd./Wood Glen) and 140 Wineva Ave., Toronto (Wineva Ave./Queen St.). Offers Casa and Elementary Montessori programs for children 2 ½ to 12 years of age in the Beaches area of Toronto.

Bannockburn School:
12 Bannockburn Ave., Toronto (Avenue Rd./Wilson Ave.)
Offers preschool and elementary programs based on the Montessori method of education.

Bayview Glen:
275 Duncan Mill Rd., Toronto (Don Mills Rd./York Mills Rd.)
A co-educational, multi-cultural, private day school offering programs for preschool through Grade 12 children.

Bialik Hebrew Day School:
2760 Bathurst St., Toronto (Bathurst St./Eglinton Ave. W.)
A Hebrew day school for students from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 8.

The Bishop Strachan School:
298 Lonsdale Rd., Toronto (Bathurst St./St. Clair Ave. W.)
Canada’s oldest boarding and day school for girls. Founded in 1867, it offers education from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12.

Bond Academy:
720 Midland Ave., Toronto (Kennedy Rd./Eglinton Rd.)
A private elementary and secondary school that offers a Montessori Casa program.

Branksome Hall:
10 Elm Ave., Toronto (Yonge St./Bloor St.)
An independent day and boarding school for girls, in the Rosedale area of Toronto. It offers the International Baccalaureate programme. Applications for the school are available online.

Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto:
Tanenbaum campus: 200 Wilmington Ave., Toronto (Dufferin St./Sheppard Ave. W.) and
Richmond Hill campus: 51 Wright St., Toronto (Yonge St./Major MacKenzie Dr. W.)
A co-educational Jewish high school providing an education in Judaic and general studies.

Crescent School:
2365 Bayview Ave., Toronto (Lawrence Ave. E./Bayview Ave. – near York University’s Glendon campus)
A school for boys, established in 1913, for Grades 3 through 12.

De La Salle College:
131 Farnham Ave., Toronto (Avenue Rd./St. Clair Ave. W.)
A co-educational, Catholic school.

Fieldstone Day School:
2999 Dufferin Street, Toronto (Lawrence Ave. W./Dufferin St.)
An independent school for girls and boys, Grades Kindergarten through 12.

Freemont Academy:
No website found
240 Duncan Mills Road, Suite 303, Don Mills, Toronto (York Mills Rd./Leslie St.)
A private, alternative high school emphasizing advanced academic study with small classes and individualized attention.

Giles School:
Lower school: 33 Overland Dr., Toronto and Upper School: 2230 The Donway W., Toronto (nearest intersection to both is Don Mills Rd./Lawrence Ave. E.)
A secular, co-educational school for students from Nursery through Grade 8 that offers multilingual education in French, English, Mandarin, and Japanese. Students can study for the French Baccalaureate or the British O’ and A’ Levels.

Havergal College:
1451 Avenue Rd., Toronto (Avenue Rd./Lawrence Ave. W. )
An independent day and boarding school for girls, from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12.

Howlett Academy:
15 Madison Ave., Toronto (Bloor St. W./Avenue Rd.)
Admission information, educational programs and philosophy of a small, independent, co-educational school for Grades 4 through 8.

Hudson College:
21 Ascot Ave., Toronto (Dufferin St./St. Clair Ave.)
This private, non-denominational, co-educational school provides courses from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12, and pre-university programs.

Imperial College of Toronto:
20 Queen Elizabeth Boulevard, Toronto (Royal York Rd./The Queensway)
An independent boarding school, providing pre-university program and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.

J. Addison School:
2 Valleywood Drive, Markham (Woodbine Ave./Highway 7)
A private elementary/secondary school. Web site lists admission guidelines, programs of study, and requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

Junior Academy:
31 Prince Andrew Place, Toronto (Don Mills Rd./Eglinton Ave. E.)
A co-educational day school for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 8.

Kingsley Primary School:
Located inside St Luke’s Church, 516 The Kingsway, Etobicoke (Kipling Ave./Eglinton Ave. W.)
A non-profit private elementary school for Kindergarten through Grade 5.

Kingsway College School:
4600 Dundas Street W., Toronto (Dundas St. W./Royal York Rd.)
A small co-educational elementary school in west Toronto.

Manor Montessori School:
240 Manor Rd. E., Toronto (Mt. Pleasant Rd./Eglinton Ave. E.) and 14 Desavery Crescent. (Mt. Pleasant Rd./Eglinton Ave. E.)
Offers pre-school and elementary curriculum for boys and girls.

McDonald International Academy:
Main campus: 920 Yonge St., Toronto (near Yonge St./ Bloor St. W.)
A registered and accredited secondary school offering Grade 9 through 12 education, and ESL courses.

Montcrest School:
4 Montcrest Boulevard, Toronto (Don Valley Parkway S./Montcrest Blvd.)
A co-educational, elementary day school. The arts are an integral element of the curriculum and students receive education in art, drama, music, French, physical education and technology.

North Toronto Christian School and the Yorkland School:
50 Page Ave., North York (Finch Ave. E./Bayview Ave.) and 255 Yorkland Blvd. (Highway 404/Sheppard Ave. E.)
Two of Canada's largest independent Christian schools.

Northmount School:
26 Mallard Rd., Toronto (Don Mills Rd./York Mills Rd.)
A school for boys Grades Junior Kindergarten through Grade 8. Information listed includes the school's philosophy, advisory program, and parent coordination system.

Olivet Church of the New Jerusalem:
279 Burnhamthorpe Rd., Etobicoke (Burnhamthorpe Rd./Kipling Ave.)
An independent Christian school, Junior Kindergarten through Grade 8.

Peoples Christian Academy:
374 Sheppard Ave. E., Toronto (Sheppard Ave. E./Bayview Ave.)
A Kindergarten through Grade 12 independent private Christian school offering biblically based private education to students.

Royal St. George’s College:
120 Howland Ave., Toronto (Bathurst St./Bloor St. W.)
An independent university preparatory school for boys, from Grade 3 through University Entrance (UE). It was founded as an Anglican choir school in 1964, and is Christian based. Music is a central part of life at RSGC.

Sidney Ledson Institute:
Main institute: 220 Duncan Mill Rd., Toronto (Hwy. 401/(Don Mills Rd.)
Centre for reading research and intellectual development; attempts to help two to ten year olds to attain maximum academic potential.

St. Michael’s College School:
1515 Bathurst St., Toronto (Bathurst St./St. Clair Ave. W.)
A Catholic school for boys Grades 7 through 12, offering a Christian liberal education.

Sterling Hall School for Boys:
99 Cartwright Ave., Toronto (Hwy. 401/Dufferin St.)
Junior Kindergarten through Grade 8. The Web site includes an overview of the school.

Sunnybrook School:
69 Merton St., Toronto (Mount Pleasant Rd./Moore Ave.)
Junior Kindergarten through Grade 6. Includes general information, curriculum, and student artwork.

Taddlecreek Learning Centre:
No website found
1681 Bayview Ave., Toronto (Bayview Ave./Eglinton Ave. W.)
Private alternative learning centre offering Ontario Ministry of Education courses for Grade 4 upwards. Web site includes fees, location, course list, and a description of their objectives.

TAIE International Institute:
296 Parliament St., Toronto (Parliament St./Dundas St. E.)
Offers English language courses and programs leading to Ontario Secondary School Diploma and university preparation.

The Dragon Academy:
35 Prince Arthur Ave., Toronto (Bloor St. W./Avenue Rd.)
Co-educational independent school located steps from the Royal Ontario Museum in downtown Toronto. Offers programs for students in Grades 7 through 12.

The Linden School:
10 Rosehill Ave., Toronto (Yonge St./St. Clair Ave. E.)
Offers classes for girls in Grades 1 through 12. Promotes development of young women in its policies, structures, programs and curriculum.

The Mabin School:
50 Poplar Plains Rd., Toronto (Dupont St./Avenue Rd.)
Co-educational and non-denominational school in downtown Toronto that offers a full-day program for boys and girls ages 4 through 11.

The University of Toronto Schools:
371 Bloor St. W., Toronto (Bloor St. W./Spadina Ave.)
A private school for high achieving students, Grades 7 through 12, affiliated with the University of Toronto. Admission is based on merit.

The York School:
Main campus: 1320 Yonge St., Toronto (St. Clair Ave. W./Yonge St.)
Co-educational, non-denominational school. Provides Grades 1 through University Entrance and offers both the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma in the last two years of high school and the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 6.

Toronto French School:
306 Lawrence Ave. E., Toronto (Lawrence Ave. E./Bayview Ave.) and
1293 Meredith Ave., Mississauga (Lakeshore Rd. E./ Dixie Rd.)
A bilingual, co-educational school from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade12. The International Baccalaureate program is also offered.

Toronto International College:
4580 Dufferin St., Toronto (Dufferin St./Finch Ave. W.)
Offers Grade 11 and 12 university preparation courses to students from around the world.

Upper Canada College:
200 Lonsdale Rd., Toronto (Yonge St./St. Clair Ave. W.)
An independent school for boys up to Grade 12, and one of the oldest schools in Canada. Offers day school and boarding, and provides outlines of its history and programs.

The Academy:
42 St. Charles St. East, Toronto (Yonge St./Bloor St. E.)
An independent secondary school supported by the YMCA of Greater Toronto; offering specialized programs to students with mild learning disabilities and learning style differences.

The following is a list of some of the independent schools located to the north of Toronto (e.g. north of Steeles Avenue):

Holy Trinity School:
11300 Bayview Ave., Richmond Hill (Bayview Ave./19th Ave.)
Holy Trinity School is a co-educational independent day school located just north of Toronto, covering Grades Senior Kindergarten through 12.

St. Andrew’s College:
15800 Yonge St., Aurora (Yonge St./Wellington St.)
St. Andrew’s is one of Canada’s oldest and largest all-boys boarding and day schools, educating students from Grade 6 through University Entrance (UE).

The Country Day School:
13415 Dufferin St., King (Dufferin St./King Rd.)
A co-educational non-denominational day school covering Grades Senior Kindergarten through UE.

Montessori Schools

Montessori schools utilize a methodology for nursery and elementary school education, first developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. For further information and a comprehensive list of all Montessori schools in Toronto and the surrounding area, please visit: Montessori Schools.

International Baccalaureate Schools

Here are selections of schools located within a reasonable commute of York University:

The Academy For Gifted Children
12 Bond Crescent, Richmond Hill (Yonge St./King Rd.)
An independent day school that provides differential programming for gifted children, Grade 1 through 12.

Branksome Hall School
10 Elm Ave., Toronto (Yonge St./Bloor St.)
An independent non-denominational girls’ day, boarding and IB World schools offering IB programmes from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12.

Harrison Public Elementary School
81 Harrison Road, Toronto (Hwy. 401/Bayview Ave.)
An International Baccalaureate World school and offers the Primary Years Programme (PYP) to all its students.

For a wider selection, please visit the International Baccalaureate Organization website for a list of schools in Ontario:

Home Schooling

Canada has a large and growing home schooling movement. The following Web sites are provided for your perusal:

Higher Education

After Grade 12, students wishing to pursue higher education opt to follow the college or university route. A list of websites is provided below:


The Ministry of Children and Youth Services is responsible for the legislation and regulations under the Day Nurseries Act. The Ministry issues licences to operators of day nurseries and private-home daycare agencies. It is illegal to leave children under twelve years of age alone in a home or daycare.

The regulations of the Day Nurseries Act requires that premises be licensed if they have more than five children who are under the age of ten years, of different parents, receiving temporary care and supervision. The Act is designed to ensure standards for the children’s health, safety, development and learning.

On-Campus Child Care

York University Co-operative Daycare Centre
The York University Co-operative Daycare Centre is a fully licensed centre that has served the York community since 1969. It is licensed for 119 – 120 infants, 20 toddlers, 64 preschoolers and 15 school-agers, e.g. children from six weeks to ten years of age. The daycare gives priority to York students, staff, graduate students and faculty. They serve delicious meals prepared on the premises, and offer enrichment classes. They have spacious ground floor accommodation and three playgrounds that all meet safety standards. Further information on this daycare can be found at York University Co-operative Daycare Centre. You may email the daycare centre at, or call (416) 736-5190.

Lee Wiggins Child Care Centre (Inside the Student Centre)
The Lee Wiggins Child Care Centre provides licensed part-time and full-time care for 25 children of ages 18 months through five years, in a family group setting. The centre is designed to provide a child care option that is directly responsive to the specific needs of students and part-time/shift workers, and educational workers by providing licensed part-time and full-time child care.

The Centre also provides an Early Years Program called `Play and Learn.’ This is a free, drop-in program held on Saturdays, from 9am to 12pm, for parents and children from 0 to 6 years of age.

Parents may use the Centre’s services on an occasional basis, for emergency care, Professional Activity (P.A.) Day for teachers and March Break care when space allows. Child care is normally booked on a per-term basis, but parents/parental guardians may register at any time by appointment. CUPE members are eligible for a CUPE subsidy towards their fees. Priority is given to students and CUPE 3903 members, followed by staff, faculty and members of the wider community. For further information, please refer to Lee Wiggins Child Care Centre.

Child Care in the Community

The Canadian Child Care Directory at offers a comprehensive listing of available daycares by area.

You may visit this online resource that helps nannies and parents connect, by going to

Family Daycare Services is available at and (416) 922-3434. They provide licensed child care for children from birth to 12 years. There are 43 centres within the Toronto, York and Peel Regions.

The City of Toronto Web site has information on child care centres, home child care agencies and providers, and francophone child care programs. For information, please refer to

Child Care in Schools

Many schools have licensed daycare for children who are preschoolers and school age. There may be full day programs for preschoolers and `before and after’ school programs for the school-aged child, e.g. Peel Lunch and After School Program, `PLASP.’ You can refer directly to the school board website for information on their available child care programs, or visit the PLASP website at

Emergency Childcare

Depending on the illness, if your child is mildly sick and your main child care provider cannot provide care, a couple of sick child carer providers, who at short notice can provide care in your home are: