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Royal St. George's College: Wikis


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Royal St. George's College
Scientia Pietate
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Religious affiliation Anglican Church of Canada
Headmaster Steven Griffin
Colours Blue, Red, Gold and White                    
Established 1961

Royal St. George's College is an independent school for boys located in The Annex neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The school admits boys from Grades 3 through 12. Founded in 1961[1 ] as an Anglican choir school in the tradition of the great collegiate and cathedral choir schools in England, Royal St. George's admitted its first students in 1964. It is the only pre-university school in Canada authorized to use the "Royal"[2] designation, and houses the historic Chapel of St. Alban-the-Martyr.

On August 1, 2009 Mr. Steve Griffin, former head of the Upper School at Upper Canada College, succeeded as the College's fifth headmaster.[3]



St. George's began as the vision of a group of Anglican clergy and laity in the 1950's interested in establishing a permanent home for the rich tradition of choral music for boys' voices in Canada. Led by Dr. Healey Willan CC, who served as first Warden of the College, the founders looked to the model of the diocesan Summer choir camp run by Mr. John Bradley- current Warden- and Mr. John Cook for inspiration. In 1961 the Ontario Legislature passed a private member's bill, sponsored by the Hon. Alfred H. Cowling MPP, incorporating the school as St. George's College. At the time, the founders were in negotiations with the Church of St. George's-on-the-Hill[4] to utilize their facilities for the school. While the location changed, the name stuck and at the invitation of Bishop Frederick H. Wilkinson of Toronto the parish of St. Alban-the-Martyr and the resident St. Andrew's Japanese Congregation began joint use of the Howland Avenue property with the school.

Dr. John 'Jack' Lennox Wright, the founding headmaster, welcomed the first classes of students in 1964. The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Howard Clark CC, formally dedicated the school. Other founders immediately joined the teaching faculty including, the Rev. Kenneth Scott, Mr. John 'Bear' Allen, and others.

Mr. Allen succeeded as second headmaster and expanded the school's outlook, inclusivity and facilities while remaining faithful to the founding vision.

In 1988 Mr. John Latimer assumed leadership of the school, and led the celebrations marking the Silver Jubilee of the College in 1989. These events culminated in a visit to the school by HRH the Duchess of Kent who proclaimed the 'Royal' designation on behalf of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Following Mr. Latimer's departure in 1996, Mr. Hal Hannaford became headmaster and the school continued to enlarge and improve its historic facilities as well as welcome an ever-diversifying student population, while maintaining an internationally renowned choir & instrumental music programme and a vibrant Anglican chaplaincy.

Mr. Hannaford's removal to Montreal made way for Mr. Steve Griffin to succeed to the mastership of the College. In 2014, Mr. Griffin will lead the College community in celebrating its Golden Jubilee.

The College's motto, Scientia Pietate, suggested by founder Professor J. B. E. Garstang- son and partner of renowned archaeologist Professor John Garstang- translates approximately 'Through Knowledge & Duty' and complements the school code 'Respect, Responsibility, and Voice' and the famous words of William of Wykeham 'Manners Maketh Men', appropriated by Dr. Wright as a personal credo.

School Life

Students are divided between Junior (Grades III-VIII) & Senior Schools (Grades IX-XII) during their careers and complete the Provincial requirements for Secondary School graduation, as well as enjoying elective enrollment in Advanced Placement programmes.

Traditionally, the College has been strong in Music, Liberal Arts, and Drama, though these programmes are complemented by rigorous scientific education in modern laboratory facilities and equally strong Math and CompSci course offerings. Languages, including French, Spanish and Latin are offered. Visual Arts are taught in both Junior & Senior settings. Students attend live theatre, participate in urban community service opportunities, and travel internationally representing their school as musicians, athletes, public speakers and socially conscious global citizens.

Despite a small and urban campus, Athletics at the College have always played a vital part in student life. Teams include Rugby, Hockey, Ball-Hockey, Soccer, Softball, Skiing, Volleyball, Cross-Country, Golf, Basketball, Bicycling as well as Racquets. Judo is also popular. A fitness centre allows the boys to take increased responsibility for their own physical health. Students swim at the nearby St. Alban's Boys' and Girls' Club[5].

A typical day for a student involves either Assembly, held in Ketchum Hall, or Chapel, regular academic classes, music- instrumental, or choral, outdoor play and organized games and some other extra-curricular activity.

A variety of clubs exist including Student Council, the Environment Club, the Podcast Club, the String Ensemble, the Newspaper of the College, known as The Grifter, the Speaking Union, the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, Jazz Band, the Servers' Guild, various intra-mural sports leagues, Tech Crew and various yearly dramatic productions.

Every Thursday the entire school meets together in the Chapel for Choral Evensong, sung by the choir and led by the Chaplain, a licensed minister of the Anglican Church of Canada. There are several community Eucharists celebrated as well, according to the liturgical calendar. For spiritual and social resources, in addition to the Chaplain, the College engages a social worker to help address the needs of all community members. Because St. George's is of an Anglican foundation it welcomes students of all backgrounds, without proselytization, and requires the respectful participation of all boys in the nurturing of the spiritual life.[6]

Student leadership is expressed most potently in the Student Council, the Junior School Captains, the Stewards, and the lead boys in the graduating class, the Prefects, under the Head Prefect.

Students compete with each other on four teams, or Houses, named for the great cathedrals of England which collectively supply the school colours. These Houses are Canterbury (red), Westminster (white), Winchester (gold), and York (blue).


Archbishop Arthur Sweatman[7] of Toronto envisioned the Cathedral of St. Alban-the-Martyr replacing the de facto use of St. James' Church, whose parishioners were unwilling to compromise with their bishop over the use of their church as diocesan seat. St. Alban's was designated the cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto in 1883 by an act of the Ontario Legislature, while still in the planning stages. The chancel & crypt of the projected building were completed, according to the plans of Richard Cunningham Windeyer[8], in 1891, but subsequent construction stalled and was only partially continued by Ralph Adams Cram and Vaux Chadwick in the first decades of the twentieth century.[9] The patronage of Sir Henry Mill Pellatt of Casa Loma and Edward Marion Chadwick[10]was essential to the project. The chancel became the school chapel when the College leased the St. Alban's property, at the suggestion of Bishop Fred Wilkinson.

The completed chancel features the only double hammerbeam roof in Canada as well as some of the best heraldic stained glass in the country.

A second phase of building was begun in 1912 with the laying of a foundation stone by HRH Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and his daughter, HRH Princess Patricia. The ground they broke would eventually become the foundation for the Senior School, known as Founders' Hall.

In addition to the Chapel, a See House, or bishop's residence was built in 1885 by architects Frank Darling and S. George Curry, which now serves as the College's administrative hub. Also, a school building was erected about 1897 by the Wells-DePencier family of Davenport to house the short-lived St. Alban's Cathedral School. This building now houses classrooms and the school's assembly hall, named for founder and second Warden P. A. C. Ketchum. St. Alban's School was directed by Marmaduke Matthews[11], the founder of the Wychwood Park estate in Toronto, as well as the Ontario College of Art & Design.

External links


Graduates of the school, Old Georgians, can continue a lifelong involvement with RSGC through the Alumni Association [12] which meets monthly to plan support events for the school and to foster goodwill among graduates. Some Old Georgians have joined the Board of Governors of the school, while others teach, offer professional mentorships, or make financial contributions. Old Georgians are welcomed back to the school at several annual events, including the Alumni Dinner, the Carol Service, and the Ball-Hockey Tournament.

Notable Old Georgians include:

  • Damian Abraham ('99) lead singer, F---ed Up [13]
  • Dr. Jonathan Baillie ('90) zoologist [14]
  • Brent Barclay ('87) TV producer [15]
  • Matt Beam ('89) writer [16]
  • Stephen Beatty ('86) Head of School, Montcrest School, Toronto [17]
  • Douglas Bell ('78) journalist [18]
  • Thomas D'Arcy ('98) Alternative musician
  • Alex Dobson ('93) Opera singer [19]
  • Jonah Falco ('01) drummer, F---ed Up [20]
  • Robert Gleadow ('03) Opera singer [21]
  • Ed Hanley ('89) Fusion musician, tabla player for Autorickshaw [22]
  • Neil Hetherington ('91) CEO, Habitat For Humanity Toronto
  • David Hewlett ('87) actor
  • Eli Langer ('86) visual artist
  • Jeffrey Latimer ('83) theatrical producer [23]
  • +Michael Le Gresley ('79) industrialist & engineer [24]
  • Graeme Morphy ('83) TV production designer [25]
  • Vincenzo Natali ('87) director & screenwriter
  • Andrew Nikiforuk ('76) journalist
  • John Ortved ('99) writer [26]
  • the Right Reverend Phillip Poole ('70) suffragan bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto & President of the International Compass Rose Society [27]
  • Tim Pyper ('99) Organist & composer [28]
  • Gabe Radford ('93) Classical musician [29]
  • George Rutherford ('71) Head of School, Holy Trinity School (Richmond Hill)[30]
  • Mark Schatzker ('92) author & journalist [31]
  • Mark Wilkins ('02) racecar driver [32]


  1. ^ "Royal St. George's College History". Whole Note. 2007.  
  2. ^ "Royal prefix".  
  3. ^ "OK".  
  4. ^ "SGH".  
  5. ^ "SABG".  
  6. ^ "G&M".  
  7. ^ "DCB Sweatman".  
  8. ^ "RCA".  
  9. ^ "RLT".  
  10. ^ "DCB Chadwick".  
  11. ^ "LRT".  
  12. ^ "Tweet".  
  13. ^ "LFG".  
  14. ^ "Edge".  
  15. ^ "IMDB".  
  16. ^ "MB".  
  17. ^ "Montcrest".,16815.  
  18. ^ "GM".  
  19. ^ "AD".  
  20. ^ "Star".  
  21. ^ "IMG".  
  22. ^ "EH".  
  23. ^ "JLE".  
  24. ^ "G&MO".  
  25. ^ "IMDB1".  
  26. ^ "MacB".  
  27. ^ "CR".  
  28. ^ "TP".  
  29. ^ "FM".  
  30. ^ "HTS".  
  31. ^ "UT".  
  32. ^ "Grand-Am".  

Coordinates: 43°40′08″N 79°24′38″W / 43.668924°N 79.410553°W / 43.668924; -79.410553



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