Ashbury College is an independent day and boarding school located in Rockcliffe Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It was founded in 1891 and moved to its current venue in 1910. Previously, it occupied what now houses Canadian Senate offices. It is an International Baccalaureate World School, a member of the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools, and a member of Round Square. The school currently enrolls approximately 550 senior (grades 9-12) and 150 junior (grades 4-8) students. The current Head of School is Norman Southward, with Kendal Young directing the Junior School and Gary Godkin as the Head of Senior School.
Ashbury College is an independent private school which offers a joint Ontario High School Diploma and Ashbury College Diploma, as well as the International Baccalaureate Diploma and International Baccalaureate Bilingual Diploma. Originally a single-gender boys school, Ashbury began accepting girls in 1982. Currently, the male/female student proportion of the Senior School is 55%/45%, but is becoming increasingly equal. The campus is 12 acres (48,562.277 m2) in Rockcliffe Park. Tuition fees for the 2015-2016 school year are $22,440 for day students and $55,300 for boarding students. There are 100 boarders yearly from approximately 30 countries throughout the world.
Notable alumni include The Rt. Hon. John Turner, Canada's seventeenth Prime Minister and The Honorable Stockwell Burt Day, Jr., the first leader of the now defunct Canadian Alliance, who later served as the Federal Minister of International Trade and President of the Treasury Board in the Stephen Harper government. Other alumni include Ben Barry '01, founder of the modeling agency Ben Barry Agency Inc.; Canadian war artist and heraldry expert Alan Beddoe, actor Matthew Perry, Adrian Harewood, current host of television show "CBC News: Late Night" in Ottawa, who graduated as the School Captain in 1989, and Roya Shams, a student who, with the help of Toronto Star employees, was able to flee Kandahar, Afghanistan after Roya received from Taliban threats after the murder of her father, an Afghan police commander.
Ashbury College was founded in 1891 by Canon George Penrose Woollcombe, M.A., LL.D., an Oxford University graduate who served as Ashbury's and Headmaster of Ashbury College for 42 years from 1891 to 1933.
The three-room school for boys was originally located on Wellington Street in Ottawa, but soon moved to bigger quarters also on Wellington Street. In 1900, Ashbury College moved to Argyle Avenue near the present Museum of Nature. In 1905, Ashbury College had twenty borders, fifty day boys, led by the headmaster and a staff of five graduates. There was a preparatory department for little boys. The students were prepared for the Royal Military College of Canada and Universities. Eleven boys had entered the Royal Military College of Canada between 1900-1905.
In 1910, the school - called Ashbury College after Woollcombe's English home - moved to its current location on 12 acres (4.9-hectare) in the village of Rockcliffe Park. Arthur Le B. Weeks (architect) designed the Ashbury College (1909) on Mariposa Avenue. With the support of Ottawa benefactors, a new building was constructed for the 115 students, 48 of whom were boarders.
Ashbury was originally an all-boys institution but began admitting women for grades 9-12 in 1982 and then admitted girls for the first time into fourth grade (the youngest grade offered) in 2010. The institution is divided between the Senior School and the Junior School, who have separate faculties and students, but share resources such as the cafeteria (MacLaren Hall), gymnasiums, art departments, music facilities, theatre, and the chapel.
Ashbury College's innovative and modern adaptations include Canada’s first teaching green roof, and a LEED Gold-certified boys’ residence. Ashbury College was included amongst other architecturally interesting and historically significant buildings in Doors Open Ottawa, held June 2 and 3, 2012.
In 1952, a stained glass window depicting Sir Galahad was erected by Robert McCausland Limited as a memorial dedicated to the Old Boys who served during the Great War and World War II.
The Memorial Window in memory of Canon Woollcombe, Ashbury's founder and Headmaster, was unveiled and dedicated on October 29, 1961 by the Venerable Archdeacon C. G. Hepburn. The window features 7 symbolic designs: the Crown and Palm, for Wisdom; Ivy for Fidelity; a Vine symbolizing the Blood of Christ; a Sheaf of Wheat for the Body of Christ; Oak leaves for Strength; and a Cross and Wreath signifying Peace. The crests refer to Canon Woollcombe's academic affiliations to Bishop's University, Oxford University, McGill University and Ashbury College. The three large windows show pictorial representations of Canon Woollcombe as Teacher, Preacher and Counsellor. The large left hand window includes the Torch of Light; the Centre window shows a Spiritual Flame, with the School Motto in the Circle surrounding Canon Woollcombe, and the Ashbury buildings in the background. The Lamp of learning is at the top of the right hand window.
A window is dedicated to the memory of alumni Michael F. A. Ney (RMC 1944) R.C.N., who was killed in an accident in Kenya in October 31, 1954 while serving as an inspector with the Kenyan Police Force. The 1955 design includes the crests of the Royal Roads Military College and of Trinity College at the University of Toronto and the message "First unto God and then to the Queen". A window is dedicated to Alfred Beaufort Belcher a member of Ashbury staff from 1942 until his death April 4, 1963. The 1955 design includes the crests of the Royal Military College of Canada and a few lines of one of Belcher’s poems "and God runs quiet fingers through ...the tired hair of the World".
Ashbury College offers the traditional Ontario Secondary School Diploma but also the International Baccalaureate Diploma, otherwise known as the IB. Students will traditionally take six academic subjects each year and the Senior School program is grades nine through twelve. Ashbury follows a traditional approach to education in the liberal arts and requires participation in athletics and volunteering/community service in order to graduate. Approximately 20% of the students are considered international students. Each graduating class is approximately 120 students.
Most students are accepted into grade four, grade seven, and grade nine, deemed "admission points". Ashbury's selective admissions process has approximately 25 spots per year for boarding students and 110 spaces a year for day students. Spaces are filled for each class in through two rounds: Round I (usually more competitive) and Round II. Round I begins in early October with offers extended in mid-December while Round II begins in the last week of January and offers are extended in the first week of March. 90% of students are selected in Round I and only Round I candidates are considered for scholarships. Students are selected through a rigorous admissions process which includes an entrance exam and an interview.
The House system has been in place since 1937 and Ashbury students are divided into four houses upon entering in grade nine. Each house has roughly 30 students per grade and 120 in each house during any academic year with the exception of Wollocombe House that has roughly 80. Students with older siblings or alumni parents are put in their "family" house and others are randomly assigned. Houses are permanent from grade nine until graduation and identification is often through the house-specific neck-tie or commonly worn house T-shirts during physical education, house events or after 4 pm when No. 3 (casual) uniform can be worn. The houses compete for the "Wilson Shield" which is awarded at the end of the academic year. The houses are:Woollcombe House (Blue)
New House (Green)
Connaught House (Red)
Alexander House (Yellow)
Each house is led by prefects, graduating students chosen for their leadership, role-model ability, involvement in school life and strong academic standing. Prefects are typically identified by their burgundy blazers.
Ashbury College offers the International Baccalaureate Bilingual Diploma program and has a university placement rate of 100% for the past ten years. Graduates often matricualate to colleges and universities in Canada, the United States, and around the globe. For a number of years, the students of the graduating class have received 99% university placement. Recent graduates have matriculated to Laurentian University, Georgian College, Carleton University, Brock University, Lakehead University, Trent University, University of the Fraser Valley, Memorial University, University of Edinburgh, University of Toronto, McGill University, Queen's University, Columbia University, Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Cambridge, King's College London, University of Oxford, Imperial College London, Johns Hopkins University, University of St. Andrew's, Duke University, Wake Forest University, Babson College, Dartmouth College, Brown University, Cornell University, Georgetown University, New York University, University of Western Ontario, Bishop's University, Oberlin Conservatory, University of Vermont, University of Virginia, Algonquin College and the University of Chicago.
The average SAT score from Ashbury College is 1338/1600, (1998/2400) or in the 90th percentile of all test takers. Further, the average IB Diploma score is 33, 4 points of the global average of 29. Eighty-two percent of students were admitted to their first choice university For the Class of 2010, the most popular university choice was Algonquin College (42 students), McGill University (26 students), Queen's University (19 students), and then the University of Toronto (13 students).
Students in grade 9 and 10 are required to participate in co-curricular activities in all three terms. Grade 11 students must participate in co-curricular activities in two terms and grade 12’s in one term. As a requirement for the Ontario Diploma, all students complete a minimum of 40 Community Service Hours. Ashbury also offers co-curricular programs in bilingual debating, drama & theatre, Model United Nations, the Yearbook Committee, and the 'Blazer' (student magazine), among many others. Additionally, Ashbury students can complete requirements for the The Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
Ashbury College is a member of the Canadian Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), the Ottawa Independent Schools Athletic Association (OISAA), the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic Intermediate Athletic Association (OCCIAA), the National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association (NCSSAA) and the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA). Ashbury is recognized for its strong athletics program. In 2010, the senior boys varsity basketball team won the Ontario provincial championship (OFSAA) for the first time by defeating Ridley College. Senior girls basketball won provincial titles in 2003 and 2007, while Women's Rugby has won the provincial championships three times (2002, 2003, 2007). They also compete in the CISAA for both junior and senior boys' football. Most recently in 2014, Julia Malone won the provincial championship for Women's Golf.
Ashbury maintains teams for the following sports:
At the end of the 2006/2007 school year, Ashbury College was ranked 48th in Ontario for high school sports by the Ottawa Citizen.
The Junior School is a division of Ashbury College for students from grade four to grade eight. Unlike the Senior School's blue colours, Junior School uses green as its dominant colour which is prevalent in many locations as a symbol, including the website and uniforms. Junior School students typically wear uniform ties with maroon, grey, and green stripes, while Senior School students wear a specific Senior school tie on Mondays and wear an appropriate tie of choice on other days of the week, including but not limited to house ties. Like the Senior School, Junior School students are placed into one of four houses upon their arrival.Dragons (Yellow)
Houses compete extensively throughout the academic year in athletic (e.g. Track and Field Day), artistic (e.g. House Music Competition, Shakespeare Reading Contest), and academic (e.g. Scholar Roll) activities and house points are accumulated throughout the year. Students are identified by house in many situations, primarily athletic, where everyone sports a house shirt with varying colours for physical education activities. Students are also assigned a "home form", where there are presently one for each of grades four, five, and six, and three for both grades seven and eight.
Since 2003, the Junior School also features a leadership program called L.E.E.D.E.S. The program's goal is to develop leadership qualities in students. Students in grade 4 and 5 are introduced to the program at a young age. In grades 7 and 8, house captains, who are elected by the student body, serve as leaders and role models for the house. They are responsible for organizing activities and initiatives. Sample responsibilities include organizing inter-house sport activities and fund-raising for charities, with the ultimate goal of driving their house to win the annual competition.
The arts programme is another area of focus of the Junior School. In the Junior school, classes of art, music and dramatic arts are offered to students. In grade 8, only two of these courses can be picked. The Junior School's arts program is very diverse and includes school play productions, inter-house music competitions, and the creation of personal artwork. Junior School students have participated in Ashbury Theatre productions, and former Junior School students have often played major roles. In the past, the Junior School has presented musicals, beginning in 2002 with "Rana's Pond", and continuing with two original productions, "News" in 2004, directed by Ingrid Boyd, with words by Ingrid Boyd and David Polk, music by John Merritt and set by Elisabeth Arbuckle and another original production ("Artifacts!") produced in 2006 (and re-produced in Spring 2007) by Alex Menzies with words by David Polk and music based on established scores, and set design once again by Elisabeth Arbuckle.
Maclaren Hall is Ashbury's cafeteria. Opened in 2004, the MacLaren Hall serves breakfast, lunch and dinner for boarders and lunch for day students (Junior and Senior school alike). Open from 7 am to 7 pm, MacLaren Hall offers selections for vegetarians as well as those with other needs. In addition to cash being tendered, students are able to use their student cards to access meal plans and "flex dollars", which is a refillable debit card system.
Maclaren Hall is one part of the new addition to the College that was completed in 2004 as a part of the "Building Futures" fundraising campaign. Other additions included a new double gymnasium, four new classrooms (equipped with SmartBoards), a student common area, a staff room, and several offices. The increase in square footage has added more than 20% of usable space to the school.
The Great Hall was renamed in 2006 as the Maclaren Hall in honour of alumnus Don Maclaren.John Turner, Canadian Prime Minister
Stockwell Day, Member of House of Commons
E. P. Taylor, businessman
Douglass North, Recipient of Nobel Prize in Economics
Lt. Gen. Guy Simonds, Canadian army officer, commander of the II Canadian Corps during World War II, later named Chief of the General Staff (most senior rank in the Canadian Army)
Matthew Perry, actor best known for his role as Chandler on the hit TV show 'Friends'
Max Graham, Canadian DJ/Producer
Ben Barry Entrepreneur
John Emilius Fauquier Royal Canadian Air Force Commodore
Ryan Semple, 2006, 2010 Olympian, Skiing.
Trevor Matthews, Founder and CEO of Brookstreet Pictures
Donald Steven, composer
Adrian Harewood, CBC news journalist
Derek Harvie, TV & Film writer and producer. Nominated for Peabody Award and winner of Golden Raspberry award for screenplay Freddy Got Fingered.
Arthur Fogel, Music Promoter and Executive, Live Nation Entertainment
Jerry Guan, Mathematician
During a 2007 field trip to Boston, four students allegedly committed sexual assault on another student, sparking controversy and a lawsuit against the school. As a result, several students were expelled, and more stringent punishments were handed down to the perpetrators. Criminal charges were laid against the former Ashbury students. The young men pleaded guilty in a Boston courtroom to the charges, and were punished according to youth criminal justice laws (namely, probation and juvenile detentions). One of the perpetrators pleaded guilty to assault and battery and was sentenced to four years probation. He apologized to the victim and his family, saying he was pulling a common prank. The teachers and the school have been criticized for the handling of the incident. The victim and their family submitted victim impact statements detailing the effect the events had on their family.
In December 2015, the two teachers were fully exonerated and charges dismissed, after winning an appeal in the Ontario Divisional Court.
The Creative Learning Centre, commonly referred to as the CLC, was completed and opened in September 2014.
In 2016, Ashbury celebrated its 125th birthday. Alumni receptions around the world were held as well as numerous events in Ottawa.