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Harbord Collegiate Institute

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School type  High school
Founded  1892
Principal  Vince Meade
Phone  +1 416-393-1650
Number of students  1,000
Motto  Virtus et Doctrina
Area trustee  Chris Bolton
Grades  9-12
Mascot  Bengal tiger
Harbord Collegiate Institute
Address  286 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M6G 1G5, Canada
District  Toronto District School Board
Similar  Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, Jarvis Collegiate Institute, Northern Secondary School, Monarch Park Collegiat, Marc Garneau Collegiat

Harbord Collegiate Institute (H.C.I. or Harbord) is a public secondary school located in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The school is located in the Palmerston-Little Italy/The Annex neighbourhood, situated on the north side of Harbord Street, between Euclid Ave. and Manning St. The school has 1000 students enrolled and 50 faculty members.



Harbord was opened in 1892 as Harbord Street Collegiate Institute.

Harbord's first centennial

The college opened in 1892. Harbord's first centennial was celebrated in 1992 and included the inauguration of the Harbord museum, a repository of Harbord memorabilia. To mark the event, Harbord's alumni group, the Harbord Club, published a 300-page history of the school entitled The Happy Ghosts of Harbord, which traces the history of the school from its opening in 1892 to 1992.

Harbord Ghost

There exists a legend of a ghost in Harbord- the myth surrounds the renovations the school has undergone, namely that of a boarded-up hallway. The idea is that someone was bricked up inside the corridor, and now haunts the building. Witness accounts soon after completion of the renovations attest to hearing moaning and voices from behind the wall, though it has never been verified whether anyone has actually been trapped in the school walls. But then again, who would want to admit to murder?

Remembrance Day Ceremonies

On November 11, 2005, a Remembrance Day ceremony took place at Harbord. With the donations from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation and many other corporate sponsors and individuals, the rededication of the 1921 World War I monument back to its original splendor was held. The master of ceremony was Syd Moscoe while addresses were given by President of George Weston Ltd. Galen Weston, former Minister of Defence Barney Danson, Canadian Armed Services Chief of Land Staff Lieutenant-General Marc Caron, and Chairperson of the TDSB Sheila Ward. Harbord's Jazz Band played a piece written by band teacher Mr. Alberts, called On Remembrance Day. The Cantemus Choir also performed and poems written by students Kevin Tung and Michael Lee were read. The ceremony ended with a picture that was taken of the students, teachers, alumni and neighbours in front of the school.

In May 2007, a second monument created to remember World War II was revealed in another ceremony.

In November 2014, three names were added to the First World War memorial, those of Lieut. Myer Tutzer Cohen, Lieut.-Col. Thomas Craik Irving, and Lieut. Walter Howard Curry. The names were added after the school had received a notice from The Black Watch saying that they knew of a soldier whose name wasn't on the monument (that of Cohen, who died at age 22 in the 1917 battle of Passchendaele). In the weeks that followed, the other two "Lost Soldier's" names were brought to the attention of the school, and were appropriated added to the new plaque unveiled at the Remembrance Day ceremony. After a ceremony that included family members of the newly honored soldiers, a group photo was taken of the attendees, including students and staff, from across the street.

Harbord Club

The Harbord Club has 2600 members. It was established in 1978 by Elsie Affleck, who brought along other alumni including Ken Prentice, Willie Zimmerman, Johnny Wayne, Max Goldhar and Julius Molinaro.

The Harbordite, founded in 1979, is the Harbord Club newsletter that keeps former students of the school in contact with one another and up-to-date on Harbord activities. The Harbord Charitable Foundation was also created at this time, supporting both student scholarships and alumni activities. The Directors of the Harbord Club are as follows: Syd Moscoe, Ben Lee, Sid Ingham, Belinda Medeiros-Felix, Vasan Persad, Diana Dasilva and Sierra Medeiros-Felix.

  • Charles Best - co-discoverer of Insulin
  • Ellen Cole (née Robins) - Community Organizer
  • Kathleen Coburn - leading scholar on the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • David Cronenberg - filmmaker
  • Charles Trick Currelly - founder and first curator of the Royal Ontario Museum
  • Victor Feldbrill - Former Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
  • Adam Giambrone - former Toronto city councillor and TTC chair
  • Philip Givens - former Toronto Mayor
  • Eddie Goodman - former Lawyer and politician
  • Paul James, award-winning Canadian blues and roots musician; stage name of Paul James Vigna.
  • Max Kerman - Juno Award-winning Lead Singer of Arkells
  • Stephen Lewis - former leader of the Ontario NDP, former UN Ambassador, UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa
  • Robert Morritt- author Stones That Speak
  • Joe Pantalone - former Toronto city councillor
  • Louis Rasminsky - former Governor of the Bank of Canada
  • Morley Safer - CBS News Anchor
  • Anna Sandor - screenwriter
  • Sam Shopsowitz - founder of Shopsy's restaurant
  • Sam Sniderman - founder of Sam the Record Man
  • Steven Staryk - violinist
  • Kiefer Sutherland - actor
  • Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster (Wayne and Shuster) - comedians
  • Philip White - former Mayor of York, Ontario
  • Multiculturalism

    From the 1920s to the 1950s, about 90% of the student body was Jewish. Today, the student body largely consists of students of Chinese and Portuguese descent, which is representative of the surrounding neighbourhoods. Many of the clubs at Harbord are reflective of the ethnic groups present. The Harbord language program offers courses in Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Latin, French, Portuguese and German.

    Harbord has three French programs: Immersion, Extended and Core French. These classes offer students an opportunity to become bilingual in Canada's official languages. There is a French Club within Harbord.

    Harbord has a full ESL (English as a Second Language) program which helps all students new to Canada to learn English.


    The Student Activity Council, or SAC, is one of the largest student-run organisation at Harbord Collegiate Institute.

    The Boys' Athletic Association (BAA) and the Girls' Athletic Association (GAA), are clubs in Harbord that work together to organise most athletic events, such as the annual Athletic Banquet and intramural games.

    The Harbord Debating Society is a place to enhance students’ political awareness as well as their oratorical skills. Each year, students participate in tournaments, such as the Ontario Model Parliament and the Southern Ontario Model United Nations Assembly.

    The Empowered Student Partnership is a new club at Harbord that works with the TDSB, the Toronto Police Service and the Toronto Catholic District School Board to make the school and the community a safer and better place. They work towards minimizing violence, drug use, graffiti, guns and racism.

    "Key Club is an international student-led organisation which provides its members with opportunities to provide service, build character and develop leadership." Members of Harbord C.I.'s Key Club have volunteered for Epilepsy Toronto, the Canadian Cancer Society, The Liver Foundation, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon and many other non-profit organisations.

    Tiger Talk is Harbord's official newspaper. It covers topics in and out of school.

    The Business Club gather at lunch and/or after school to learn about business topics. They participate in the business competition DECA. See for more information.

    Sports offered at Harbord are:

    Visual arts

    Harbord offers a visual arts program for each grade exposing students to materials, concepts and skills. Studios offer lessons in drawing, painting, ceramics, printmaking, photography, animation, design, and life drawing. Studies in design allow students to partake in fashion design (an annual fashion show), architectural design and interior design as well as text and graphic design. Art history is woven into the assignments as is theory in aesthetics.

    Harbord has alumni studying visual arts and design at post secondary institutions throughout Canada, including Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Concordia, Ryerson, and OCAD university. Student work can be viewed at the Creative Arts Festival held every year.

    Music program

    Harbord has a range of musical programs.


    The band program goes from the Grade 9 Beginner Band to the Grade 12 Senior Band. Harbord's Jazz Band is conducted by Mr. Alberts. Instruments in the band include flute, clarinet, saxophone, French horn, trombone, tuba, bass guitar, keyboard, drums, baritone and trumpet. The band performs at assemblies and concerts which includes the Remembrance Ceremony, Senior Showcase, Feeder School Concert, Commencement and the Farewell Assembly.


    The classes range from Grade 9 Beginner Vocal to Senior Vocal. There is a Cantemus Choir at Harbord that sings for events inside and outside of Harbord. The choir has participated at the Kiwanis Festival multiple times.


    The classes include the Grade 9 Beginner Strings, the Junior Strings and the Senior Strings. Instruments available for strings at Harbord include: violin, viola, cello and bass. Harbord's String Quartet won First Prize at last year's Kiwanis Festival. The Chamber Orchestra has performed at other venues such as Massey Hall, and George Weston Hall. The Strings Chamber Orchestra plays at school events such as the Awards Assembly, Feeder School Concert and Senior Concert, and accompanies the Cantemus Choir.

    "Onward Harbord"

    "Onward Harbord" is Harbord's official song, and is sung along with the school band playing at the same time. It is sung to the tune of the popular fight song "On, Wisconsin!"; Harbord is one of some 2,500 schools using some variation of this piece as their school song. Generally at the behest of the principal ("One more time!"), the song gets sung twice. The lyrics were written by former band teacher Larry Bond. The lyrics are as follows:


    Harbord Collegiate Institute Wikipedia