Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Jarvis Collegiate Institute

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School type
High school

Michael Harvey

1021 (2012)




+1 416-393-0140


Jarvis Collegiate Institute

Nil Decet Invita Minerva ("Nothing is seemly, unless with Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom")

495 Jarvis St, Toronto, ON M4Y 2G8, Canada

Toronto District School Board

Central Technical School, Northern Secondary School, Monarch Park Collegiat, North Toronto Collegiat, York Memorial Collegiat


Jarvis collegiate institute

Jarvis Collegiate Institute is a high school in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is a part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). Prior to 1998 it was within the Toronto Board of Education (TBE).


Jarvis is located on Jarvis Street. Founded in 1807 it is the second oldest high school in Ontario after the Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute (c. 1792), and the oldest high school in Toronto.


Jarvis Collegiate was founded as a private school in 1797. However, in 1807 the government of Ontario, then known as the British colony of Upper Canada, took over the school and incorporated it in a network of eight new, public grammar schools (secondary schools), one for each of the eight districts of Upper Canada:

  • Eastern Grammar School or Cornwall Grammar School c. 1806 in Cornwall, Ontario
  • Western Grammar School in Windsor, Ontario
  • Home District Grammar School in Toronto - Jarvis was the grammar school for the Home District, an area covering much of the modern GTA. Its first name was the Home District Grammar School.
  • These were the early days of Toronto, when the first parliament buildings were established and the first church and jail were constructed. In fact, it was only fourteen years earlier that Governor John Grave Simcoe arrived at the unspoiled location on Lake Ontario to lay out the design of the new town he named York.

    After the early period 1807-1811, enrollment started at five, rose to twenty, then fell to four - the school gained momentum in 1812 when the redoubtable John Strachan took over as headmaster. In 1839, Strachan became the first Anglican bishop of Toronto, living grandly in a home known as the "Palace" and signing his name (following the "first name / diocese" format customary for Anglican bishops) "John Toronto". He also founded Trinity College.

    The original 1807 school building was a shed attached to the headmaster's house. Strachan raised funds for a new two-storey building, completed in 1816 on College Square, a 6-acre (24,000 m2) lot north of St. James' Cathedral, bounded by Richmond, Adelaide, Church and Jarvis Streets. In 1825 the school was renamed the Royal Grammar School. Later the name was changed to Toronto High School. In 1829 it moved to the corner of Jarvis and Lombard Streets. When Upper Canada College was founded in 1829 it shared a building with the Grammar School and for several years the two organizations were essentially unified. UCC eventually moved to its own facilities.

    By 1864 the three rooms of the schoolhouse were inadequate for the 150 students, so a new building was constructed on Dalhousie Street, just north of Gould Street, near present-day Ryerson University. In the following decade, once again growing enrollment necessitated a new building. As the school underwent construction between 1870 and 1871, classes were held in a vacant insane asylum at Queen's Park, where the east wing of the legislative buildings are located today.

    In 1871 the new building opened at 361 Jarvis Street, just south of College Street, directly in front of Allan Gardens. In 1873 Parkdale Collegiate Institute, a second high school, was established in Toronto, precipitating yet another name change from Toronto High School to Jarvis Street High School. The school was given its current name, Jarvis Collegiate Institute, in 1890. In 1924 it moved to its current building.

    Jarvis Collegiate celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2007.

    Notable alumni

  • Matei Zaharia - big data computer scientist
  • Roy Thomson - won Jarvis entrance scholarship 1906; left after one year to go to work to help his family, multi-millionaire, owner of newspapers in many countries, given title Lord Thomson of Fleet
  • Conn Smythe 1910–1912 - won Stanley Cup 7 times, owner of Toronto Maple Leafs, built Maple Leaf Gardens
  • Sir Ernest MacMillan - notable piano player - performed at JCI in 1905, director of Mendelssohn Choir for 15 years, conductor of Toronto Symphony for 25 years, dean of University of Toronto Faculty of Music; knighted 1935
  • John Strachan - significant figure in Family Compact, headmaster of Jarvis 1812–1823, founder of University of Toronto in 1827 when he secured a charter for King's College, first Bishop of Toronto 1836
  • David Joseph - basketball coach and former college player
  • Lash Miller, 1880s - chemist, Commander of the Order of the British Empire
  • Sir Sam Hughes - JCI teacher, Member of Parliament 1911, Minister of the Militia, knighted 1915
  • Sir Allan McNab - enrolled in Jarvis during its first year, 1807, Prime Minister of Upper Canada, 1854–1856, knighted for fighting in Rebellion of 1837
  • George Ignatieff - Jarvis 1932, Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations, President of U.N. Security Council
  • Saul Rae - Jarvis 1931 - Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Herbert Dewart - leader of the Liberal Party of Ontario, 1917–22
  • Sir Lyman Duff - Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada 1933 - knighted
  • Harry Sniderman - invented the baseball drop pitch
  • Hector Charlesworth, 1880s - first chairman of the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Corporation
  • John Falconbridge, 1880s - dean of Osgoode Hall Law School
  • George Henry - Premier of Ontario 1930–34
  • Omond Solandt - chancellor, University of Toronto
  • William Finlayson - Ontario Minister of Lands and forests, 1930s
  • Ernest Thompson Seton, 1870s - artist, naturalist, writer
  • Henry Lumley Drayton, 1880s - Minister of Finance, 1919–1921
  • Bertha Harmer, grad. 1901 - Textbook of the Principles and Practices of Nursing, standard text in hospitals across North America, translated into several language; organized Yale University's School of Nursing; director of McGill School for Graduate Nurses
  • Edward Safarian - 1940s - dean of University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies
  • George Crum - 1940s - Musical Director of National Ballet of Canada
  • Allan Lawrence - 1940s - Attorney-General of Canada
  • James Kaludis - Practice Pitcher of the Toronto Blue Jays
  • Five mayors of Toronto - Bert Wemp, mayor 1929
  • Torquil Campbell - member of the band Stars
  • Amy Millan - member of the band Stars
  • Olivia Chow - Member of Parliament
  • David Common - CBC news correspondent
  • Christian Lander - author of Stuff White People Like
  • Nicole Stoffman - actress and jazz singer
  • Mia Kirshner - actress and writer
  • Linda Kash - actress, comedian, radio host
  • Sara Seager - astrophysicist and planetary scientist
  • References

    Jarvis Collegiate Institute Wikipedia

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