Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Sarnia Collegiate Institute and Technical School

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October 27, 1922


27 October 1922

Number of employees

School type
Secondary School

Mr. Sean Keane

Sic Itur Ad Astra

Teaching staff

Area trustee
Dave Douglas, Jack Fletcher, Elizabeth Hudie, Lareina Rising (First Nation), Cole Anderson (Student)

SCITS or Sarnia Collegiate Institute & Technical School is a public secondary school (high school) located in Sarnia, Ontario. Part of the Lambton Kent District School Board, it is one of Sarnia's educational institutions. It has approximately 550 full-time students (2015–2016) and is home to the Blue Bombers. In November 2015 the school was proposed to the board for closure in 2017.


Sarnia Collegiate Institute and Technical School SCITS being considered for closure Sarnia Observer


Sarnia Collegiate Institute and Technical School James Doohan39s High School 1922 Sarnia Collegiate Institute and

SCITS is the only secondary school in Lambton County to enjoy the use of an 850-seat auditorium. the auditorium is home to the SCITS drama classes and B.E.S.T. Productions. The dedication to the Drama program is evident in the 14 different performances by the SCITS students. The SCITS Revue is a tradition that goes back as far as the school building itself in 1922. This annual variety show featuring singing, dancing, comedy, etc. is open to all students in the school. In 2013, Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield, gave a motivational talk on his time aboard the International Space Station in a sold out SCITS Auditorium.

Sarnia Collegiate Institute and Technical School Vintage Ontario Sarnia Collegiate Institute and Technical School 1965

SCITS is home to one of the only heated indoor pools in the county. A swimming component is inherent in the physical education curriculum at SCITS.

Sarnia Collegiate Institute and Technical School Sarnia Collegiate Institute and Technical School Wikipedia

The school library houses several hundred books, a computer assisted study area, as well as a rare collection of aboriginal artifacts and art work.


As the oldest secondary school in the city, Sarnia Collegiate Institute & Technical School (SCITS) is steeped in history. SCITS is excited to celebrate Sarnia's 100th anniversary as a city.

The first edition of the annual SCITS yearbook, "The Collegiate," was published at Christmas in 1914, and a yearbook has been published annually ever since, (known by the title "Ad Astra" since 1948). 1914 was the same year that Sarnia incorporated as a city.

Sarnia Collegiate traces its roots back to the 1800s as a small grammar school, then as a school on Lochiel Street, later as a school on London Road, and finally in 1922 as Sarnia Collegiate Institute & Technical School at our current Wellington Street location.

The decision that a new high school was needed was made by The Sarnia Board of Education in 1920 following which debentures were offered. With the Adolescent Act coming into effect in September 1922, making it compulsory for boys and girls up to 16 & 18 years of age to attend school, it became even more imperative to provide more classrooms as soon as possible.

In 1921 S. B. Coon and Son, Architects from Toronto submitted the plans for the new building. Tenders were called in February 1921. The general contractor was P. H. Secord and Sons Construction Company of Brantford. There were about 40 sub-contractors among whom were Sarnia firms including Sarnia Bridge Company, roof trusses; F. Chambers and Company, electricians; Flisinger, plumbing and steamfitting; Mueller Brass, and a great number of others.

Headlines in the December 31st, 1921 issue of the Sarnia Canadian Observer read “NEW COLLEGIATE IS THE BEST EQUIPPED IN THE PROVINCE”. Heating was thermostatically controlled, air was constantly exchanged, and it had an independent fire alarm system, automatic clocks controlled from the principal’s office, a medical room, the 25’ by 75’ swimming pool with showers and dressing room, and a number of other specialty rooms.

On August 5, 1921, a cornerstone was laid by Dr. F. W. Merchant of the Ontario Department of Education. Included in that cornerstone was a copper box containing a 1921 City Directory which listed the area, population and many other facts about Sarnia, sample bottles of oil from Imperial Oil Ltd., and a manuscript by Chief Jacobs written in his Indian language with an English translation, all the current copper and silver coins, a list of the civic officials, and a history of the schools dating back to 1838. Included as well was a list of the present Board of Education members. Present at that ceremony were The Mayor, City Council Members, Board of Education Members, and many members of Sarnia’s Clergy including Dr. John Hall and Rev. Canon Davis. Also present were a great many of Sarnia’s prominent citizens.

In September 1922, classes commenced at the new school, although its official opening wasn’t until October of that year. The ceremonies on October 28, 1922 were attended by the students, officials, teachers and the general public, filling the auditorium. The newspaper headlines on that day read “GREATEST EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF SARNIA WITH THE OPENING OF COLLEGIATE-TECHNICAL SCHOOL”.

It should be noted that for over thirty years, this was the only public high school in Sarnia. Also interesting is that when it was built, it was one of the very few high schools in Ontario that was free to its students.


In November 2015, Lambton Kent District School Board staff presented a report to the board in regards to the consolidation of St. Clair Secondary School, and Sarnia Collegiate institute & Technical School. This report calls for the consolidation of both schools at the now St. Clair Secondary School sites, and closing SCITS.

There has been a lot of public outcry regarding this proposal and a groups have formed to combat this closure, including an organized Save SCITS group. This group is motivated by the community importance and heritage conservation value of keeping the nearly-century old building.

On May 10, 2016, despite vocal public admonition to consolidate the two schools at the historic 1922 Sarnia Collegiate site at 275 Wellington Street, Lambton Kent District School Board trustees voted to consolidate the two schools at the 1961 St. Clair Secondary School site at 240 Murphy Road. Upon the approval of the Ontario Ministry of Education, Sarnia Collegiate Institute & Technical School will close in July 2017.

Notable Alumni

Kathy Arcuri (class of 1988) - Ontario College Athletics Association Hall of Fame (basketball)

Patrick Armstrong (class of 1993) - Award-Winning Police Officer, Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal Recipient

Ralph Mackenzie Barford - Distinguished Businessman, Order of Canada

John Robert Boyle - Alberta Leader of the Opposition, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, Alberta Cabinet Minister, Alberta Supreme Court Judge

John E. Brownlee - fifth Premier of Alberta

Dr. Roger Moore Butler (class of 1944) - Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame, Invented "Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage" (Patent# 4244485)

James "Scotty" Doohan - Actor Star Trek

Marian Engel (née Marian Ruth Passmore) - Award-Winning Novelist, Order of Canada

Kerry Fraser - National Hockey League Referee

Roger John Gallaway - Member of the Parliament of Canada, former Mayor of Sarnia

Mike Gardiner - Major League Baseball player

Douglas George - Consul General of Canada in Detroit

William Goodison - Member of the Parliament of Canada

Ross Gray - Member of the Parliament of Canada

William John Hanna - Provincial Secretary and Registrar of Ontario, Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Kyle Hall - Canadian Football League player

Robert Edward Hurlock - Canadian Football League player, Sarnia Lambton Sports Hall of Fame

Dustin Jeffrey - National Hockey League player

Patrick Kerwin - Chief Justice of Canada

Roberta MacAdams - the first woman, together with Louise McKinney, to be elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta (and any legislature in Canada and in the British Empire); the first woman in the British empire to introduce a piece of legislation for debate. Attended SCI

John Manore - Grey Cup Champion (Sarnia Imperials, 1934 All Stars)

Gary McCracken - Drummer of the band "Max Webster"

Brent McFarlane - Canadian Olympic Coach, Author

Maria Mikola - National Gym Association bodybuilding champion

Pauline Mills McGibbon - Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Order of Canada, Order of Ontario

Tony McKegney - National Hockey League player

Maurice O'Loughlin - Senior Vice President and Director of Exxon Corporation in New York

Tony (Parsonage) Parsons - Canadian Journalist & News Anchor

Rob Thomson - Major League Baseball coach

Paul Ysebaert - National Hockey League player


Sarnia Collegiate Institute and Technical School Wikipedia

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