Individual Canadian Schools


Figure 1.--Here we see the Ecole Baril in 1912. We are sure about that as the photograph has a note identifying it. We assume it is a school in Montreal, probably Quebec, but we are not sure. Given the school in the background it must have been a city school. The Ecole of course means that it is a school teaching French speaking Canadians. We believe it is a state primary school. The boys all wear kneepants or knockers and long black stockings.

We have little information on individual Canadian schools at this time. As our archive of Canadian schools grows, we will eventually archive them by name and year. A reader mentions the Reverend Woods's Church School in Montreal during 1885, although we do not know much about it at this time. We also note St. John's Anglican School in Montreal during 1899. While it is in Montreal, we assume it is an English-language school. A reader has sent us a photograph of an Anglo-Canadian schoolboy from the Crescent School in Toronto, Ontario during the 1930s. It is a boys' private school. Notice that his uniform is British in style with the short pants, kneesocks, blazer with piping and traditional school cap. Being a Dominion of the British Empire, the British influence in English Canada was very strong. British uniforms were worn by private school children in all of the British overseas Dominions. We also note the Loyola School in Montreal, it appears to be a Catholic boarding school. Most of the school photographs we have archived are from Ontario and Quebec, largely because these are such populous provinces. Hopefull more of our Canadian readers will provide some information about the schools they attended.

B

(Ecole) Baril (Quebec)

Here we see the Ecole Baril in 1912. We are sure about that as the photograph has a note identifying it. We assume it is a school in Montreal, probably Quebec, but we are not sure. Given the school in the background it must have been a city school. The Ecole of course means that it is a school teaching French speaking Canadians. We believe it is a state primary school. The boys mostly seem to be wearing suits. Some boys wear sweters instead of a suit jacket. One boys looks to be wearing a tunic or smock, it is a bit difficult to tell. The boys all wear kneepants or knickers and long black stockings. I'm not sure about the class, the boys look to be about 10-11 years old. A Canadian reader writes, "For sure, L'Ecole baril existed at montréal. But it was not a "state" school. Because schools were under the juridiction of the clergy, they were catholic or protestant. The Government of Québec supervised shools through a Department of Public Instruction" (Département de l'Instruction publique) for primary and secondary schools. But the control was in the hand of the Church. Classical colleges were also under the jurisdiction of the clergy but students had to pay. All this stuff changed in 1964 with the advent of the Ministry of Education."

C

Crescent School (Ontario)

A reader has sent us a photograph of an Anglo-Canadian schoolboy from the Crescent School in Toronto, Ontario during the 1930s. It is a boys' private school. Notice that his uniform is British in style with the short pants, kneesocks, blazer with piping and traditional school cap. Being a Dominion of the British Empire, the British influence in English Canada was very strong. British uniforms were worn by private school children in all of the British overseas Dominions.

E

Ealing Public School (Ontario)

This is a photo of the Ealing Public School in London, Ontario. It was taken in 1888. It looks more like a country school, perhaps Ealing was a village on the outskirts of town. Te boys wear blouses, some with jackets. The younger boys in front all wear knee pants. Some are barefoot, others wear long stockings. Note how most of the boys have rounded crown hats, a major hat style for boys inthe 219th century. The olders boys are at the basck abd we can't see much of what they are wearing. All of the girls wear dresses, many with pinafores.

G

Gordon Township School (Ontrio)

We don't know the name of the school, but we know it was located in Gordon Township. The photograph is undated, but we would guess was taken about 1905. This is a wonderful image of the children at a rural Ontrio school. The school seems a rathervhappy place, although two of the younger boys re bit dubius about having their portrait taken. We think the building in the background is the school. We are not sure why there were two doors. The teacher poses with her bike that she used to come to school in the morning. One girl and four boys wear sailor outfits. The younger boys wear knee pants and long stockings. One boy wearing a plaid blouse is barefoot. Notice the pile of wood to help keep the school warm when the cold weather begins.

I

Ives' Hill Country School (Quebec)

This photograph shows a rural primary school--Ives' Hill Country School. The school was located im eastern Quebec and was taken in 1939. Most of the children wear tan long stockings with either short trousers or knickers. The girls also wear tan stockings. The one-room schoolhouse stands behind the students. Rural Quebec tended of course to be mainly Roman Catholic, although this was a state school. One of the students from this school, Jean Farwell Monty, who became a teacher herself, recalls that the children made stuffed animals for packages sent to the Montreal Children's Hospital. We know one boy's name--the boy in the front row at the extreme left wearing dark shorts and tan long stockings. His name was John Cowan. He was 8 years old at the time.

L

Loyola School (Quebec)

The Loyola Catholic School was one of the best known schools of Montreal. We are not sure what the regular school wear consisted. Here we have a photograph of the school hockey team (1899). The uniform shown here gives us a good historical idea of what highschool hockey players wore just at the turn of the century. We have some other hockey images on HBC also to which this one should be linked. So there are two spheres of interest here--highschools and sports (hockey). Notice that the boys wear almost no padding under their uniforms, evidence that the game was much less violent and the school was less concerned about possible injuries. The game was played also without helmets. The boys wear only turtle-necked ribbed sweaters, knee-length pants, long black stockings and their skates. But of course the boys wear long underwear under their uniforms--probably long-sleeved union suits (or "combinations" as they would have been called in Canada).

N

(College) Notre Dame (Quebec?)

The Colege Notre Dame was an all-boys Catholic College. In French Canada and most countries besides the United States, college means a secondary school, or a combined primary-secondary school, rather than a small university-level school. We are not sure where the Colege Notre Dame was located, but Quebec (posibly Montreal) is the modst likely location. The school was taught by Catholic priests. We are not sure about the current status of the school, but know it was operating in the early 20th century.

O

Old Britannia Schoolhouse (Ontario)

The Old Britannia Schoolhouse, was built as a Common School in 1852. There was not yet a public school system in Canada. Parents interested in educating their children paid a fee. The school replaced an earlier wooden school building originally put up in the 1830s which had fallen into poor repair. It was located in Mississauga, Ontario. The Canadian Government in 1871 designatd "Common Schools" as "Public Schools". The Government abolished fees and attendance was made compulsory for children aged 7 to 12 years of age during at least 4 months a year. At that time, however, the schools were usually open for 11 ½ months and many children attended for more than 4 months. The Government in 1919 raised the age for compulsory attendance to 16 years with certain exceptions. Here we have a photogrph of the children at Old Britannia School in 1917.

Q

Qualicum College (British Colombia)

Robert Knight in the middle of the Great Depression decided to open a private boys' boarding school in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Aubrey Muskett, former headmaster of the Collegiate School in Victoria, assisted Knight with the project. Knight named his school the Qualicum Beach School and began with nine students. Knight first used a rented house. He moved the school to a specially-designed building amid 17 acres of senic seaside property (1937). Knight's younger brother George, joined him as a partner. They renamed the school incorporated the school as a limited liability company. The school was a college in the European sence, more like a British public Private boarding) school meaning essentially a school merging primary and secondary school programs. These schools are often called colleges are academies in Europe. The Knight brothers had about 70 students, mostly boarders (early-1960s). The boys wore British-style uniforms. Costs increased and enrollment began to decline (1960s). The Knight brothers who were gettin older decided to close the school (1970).

R

Reverend Woods's Church School (Quebec)

Here we see a class of boys from the Reverend Woods's Church School in Montreal during 1885. We don't know the name of the church, but I suspect that it is an Anglican school, possibly a choir school connected with one of the Anglican churches in Westmount, an English-speaking section of the city. The boys seem to be of choir-school age--from about 8 to 15. They are formally dressed for their school photograph. One boy in the front row wears a sailor suit with a white middy blouse, knee pants, and black stockings. The other boys seem to be in knee-pants suits. All of course wear long black stockings, standard wear for the period. Notice the variety of hats. One of the boys wears a rather citified black derby hat while others wear felt hats with small brims and encircling ribbons. A few boys wear small brimless hats. Some faculty members standing in the rear are wearing their academic gowns (typical of English-style church-connected schools) and mortarboards. We thought that this might be a Sunday school class because the portrait was taken in front of the Church. A reader writes, however, "I don't think a simple Sunday School would be only boys, do you? The priest, maybe Father Woods, is standing at the right rear with some other faculty members in their academic gowns and mortarboards. It might be a class preparing for confirmation, but the fact that only boys are present makes me think it is probably a day school connected with the parish church." Our reader is probably right. Most Subday schools with which we are familar were coeducational.

S

St. John's Anglican School (Quebec)

Here we have a portrait from St. John's Anglican School in Montreal. While it is located in Montreal, we believe it was an English-language school. The photograph shows a group of boys from the Anglican School for boys during 1899. There were significant class connotations to the Anglican church in both Canada and Ameeica. Many of the well to do upper-class families were Anglicans. Much of the working class on the other hand were Catholic, from both French Canadian and immigrant families. . You can see a few of the faculty members at the rear right including a white-bearded priest in his black cassock (possibly the headmaster) plus another priest wearing a suit and clerical collar. There are quite a range of ages. Thius suggests that the school was quite small. This may be the entire school at the time. It is hard to know whether the young men standing at the back older students or young members of the faculty. We think they are students, but at least one may be a faculty member. The younger boys look to me like 7th or 8th graders, which would make them about 11 or 12 years old.

T

Trinity College School (Ontario)

We do not have any historical information on Trinity College School t this time. A Canadian reader has provided us some informstion on the school uniform. He writes, "I visited another English Canadian private school in Ontario and they very kindly sent me a scanned picture from their archives for your HBC-SU web site. The first photo is the Junior School photo (the younger boys - Grades 5-8) at Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario, taken in 1915. Note the huge Eton collars worn as part of their uniforms. The second photo is the Junior School students (Grades 5 - 8) in 1951, meeting the Governor General of Canada, the representative of the British Crown in Canada. As a Dominion of the British Empire, there is obviously a heavy British influence in English-speaking Canada. Note the boys are wearing English-style peaked caps with their uniforms." The Trinity College School in 1991 became co-educational, admitting girls for the first time. The girls wear the same uniform as the boys, but with skirts. There is now no headwear worn at this school any more.









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Created: October 10, 2001
Last updated: 3:37 AM 12/9/2014