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January 17th, 2018
The Rebirth of River City

Beaches Schools and their Centennial Celebrations

Norway Junior Public School

390 Kingston Road, opened 1896

First in the area, it can be traced back to a rural schoolhouse on Chapel Street built in 1848. In 1870, a one-room school was constructed on the Kingston Road site and students were educated there until it was replaced by a two-room, two-storey brick building designed by architect J.W. Mallory (1858-1904)in 1896. Moved to its current location in 1977.

A former teacher, Mr. Ross, joined the army during WWI. Students celebrated his involvement in the Great War and organized to send him a package. It is said that students traced his movements in France on maps at the school.

Kimberley Junior Public School

50 Swanwick Avenue, opened 1882

Kimberley JPS was originally called Mary Street School, and opened slightly north of the present school in 1882. When East Toronto was annexed by the City of Toronto in 1908, Mary Street became Kimberley Street. It was named after the Siege of Kimberley, a battle during the Boer War. Th fist principal was Mr. Craven. A two-storey building was built where the school stands today in 1897. Kimberley JPS marked 1897 as its foundation date and thus celebrated its centenary in 1997.

Kew Beach Public School

101 Kippendavie Avenue, opened 1889

Ths school opened in a volunteer fie station in Kew Gardens near Bellefair Avenue. Th fist principal was Miss E. Wray (Holmes). A building at the Kippendavie site was opened in April 1899. A new building was built in 1963. Kew Beach PS has memorials to WWI and WWII, including a bronze bell that was removed from the school’s belltower in 1921 and has since been preserved.

Malvern Collegiate Institute

55 Malvern Avenue, opened in 1903

Malvern Collegiate Institute opened in September 1903 as East Toronto High School in the former Mary Street School.Mr. F.W. French was the fist Principal. In 1905, land at 55 Malvern Avenue was purchased for the school. In 1906, the school moved to the site

In 1910, East Toronto High School was renamed Malvern Avenue High School. In 1914, it became Malvern Avenue Collegiate and it later settled on its current name.122 Malvern students and one teacher, Mr. Wood, enlisted to serve during WWI, 25 did not return home

Malvern has an array of other distinguished former students including; pianist Glenn Gould (who also attended Williamson Road Junior Public School), fim director and producer Norman Jewison, actor Kiefer Sutherland, opera singer Teresa Sratats, current artistic and general director of Canadian Stage (and another Rhodes Scholar) Matthew Jocelyn, and members of the band Down With Webster.

Balmy Beach Public School

14 Pine Avenue, opened 1906

Balmy Beach PS opened as Pine Avenue School with an enrolment of 256 students. Th fist Principal was N. Jennie Yeo and the three original teachers were all female. Balmy Beach’s WWI memorial lists Wilfred John Jones (1896-1917) and Joseph Rollit Taylor (1897-1917) as its former students killed in action. Both men are buried in France. Jones lived at Balsam Avenue. Th roll of honour lists 43 names.45 former staf and students participated in WW

Duke of Connaught Junior and Senior Public School

70 Woodfild Road (formerly Morley Road), opened 1912

Duke was built in 1912 on land that had been the Ashbridge Estate orchard measuring 6.5 acres, largest in Toronto at that time. Th school was named after Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, Canada’s tenth Governor General.He was the seventh child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.Classes started in 1913 with 707 students. George M. Ritchie served as Principal from 1913 to 1928

Williamson Road Junior Public School (a.k.a. Willy)

24 Williamson Road, opened 1914

Williamson Road JPS was constructed in 1912-1913 according to plans supervised by architect C.H. Bishop. It was named after Mr. Williamson, a prominent builder and politician in the area. Th fist pupil to register at the school was Alex Nichols of 64 Waverley Road. It originally catered for 453 students from Kindergarten to Grade Seven. Williamson Road celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2014, Happy Birthday Willy!

Th school has many former students who achieved great things, including one of the most celebrated pianists of the 20th century Glenn Gould (1932-1982), beloved Canadian artist Doris McCarthy (1910-2010), who received the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario before her death at the age of 100

Enduring Education in the East

These schools East-of-the-Don are over 100 years old.

Leslieville Junior Public School

– 254 Leslie Street, opened 1864 Leslieville JPS celebrated its 150th anniversary on April 26, 2014. Th school opened in a one-room building. Leslieville’s fist principal was Alexander Muir, composer of ‘Th Maple Leaf Forever’

159 former staf and students participated in WWI.

Queen Alexandra Public School

– 181 Broadview Avenue, opened 1890 Queen Alexandra PS opened as Hamilton Street School. Th name was changed to Queen Alexandra School in 1904 (the same year a fie destroyed the school buildings) and the next year the school was moved from Hamilton Street to Broadview Avenue. Th old building was demolished in 1956 and a new school was built in 1957.

275 former staf and students participated in WWI

Plains Road Public School – 175 Plains Road, opened 1891

Th four-room school was completed at a cost of $10,000. In 1956, a new school was built beside the original school and in 1964 the original school was demolished.John Diefenbaker, thirteenth Prime Minister of Canada, attended the school from 1900 to 1903.

Pape Avenue Public School

– 220 Langley Avenue, opened 1899

Th school opened with four classrooms but additions in 1909 and 1914 made it into an 18-room school. Th most recent wing of the school was added in 1958.Eight former students died during WWI and 21 during WWII. Th school celebrated its centennial on April 17, 1999.

92 former staf and students participated in WWI

Riverdale Collegiate Institute

– 1094 Gerrard Street East (between Jones Avenue and Leslie Street), opened 1907

Opened as Riverdale High School with four teachers. Th name was changed to Riverdale Collegiate Institute in 1914. Th school has one WWI memorial and four WWII memorials. Alumni include three-time Stanley Cup winning hockey player Carl Brewer (1938-2001), former NHL coach and member of the Hockey Hall of Fame George ‘Punch’ Imlach (1918-1987), and politician and the 24th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Lincoln Alexander (1922-2012).

25 former staf and students participated in WWI.

Roden Public School

– 151 Hiawatha Road, opened 1908

Th four-room school was built in 1907 and formally opened in 1908 by Minister of Education, the Honorable Dr. R.A. Pyne. Th name was changed from Ashdale Avenue to Roden in 1910 in honour of Mr. E.P. Roden (born c. 1847), Trustee 1874-1897 and Chairman 1885. It was completely rebuilt in 1969 and the new building was formally opened in 1970.

Earl Grey Senior Public School

– 100 Strathcona Avenue, opened 1910

Earl Grey SPS was formerly known as Jones Avenue Public School and opened in 1910. It changed its name and moved from Jones Avenue to 100 Strathcona Avenue in 1962. Thre are memorials dedicated to those who served in WWI,WWII and the Korean War. Earl Grey SPS was used as a setting for episodes of the television series Degrassi High.

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