The most comprehensive explanation of Toronto’s top private schools


In recent years, with the rise of younger students studying abroad and the rise of China's economy, more domestic families and new immigrant families in Canada have begun to actively consider sending their children to top private schools (here refers to private schools with excellent reputations in Canada) ). These top private schools attract parents of domestic and international students in Canada because they offer the following significant advantages :


  1. More compact curriculum : The curriculum of private schools is usually more compact than that of public schools, and academic progress is advanced 1-2 school years.

  2. Stronger teaching staff : Private schools have elegant school buildings and advanced teaching equipment. The average class size is usually 16-18 people, and there are no more than 3 classes in grade, which is far lower than the 25-28 people per class in public schools. This small class size helps teachers pay more attention to each student.

  3. Rich alumni resources : Private schools have high tuition fees, ranging from 30,000 to 60,000 Canadian dollars per year, not including extracurricular activities and other expenses. Therefore, only those families with the financial strength and educational savvy can afford this expense. Especially for top private schools, students need to go through a rigorous selection process, and even for local students, the acceptance rate is extremely low. The student body of a private school usually comes from families with similar backgrounds and personal qualifications, which will provide the children with unique interpersonal opportunities that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Canada's top private schools are often more than a century old and enjoy a high reputation, and their alumni have strong social status , which is one of their treasures. A strong alumni network and a positive "help-and-help" cycle enable more than half of top private school graduates to enter world-class universities , such as the Ivy League in the United States, indicating that they may have enviable careers in the future.


According to statistics, Ontario is Canada's major education province and a gathering place for private schools. Nearly half of the country's private schools are located in Ontario (954 in total), followed by British Columbia (340) and Quebec (285). ). As the largest city in the country and the economic and cultural center of Ontario, Toronto has the largest number of top private schools. Each private school has unique historical characteristics and professional expertise. Therefore, when choosing a school, you need to fully understand each school and make a choice based on your child's characteristics.

Toronto personal introduction

1 Upper Canada College

Upper Canada College (abbreviated as UCC) is a famous private boys' school in Canada. It is known as Canada's first private school. It was founded in 1829 by Sir John Colborne, the then Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada and who had participated in the Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. . UCC is the first high school in Ontario. It was originally established to provide student resources for the newly founded King's College (later the University of Toronto). The school maintains close ties with many universities in the UK and still maintains ties with the British royal family today. Prince Philip, the husband of the Queen of England, has served as the Chancellor of UCC since 1955. In the Canadian private school system, it is generally believed that UCC has most successfully imitated the British Eton College.


UCC is located in the famous luxury area in downtown Toronto , namely FOREST HILL. It covers an area of ​​​​17 hectares, so that AVENUE ROAD had to bypass the school and create a big curve. The school has also become a landmark in the FOREST HILL area. UCC offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) program , and graduates can obtain the Ontario Graduation Certificate and IB Diploma. The school has an excellent team of teachers, teaching facilities and various equipment, and is committed to cultivating students to become outstanding talents.


UCC enjoys a high reputation in Canada. Most people have the impression that it is an aristocratic school where only wealthy children have the opportunity to attend. However, what cannot be ignored is that as long as students enter this school, they will become "good kids", with the potential to be polite and motivated. UCC alumni include 6 premiers, 3 prime ministers, 7 justices, 4 mayors of Toronto, 24 Rhodes Scholars, 13 members of the Royal Canadian Society, and 10 Olympic medalists.


Many graduates have entered world-renowned universities such as Ivy League universities and Harvard University in the United States. Among them, famous alumni include former Liberal Prime Minister JOHN TURNER, President of ROGERS CABLE TED ROGERS, President of Eaton Center JOHN CRAIG EATON, and former Federal Minister of Finance DONALD L. MACDONALD. Former Toronto mayor and famous writer ALLAN LAMPORT, former editor-in-chief of Maclean's magazine and famous writer PETER NEWMAN, CEO of Europe, America and Asia Fund Investment Company GORDON CHEESBROUGH.


The school accepts students from kindergarten to high school, with boys ranging in age from 6 to 18 years old. UCC is known for its liberal arts education, which focuses on cultivating artistic and sports interests and requires academic rigor higher than that of ordinary public schools. It also pays great attention to cultivating boys' creativity. The teacher-student ratio is 1:8.


Another unique advantage of UCC is the provision of accommodation . This helps students understand different ways of thinking and communicating, and learn how to get along with people from different cultural backgrounds.

2 Toronto French School

(Toronto French School)

Toronto French School (TFS) was founded in 1962 as a home school. At that time, a lawyer named Harry Giles and his wife wanted to create a bilingual learning environment for their children, so they founded Toronto French School in their home. In 1984, the school was consolidated and moved to its current campus in North York. In 1995, the Mississauga campus was officially established. The original campus is located at the intersection of the scenic Bayview Ave and Lawrence Ave. It covers an area of ​​30 acres and is surrounded by dense forests and has convenient transportation. The school's signature colors are red and blue, which have distinct French characteristics.


The school provides comprehensive courses, adopts bilingual teaching, and graduates obtain internationally recognized certificates. TFS's IT courses are highly praised . The school has multimedia computer classrooms, physics laboratories, production studios, mechanical laboratories and other facilities; it provides IB courses, creating favorable conditions for students to enter world-class universities.


TFS currently has approximately 1,240 students, 200 of whom are enrolled at the old North York campus and 1,040 at the Mississauga campus. The school accepts students from age 3 to those ready to enter college preparatory high school classes. TFS is a non-religious school that welcomes students and staff from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. The school’s students come from more than 60 different countries and regions.

The outstanding performance of TFS students is not only obvious in academic aspects, but graduates have also frequently been admitted to prestigious international universities, including but not limited to U of T, McGill University, University of Waterloo, McMaster University, University of Cambridge, University of St. Andrews, Paris University, Princeton University, Harvard University, Stanford University, Yale University and University of Edinburgh, etc.

Not only that, the school also attaches great importance to students' physical fitness and interest cultivation. Currently, the school provides more than forty school teams in different sports, among which swimming, tennis, volleyball, basketball, football and gymnastics are particularly outstanding in the school. In addition, students can actively participate in various club activities to enrich their extracurricular life.


Founded in 1913, it is a long-established boys' school in Toronto with nearly a century of educational experience and a rich teaching tradition. The core values ​​of the school are "respect, responsibility, honesty, and enthusiasm." It emphasizes teaching students how to face challenges in the future, and focuses on cultivating students' qualities of respecting themselves, teachers, family, and peers. The school believes that one of the most critical qualities for boys is keeping their promises. 100% of students enter university for further study after graduation.


Crescent School is located north of Bayview/Lawrence in North York, surrounded by beautiful forests and covering an area of ​​30 acres, close to The Bridle Path community and Rosedale Golf Club. Campus facilities are comprehensive, including 30 advanced classrooms with central air conditioning and heating, library, canteen, 5 science laboratories, 1 design and technology laboratory, 2 art studios, 7 laboratories with 500 computers Computer labs, music rooms and recording studios above. The school's Creative Learning Center has an auditorium that can accommodate 350 students and is also a theater with state-of-the-art equipment. Sports facilities include 2 artificial turf sports fields, 4 gymnasiums and 4 squash courts. The security surveillance system monitors the entire campus around the clock to ensure the safety of every teacher and student on campus.


In addition to basic courses, the school also offers a variety of courses in French, Spanish, music, art, drama, IT, economics and law, including as many as 13 AP courses. Many upper-division courses provide students with a solid foundation for college. Most students are admitted to their first choice universities, including Queen's University in Canada, the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario and McGill University, and many students are admitted to the United States and other world-renowned universities.


The school attaches great importance to cultivating students' interests and physical fitness. Students can apply to join the school team and participate in various inter-school competitions, including strong projects such as sports and robotics . Crescent School's automatic machinery course has a history of nearly ten years and has performed well in domestic and international competitions, attracting many students to choose the school.

4 HavergalCollege

Founded in 1894, it is Canada's top private school for girls . It covers an area of ​​22 acres and is named after Ms. Frances Ridley Havergal, a famous woman in the Victorian era. The school environment is lush and green, integrating ancient and modern buildings, including green spaces, flower beds, ancient trees, etc. The main facilities include sports hall, lower grade teaching building, upper grade teaching building, student dormitory building, theater, auditorium and library. The school is committed to providing a full range of 24-hour security services to ensure the safety of students and facilities.


Known for its rigorous academic standards and excellent facilities, Havergal College focuses on cultivating students in the arts, sports, leadership and community service. The school provides courses from kindergarten to Ontario high school grade 12, supports both day and boarding forms , and only recruits girls.


As a well-known girls' school, Havergal College not only performs well in the fields of art and music, but its admission rate also attracts many parents to choose it. Among last year’s graduates, 56% were admitted to universities in Ontario, 26% were admitted to universities in other provinces and cities in Canada, 12% were admitted to universities in the United States, and 6% of students chose to study abroad. These include some world-renowned universities, such as the University of Toronto, Princeton University, Harvard University, University of St. Andrews, etc.


It is worth mentioning that the school also offers exchange courses. Students can choose to study in Canada or other international schools. The exchange time ranges from two weeks to several months. Through these exchange courses, students have the opportunity to integrate into a new social environment more easily, adapt to a different academic atmosphere, build self-confidence, and make more international friends.


For the convenience of international students in grades 9 to 12, the school provides boarding arrangements . The dormitory can accommodate about 50 students from more than 20 countries and regions. The school also provides a variety of extracurricular activities to enrich the life experience of boarding students.


As a prestigious women's institution, Havergal College's art, literature, physical education and music courses have won national acclaim and have cultivated many well-known artists and sports talents. The 100% college admission rate of graduates covers world-class prestigious universities, such as Princeton University, Harvard University, etc., making it the first choice for major prestigious universities in Canada.

5 TheBishop Strachan School

The Bishop Strachan School (BSS) is located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is a famous girls' boarding school in North America. Founded in 1867, the school has a history of more than 140 years and is located in the famous and noble community of Forest Hill. It is one of the oldest female boarding schools in Canada. The school is located in St. Clair/Spadina in downtown Toronto, across the street from the famous UCC Boys' School. The two schools often hold exchange activities and have modern facilities, including gymnasiums, laboratories, computer rooms, art studios and theaters, etc. .


BSS is the first school in Toronto to provide education exclusively for women, providing comprehensive education from kindergarten to grade 12. Students in grade 7 and above can choose to live on campus. The school's slogan is "Girls can do anything" , which emphasizes cultivating girls' leadership and moral character and is committed to cultivating women to become leaders in the future world. The school emphasizes equality between men and women and encourages students to think and try new things, enabling them to succeed in academic and extracurricular activities. The school's curriculum focuses on technical support, provides internationally recognized pre-university courses, and attracts students from all over the world. It is a prestigious international girls' school.


BSS focuses on cultivating female students' physical, artistic and musical talents. It has outdoor sports and ski and snowboard clubs, covering swimming, skiing, ice hockey, football, basketball, volleyball, badminton, tennis and softball and other sports. The school has a standard indoor swimming pool, tennis court, basketball hall and outdoor football field. In terms of art and music, the school has art clubs, wind bands, choirs and drama clubs, etc., which provide students with a variety of social activities every year and cultivate their awareness of social mission and responsibility.


Since BSS is an international school with students from all continents of the world, it emphasizes international exchanges. In addition to English, the school also offers courses in French, Spanish, Italian, Latin and Chinese. 100% of graduates enter university every year, many of whom enter famous universities in the United States and Britain.


BSS attaches great importance to communication between teachers and students, and the size of each class is 18-20 people. The school encourages students to wear uniforms and the tuition fee is relatively high. The annual tuition fee for each student is about 40,000 Canadian dollars or more. With its outstanding environment and unique teaching methods, BSS has trained many graduates to become industry leaders.

6 Bayview Glen

Bayview Glen (BVG for short) is located at the junction of Don Mills/York Mills in North York and was founded in 1962. The school has complete facilities, including theatres, laboratories, libraries and gymnasiums. Its art, music, language and physical education courses are highly regarded. Starting from kindergarten, students learn French every day. Computer courses begin in the first grade of elementary school. Spanish courses are added after sixth grade, while high school students can choose AP courses. The school is committed to providing small class sizes of instrumental and vocal instruction. In addition, Bayview Glen also attaches great importance to the comprehensive quality education of students and organizes many colorful extracurricular and community activities.


Although Bayview Glen does not provide residential services, the school does have before- and after-school care services. Lower grade students can arrive at school at 7:45 in the morning and will be supervised by dedicated teachers. After classes end at 4pm to 6pm, students can choose to stay in school to complete their homework, and the school will also provide guidance from teachers. In addition, Bayview Glen provides school bus pick-up and drop-off services. Taking into account the convenient public transportation in the area, many senior students also choose to take the bus to and from school, as many bus lines have stops in front of the school.

7 Branksome Hall

Branksome Hall, founded in 1903, is a famous private girls' school in Canada , located in Rosedale, an elegant and noble residential area in Toronto. The school enrolls students from kindergarten to high school, with a student population of approximately 1,800. Its educational philosophy aims to cultivate women's integrity, self-confidence, self-reliance and compassion so that they can meet the challenges of the future and develop leadership skills with an international and open perspective.

As the number one private school in Ontario, Canada and among the top ten in the country, Branksome Hall has a strong teaching staff, many of whom are top students who graduated from prestigious European schools. Graduates of this school are widely admitted to world-famous universities, including Harvard University, Yale University, Cambridge University, Oxford University, etc.

The school covers an area of ​​13 acres and is equipped with swimming pools, computer rooms, tennis courts, sports fields and other rich activity facilities. Students in grade eight and above have the opportunity to apply to live in the student dormitory on campus. The dormitory has double rooms for two people, with a quiet and comfortable environment, tight security, and is equipped with student communication rooms, computer rooms, piano rooms and other facilities.

Branksome Hall is the only girls' school in the world that offers the full International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. The school offers IB courses from kindergarten to high school , including the Primary Years Program (PYP), the Middle Years Program (MYP) and the IB College Preparatory Course for high school. In addition, the school offers French courses for students in sixth grade and above.

When it comes to college, Branksome Hall graduates excel in the arts, sciences and business. Universities in Canada such as Queen's University, University of Toronto, McGill University and University of Western Ontario are highly favored. At the same time, many students choose to study in prestigious universities in the United States and the United Kingdom.

8University of Toronto Schools

(High School Affiliated to U of T)

The University of Toronto Schools (UTS) in Bloor/Spadina, downtown Toronto, is strategically located, adjacent to the University of Toronto. The school was founded in 1910 and is an institution with a long history. It initially only admitted boys and began to accept girls six years later. The size of the school has always remained small. Before 1996, the number of students had remained below 450. Currently, there are about 660 students on campus.

UTS is known for its rigorous teaching quality and brings together high-achieving students from diverse ethnic groups. Almost all high school graduates enter well-known universities with outstanding results, and more than 80% of students receive various university scholarships. The school has established good cooperative relationships with many large international companies and provides a wealth of summer internship opportunities for current students.

UTS's university acceptance rate is as high as 100%. Among the 6,000 alumni, 95% have received Ontario scholarships, 80% have received university scholarships, and 22 have won Rhodes scholarships. The school is proud that the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics were both won by graduates of U of T High School. UTS has a strong faculty, and many teachers are leaders in their respective fields. In addition, UTS students can also enjoy the resources of the University of Toronto Library.

Application opening times for top private schools

Usually, applying to top private schools needs to be done one academic year in advance. Applications are generally submitted between September and December of the current year for admission in September of the next year. Schools usually set clear registration deadlines. At the end of the current year or the beginning of the next year, the school will successively release the admission list for new students in September, and register and pay fees for existing students to continue studying in September. Although most top private schools have rolling admissions for international boarding students, since places are limited, a first-come, first-served basis makes it advantageous to apply early.


In the coming spring, due to reasons such as transfer of existing students, some schools may make supplementary admissions, but the places are extremely limited, and the opportunities for international students are almost negligible.


In addition, it is worth noting that not every grade will conduct admissions, and each province also has its own admissions and non-admissions years. The so-called enrollment year usually means that the school has a clear enrollment plan, usually opening new classes and recruiting 15-50 new students. In Ontario, odd-numbered grades tend to be admissions years, especially grades 7 and 9 , because grade 7 is the first year of junior high school and grade 9 is the first year of high school.


Correspondingly, a non-enrollment year means that the school has no plans to expand enrollment in this grade, that is, it does not open new classes. The school may mark the enrollment quota as 0, or admit at most 2-4 supplementary students.


In general, each school has unique admissions policies, and these policies are subject to change from year to year. Parents should always check the school website before applying to obtain the most accurate information.

What are the main preparations needed to apply to a top private school?

1) Preparation of language skills

Language proficiency preparation plays a key role in private school application planning, especially for students whose native language is not English. When applying for top private schools or high-quality private schools for grades 7 and above, proof of English proficiency is essential, especially in some top private schools, because there are usually no ESL (English as a Second Language) classes and the teaching content It is more advanced and therefore has stricter English requirements for students.

Among the widely recognized language tests, they mainly include SSAT, Vericant, TOEFL, IELTS, etc., among which SSAT is the main one . When applying to top private schools and high-quality schools for grades 7 and above, many schools require SSAT scores, especially for grades 9 and above, SSAT scores are widely required.


SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test) comprehensively measures students' mathematics, English vocabulary and English reading comprehension abilities, and is suitable for admission applications to private middle schools in Canada and the United States. The SSAT exam is divided into three types: lower level, middle level and upper level. In Ontario, junior high school students applying for grades 7-8 in private schools must provide an intermediate SSAT certificate, and high school students applying for grades 9-12 in private schools must provide an advanced SSAT certificate.


The school's entrance written examination also places strict requirements on students' English proficiency, especially the English writing section, which focuses on assessing students' English vocabulary, reading level and writing ability.

2) Preparation for admission interview

The private school admission interview is the most important part of the application process. It mainly assesses students' personal strengths and core qualities. The core qualities include leadership, emotional intelligence development, social skills, public speaking, creative thinking and critical thinking, etc. This type of school carefully screens students and parents, and usually invites parents to participate in discussions after interviewing the children to understand whether the child's situation, family background and educational philosophy are consistent with the school's purpose. This is not only a test for children, but also a strict review for parents.

The interview is the most flexible and tests the basic qualities, and it is also the most random part. Many of the questions in the interview require a long period of accumulation and cannot be solved overnight, so it is particularly important to prepare in advance.

3) Preparation for past academic performance

Top private schools are highly competitive, and they usually need to check the transcripts of the past two years and pay great attention to the comments and specific results on the transcripts. We also pay great attention to performance in sports, talent and other aspects, but performance in these aspects cannot be highlighted in a short period of time and requires long-term planning in advance. Therefore, applications to top private schools usually require careful planning 2-3 years in advance.

Core competencies for applying to top private schools

Whether it is an Ivy League university or a top private high school in North America, the evaluation of students mainly includes four aspects: academics, talent, sports and social responsibility . The higher the reputation of the school, the more stringent the requirements for applicants. Therefore, when applying to top private schools, in addition to relying on hard indicators such as grades as a stepping stone, you also need to demonstrate soft power in terms of quality.

The so-called soft power refers to aspects other than grades that can prove the applicant's diverse contribution to the campus community, comprehensive quality, and success potential. This is also the aspect that top private schools attach most importance to, because excellent private schools pay more attention to cultivating students' soft skills.

"Creating core competencies" means combining hard and soft strengths to allow students to stand out in the fierce competition. This is an application technique. Among the extracurricular activities of Chinese students, common activities such as piano and swimming may seem common and lack uniqueness and competitiveness. They also lack community service content and are difficult to fit in with the elite culture of North America.

However, every child has his own unique shining point. How to find the most suitable combination point through professional and efficient insight and excavation, combined with in-depth understanding of each top private school, and finally present it in a touching way. The whole process greatly tests the insights and knowledge of study abroad consultants. and skills.

Finally, I wish all students who have dreams and are eager to apply for top private schools in North America can successfully realize their desire to study in outstanding institutions, soar smoothly and embrace a successful future!

The application deadline for most of Toronto's top private schools is December 1 . This year, applications to top private schools are extremely popular. For students or parents who are interested in applying to top private schools, please contact the academic advisor as soon as possible.

More offersAdd academic advisor consultation