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Elementary Schools: N to R

NIAGARANORWAY / OAKRIDGE / OGDEN / ORDE / ORIOLE PARKPAPE AVENUE / PARK / PARKDALE / PAULINE / PLAINS ROAD / QUEEN ALEXANDRA / QUEEN VICTORIA / RAWLINSONREGAL ROAD / R.H. MCGREGOR / RODEN / ROSE AVENUE / ROSEDALEROSELANDS /RUNNYMEDE

Niagara Street Public School (NIA-PS)

Location: 222 Niagara Street, Toronto, Ontario  M6J 2L3 (west of Bathurst Street; between Queen Street West and King Street West)

Opened: 1874

Pre-1998 municipality: City of Toronto

Ward during WWI: Ward 4

Ward during WWII: Ward 4

Type of school: Elementary

History:
1873: Board purchased site from Royal Canadian Bank
1874 Nov: School designed by architect G.W. Storm, opened with 267 pupils.

Web sites: http://tinyurl.com/2dycanu

Memorials transcribed:
NIA-PS-a: (WWII) Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country / Members of / Niagara St. School, Toronto / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces / 1939–1945” Six columns. Surnames followed by given names or initials. Key: A red cross indicates “Killed on active service.” No World War I list has been found.
NOTE: Some letters are ornate and difficult to read.

Norway Public School (NWY-PS)

Location: 390 Kingston Road, Toronto, ON M4L 1T9 (formerly 55 Corley Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4E 1T8) (north of Kingston Road; east of Woodbine Avenue)

Opened: 1896

Alternate or former names: Chapel Street School; School Section No. 20 (Village of Norway) York Township

Pre-1998 municipality: City of Toronto

Ward during WWI: Ward 1

Ward during WWII: Ward 8

Type of school: Elementary

History:
1848: By tradition, may be traced back to a rural schoolhouse of this date.
1855: Country schoolhouse, originally built on Chapel Street (near Corley Avenue and Glenmount Park Road) which no longer exists, was dragged down Kingston Road by oxen by Ashbridge brothers to become the first St. John the Baptist Norway (Anglican) church.
1870: Trustees of School Section 20, York. Twp. replaced the earlier school with a one-room schoolhouse on the present site. This school accommodated pupils of the tiny village of Norway until 1895.
1896: Replaced by a two-room, two-storey, brick schoolhouse designed by J.W. Mallory, architect. One teacher was Mr. J. Palmer.
NOTE: A teacher, Mr. Ross, joined the army in World War I. He occasionally wore his uniform to school. He was a hero to his students. Teachers helped students trace Mr. Ross’s movements on maps of France. Principal Fawcett organized a collection to send Mr. Ross a parcel. The usual contribution was five cents; occasionally ten cents. One day, Billy Harrison brought a dollar bill from his father. “The news went through the school like wildfire. None of us had realized that there really was that much money.”
(Source: Typed reminiscences: Norway Public School and the First World War. Not signed, but probably by Bill Cowling or Tom Bunker, former students. In display case at school)

Published history: Adlington, Michele and Marney Clark, compilers. 100 years: Norway Public School, 1896-1996. Toronto, Ont.: The School, 1996.

Web sites: http://schools.tdsb.on.ca/norway/

Memorials transcribed:
NWY-PS-a: (WWI) Bronze plaque: 1914 – 1918 / The right is more [maple leaf] precious than peace / In honour / of those who went / from Norway School to serve / in the Great War / and in grateful memory / of those among them who laid down / their lives for the cause of / freedom and righteousness. (No names are listed).

NWY-PS-b: (WWII) (illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson). “For King and Country / Members of / Norway Public School / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces.” Six columns. Surnames followed by initial(s) except for women whose given names are in full. At the top of column i, is the heading: Armed Forces / Navy – Army / Air Force. Column vi has headings: “Made Supreme Sacrifice.” Surnames (17) followed by first names; “Missing in Action.” Surnames (12) followed by first names; Decorations / Awards and Honours.” First names followed by surnames (4). List does not specify which war, but presence of World War I memorial, women’s names, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicate World War II.

Oakridge Public School (OAK-PS)

Location: 110 Byng Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario M1L 3P1 (East of Victoria Park Avenue; north of Danforth Avenue)

War memorial at Oakridge Public School, Toronto

War memorial at Oakridge Public School, Toronto. ©Toronto Branch OGS

Opened: 1895

Alternate or former names: School Section No. 12 Scarborough

Pre-1998 municipality: Scarborough

Type of school: Elementary

History:
The approximate boundaries of Scarborough’s Oakridge neighbourhood are: to the west, Victoria Park Avenue; to the north, Massey Creek; to the east, Warden Avenue; to the south, the CNR rail line, which runs parallel to and south of Danforth Avenue. Oakridge was largely influenced by the growth of Danforth Avenue, one of Toronto’s oldest thoroughfares. By 1918, the area had its own bus service. This helped to attract homeowners. (There are two Danforths: Danforth Avenue runs east-west; Danforth Road runs, diagonally, north-east off Danforth Avenue. Thus it is possible to stand at the intersection of Danforth and Danforth. Danforth Avenue—an arterial road 9.1 kilometres long—is often called “The Danforth,” but this term is not used for Danforth Road.) In the 1920s, many of the people moving into the area were veterans of the Great War. The Oakridge Great War Veterans Association was formed to help them. In 1923, a Ford Motor Company car-assembly factory built on the southwest corner of Victoria Park Avenue and Danforth Avenue sparked several housing subdivisions.
1895: School Section No. 10 subdivided because of population increase in Scarborough’s southwest corner. New section called School Section No. 12.
1895 May: One-acre site acquired for $600; building contracted for $1,500.
1895 Sept: Large, one-room brick structure completed. Miss Maud Robertson hired for $66.25 quarterly.
1912: School destroyed by fire in summer.
1913 Sept: A Mr. Kelly offered to house classes in his barn while replacement school built (on Danforth Road). Instead, trustees set up a large drive shed on the property for temporary classes. Within the year, the first two-room school in the Township of Scarborough was ready. Cost: $14, 798. (The old site is now Oakridge Park. Oakridge’s growth was further enhanced in the 1950s, when the Bloor-Danforth subway line was extended east to Warden Avenue.)
1916: Two rooms added.
1922: Four more rooms added.
1924: Second building (with six rooms; for older students) erected just east of the 1913 building.
1925 Sept: School Section No. 12 now had six classrooms in each of the two buildings on Danforth Avenue at Danforth Road; two portables on the same site; and an “annex” of two rooms in Regent’s Park, a new subdivision to the north. (This later became Regent Heights Public School.)
1953: Shift classes required. Some students attended from 8:15 a.m. until noon; others from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
1960s: Termite infestation discovered.
1967 Sept: The population had boomed after World War II. More school space was necessary. Students marched from the old school to a new 13-room (plus kindergarten and library) school built on Byng Avenue. The old buildings were used as administrative offices for about ten years, then demolished. (The two buildings had been linked by an enclosed passageway.)
1993: The 1925 date stone from the second building, with explanatory plaque, was preserved in a brick wall at the entrance to Oakridge Park (on Danforth Road) built by the Scarborough Historical Society on the school’s 50th anniversary.

Websites:
http://schoolweb.tdsb.on.ca/oakridge/AboutUs/History.aspx:  Information about Oakridge Public School compiled by Rick Schofield, Scarborough Heritage Consultant and Board Archivist at the TDSB (Scarborough) Board Archives East.
www.alanbrown.com: Photographs of Oakridge School historic plaque and some neighbourhood reminiscences.

Memorials transcribed:
OAK-PS-a: (WWII) Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country / Members of / Oakridge Public School Scarborough / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces.” Six columns. Surnames followed by given names. Key: A silver stick-on roundel indicates “These have given their lives.”  No World War I list has been found.  List does not specify which war, but date of school’s opening, presence of women’s names and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicate World War II.

Ogden Public School (OGD-PS)

Location: 33 Phoebe Street, Toronto, Ontario M5T 1A8 (north of Queen Street West; east of Spadina Avenue)

Ogden Public School (City of Toronto Archives Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 200)

Opened: 1855

Alternate or former names: Phoebe Street Public School; Phoebe Street School

Pre-1998 municipality: City of Toronto

Ward during WWI: Ward 4

Ward during WWII: Ward 4

Type of school: Elementary

History:
1855 Apr 16: The original building on this site, known as Phoebe Street School, opened. It was one of the original six schools built in the city with public funds.
1868: Addition.
1890: Addition.
1905 Jan 13: School partially destroyed by fire.
1906 Sept 24: First sod turned for new school.
1907 Sept 19: Board decided “in view of the old Phoebe Street Public School… having been demolished and superseded by an entirely new building, this school be renamed ‘Ogden Public School’ in honour of Dr. W.W. Ogden” (1866-1910) a school trustee for 47 years, and chairman of the Board in 1876, 1877 and 1908.
1907 Oct 14: Building opened.
1911: Addition.
1957 Summer: Old building demolished
1957 Dec 12: New school opened.

Memorials transcribed:
OGD-PS-a: (WWII) (illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson) “For King and Country / Members of / Ogden Public School / who have volunteered for active service / with Canada’s fighting forces.” Four columns. Seventeen names appear below the bottom border. There is no explanation for this placement. Surnames followed by given names. Key: A red cross indicates “Killed”; a blue cross indicates “Missing”; O.L. indicates “Oak Leaf”; E.M. indicates “Efficiency Medal.” Memorial does not specify which war, but the presence of women’s names and the use of an A.J. Casson document indicate World War II.

NOTE: No World War I list has been found.

Orde Street Public School (ORD-PS)

WW2 Memorial (ORD-PS-b) at Orde Street Public School, ©2010 Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch

Location: 18 Orde Street, Toronto, Ontario  M5T 1N7 (south of College Street; between Spadina Avenue and University Avenue)

Opened: 1915

Pre-1998 municipality: City of Toronto

Ward during WWI: Ward 4

Ward during WWII: Ward 4

Type of school: Elementary

History:
1915 Sept: Opened with 372 pupils. Built to accommodate the influx of immigrants to the area. An “open air” school with third-floor and rooftop space for children who had tuberculosis. Board believed sick children could attend school if taken outside on gurneys for some time in the fresh air. The weight increase of the children was graphed to show the benefits of fresh air, food, and rest.
2010: the school describes its location as “just east and north of Chinatown.”

Memorials transcribed:
ORD-PS-a: (WWI) Bronze plaque: 1939 – 1945 / In Honoured Memory / of the boys of / Orde Street School / who made / the supreme sacrifice. Six names listed (only five are listed on the A.J. Casson list). Two columns. Given names followed by surnames. “Their name liveth for evermore”

ORD-PS-b: (WWII) Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country / Members of / Orde Street Public School / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces.” Four columns. Surnames followed by given names or initials. Key: A silver stick-on star indicates “Killed in action.” No World War I list has been found. List does not specify which war, but presence of one reference to “W.D.” (Women’s Division), and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicate World War II, also the deaths listed on this memorial appear on the 1939 – 1945 bronze plaque.

Oriole Park School (ORI-PS)

Oriole Park Public School, Toronto, February 2012. ©Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

Location: 80 Braemar Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5P 2L4 (south of Eglinton Avenue West; west of Avenue Road)

Opened: 1929

Alternate or former names: College View Avenue School; Oriole Park Public School

Pre-1998 municipality: City of Toronto

Type of school: Elementary

History:
1925 Oct 1: Board decided to purchase site.
1928 Sept 30: Board decided “temporarily the school opened on College View Avenue (Bescoby Site) be known as College View Avenue School.”
1928 Oct: Classes first taught on the site in a portable classroom; 28 pupils enrolled.
1929 Oct 17: Contracts for a permanent schoolhouse awarded.
1929 Dec 11: Cornerstone laid. (Program is in the TDSB Archives)
1930 Feb 20: Name changed to Oriole Park School.
1930 Sept: New building occupied; 302 pupils enrolled.
1939: Wing added.
1974: Gymnasium added.

Remembrance Day display at Oriole Park Public School, Toronto. ©Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

2012: School has both primary and junior play areas; outdoor basketball court; large playing field with two baseball diamonds and a soccer field. During summer and in evenings, the gymnasium and outdoor grounds are used for a variety of community programs. Library includes a computer lab; classrooms have computer terminals accessible to all students.

Memorials transcribed:
NOTE: The four separate A.J. Casson memorials are all in one frame.
ORI-PS-a: (WWII) Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country / Members of / Oriole Park School / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces.” Two columns. Given names followed by surnames. No key, but a decorative black ink cross appears to indicate death.

ORI-PS-b: (WWII) Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country / Members of / Oriole Park School / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces.” Two columns. Given names followed by surnames. No key, but a decorative black ink cross appears to indicate death.

ORI-PS-c: (WWII) Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country / Members of / Oriole Park School / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces.” Two columns. Given names followed by surnames. No key, but a decorative black ink cross appears to indicate death.

ORI-PS-d: (WWII) Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country / Members of / Oriole Park School / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces.” One column. Given names followed by surnames. No key, but a decorative black ink cross appears to indicate death.

War memorial at Oriole Park Public School, Toronto. ©Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

Pape Avenue Public School (PAP-PS)

Pape Avenue Public School in May 2010. ©Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

Location: 220 Langley Avenue (at Pape Avenue), Toronto, Ontario  M4K 1B9

Opened: 1899

Pre-1998 municipality: City of Toronto

Ward during WWI: Ward 1

Ward during WWII: Ward 1

Type of school: Elementary

History:
1897: School started in a rented room at 484 Pape Avenue.
1899 April 10: Four classrooms opened on this site, with 125 pupils enrolled. Additions in 1909 and 1914 made it an 18-room school.

Memorials transcribed:
PAP-PS-a: (WWI) Roll of Honor of Pape Avenue School, Toronto. “Greater love hath no man than this.” Illuminated list with flags and maple leaves. Four columns of names. Surnames followed by given names. At the bottom, is a faded red star and the words “killed in action,” but no red stars are visible beside the names.

PAP-PS-b: (WWI) Bronze plaque (with black background): To / The Memory Of / Our Heroic Dead / 1914 – 1919 / Eight names listed. “Their name liveth / for evermore.” / Erected by / the teachers and / pupils of Pape Avenue / School.

PAP-PS-c: (WWII) Bronze plaque (with black lettering): 1939 – 1945 / In Grateful Memory / of / Our Brave Young Men Who / Nobly Died/ Two columns; twenty-one names listed. “They loved not their lives / unto death” / Erected by the teachers and / pupils of this school.

Park Public School (PRK-PS)

Location: 440 Shuter Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5A 1X6 (East of Yonge Street; north of Queen Street East)

Park Public School, Toronto (illustration from Centennial Story: The Board of Education for the City of Toronto 1850-1950)

Opened: 1853

Alternate or former names: Nelson Mandela Park Public School (current name)

Pre-1998 municipality: City of Toronto

Type of school: Elementary

History:
From the 1700s, the area north of Lake Ontario and east of Parliament Street to the Don River was known as “the park.” This probably explains the school’s name.
Park Public School was within the original boundaries of Cabbagetown: Gerrard Street to the north; Queen Street to the south; Parliament Street to the west and the Don River to the east. (Cabbagetown’s current boundaries: Wellesley Street to the north; Gerrard Street to the south; Sherbourne Street to the west and the Don River to the east.)
1853 Apr 5: Formally opened; four classrooms. Was one of just three early city of Toronto public schools.

WWI memorial cast from old bell at Park Public School, Toronto, ©2011 Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch

1914-1917: Enrolment was 1,259 (twice the 2010-2011 number). School expanded to become the largest school in Canada. Cost: $182,000.
1917: New school built.
1920: Old school (used until this time) torn down to provide playground space for the new (1917) school.
1957: First gym built.
2001 Nov 17: School name was officially changed to Nelson Mandela Park Public School, after Mandela attended a Saturday ceremony at the school. (His speech can be heard on the school’s website.) Nelson Mandela, president of South Africa (1994-1999); winner of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize; was imprisoned for 27 years because of anti-apartheid activities. Mandela was made an honorary Canadian citizen and Companion of the Order of Canada.
2004 Feb 17: School celebrated 151st birthday. It remains the oldest City of Toronto public school still active and standing on its original site.
NOTE: Six early Toronto schools: The Park School; George Street School; Louisa Street School; John Street School; Victoria Street School; Phoebe Street School had identical plans. The first three were opened in a year and three months; the next three were opened two years later. For years, an illustration of “the first public school” design appeared on the paper cover of the Board’s annual reports. (Ref. Centennial Story: The Board of Education for the City of Toronto 1850—1950. Toronto: Thomas Nelson & Sons (Canada) Limited, 1950. Prepared by the Staff of the Board under the direction of E.A. Hardy. pp. 35-36.)

Published histories:
Park School, 1853-1950. [Toronto: The School, 1950] 7 leaves.

Biographies of individual schools under the Toronto Board of Education: no. 2 – Park School. Toronto: Bureau of Municipal Research, 1921. <http://www.archive.org/details/biographiesofind00bureuoft>

Web site: http://www.tdsb.on.ca/SchoolWeb/_site/ViewItem.asp?siteid=10472&menuid=33888&pageid=28862

Memorials transcribed:
PRK-PS-a: (WWI) Bronze plaque: For King Home and Country / In grateful and everlasting / Memory of / all “Park School Old Boys” / Who gave up their lives during / The Great War 1914 – 1919. / They died for us / This tablet was made of metal from the bell that / hung in the old school, 1857 – 1919 and was erected / by the Park school Old Boys Association, 1920.

PRK-PS-b: (illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson). “For King and Country / Members of / Park Public School / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces.” Eight columns. Surnames followed by given names or initials.
Key: Just above the bottom border, a red-ink cross: Killed. List does not specify which war, but presence of a World War I memorial, women’s names, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicate World War II.
NOTE: It is difficult to distinguish between the calligrapher’s E and F when they stand alone as initials.

Parkdale Public School (PAR-PS)

Location: 78 Seaforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M6K 3L2 (One block north of Queen Street West; east of Lansdowne Avenue)

WWII memorials at Parkdale Public School, Toronto, ©2011 Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch

Opened: 1877

Alternate or former names: S. S. No. 22 York Township, Jameson Avenue School, Lansdowne School

Pre-1998 municipality: City of Toronto

Type of school: Elementary

History:
Parkdale began in the 1850s as an independent settlement (west of Toronto) within York County. The original village was north of Queen Street West; east of Roncesvalles from Fermanagh Avenue, east to the main rail lines. It was roughly one square kilometre in area.
1872: A group of parents established the first local school in a rented one-room cottage on Queen Street West and Brock Avenue, in Parkdale.
1877: Trustees of School Section No. 22, York Township, opened a school (with 12 pupils) in a small, rough-cast house on the site of the present school.
1878: A just-formed school board demanded a new school house for Brockton-Parkdale. When the town council refused, Chairman John Clark and Secretary-Treasurer Major John Gray erected the first school on Jameson Avenue at their own expense. The courts later compelled the township to reimburse the two men.
1879: Parkdale incorporated as a village; school board had six members. Small cottage replaced by a two-roomed brick building. School named Jameson Avenue School. Principal: J.A. Wismer.
1881: Jameson Avenue north of Queen Street renamed Lansdowne Avenue for the then Governor General of Canada. (Presumably the school name changed to Lansdowne about this time.)
1884: Three-storey Victorian structure built as a model school.
1889 Mar 23: Parkdale annexed to city of Toronto; school became part of the city school system. It accommodated 650 pupils in 14 rooms; averaged 50 students per classroom.
1889 Apr 18: Name of Lansdowne School changed to Parkdale School. (Toronto already had a Lansdowne School, opened in 1888; it was renamed Lord Lansdowne in 1967.)
1910: Old building replaced by a three-storey school of 15 rooms.
1914: Addition.
1922: Addition. School had 18 rooms, including a Home Economics room, an Industrial Arts room and kindergartens. Approximately 630 pupils; average class size was 35.
1958 Nov 6: New senior wing (begun in 1955) formally opened. School could now accommodate 800 students; grade 7 and 8 students came from Queen Victoria Public School.
1993 May: Students and staff moved to temporary site on playing field of Parkdale Collegiate Institute.
1995 Apr: New building occupied. The entrance to the old school has been kept as a separate structure. It can be seen at 75 Lansdowne Avenue, at the entrance to Parkdale Community Recreation Centre and Pool.

Published history:
Pack, John. A history of schools and schooling in Parkdale. [Toronto?] [1989?]

Laycock, Margaret. Parkdale in pictures: its development to 1889. Toronto: Toronto Public Library Board.

Web sites: http://www.tdsb.on.ca/SchoolWeb/_site/ViewItem.asp?siteid=10291&menuid=18199&pageid=15992

Memorials transcribed:
PKD-PS-a: (WWI) Illuminated list: Roll of [Lest we forget] Honour / 1914 Parkdale School 1918. Hand-printed in black ink. Four columns. Surnames followed by given names. Key: Below column iv list is a black ink cross: Killed.

PKD-PS-b: (WWII): Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country / Members of / [1939] Parkdale Public School [1945] / who have volunteered for active service / with Canada’s fighting forces.” Six columns. Surnames followed by given names. Key: Just above the bottom border, a red-ink cross: Killed; a red-ink asterisk: Missing. List does not specify which war, but presence of a World War I memorial, women’s names, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicate World War II.

Pauline Public School (PAU-PS)

Location: 100 Pauline Avenue, Toronto, Ontario  M6H 3M8 (near Dufferin and Bloor streets)

Opened: February 1914

Alternate or former names: Pauline Avenue School

Pre-1998 municipality: City of Toronto

Ward during WWI: Ward 6

Ward during WWII: Ward 6

Type of school: Elementary

History:
School opened with 697 pupils enrolled. Original building consisted of one kindergarten and 16 classrooms. A new addition and renovations to the old building started in January 1959. Cornerstone laid June 24, 1959; formally opened December 9, 1959.

Memorials transcribed:
PAU-PS-a: (WWII) “For King and Country” (illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson). Cross symbol means “killed”; asterisk means “missing.” List does not specify which war, but date of school opening, presence of women, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicates World War II.

Plains Road Public School (PLA-PS)

Pupils at Plains Road School, Toronto, in 1920 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_York)

Location: 175 Plains Road, Toronto (East York) Ontario M4J 2R2 (south of O’Connor Drive; west of Coxwell Avenue)

Opened: 1891

Alternate or former names: School Section No. 7, Township of York; Plains Road School; Diefenbaker Elementary School (name since 1976)

Pre-1998 municipality: Borough of East York

Ward during WWII: Ward 2, Township Of East York

Type of school: Elementary

History:
1856: Area children attended a one-room school located near present day Donlands Avenue. The school area included all current boundaries of East York and parts of North York.
1878: A second room added. Parents paid 7 1/2 d (pence) for each child who attended school. If there were more than two children in a household, the extra children were free scholars.
1889: Township of York School Section No. 7 divided into two sections at Donlands Avenue: School Section No. 7 and School Section No. 27.
1890:  Lot 9, Carswell property (a Clergy Reserve) purchased for a new school to be named School Section No. 7, Plains Road School. Old schoolhouse sold to Mr. Smith, who used it as a farmhouse.
1891: Plains Road School (four rooms) completed. Cost: $10,000.
1902: Principal/teacher was William Thomas Diefenbaker (father of John and Elmer Diefenbaker). John attended Plains Road from 1900-1903 before the family moved to western Canada. 1916: School registers started at least this early.
1916: Students reminded that shooting robins in spring was allowed because of potential damage to crops. (East York was a market gardening area.)
1917:  School enlarged to eight rooms; two portables. Enrolment: 500 pupils.
1917 Oct 15-Nov 11: School closed because of influenza outbreak.
1918: January 28: School closed because of severe storms.
1920 February 2: School closed because pipes burst. In the 1920s, most students came from English, Irish, or Scottish backgrounds. When teachers asked, “What country did you parents come from?” the surprised students answered, “From the old country, of course.”
1920 Mar: School closed because there was no coal.
1924 Jan 1: The Township of East York (population 19,849) incorporated.
1927 Nov 2: School closed for fumigating. Indoor washrooms installed.
1930s: School closed for half a day each year so police could shoot skunks under the portable classrooms. In autumn, windows were shut to block out the smell of manure spread on fields and the school vegetable garden. In spring, students picked rhubarb and asparagus growing along the fence line.
1934: Plains Road Home and School Association formed.
1939-1945: Many successful bazaars held during the war. Students raised money for the Red Cross Prisoners of War Fund and for the relief of children in Europe.
1946 May 2: An “At Home” for Plains road veterans was held at East York Collegiate. More than 80 former students and their friends attended, including:  John G. Diefenbaker; Joseph H. Harris; George J. Tustin and Robert H. McGregor. All four attended Plains Road School during the same period (1899-1903) and the four were Conservative MPs at the same time. John Diefenbaker later became Prime Minister of Canada.  William Thomas Diefenbaker (principal/teacher 1899 -1903) presented a picture of the four former students to the school.
1946 June: The main entrance to the school was now located on Plains Road, as had been originally planned. Main entrance was formerly on Cosburn Avenue.
1946 Nov 2: Pupils from five schools, including Plains Road, collected scrap iron, newsprint, aluminum, soap, wrappers, coat hangers  and other articles to purchase an ambulance, which was presented to Major-General C. F. Constantine, OCMD at East York Collegiate Institute. The ambulance was believed sent to Niagara, 13th Brigade, under the command of Brigadier O.M. Martin, principal of Danforth Park School.
1956:  New school built beside the original school.
1964: Old school demolished; second floor added to the new school. Architect: Earl R. Dunlop, Don Mills.
1972 Mar 9: In a speech to the Empire Club, Diefenbaker recalled, “My forebears were in York in 1816 and I lived in Todmorden where my father was a teacher from 1900 to 1903. There were twenty-eight youngsters in that all-grade school and when I arrived in the House of Commons there were four of us on the same side out of the twenty-eight.
1976: Plains Road School re-named Diefenbaker School in honour of former student Prime Minister of Canada, John George Diefenbaker.
ca. 1998-99: Addition opened to join Diefenbaker with Cosburn Middle School and provide shared gymnasia.
A plaque accompanying the school bell outlines some of the school’s history:
This bell / is from the tower of/the original / Plains Road School / S.S. No. 7 York / built here in 1891 / on land once part of / clergy reserves / New school 1956 / Addition 1964 / Old school /taken down 19
64

A second plaque summarizes the Diefenbaker connection:
Diefenbaker Public School / William Thomas Diefenbaker taught here from 1900-1903 / His son, John George Diefenbaker attended school here at / the age of five in 1900. He remained at the school until his / family moved west in 1903. / William Thomas’s encouragement to contribute of their best / for his beloved Canada led four of his students from this school / to the House of Commons by 1940. / One of these students, his son, / The Rt. Hon. John George Diefenbaker / became Canada’s 13th Prime Minister (1957-1963) / and one of the most respected and beloved Canadians / of his time.

Detail of war memorial at Plains Road Public School, Toronto. ©Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

Published history:
Factual History: East York Board of Education. East York, Ont., 1956. 9 leaves. Text and tables giving school names, area boundaries, trustees, etc.

East York: Century of Education, 1856-1963. East York, Ont., 1963. 6 leaves. School names, area boundaries, trustees, etc.

Fascinating Facts about East York. “East York 200.” Toronto: East York Public Library, 1996. (Also available in ebook format)

Memorials transcribed:
PLA-PS-a: (WWII) Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country / Members of / Plains Road Public School.” Five columns. Surnames followed by initial(s). Key: a silver stick-on star indicates “The Supreme Sacrifice.” At the end of col. v is the heading “Teachers” (three names). List does not specify which war, but the use of an A.J. Casson document, and the many war effort activities during the 1940s suggest World War II. Also, several names were confirmed on ancestry.ca as being East York residents who served in the Second World War. No World War I memorial found.

NOTE: Upper case letters are ornate and as initials are used rather than complete names, many are hard to determine. e.g. G and O; E, F, L look alike.

Queen Alexandra Public School (QNA-PS)

Queen Alexandra Public School, December 2010, © Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch

Location:
181 Broadview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4M 2G5 (southeast corner of Broadview Avenue and Dundas Street)

Opened: 1890

Alternate or former names: Hamilton Street School

Pre-1998 municipality: City of Toronto

Ward during WWI: Ward 1

Ward during WWII: Ward 1

Type of school: Elementary

History:
1890 March: Hamilton Street School opened with 492 pupils enrolled. Eight-rooms.
1904 Jan 5: Hamilton Street School destroyed by fire.
1904 March 17: Board purchased new site on Broadview Avenue.
1904 Dec 1: Name changed to “Queen Alexandra School” after the wife of King Edward VII.
1905 Dec. 1: New school opened with 586 pupils.
1908 & 1909: Additions
1918: Site enlarged; Annex building erected on Boulton Avenue, making a school of 35 classrooms.
1956 Fall: Old building demolished.
1957: New school built
2006 April 29: Celebration of 100th Anniversary.

WW1 Memorial at Queen Alexandra Public School, ©2010 Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch

Web sites: schools.tdsb.on.ca/queenalexandra/

Memorials transcribed:
QNA-PS-a: (WWI) Bronze plaque, In Memory of / the former pupils of / Queen Alexandra School / who gave their lives in the Great War / 1914 – 1918. At the bottom:  Erected by the ex-pupils of / Hamilton St. and Queen Alexandra School. Three columns. First names or initials followed by surnames.
NOTE: These names also appear on QNA-PS-c.

QNA-PS-b: (WWI) Framed, under glass: Illuminated list designed by R.G. McLean Limited. Commercially printed. “Roll of Honor / Queen Alexandra / Public School / Roll of Honor, Ex-Pupils serving their King and Country at the Front / Queen Alexandra School / Honor Roll.
This memorial has been placed in section one of QNA-PS-c. Five columns. Surnames followed by first names or initials. One asterisk means “Killed in Action.”
NOTE: Two names changed after printing.  Only seven of twenty-six “Killed in Action” names also appear on QNA-PS-c.

QNA-PS-c: (WWI & WWII) Wooden memorial with gold lettering, under glass. “1914-18 In Memoriam 1939-45 / To pupils of this school who gave their lives in the defence of our country.” Three sections. Section one contains QNA-PS-b; sections two and three are the lists of names. Surnames followed by first names or initials.
NOTE: For unknown reasons, QNA-PS-c lists only seven of twenty-six “Killed in Action” names from QNA-PS-b, but includes all names from QNA-PS-a.

Queen Victoria Public School (QNV-PS)

Location: 100 Close Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M6K 2V3 (south of King Street; east of Jameson Avenue)

Queen Victoria Public School in the 1930s (City of Toronto Archives Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 254)

Opened: 1888

Pre-1998 municipality: City of Toronto

Ward during WWI: Ward 6

Ward during WWII: Ward 6

Type of school: Elementary

History:
1887 April l: Parkdale Village trustees named the school in honour of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. The three-storey, sixteen-roomed school with kindergarten was built to accommodate the children of the rapidly growing community.
1887 June 28: Cornerstone laid.
1888 Mar l: School opened.
1888 Apr 3: Principal, Mr. R.W. Hicks, reported: No. on roll of New School, 364. Attendance: Boys 186, Girls 176 – Total 362.
1889: Addition built. Further additions in 1895, 1922 and 1931.
1889 Mar 23: Parkdale Village annexed by the City of Toronto; school came under the control of the Toronto Board of Education.
1892: Parkdale Railway Station built. The Canadian National Railway station, built in 1878, was the centre of transportation. In 1885, Canadian troops left from there to fight the North West Rebellion. In 1940, troops left from here to head for battle in World War II.
1961: Original 1887 structure, and 1889, 1895 and two classrooms and kindergarten of the 1931 addition demolished.  Balance of existing school completely renovated; addition built at the south end.
1999: Closed and completely rebuilt.
NOTE: Barnett (Barney) Danson, Minister of National Defence (1976-1979), and Allan Lamport, former mayor of Toronto, appear on QNV-PS-d.

War Memorials and other treasures displayed in the ornate entry way of the 1880s school, which has been preserved within the current school. ©2010 Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch

Published history: One Hundred Years of Queen Victoria Public School: 1888-1988 Jubilee. Toronto: Queen Victoria Public School Centennial Book Committee, 1988.

Memorials transcribed:
QNV-PS-a: (WWI) A–K. Brass plaque, black letters, made by Patterson & Heward, Toronto; joined to b and c in wooden frame.  Honour Roll/Of Ex-Pupils Of/Queen Victoria School/Who Enlisted/At Their Country’s Call/1914 – 1918. Four columns. Surnames followed by initials. One asterisk means “Killed in Action”; single cross mean “Died of wounds”; two crosses means “Died of sickness”.

QNV-PS-b: (WWI) L–W. Brass plaque, black letters, made By Patterson & Heward, Toronto; Joined To A And C In Wooden Frame.  Honour Roll/Of Ex-Pupils Of/Queen Victoria School/Who Enlisted/At Their Country’s Call/1914 – 1918. Four columns. Surnames Followed By Initials. One Asterisk Means “Killed In Action”; Single Cross Mean “Died Of wounds”; two crosses means “Died of sickness”.

QNV-PS-c: (WWI) A–W. Brass Plaque, Black Letters, Made By Patterson & Heward, Toronto; Joined To A And B In Wooden Frame.  Honour Roll/Of Ex-Pupils Of/Queen Victoria School/Who Enlisted/At Their Country’s Call/1914 – 1918. At The Bottom: Armistice Signed/Nov. 11th 1918/ Covenant Of Peace Signed/June 28th 1919/Man Stands Out Again Pale, Resolute,/Prepared To Die, Which Means Alive/At Last. Four columns. Surnames Followed By Initials. One asterisk means “Killed in Action”; single cross mean “Died of wounds”; two crosses means “Died of sickness”.

QNV-PS-d: (WWII) A–L. Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country/Members of/Queen Victoria School/who have volunteered for active service/with Canada’s fighting forces”. Four columns. Surnames followed by first names or initials. Black ink asterisk appears to indicate death. List does not specify which war, but presence of World War I memorials, women’s names, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicate World War II. NOTE: The writing is ornate and difficult to read.  We could not verify some faded notations, even using other sources.

QNV-PS-e: (WWII) M–W and miscellaneous names. Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country/Members of/Queen Victoria School/who have volunteered for active service/with Canada’s fighting forces”. Four columns. Surnames followed by first names or initials. Black ink asterisk appears to indicate death. List does not specify which war, but presence of World War I memorials, women’s names, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicate World War II. NOTE: The writing is ornate and difficult to read. We could not verify some faded notations, even using other sources. Under this memorial is a corner stone: Parkdale Village/Trustees/ 1887.

QNV-PS-f: (WWII) A–W. Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country/Members of/Queen Victoria School/who have volunteered for active service/with Canada’s fighting forces”. Three columns. Surnames followed by first names or initials. Black ink asterisk appears to indicate death. List does not specify which war, but presence of World War I memorials, women’s names, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicate World War II. NOTE: The writing is ornate and difficult to read.  We could not verify some faded notations, even using other sources.

Rawlinson Public School (RAW-PS)

Location: 231 Glenholme Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M6E3C7 (North of St. Clair Avenue West; east of Dufferin Street)

WW2 Memorial at Rawlinson Public School © 2010 Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch

Opened: 1921 (as a York Township school)

Alternate or former names: École Communautaire Rawlinson Community School

Pre-1998 municipality: City of York

Ward during WWII: York Township

Type of school: Elementary

History:
Built in 1921 by the Toronto Board of Education in anticipation of annexation of that part of York Township. Named for Marmaduke Rawlinson, it consisted of 10 rooms and a kindergarten. The Toronto Board of Education sold the school to the Board of School Section 13 York Township in 1925. In 1925, the school was expanded to 36 classrooms, two gyms, playrooms and an assembly hall, and was declared to be the largest public school under one roof in Canada. April 1927: Students moved into Vaughan Road Collegiate Institute from temporary quarters in portables at Rawlinson Public School.

Published history: Boylen, J.C. York Township, An historical summary. Municipal Corporation of the Township of York: York Township, 1954. pp 104-105

Memorials transcribed:
RAW-PS-a: (WWII) (illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson). “For King and Country / Members of / Rawlinson Public School / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces. Six columns. Given names or initials followed by surnames. List does not specify which war, but date of school opening, presence of women’s names, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicate World War II. Key: black cross is footnoted “They Liveth Forever”

Regal Road Public School (REG-PS)

Location: 95 Regal Road, Toronto, Ontario M6H 2J6 (northeast corner of Dufferin Street and Davenport Road)

Regal Road Public School, Toronto (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, series 1057, item 269)

Opened: 1914

Alternate or former names: linked to Pyne School

Pre-1998 municipality: City of Toronto

Type of school: Elementary

WWI memorial to Lieutenant Hedley Goodyear at Regal Road Public School, Toronto, ©2011 Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch

History:
1913 Sept: School built “to relieve Pyne and other schools.” Designed by Franklin E. Belfrey in the Beaux-Arts style for the community of Dovercourt, shortly after its annexation by the City of Toronto. Built of Toronto brick and buff-coloured Birmingham sandstone. The school stands at the edge of the Iroquois escarpment, on land farmed by Bartholomew Bull beginning in the 1820s, and not subdivided until 1910. Classes began in two portable classrooms, likely under the principal of Pyne School, which is listed in June as having four portable rooms and in September as having six portable rooms.

1914 Nov: Regal Road School listed for the first time, with 568 pupils, presumably in the new building. (Some students moved from Pyne School.)  The first principal and nine of the first teachers at Regal Road were transferred from Pyne School, also.
1984 Mar 6: Toronto Historical Board designated Regal Road School a heritage building.
2007: Portico over the main entrance restored through initiative of Regal Heights Residents’ Association and the Toronto District School Board. Architect: E.R.A. Architects Inc., Crafts Person/Contractor: Limen Group. Building declared a heritage site (under the Ontario Heritage Act, 2007) by Heritage Toronto.
2008 Oct 27: Heritage Toronto Awards: The school received honourable mention in the William Greer Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship category. The jury said the restoration enhanced the historical character of the building.

Web sites:
http://www.torontohistory.org/Pages_PQR/Regal_Road_Public_School.html
http://www.heritagetoronto.org/news/story/2008/09/25/announcing-nominees-heritage-toronto-awards

Memorials transcribed:
REG-PS-a (WWI) bronze plaque. [maple leaf insignia: C.E.F. / 102 / North British Columbians / Canada ] “To the Memory / of / Lieut. Hedley J. Goodyear / 102nd Canadian Overseas Battalion / Killed in Action in France / near Chilly Front / Aug. 22, 1918.”

REG-PS-b: (WWII): Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country / Members of / Regal Road School / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces.” Eight columns. Surnames followed by given names or initials. Key: black ink Celtic-style cross “Marked thus are those who made the supreme sacrifice.” List does not specify which war, but date of school opening, presence of World War I memorial, women’s names, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicate World War II.
NOTE: Earlscourt’s A.J. Casson memorial for World War II (EAR-PS-a) was moved to Regal Road when Earlscourt closed June 30, 2000.

R.H. McGregor Public School (RHM-PS)

Painting of R.H. McGregor Public School, Toronto. Photo ©Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

Location: 555 Mortimer Avenue, Toronto (East York) Ontario M4J 2G9 (northwest corner of Coxwell and Mortimer Avenues)

Opened: 1922

Alternate or former names: S.S. No. 7, Township of East York; R.H. McGregor School

Pre-1998 municipality: Borough of East York

Type of school: Elementary (On the south end of the R.H. McGregor property—northeast corner of Sammon and Durant Avenues—is a reproduction brick 1890s “century schoolhouse” built as an East York project to provide hands-on teaching and learning experiences. Teachers plan lessons in the style of the time; students learn before their visits how to dress, and take materials, including lunches, appropriate for the period of the school.)

WWII memorial at R.H. McGregor Public School, Toronto (RHM-PS-b). ©Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

History:
1921: William (Billy) McKay, a local pig farmer of Irish descent, donated (or gave for back taxes) a portion of his land at the southwest corner of Coxwell and Mortimer Avenues to the public school board. Plains Road Public School, also in S.S. No. 7, had become seriously overcrowded. McKay also provided the land for the Township of East York’s municipal building, and three years later, five more acres for East York General Hospital. The area north of Sammon and west of Coxwell began to develop.
1922 Spring: First staff photograph taken on the lawn of Plains Road school, as new school not completed. (Photo is on school’s website.)
1922 Sept 19: Twelve-roomed school with auditorium, built at cost of $185,000, opened at the corner of Coxwell and Sammon Avenues. First principal: Gordon A. Shewfelt. Named for Robert Henry McGregor (1886-1965) a local horticulturist, appointed school trustee for York Township in 1912. A council member (1924-1926); reeve for East York in 1926. From 1926 to 1935, he was Member of Parliament for East York; from 1935 to 1962, MP for York East. A Conservative party member known as “Silent Bob,” or “the Sphinx,” he gave just one parliamentary speech in his 36-year career. (Four graduates of nearby Plains Road School, including McGregor and future prime minister, John Diefenbaker, were Conservative MPs together.)
1924: Township of East York incorporated. Population: 19,849.
1925: School football club won the championship.
1927: An addition provided principal’s office, staff room, stockroom and washrooms. Public address system installed.
1934: School won York County baseball championship.
1930-1940: Enrolment dropped to fewer than 1000 students.
1937: Hundreds of students, families, and local residents gathered on the school lawn to celebrate the coronation of King George VI.
1939: Home Economics program introduced.
ca. 1939: School designated an emergency hospital. Receiving area in gym; 200 beds in classrooms; one classroom to be a morgue.
ca. 1940: Home and School garden party raised funds for troops overseas. Luncheon, variety show, prizes for the best decorated wagon and doll carriage.
1941 Nov 11: A.J. Casson memorial to former students who enlisted for WWII active service unveiled by S. Walter Stewart, Chairman of the Board of Education.
1942 May 23: Memorial list designed and produced by E.V. Banks, a McGregor parent, unveiled. Presentation to Navy League of 75 ditty bags made by students.
1944 Nov 8: Hon. George Drew, opened a branch of the Boys and Girls library in the school, a joint venture of the Kiwanis Club and the Board of Education.
1943: School secretary appointed.
1943 Nov 11: Unveiling of the school’s third war memorial; the second work of art by McGregor parent, E.V. Banks. Memorial plaques presented to the families of 26 former students who died in World War II. MacColl family established the annual Donald MacColl Memorial Shield and Prize to be awarded to a McGregor student “the nearest akin to him in personality, academic skills and sports.” One hundred more ditty bags given to the Navy League.
1946: Schools hosted a “Welcome Home” celebration for all who served in WWII and their “wife or lady friend.” First Parks and Recreation office re-located from Stan Wadlow’s home to the north end of R.H. McGregor’s gym balcony.
1946 Nov 2: Pupils from five schools, including R.H. McGregor collected scrap iron, newsprint, aluminium, soap, wrappers, coat hangers and other items to purchase an ambulance, which was presented to Major-General C. F. Constantine, at East York Collegiate Institute. The ambulance may have been sent to Niagara, 13th brigade, under the command of Brigadier O.M. Martin, principal of Danforth Park School.
1946: Six classrooms at Earl Beattie and two at Wilkinson were used as McGregor enrolment soared. Many returning veterans bought new bungalows built north of Sammon Avenue. Most students were of British and Irish descent. (The 1950s and 1960s brought students from Eastern and Southern Europe backgrounds.)
1948 May 21 (Empire Day): A monument, gates, and landscaped lawns at the corner of Coxwell and Sammon Avenues were dedicated to the former students who died in the war. Mrs. P. MacColl unveiled the monument; Mrs. Malyon laid a wreath. Both mothers had a son named on the monument. R.H. McGregor also laid a wreath. Students and staff had collected papers and baskets, held concerts, and sold Christmas cards to help with the cost. The Active Service Auxiliary, Sheridan Nurseries, Jenkins Florists, Rivercourt Memorials, the Board of Education and maintenance staff all contributed.
1950: Cosburn school opened for Grades 7 to 9; McGregor became a Kindergarten to Grade 6 school. McGregor song written. Public library moved out of the school to its new building on the northeast corner of Coxwell and Mortimer Avenues.
1959: Some pupils from Earl Betty returned to McGregor; others remained at Earl Beatty under the Toronto Board of Education.
1971: Construction began for a new school; the last of 31 open concept schools built in Metropolitan Toronto. Two separate gyms had moveable partitions; other updates included controlled temperature, humidity, and oxygen; a kitchen; power outlets for AV/PA/intercom and TV. Part of the building became the new administration building.
1971: War memorial moved to front of new school at 555 Mortimer Avenue.
1972 May/June: Pupils moved into new school.
1972 June/July: Old school demolished. R.H. McGregor boundaries changed. For many years, the old McGregor school was mistaken for Toronto East General Hospital (on the east side of Coxwell) because the buildings were similar. Even when the new school and administration offices were opened, people often arrived at the school office or the administration buildings, expecting to visit patients.
1972 Oct 25: Official opening—student program at 2 p.m.; community ceremony at 7:45 p.m. School became the home of the Eat York Concert Band.
1973: New administration offices (part of R.H. McGregor School) opened at 840 Coxwell Avenue.

Published history:
History of R.H. McGregor School and East York
. East York, Ont.: R.H.McGregor School (publisher), 1982. Compiled by C. Culbertson.

East York: Century of Education, 1856-1963. East York, Ont., 1963. 6 leaves. School names, area boundaries, trustees, etc.

Fascinating Facts about East York. “East York 200.” Toronto: East York Public Library, 1996. (Neighbourhood info.) Available in eBook format)

Web site: http://schools.tdsb.on.ca/rhmcgregor/RHM_history.htm

Memorials transcribed:
RHM-PS-a: (WWII): A.J. Casson “For King and Country / Members / of R.H. McGregor Public School, S.S. No. 7 / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces.” Six columns. Names are printed in black, ink; shadowed letters. Surnames followed by initial(s) except for women whose given names are in full. No key, but a silver stick-on star appears to indicate death. List does not specify which war, but date of school opening, presence of women’s names, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicate World War II. (See details re Nov 11, 1941 dedication in school history above.)

RHM-PS-b: (WWII) “Honour Roll / R.H. McGregor School.” Wide decorative border; an anchor in top left and top right corners; a lighted torch inset on each side. Below the left torch, a Union Jack; below the right, a Naval Jack. At bottom: Canadian crest resting on a banner that reads “Trained in Freedom / Theirs now to Defend.” Below the crest: 23 May 1942. Lower left corner: E.V. Banks 23 May 1942. (The designer and calligrapher of the memorial.) Four columns (at the top of col. i, an anchor; col. ii, wings; col. iii, a wheel; col. iv, crossed rifles). Each column is a separate panel, glued onto the memorial. Surnames followed by initial(s) except for women whose given names are in full. Names are printed in black shadowed letters. No key, but a black rectangular outline around certain names appears to indicate death. (See details re May 23, 1942 dedication in school history above.)

Granite World War II memorial at R.H. McGregor Public School, Toronto (RHM-PS-d). ©Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

RHM-PS-c: (WWII) “Roll of Honour / R.H. McGregor School.” Decorative green border, with a torch imbedded on each side. Crossed flags (Union Jack and R.C.A.F.) in centre; Canadian crest superimposed. Beneath the crest: Ad mari usque ad mare. Below this: We stand on guard for thee. Below the crest: Unveiled 11 Nov 1943.  (R.H. McGregor crest in the centre.) Lower left corner: E.V. Banks 1943. (The designer and calligrapher of the memorial.) Four columns. Each column is a separate panel, glued onto the memorial. Surnames followed by initial(s) except for women whose given names are in full.  Names are printed in black shadowed letters. No key, but a black rectangular outline around certain names appears to indicate death. (See details re Nov 11, 1943 dedication in school history above.)

NOTE: Memorials b and c are originals—designed, painted, lettered, and assembled by E.V. Banks, an R.H. McGregor parent. (See school history above for dedication details.)

RHM-PS-d: (WWII) Granite outdoor monument. Inscriptions on three angled sides. In centre, beneath Board of Education crest: Honour and / Grateful tribute / to the boys of R.H. / McGregor School / Who gave their / Lives for freedom / In World War II / 1939-1945. “Unveiled Empire Day 1948.” Two columns of names; one on each side of the dedication.  (See details re May 21, 1948 dedication in school history above.) On base: Life must be / measured by / thought and / action & / not by time.

Roden Public School (ROD-PS)

WW2 Memorial at Roden Public School, ©2010 Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch

Location:
151 Hiawatha Road, Toronto, Ontario  M4L 2Y1 (north of Gerrard Street East; west of Coxwell Avenue)

Opened: 1907

Alternate or former names: Reid Avenue School Room, Ashdale Avenue School, School Section 20 (Norway) York Township

Pre-1998 municipality: Toronto

Ward during WWI: Ward 1

Ward during WWII: Ward 8

Type of school: Elementary

History:
1906 Nov: School began in section of Township of York known as the Midway; a part wedged between Greenwood Avenue and the Kingston Road. Norway, the only school in the district, was filled to overflowing. The lecture-room of the new Reid Avenue (later Rhodes Avenue) Presbyterian (now United) Church provided temporary accommodation.
1907 Feb. 2: Ashdale Avenue approved as new school site and building started.
1908 Jan 10: Four-room school formally opened by Minister of Education, the Hon. Dr. R.A. Pyne, with a concert and other entertainment. Principal: Mrs. E. Whittaker; assistants: Misses Snell and McColl.
1909 Dec 15: Norway, as part of Midway, annexed to Toronto.
1910 Jan. 5: Ashdale School renamed “Roden” in honour of Mr. E.P. Roden, trustee 1874 – 1897; chairman, 1885.
1910 – 1922: Five additions. At the time of replacement, the old school consisted of 27 classrooms, two kindergartens, boys’ and girls’ playrooms, staff rooms, library, offices and health and dental rooms.
1970 Sept 8: New building occupied by students
1970 Nov 25: Formal opening.

Web sites: http://schools.tdsb.on.ca/roden/

Memorials transcribed:
ROD-PS-a: (WWII) Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country / Members of / Roden Public School / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces.” Six columns. Surnames followed by given names or initials. No key. Rough alphabetical order. Some names appear above and below columns ii and v. There is no explanation for this placement; presumably it is related to spacing. No World War I list has been found. List does not specify which war, but presence of women’s names, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicate World War II.

Rose Avenue School (RSE-PS)

Students of Rose Avenue School, Toronto, about 1890

Students of Rose Avenue School, Toronto, about 1890 (Toronto Public Library Special Collections, Flickr page, identifier 2011-9-9)

Location: 675 Ontario Street, Toronto, Ontario  M4X 1N4 (south of Bloor Street East; between Parliament Street—to the east—and Sherbourne Street—to the west)

Opened: 1884

Pre-1998 municipality: City of Toronto

Ward during WWI: Ward 2

Type of school: Elementary

History:
Rose Avenue School is in St. James Town (bounded by Sherbourne Street to the west; Bloor Street to the north; Parliament Street to the east; and Wellesley Street East to the south). The area began to grow in the 19th century when it became a semi-suburban home for the city’s middle class. The area was rezoned in the 1950s, and the nineteenth century homes were gradually replaced by apartment towers.
Excerpts from a description of the school that appeared in Toronto Globe, Thursday, December 13, 1883: Red brick with stone cornices; simple brick crescents to the windows. Four-roomed, two-storey structure; modified Queen Anne-style architecture. Two gables; one turned towards the north; one turned towards the street, each with projecting pilasters of brick work. Side walls relieved and strengthened by 14-inch wide buttresses. Built on a 190 ft (frontage) by 135 ft fenced lot on Rose Avenue, a little south of Howard Street. School erected in about the centre of the lot. A blank wall at the rear to enable conversion into an 8-roomed building when required. Rooms: 38 ft by 25 ft, to accommodate about 60 children each, to a total of 250. Each room had a screen, setting apart about 3 feet the width of the room for hats, cloaks, etc. The two first-floor classrooms connected by a sliding door so one could be used for examinations. A broad flight of stairs with a landing in the middle led from lower to upper rooms. Attention given to efficient ventilation. A large shaft in the middle of the building with an iron pipe to carry away smoke and warm the rooms; pipe could be heated by the basement furnaces or by Rutten heaters (used at the time in several city schools). Four windows in each room arranged for light to shine on the left side of pupils. Main entrance through a south-side porch; smaller entrances on the north and south sides for boys and girls respectively. A fence divided the boys’ and girls’ playgrounds. A shed 100 ft by about 12 ft extended along either side of the grounds. Architect: D.B. Dick, Toronto; contract price: $8,500. Contractor for brick work: Geo. Harding; for carpentry: T.V. Gearing. School should have been completed earlier, but delayed by plasterer’s strike; work expected to be finished in a few weeks.
1884 Jan: School opened with 195 pupils enrolled.
1883-1890: Miss Churchill was the first principal.
1886: Annual Report mentioned Rose Avenue as among eight schools were “overcrowding is greatest.”
1905-1913: (Reminiscences from Gordon Lepper, former pupil): Area was mainly working class to middle class. Howard Street on the north side had lots which ran into the Rosedale Ravine, because Bloor Street went only as far as Sherbourne, and there was no viaduct. Garbage was collected from the many laneways in the area. A few houses were built in nearly all of the laneways. The closest streetcars were on Winchester Street. The line ran up Parliament Street, then east of Winchester Street to the Riverdale Zoo. Sherbourne streetcars were called the “Belt Line.” They made a loop along Bloor to Sherbourne; along King to Spadina. School had about 10 rooms; 30 to 40 students per class. No physical education classes or library in the school. Junior 4th and Senior 4th boys had Manual Training once a week at an old church on George Street south of Wilton (now called Dundas). After dismissal by Manual Training teacher, Mr. Slaughter, students walked back to the school. During a snowball fight one day, the boys broke a Sherbourne Street window. Reports reached the school before the boys got back. All 14 got the strap in the principal’s office. Army cadets were compulsory for all boys, who marched in the garrison parade wearing “Scotch caps and roses,” bright red uniforms, and carrying wooden imitation guns called “bed slabs.” They were inspected once a year. Girls’ playground on the south; boys’ on the north. Yards were small and covered with board floors. Basketball court took up most of the boys’ yard in spring and fall. Principal H.P. “Daddy” Carr (1910-1914) was fond of sports; many winning teams in hockey and football. Miss McCauley was assistant principal and teacher of the Junior 4th. There were no married female teachers. Only about five students from the 1913 graduating class went to Jarvis Collegiate. About three went to technical school; some to commercial classes at Lord Dufferin. One boy financed his way through university by selling some of his 2,000 pigeons to hotels for squab dinners. Most graduates went to work. Actress Beatrice Lillie lived on the northwest corner of St. James and Rose Avenue. Stan Randall, who lived on Darling Avenue, became president of General Steel Wares and a prominent member of the provincial parliament.
1913: Rose Avenue won Eastern Toronto Schools final hockey game over Winchester. Principal Carr threw an oyster dinner to which boys from both schools were invited.
1916: The Toronto Home and School Council organized, with two Art Leagues and seven Mothers’ Clubs in affiliation. Rose Avenue was among nine schools represented. Its Art League was founded in 1909. (One result of the Art League was the widespread interest in pictures for classrooms.)
1918: Excerpted from: The Toronto Star Weekly—April 27, 1918: Plans for a new building. School boundaries were Don Valley on the east, through the Rosedale Ravine to Huntley Street; down Huntley to Earl; along Earl to Sherbourne; down Sherbourne to Wellesley; east on Wellesley to the Don Valley. With the completion of the new Rosedale viaduct (quite near the school) a section of Rosedale might be added to the school district, making a new and larger school more necessary. Principal Thomas J. Wallace (1914-1919) said the school aims “to give a strong, solid foundation in the essentials… The people in the district don’t belong to the leisure class, and we have to recognize that the boys and girls must be fitted to earn their living. So we try to teach them how to write a good hand and spell the ordinary words. We also endeavour to familiarize them with the business activities of the city.” During winter months, groups visited factories and gave oral compositions to describe what they saw. Students also learned the composition of “war bread,” and the boys operated a quarter-of- an-acre school garden on St. Clair Avenue, with plans to move the garden to Bleeker Street, much closer to the school. Many students also had home gardens and took part in the school’s annual fall fair. The Thursday afternoon knitting circle (mothers, teachers, some of the older girls, and occasional speakers) sent two boxes a year of socks and other necessities to “Rose Avenue boys” at the front. Principal Wallace said the war had a sobering effect on the boys and girls. “It’s too bad to rob children of their childhood…but they are really influenced and are noticeably better behaved.” Boys marched into the school after recess “with military precision.” During the past four years, the school captured eight championships in hockey, football, and basketball. There was a close bond between the school and neighbouring St. Simon’s Church, with most Rose Avenue boys belonging to various organizations that used the parish hall.

War memorial (RSE-PS-a) at Rose Avenue School, Toronto, ©Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

War memorial (RSE-PS-a) at Rose Avenue School, Toronto, ©Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

1921 Jan: World War I memorial erected in the old school.
1921 Oct 6: Main costs of the new school listed as $150,767.00.
1922 Dec 4: World War I memorial erected in the new school.
1923 Oct 25: Board gave permission to the Home and School Club to install a memorial window to the 1914-1918 war, and erect a tablet.
1923 Nov 16 (Friday evening): Memorial window in memory of the ex-pupils of Rose Avenue School who served in The Great War unveiled. The program printed for the occasion has a photograph of the window.
1923 Dec 13: Memorial window to be protected by a wire screen at an approximate cost of $54.00 from the Maintenance Fund. (Board minutes.)
1924: Fencing and resurfacing of school grounds.
1926 Mar 11: Approximately $100.00 from the Maintenance Fund allotted for a short-range searchlight, focusing type, to light the memorial window. (Board minutes.)
1929 Nov: Rose Avenue School Art League recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of its founding. Toronto Star, Nov 16, 1929.
1931 Apr 13: Rose Avenue School Old Boys and Girls Association held their first annual at-home. Toronto Star, Apr 8, 1931.
1941 Dec: A life-sized painting of King George VI in coronation robes (by George Turner) presented to the school at a Home and School fund-raising event. Proceeds to the war effort, including boxes to ex-pupils in the navy and clothing and layettes for the children of Britain. Toronto Star, Dec 3, 1941.
1965: An additional 11,133 sq ft on Rose Avenue and 2,750 sq ft on St. James Avenue added to make a total area of 131,026 sq ft.
1983: Continued visiting artists program (16 individuals or companies) more difficult because of increased fees for some performances.
1984 Jan: Principal’s annual report described a concentrated five-year effort to build up classroom libraries. Every pupil had made two visits to the Children’s Book Store and chosen a book to take back each time.
1984: School’s Centennial: Forty-two nationalities represented among 364 students, of whom 68% had English as a second language; where until recently, English was the first language of most pupils. A neighbourhood of quiet residential streets had become one of the most densely-populated areas of Toronto, with ninety-two per cent of pupils living in high-rise buildings. After school classes offered in French, Urdu, Greet, Mandarin, and Computers.
2004: Manulife Financial, 200 Bloor Street East, partnered with the school to begin a four-year improvement of the playground with fencing, plantings, and children’s art work. The TDSB provided labour. Manulife also donated more than 10,000 books, and hundreds of coats, hats, boots, and other clothing items.
2006 Aug: Branksome Hall (an independent girls’ school) began hosting a Leap into Literacy camp for Rose Avenue students with weekly visits to run the after-school Homework Club and the JUMP Math Tutoring programs. (Upper Canada College, an independent boys’ school, also involved in tutoring).
2008 Nov 20: Unveiling of a large-scale mural, “A Community’s Journey,” completed by Grades 3 to 6 students under the direction of Inner City Angels artist Marsha Stonehouse. Manulife helped with this project, too.
2013: Guest artists plan various projects with students, such as a “history wall,” which will include the school’s war memorials.

Published history:
Jackson, Edward. Rose Avenue School, 675 Ontario Street, Toronto, Ontario, 1884-1984. [Toronto: 1984?] [16] p.: ill. Includes list of principals 1883-1984; annual musical productions 1965-1983; black and white photograph of the 1883 school with additions; various teams, classes, and activities over the years.

War memorial stained glass window (RSE-PS-c) at Rose Avenue School, Toronto, @Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

War memorial stained glass window (RSE-PS-c) at Rose Avenue School, Toronto, @Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

Memorials transcribed:
RSE-PS-a: (WWI) Two-toned bronze plaque. Headed: Honour and Loving / Remembrance to Those Who Died. / Honour Also and Grateful Tribute / To Those Who Daring to Die, Survived. / Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory.” Three panels. Panel i (two columns) headed: Those / Who Served. At bottom: asterisk indicating “Killed in Action.” Given names followed by surnames. Panel ii (two columns) headed: In / Grateful Memory / of Those Who Died. At bottom “Their name liveth for evermore.” Given names followed by surnames. Panel iii (two columns) headed: Those / Who Served. Given names followed by surnames. Across the bottom of the whole plaque. Left side: Stylized shield enclosing initials “RAS,” inside inscription “Erected in old school / January 1921.” Right side: Stylized shield enclosing initials “RAS,” inside inscription “Erected in new school / December 4, 1922.” Between the two shields, the inscription “This tablet has been erected by the Rose Avenue School League, teachers, pupils / and friends, to perpetuate the memory of 198 ex-pupils of this school, who enlisted / for service in defence of the Empire in the Great War, 1914-1918, forty-four of whom / laid down their lives in the cause of freedom, righteousness, and humanity.” NOTE: The Toronto Star Weekly—April 27, 1918, reported the following “notable names” among Rose Avenue volunteers for active service: Lieut.-Col. R.H. Greer; Major Ernest McColl; Major James Gairdner; Lieut. Douglas Hallam; the late Lieutenant Trafford Jones; Major Frank Tidy, M.C.; Lieut. Wm. Meyrick, M.M. and Lieut. Roy Harrison, who won both the Military Cross and France’s Croix de Guerre.

RSE-PS-b: (WWII): A.J. Casson “For King and Country / Members / of Rose Avenue School / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces.” Six columns. Surnames followed by given names. Key: orange stick-on circle indicates “Supreme Sacrifice.” List does not specify which war, but the presence of a World War I memorial, women’s names, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicate World War II. NOTE: Some uppercase initials are difficult to read.

RSE-PS-c: (WWI) Memorial stained glass window: 8 ft by 16 ft installed in the new Memorial Assembly Hall November 1923, by Robert McCausland Ltd. Stained Glass, Toronto. Designed by Walter Seldon, member of the Rose Avenue School Art League. Mr. Seldon’s explanation of the design included some of the following details: Central Panel: The three outstanding figures (Action; Aspiration; Achievement) selected from life, during an Empire Day parade. A school cadet, with a bugle to his lips, symbolizes “The Call.” A kilted hero going over the top symbolizes “The Response.” A Canadian veteran with flag unfurled symbolizes “The Victory.” Above the three figures are the battle names: Falkland / Jutland / Zeebrugge. Two Outer Panels depict 14 outstanding battles in which Canadians played a strong part.

(Left side-under “1872”): Ypres / Festubert / St. Eloi / Mount Sorrel / Somme / Vimy Ridge / Hill 70 / 1914. (Right side-under “RAS 1923” stylized shield): Passchaendaele / Amiens / Arras / Drocourt-Quéant / Canal du Nord / Cambrai / Mons / 1918. The call to / Service / A Mari Usque Ad Mare. Central top panel: Commemorates the British Navy and Air Force. Left top panel: The old school bell of 1879. “Many miss the sound of the bell with the passing of the old school. A bell enters into almost every phase of life, and played no small part in the homes of this neighbourhood for more than forty years, imparting to all ‘a sound education.’” Bottom: “For God, for King, and Country / for loved ones, home and Empire / for the sacred cause of justice / the freedom of the world”.

Rose Avenue's history wall designed and painted by Grade 6 students supervised by visiting artist Charmaine Lurch. Segments of the school's WWI memorial window were reproduced using a photo transfer process. ©Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

Rose Avenue’s history wall designed and painted by Grade 6 students supervised by visiting artist Charmaine Lurch. Segments of the school’s WWI memorial window were reproduced using a photo transfer process. ©Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

Brass plaque below the window: Honour and loving / Remembrance to those who died. / Honour also and grateful tribute / to those who daring to die, survived. / This window has been erected by / Rose Avenue School League, teachers, pupils, and friends / November 16th, 1923. A large, tin-lined niche below the brass plaque, presumably for holding fresh flowers, plants, wreaths, or other memorabilia, is clearly visible in the photo on the program printed for the unveiling ceremony, but no longer exists after restoration, cleaning, and the addition of two layers of protective glass, done during the various school improvements beginning in 2004. NOTE: See also the school history above.

Rosedale Public School (ROS-PS)

Location: 22 South Drive, Toronto, Ontario  M4W 1R1 (west of Mount Pleasant Road; north of Bloor Street East)

WW1 (left) and WW2 Memorials at Rosedale Public School, ©2010 Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch

Opened: 1891

Alternate or former names: Rosedale School

Pre-1998 municipality: Toronto

Ward during WWI: Ward 2

Ward during WWII: Ward 2

Type of school: Elementary

History:
1891 Oct: School opened with 40 pupils in building on the corner of Sherbourne Street and South Drive rented from S.J. Williams
1891 Nov. 5: A Huron Street school teacher, Miss A. Fell, was transferred to the new temporary school in Rosedale.
1892 April 7: Board decides “Rosedale School will be continued as long as the attendance of children warrants.”
1894 Oct. 18: Kindergarten opened.
1895 June 27: School site purchased.
1895 July 18: Four-room building planned for South Drive site.
1896 Jan: New building opened with 124 pupils.
1934: Bloorview Kids Rehab school (now Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital) became an auxiliary of Rosedale.
1957: Re-build on present location.

Memorials transcribed:
ROS-PS-a: (WWI) Illuminated list. Lower right corner; in small print; possibly the calligrapher: Edith E. Shaw, Toronto. “For God, for King, for Country / Rosedale Public School / 1914 Roll of Honour 1918.” Five columns. Given names followed by surnames. Below columns ii-iv is the heading “For Your To-morrow They Gave Their To-day.” Given names followed by surnames. Presumably this lists those who died (19). These names also appear in the main list.

ROS-PS-b: (WWII): Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country / Members of / Rosedale School / who have volunteered for active service / with Canada’s fighting forces.” Four columns. Surnames followed by given names or initials. Below the column ii list is the heading “Killed in Action.” Surnames (4) followed by given names. Below the column iii list is the heading “Decorations.” Surnames (4) followed by given names. List does not specify which war, but presence of a World War I memorial, women’s names, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicate World War II.

Roselands Public School (RSL-PS)

Plantation of deciduous trees.

Roselands Public School, Toronto, seen through the memorial grove. The edges of the u-shaped plateau, screened by dense bush, drop precipitously to the “flats” below. ©Toronto Branch OGS

Location: 990 Jane Street, Toronto, Ontario M6N 4E2 (west side of Jane Street; between Eglinton Avenue West and St. Clair Avenue West)

Opened: 1922

Alternate or former names: Roseland (without the final “s”)

Pre-1998 municipality: York

Type of school: Elementary

History:
Roselands was the fifth school in Mount Dennis School Section No. 28. Mount Dennis is bordered by Clouston Avenue (north of the intersection of Jane Street and Weston Road) on the north; Black Creek to the east and south; the Humber River on the west. Weston Road had been a major supply road since the War of 1812. Mount Dennis, centred at the crossroads of Weston Road and Eglinton Avenue West, was named for John Dennis, a Loyalist shipbuilder from Philadelphia, who had established (by 1796) a boatyard on the Humber River. Over time, Dennis acquired land in the area that included much of the high plateau—or “mount”—between the Humber and Black Creek valleys. Although the school is on the west side of busy Jane Street (originally the Fifth Line) its position on a plateau overlooking Eglinton Flats gives it an almost rural feel to this day (2014). A special feature of Roselands School is its 14-acre (5.665 hectares) grounds, which include a memorial grove of 15 trees and inscribed stone commemorating students who died in the Second World War. (See “Memorials transcribed” below.) The school continued connections with veterans into the 21st century, as members of the local Royal Canadian Legion volunteered to help students with their studies, and to be involved with the school’s war memorials.
1891: School Section No. 28, Mount Dennis, formed. Dennis Avenue School built.
1917 Fall: Ratepayers approached the Board for a new school to relieve Dennis Avenue School’s overcrowding—only partly helped by the new Silverthorn School. Several years of complicated negotiations followed before plans were confirmed.
1921 Jan: Board bought 14 acres from James R. Dennis (grandson of John Dennis) for $20,000. Covered in wild roses, the area was called “land of roses” or “Roselands.” School boundaries to be: both sides of Frejama (renamed Greendale) and Bayliss Avenues, including Lambton Avenue up to the point facing the east side of Frejama.
1921 Summer: Construction began. Some squatters’ shacks were removed from the property. Water installed in September; roof installed by mid-December; to be heated by coal, using an automatically-loaded firebox. Although surplus student desks were available, the Board ordered 450 new Moulthrop (portable, one-piece) chair-desks. Cost of building and equipment: $74,847.00.
1922 Apr 26: Roy M. McCormack, principal of Silverthorn School, hired as principal of Roselands. Annual salary: $2,050.
1922 July: Harry Trout hired as permanent caretaker. Annual salary: $1,300. (Teachers’ annual salaries were $900 to $1800.) Mr. Trout had started as temporary caretaker on December 27, 1921. Out of work, he had asked permission to remove his 13-year-old daughter from school so that she could get a job. Moved by the family’s plight, the Board suggested he apply for the caretaker position.
1922 Aug 30: Nine-room school (including the only auditorium in School Section 28 until York Memorial was built in 1929) designed by S.B. Coon & Son, architects, opened for the fall term at the western edge of the Mount Dennis high grounds. Reeve Fred Miller used a gold key for the ceremony. The original deed stated the land could be used solely for school or park purposes. The boys’ playground was bigger than the girls’ playground, but all had much more playing space than neighbouring schools. There was room for four ball games at one time, with space left for track and field activities and for skipping, hopscotch, traditional games like “red rover,” and “Tom, Tom, pull away,” or games “invented” at Roselands. Over time, many organizations requested use of the sports field. In winter, a section behind the school became a rink for skating and hockey.
1922 September: On the first day of school, students met at their old schools (mainly Dennis Avenue) and marched along plank sidewalks, down Lambton Avenue, over to Roselands. The first students recalled the excitement of flush toilets, running water in the sinks, desks that weren’t bolted to the floor, cloakrooms with suspended doors, and the huge playing field. As 56 students had enrolled in the primary class, 22 would attend all day; 20 younger students would attend mornings only; 16 would attend in the afternoons only. Miss Dick, the teacher coping with this overflow, to be paid an extra $25. per month.
1923: The Mount Dennis annual field day, held in May or June, was held at Roselands after 1922. The day began at a designated school, with a parade of decorated bikes and doll carriages. Roselands students wore polished shoes, white shirts or blouses, orange crepe sashes and caps in the school colours of orange and black. Judges evaluated marching, neatness, and behaviour. Senior boys competing for a gold medal ran a 5-mile race along Lambton Avenue up to Weston Road to the Eagle House, in the town of Weston, and back. Ratepayers provided $500 for prizes, ribbons, and refreshments.
1924: Lundy fence (330 feet) installed, followed by several years of disputes over who should pay for it. Trespassing on the James Dennis farm and the chance of grazing horses escaping were the issues.
1927 Feb: Primary attendance in Junior 1st (Grade 1) rose to 58 pupils. The Board changed the boundaries. All Junior and Senior 3rd (Grades 5 and 6) students east of and including Gray Avenue, moved mid-year to Dennis Avenue School.
1927 Sept: Penny Bank started. Students took 10 cents to school on Tuesdays. Teachers recorded the deposits. Each student had a bank book. Parents could withdraw the money, but had to go “downtown” to do so. (York Township schools continued this practice until the Penny Bank closed in 1948.) New principal, William Wheeler, started the Cadet Corps.
1928: Roselands Horticultural Society began taking over the grounds, eventually adding extensive flower gardens.
1929: Several years of overcrowding continued. The Board decided average class size to be 45.
1929 Mar: School bell ordered from the CPR in Montreal. Cost: $13. A rope hung down from the roof into a corner of the school office. Students took turns ringing the bell, which could be heard all over the neighbourhood. (Replaced by an electric bell in 1963.)
1930: Two rooms added.
1931 Oct: Teachers’ salary increases suspended. Section 28 teachers had one-month’s notice that they must live in Mount Dennis (unless living with their parents) or resign.
1932: Annual field day cancelled to pay for playground equipment. Teachers donated 5% of their salaries for relief purposes.
1933: “School Sections” system replaced by York Township Board of Education. Cuts in government grants forced changes: students could not register until seven years old; teachers’ salaries reduced a further 10%; the number of teachers reduced. Class size—most already had more than 40—increased.
1936: York’s Public School and Collegiate Institute boards amalgamated. All materials to be purchased in the township, where possible; at least 50% of (Depression) relief labour to be used.
1937: Two rooms added (just south of the 1930 addition) although at the time the Board was trying to keep construction costs to a minimum. The school now had 13 rooms; 14 teachers. Portable moved to the end of the north wing; passageway attaching it to the school added. Kindergarten introduced; housed in the special “Round Room,” previously occupied by the Grade One class, which moved to the new wing. Dennis Avenue “auxiliary class” moved to Roselands for one year only.
1937 Oct 12: School opening postponed until this date because of a polio outbreak.
1939 May 22-24: School holiday for royal visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
World War II (1939-1945): In 1940, the Board ruled that “war guest” children from Europe be admitted without question to any York Township school. Students collected scrap metal, tin foil, and newspapers; sold war certificates. Students also knit socks, hats, and afghan squares for the troops; some joined the cadets. (Relief parcels of food and clothing were sent to British schools even after the war.) The Minister of Education ruled that senior public school students could leave school after June 6 each year for farm or war work. Beginning with the 1940–1941 school year, “O Canada” alternated with “God Save the King” during morning exercises. Principal George Brownlee was on the committee to develop air raid procedures for schools. The Air Raid Precautions (A.R.P.) appointed a warden, Mr. Sargeant, who patrolled the neighbourhood at night wearing a tin hat and arm band, checking that all responded to the siren on top of the old fire hall at Hollis Avenue and Weston Road. (Windows blacked out; playing children sent home.) Regular activities continued in spite of the war: delivery of milk (by horse-drawn wagon) before morning recess; half-pint bottles of white or chocolate milk—costing three cents—were left in metal baskets outside classrooms. Various organizations gave religious instructions to senior classes once a week.
1945 May 8: Victory in Europe Day. Teachers took turns pulling the rope that rang the school bell. (Each ward had its own parade at 2 p.m., followed by fireworks, bonfires, and street dances.) The next day, members of the Legion visited the school to continue the celebrations.
1947 April: Staff and students walked to Dennis Avenue School for chest X-rays to screen for possible tuberculosis. Township council and York Lions Club funded a special drive to include all residents. Board approved smallpox vaccinations for all students.
1947 Oct 5 (Sunday): Memorial grove for former students who had died in the WWII dedicated by Rev. Capt. J. C. Clough. (See: Memorials transcribed below.)
1951 March: Female teachers who married while working for the Board could be “re-hired” year-to-year, but not automatically. (Not until March 1955 did the Board treat married and unmarried female teachers equally.)
1951 Apr: Conn Smythe, of C. Smythe Ltd. (east side of Jane Street; south of the school) offered the Board $60,000. for the chance to grade the north part of the school grounds for his sand and gravel business. Controversy ensued until at a November 27 meeting attended by about 500 residents and officials, a vote of 311 against and 96 for, rejected the Smythe proposal. (The Board did sell two small pieces of school property in the mid-fifties, even though the 1921 land deed had stipulated school or park use only.)
1952: Fluorescent lighting; electric clocks in classrooms; public address system among many additions and upgrades that year.
1952 June 9: Queen’s birthday was a school holiday.
1953 June: Students watched the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on a TV in the auditorium. (Film flown to Canada by jet.) Board had ordered thousands of small Union Jacks; distributed Coronation medals; offered a $100 award for a township-wide Coronation scrapbook competition.
1954 Oct 15: The Humber River overflowed during Hurricane Hazel. Much of Mount Dennis was flooded, but the school, on high ground, escaped. Thirty-five of the 81 hurricane casualties had lived on Raymore Drive, just north of Roselands. Much of Raymore later became a park.
1957: School now had 23 rooms, but portables needed for an enrolment of more than 800 by the end of the fifties.
1958 Mar 25: Avro Arrow began a series of 66 test flights from its Malton factory. Students heard the “sonic boom” that preceded sightings of the plane, which travelled faster than the speed of sound.
1959 Feb 19: Avro Arrow test flights ended.
1960 Sept: Cordella Avenue School opened; some of Roseland’s overcrowding relieved.
1961: The 220-acre Eglinton “Flats” (former market gardens) deemed unsuitable for residences because of flood risk. Some Roselands students had lived there. Properties expropriated; the area became a “green belt.”
1962: Air raid siren tower built in the north east corner of the school yard because of Cold War concerns.
1963: Summer lightning knocked down a row of bricks and the wooden sign over the school’s front door. The replacement sign read: Roseland—not Roselands. Some complained about the error. A search of school records found that the two names had been interchanged since the beginning.
1964 May: York Bookmobile, started in 1948, began parking on the school grounds every Friday. (There were classroom libraries, but no school library until 1967.)
1964 Sept: Grades 7 and 8 began rotary system.
1967 Feb: Grade 7 and 8 students and their teachers walked through snow to their new school, Rockcliffe, which had not been ready for its scheduled September 1966 opening. Roselands now stopped at Grade 6.
1967 Oct: Library opened.
1970 July 29: The entire Borough of York Fire Department (79 firemen) responded to a fire that destroyed the original 1922 part of the structure. In a “requiem” for Roselands, former student Greig Stewart wrote: “She was a grand old lady. Born in 1922 of School Section No. 28 parentage, Roselands leaves a cousin, George Syme, and three sisters, Dennis Avenue, Harwood and Bala Public Schools.” (Weston Times, August 6, 1970) Cause of the fire was never discovered. Supplies for the fall term were lost in the fire, but school records were saved. Some rooms (including the new library) could be cleaned or renovated, but nine additional rooms were needed to house the projected September enrolment of 663 pupils. The Board launched a two-year, three-quarters of a million dollar plan to use nine portables on north and west sides of the school grounds while rebuilding the school—in its present location, in order to get maximum fire insurance benefits.
1997: Teacher-librarian Donald Wainwright, preparing a 75th anniversary school history, learned of the World War II memorial grove—forgotten after the1970 fire. Plans to restore the site began.
1997 May 10: Celebration of 75th anniversary.
2000 May 16: A stone monument, carved with the names of the 15 former students who died in the Second World War, unveiled as part of the rededication of the 1947 memorial. (See below.)

NOTE: Three neighbourhood groups closely associated with Roselands over the years had their own keys to the school: i. The Roselands Ratepayers Association: held all regular meetings at the school from its opening date; ii. The Roselands Horticultural Association (formed April 1926): worked with the school on many projects; iii. The Church of the Good Shepherd (Anglican): held a Sunday school at Roselands from 1928 until the early sixties. The school’s location saved the students the long walk to church. Related activities, sports, concerts, and much more, meant that students spent many after-school hours at Roselands.

Large boulder with flat top surface polished and engraved with names.

Black granite memorial outside Roselands Public School, Toronto, names 15 “Roselanders” who died in World War II. ©Toronto Branch OGS

Published history:
Boylen, J.C. York Township, An historical summary. Municipal Corporation of the Township of York; York Township, 1954.
Thomas, Wilbert G. The Legacy of York: (a survey of the early development of the communities of York.) York, Ontario: Historical Committee of the City of York, c1992. 96 p. See: Mount Dennis Community pp. 45-59.
Wainwright, Donald. Memories of Roselands : Roselands Junior Public School. Board of Education for the City of York, 1997. Rev. 3rd printing. 176 p. ill. Includes copies of documents; photographs of early days; descriptions of the neighbourhood; school floor plans; staff lists; reminiscences; playground games; maps; citations to Board minutes where further information on specific topics can be found. Staff information includes positions, dates served, etc.

Memorials transcribed:
RSL-PS-a (WWII): Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson “For King and Country / Members / of Roselands Public School / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces.” Six columns. Surnames followed by given names. Key: silver stick-on bar indicates “Those who gave their lives.” List does not specify which war, but the date of the school’s opening indicates World War II. NOTE: Older students went around the neighbourhood to collect the names of former students who had entered the armed forces. A teacher, Miss Cavill, wrote the names on this memorial. Marion (Cross) Smith, one of the students who collected the names, recalled this in Memories of Roselands (cited below).

RSL-PS-b (WWII): a memorial grove of 12 Norway maple trees (in rows of four) in honour of those who died in the war, planted behind the school; dedicated October 5, 1947. Principal Stanley Ritchie and the Roselands Horticultural Society planned the arrangement of garden benches and colourful tulips. A school fire (July 29, 1970) destroyed horticultural records; the significance of the grove was forgotten until librarian Donald Wainwright found references about 25 years later. Seven local Legion branches and the Roselands Horticultural Society raised $1,700. for an outside black granite monument. Further research showed that three more students had died, making a new total of 15. The Black Creek Conservation Project of Ontario supplied sugar maples to make up a full complement of 15 trees. More than 350 veterans, dignitaries, former and present students, friends, and relatives attended the May 16, 2000 dedication ceremony. Included were Maurice McCutcheon and Shirley McLaren, whose 19-year-old brother, Gordon McCutcheon, is one of those named on the stone. Wording on the stone is as follows: This memorial grove of 15 maple trees dedicated October 5th, / 1947, is rededicated May 16th, 2000. This monument honours / fifteen former students of Roselands Public School who gave / their lives for freedom in World War II, 1939-1945. Three columns of five names. Below the names: (Royal Canadian Legion crest) We will remember them. (Army, Navy & Air Force Veterans crest) / Placed jointly by the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch Nos. 31, 46, / 57, 213, 266 & 286, ANAF 212, and Roselands Horticultural Society.

NOTE: At the dedication ceremony, a long-time horticultural society member said that a group of nearby pine trees had been planted earlier in honour of Mount Dennis World War I dead.

Runnymede Road Public School (RUN-PS)

Location: 357 Runnymede Road, Toronto, Ontario  M6S 2Y7 (north of Bloor Street)

Opened: February 1916

Pre-1998 municipality: City of Toronto

Ward during WWI: Ward 7

Ward during WWII: Ward 7

Type of school: Elementary

History:
September 17, 1914: Board of Education voted to purchase property for a school on the east side of Runnymede Road*
October 14, 1914: Board of Education purchased most of the property for the school on the east side of Runnymede Road north of Colbeck*
November 19, 1914: Board of Education voted to awarded contracts for the construction of the new school*
1914–1915: portable school erected in the summer of 1914 was opened at the corner of Bloor and Jane street on January 5, 1915 with attendance of 100. Excavation for foundation new school has started. (Globe 6 Jan 1915)
March 12, 1915: Board of Education approved the purchase of the last piece of property at the north-east corner of Runnymede and Colbeck—completing the assembly of the land now occupied by the existing school.*
November 4, 1915: Board of Education voted to name the new school “Runnymede”*
1916: W.A. Fydell (a teacher at Strathcona) was promoted to Principal and assigned to Runnymede*
First classes were held at Runnymede on February 1, 1916. The new school had an enrolment of 105 students—all of whom crowded into the first three finished rooms of the soon-to-be- finished building.*
1917: City directory lists Principal as Margaret Evans, of French Avenue
*From the Runnymede School Council Centennial Committee web page.

Published history:
The Yesteryears of our community. Toronto: Runnymede Public School, 1939.
Runnymede Public School. [Toronto: Runnymede Public School, 1991]

Web site: http://www.runnymedecouncil.org/committees-Centennial.php

Memorials transcribed:
RUN-PS-a: (WWII) A.J. Casson “For King and Country Members of Runnymede Road School who have volunteered for active service with Canada’s fighting forces.” There are six columns of names. Symbol indicating death is a stick-on star. Surnames followed by given names. List does not specify which war, but date of school opening, presence of women, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicates World War II.

RUN-PS-b: (WWII) A.J. Casson “For King and Country Members of Runnymede Road School who have volunteered for active service with Canada’s fighting forces.” There are six columns of names. Symbol indicating death is a “stick on star”. Surnames followed by given names. List does not specify which war, but date of school opening, presence of women, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicates World War II.

NOTE: Both lists are alphabetical. There is no explanation why there are two separate memorials for World War II.