100 List of high schools in Canada Facts

While most individuals are looking for Universities in Canada to obtain a degree, that’s the same way others are searching for the list of high schools in Canada to obtain a diploma.

The long-term international enrolments have risen to 55% over the last five years which means international students are attracted to high schools in Canada as well.

From statistics over 40,000 international students were enrolled in the 2018/2019 school year.

Canada remains the best choice for individuals who are looking forward to obtaining their high school degree from a renowned high school. In this article, I will be talking about the high schools in Canada for international students and domestic students.

o are looking forward to obtaining their high school degree from a renowned high school. In this article, I will be talking about the high schools in Canada for international students and domestic students.

Why should a student attend high schools in Canada?

Canada is known for its high quality of life and its high standard of education. As for international students, they are highly valued and as such, the provincial and federal governments are making efforts to attract students and help them stay in the country after graduation.

Here are some of the reasons to attend high school in Canada:

Modern Classrooms

Canada’s public education is well funded and as a result that schools and students have access to the latest classroom technology which includes tablets, interactive whiteboards and information labs.

Digital literacy is fundamental and inevitable in today’s world and Canada offers the best of these things to students.

Technology evolves quickly, and students need to keep up with current demands as they prepare to enter the workforce.

Internship Opportunities

Students tend to benefit more from this. Internship placements tend to supplement their studies with real-world work experience.

These optional opportunities allow students to earn high school credit by participating in a work placement.

It is an excellent chance for students to explore future careers, practice skills and gain experience. This consequently prepares students with the skills and expertise they need to thrive.

Exceptional Staff

The teachers in Canada are highly regulated and are required to have specific qualifications to teach. This simply means that students can expect consistency in the high-quality education they receive.

One good thing about teachers in Canada is that they specialize in their field which means that teachers have in-depth knowledge of the specific subjects they teach.

Canadian high schools also offer support to staff as well as guidance counsellors to help students get the best out of themselves. They support students with academic struggles while guiding them with career advice.

Internationally Recognized Credentials

Canadian high school diplomas are recognized all over the world by universities and other post-secondary institutions globally.

The countries robust and consistent education system makes these credentials respected around the world.

In addition to the necessary high school diplomas, many secondary schools offer international programs that can support a student’s post-secondary application. 

For instance, the International Baccalaureate is offered in many schools throughout Canada. The International Baccalaureate uses a standard grading system and rigorous curriculum that allows colleges and universities to convert grades into their local system very quickly.

How Many Years is High School in Canada?

The number of years students take in high schools in Canada varies due to the fact that education in Canada is overseen on a provincial level.

Also known as secondary school, high school runs from grades 9 to 12 in most Canadian provinces and territories, except Quebec, which starts in grade 7 and ends in grade 11.

After successfully completing high school at age 17 or 18, students can go on to college or university.

As for Quebec, they consider high schools(secondary schools) as grades 7 to 11 as I have stated earlier.

In Quebec, students may apply to college with their grade 11 diploma but must complete a Diploma of College studies if they intend to enrol in a University.

Canada’s school year

There is no distinction between middle and high school.

Most Canadian youngsters complete their school education through to grade 12, whereafter they may proceed on to vocational or tertiary studies.

The Canadian academic year runs from September through to June, although in some cases January admissions are allowed.

What is the cost of attending high school in Canada? | Is high school free in Canada?

Public schools in Canada are free for Canadian residents. However, they charge tuition fees for international students. For international students, they should expect to be paying between C$8,000 to C$15,000.

It is advised you check the high school that you have picked and see the exact tuition fee.

That’s not all, sometimes, schools charge small fees for your child to participate in extra activities, such as school outings.

Students bring their own lunch to school, however, some high schools in Canada offer cafeterias or hot lunch programs where students can purchase their meals.

Can I work in Canada as a high school Student?

The minimum age to work in Canada varies by province but is typically 14 to 15 years old.

The Canada Labour Code allows people under 17 to work, as long as it doesn’t conflict with school hours.

International high school students studying in Canada on a visa are not eligible to work.

What are the subjects to take in high schools in Canada?

The curriculum in Canada is very engaging and there are wide varieties of courses for students to select.

These courses are designed to teach students how to address real-world issues, how to develop critical thinking skills and how to adequately prepare for their future careers.

Students are required to take a certain number of credit core subjects like Mathematics, Science, and English Language to receive their high school diplomas.

These subjects are offered at different levels, including courses designed to fulfil standard university admission requirements.

Students can also take some unique classes in order to fulfil specific interests or specialties, such as business, film and social science credits.

High schools in Canada VS High schools in the US

The Canadian high school system is generally quite similar to that of the United States. One thing differentiating high schools in both countries is that each country’s schooling is designed to support post-secondary applications within the same country.

For instance, High Schools in the United States are structured to help students prepare for the SAT exams which are not required for Canadian Universities.

Also, you find terminologies differing from country to country. For example, American high schools tend to use the terms like freshman, sophomore, junior and senior to refer to different grades.

In contrast, Canadian high schools, refer to them as grades 9, 10, 11, or 12.

In Canadian high schools, there is less emphasis on sports, although athletic extracurriculars and sports teams are still popular.

Extracurricular Activities in Schools in Canada

School kids need to be active and challenged. It is an essential part of the Canadian way of life. Extracurricular activities were introduced for this purpose. Most schools have made it compulsory for learners.

These activities can take place during the school day, during lunch or even after school. For most school children it is the best part of the day because they get to enjoy a sport or cultural activity that can sometimes become a big part of their lives.

why should high school kids get involved in extracurricular activities?

Extracurricular activities are not only essential for children to learn about teamwork, respect and sportsmanship, but also for them to make friends and develop a passion for one of the extracurricular activities.

For high school students who are new to Canada, extracurricular activities can be a good way to practice and improve their English skills while gradually becoming a part of their new environment in a fun and exciting way.

The most beautiful part is that Universities and Colleges are looking for applicants who show that they have interests outside their academic lives, as well as volunteer experience.

There are different types of extracurricular programs to get involved with, in high schools in Canada and they are listed below:

Sports extracurricular activities:

  • Football
  • hockey
  • gymnastics
  • swimming
  • ballet
  • dance


  • Art
  • photography
  • choir


Volunteering is another example of extracurricular activity that benefits high school students while also helping people who are in need.

Where to live in Canada as a high school student

Some secondary schools in Canada have dormitories while Canadian high schools accepting international students will most time offer exchange programs, where students live with a host family near the school for the duration of their studies.

Living with a host family is an opportunity for international students to learn about the culture in Canada while they practice their English.

These families also provide support to their students, therefore, making the families fn the international students in the high schools in Canada feel comfortable, knowing that these students are being taken care of.

Boarding High Schools in Canada

It is no news that some high schools in Canada frequently offer accommodations to their students. These boarding high schools in Canada offer so many advantages.

Living inside a school gives students the opportunity to live in close proximity to their classes.

Boarding schools give students in high school students in Canada to live among their peers, providing networking opportunities and facilitating new friendships.

Boarding schools come with benefits such as the purchase of meal plans, which allow students to eat meals in cafeterias inside the school. This makes them spend less time cooking and more time focused on their studies.

Other benefits boarding schools come with includes access to fitness or aquatic facilities that are operated by the school.

The cost of living in a boarding school depends entirely on the institution and maybe less or more expensive. Below are some boarding high schools in Canada and how much they cost:

List of high schools in Canada (boarding schools in Canada) and their tuition

This is not the complete list. They are just some of the high schools you can consider.

  • Brentwood College School(Grades:  9-12, PG): Tuition: $59,000
  • Queen Margaret’s School(Grades:  6 to 12):Tuition: $62,920
  • St. George’s School(Grades: 9–12.):Tuition: $66,950
  • St Margaret’s School(Grades: 8-12): Tuition: $6,475.00
  • St Michaels University School(Grades: 8-12):Tuition: $62, 970
  • Shawnigan Lake School(Grades: 8-12):Tuition: $50,500
  • Balmoral Hall School(Grades: 2-12):Tuition: range from $31,500 to $33,000
  • St. John’s-Ravenscourt School(Grades: 6-12):Tuition: $16,890 to $49,440
  • Rothesay Netherwood School(Grades: 6-12):Tuition: $41,880
  • Albert College(Grades: 7-12): Tuition: $17,800 to 71,500/year
  • Appleby College(Grades: 7 to 12): Tuition: $68,630
  • Ashbury College(Grades: 9-12): Tuition: $71,720
  • The Bishop Strachan School(Grades: JK–12): Tuition: $34,760-$65,850
  • Bronte College of Canada, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada(Grades: 9 to 12): Tuition: $18,000.00 to $21,000.00

For schools that offer accommodation, the Day student tuition is usually different from the boarding student tuition. For instance, at St George’s School:

Day Student Tuition:

Junior School(Domestic): $26,000

Junior School(Int’l): $39,200

Boarding Student Tuition:

Canadian Students: $57,600

American / Mexican Students: $66,000

International Students: $78,300

Off-Campus Accommodations

Off-campus housing varies depending on the location you have finally chosen to study.

Schools located in expensive metropolitan cities, like Toronto and Vancouver, will likely have a range of apartments and condominiums for rent nearby.

High schools in Canada located in smaller towns and cities have fewer options. It is popular for the cost of housing to be cheaper in less populated areas.

Wherever the school is located, there are usually both short- and long-term off-campus housing options available.

For international students, short-term housing is usually preferable because they lack the financial capacity and certainty to go with the long-term property.

The most common short term housing options are rental properties.

These are available for single occupants, groups of roommates, or families. Since rentals can be expensive, many students choose to live with roommates to share the cost. 

In the case of rental properties, there will be an agreement between the landlord and the student. Be sure you review the rental agreement before signing.

The Home Stay Program

The homestay program is another housing option for students studying in Canada.

In this case, some schools pair students up with families in the area where they are studying, these are referred to as homestay.

Each homestay is different, students usually have their own rooms, otherwise, they live with the family, sharing meals and responsibilities.

Ensure you contact your school to find out the homestay program available.

Furthermore, apart from schools, there are agencies that can help place you with a host family.

They will find host families living within a 20-minute commute of your high school.

students might walk, ride a bike, take a school bus, or take public transportation to school. Or the host family might drive them.

In the home, international students will have their own single room. There might be 1 other international student in the house, of a different nationality.

Each student has their own bed, study area, closet, and space.

International students share the rest of the home with their host family, sharing meals, social time, outings, and Canadian holidays.

Upon arrival, students and host families review rules and expectations together.  

Host families are there to support students to be comfortable in Canada.

They share their local culture, answer questions and support students when they need help.

 For instance, taking the student to the doctor if they feel sick.

Canadian High School Diploma for Post-Secondary Education

One beautiful thing about attending high schools in Canada is the fact that the Canadian high school diploma can significantly increase the chances of an international student being accepted by post-secondary schools in Canada.

This is because Canadian colleges and universities can recognize and quickly evaluate a student’s learning.

Even if you decide not to study in any University in Canada, the Canadian high school credentials are valued as much as US diplomas.

Canadian students can even take Advanced Placement (AP) classes that you may find in American high schools.

US colleges and universities typically have standardized testing requirements for admission.

High school students in Canada can find local SAT and ACT prep courses and testing centres that allow them to meet these requirements.

Admission Process in Canada for International Students

These days applying to the high schools in Canada is easy. High schools in Canada have online applications that are designed for ease of use.

The application processes sometimes can be completed within thirty minutes to an hour.

There are sections for parents and sections for the applying student to complete.

Students are often advised to include as much information as possible to help the school appreciate such students talents and achievements.

Upon completion, you will move on to the section that requests supporting documents.

The process is less strenuous.

This minimum requirement is often only a passing grade (50% average).

The following documents will be requested as part of the application process:

  • A copy of their passport
  • School history from the past three years
  • A completed application form
  • A declaration of eligibility

English language ability 

In high schools in Canada, International students are expected to have an intermediate to a high level of English Language ability to study at an English-Speaking high school in Canada.

Applications can be submitted without an English language test, but students may be required to complete a test online after they have received their acceptance offer.

 If a student has a low level of English, they may be required to take ESL courses, sometimes at extra cost.

High Schools in Canada Application Fee

The application fees in high schools in Canada can be $25 for schools that are considerable, sometimes it can be as high as $300.

For instance, The Bishop Strachan School application fee is $300 while the Shawnigan Lake School application fee is $200 for international boarding students and $100 for a Canadian boarding applicant.

List of Public High Schools in Canada

We will only list some of the public high schools in Canada that you can consider.

  • Medicine Hat Public School Division—Alberta
  • Burnaby School District—Vancouver
  • Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District–British Columbia
  • Qualicum School District—British Columbia
  • Golden Hills School Division—Alberta
  • Gulf Islands School District—British Columbia
  • Vancouver School Board—British Columbia
  • Peace River North School District—British Columbia
  • Livingstone Range School Division—Alberta
  • Sooke School District—British Columbia
  • Rocky Mountain School District–British Columbia
  • Alberni District Secondary School—British Columbia
  • Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows School District–British Columbia
  • Durham Catholic District School Board—Ontario
  • Catholic Central Secondary School— Ontario
  • Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute—Ontario
  • Toronto District School Board —Ontario
  • Ottawa Catholic School Board– Ontario
  • Eastern Townships School Board—Quebec
  • Delta School District—British Columbia
  • Newfoundland and Labrador English School–Newfoundland and Labrador
  • New Brunswick French International Student—New Brunswick
  • Langley Schools —British Columbia
  • Prince Edward Island Public Schools Branch–Prince Edward Island
  • Edmonton Public Schools–Alberta
  • Coquitlam School District —British Columbia
  • Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board–Ontario
  • Centre Wellington High School — Ontario
  • Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board –Quebec

International Student’s Requirement to study in high schools in Canada

To enter a high school in Canada, your child may need to show they have:

  1. Finished certain grades that correspond to grade levels in Canada
  2. Proficient language skills in English or French
  3. School results or report cards from their home country

Use this national directory of schools (public and private) to identify a Canadian school and then determine the requirements your school sets for international students.

After being accepted by any of the high schools in Canada, the applicant must apply for a study permit.

What is a Minor Child?

A person who is under the age of majority is a Minor child. Usually, each province and territory decides the age when a person is in the age of majority.

The age of majority applies to all provincial laws and is set at either 18 or 19 depending
on which province you live in.

Caring for a minor child in Canada

The parents of the child who plans to attend any of the high schools in Canada must prove that the minor child will have the care and support that they need during their stay in Canada.

Minor Children who are under the age of 17 must either:

  • come with their parent or legal guardian or
  • have a custodian in Canada

Who is a Custodian in Canada?

A custodian is defined as a responsible adult, who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, who will take care of and support the minor child during the child’s stay in Canada.

A custodian is optional for minors 17 years of age and older, but an officer can request one on a case-by-case basis.

How to appoint a Custodian

To appoint a custodian, send the Custodianship Declaration form (PDF, 1.02 MB) along with the minor child’s study permit application.

The two pages of the form look similar, but:

  • the first page needs to be signed by the custodian and notarized (certified by a lawyer or notary) in Canada
  • the second page needs to be signed by the parents or legal guardians of the minor child and notarized in their home country(it can be emailed to you)

Entering Canada as a Minor Child

Minor Children who want to enter Canada must apply for a study permit after the above-listed steps before they can enter Canada.

This includes minor children who come with parents who already have a valid study or work permit.

If they’re coming to Canada with their parents who maybe have a valid study or work permit, they don’t need to provide a letter of acceptance from a school when they apply for a study permit. Visit https://www.canada.ca/ to see the steps on how to apply for a study permit.

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