For many parents, deciding whether or not they want their kids to enroll in boarding schools in Toronto or day schools is one of the things (among many others) that parents will likely never agree on.
Some of them will tell you that boarding schools make their kids become independent; others will tell you that children pick up a lot of bad vices away from home where they are unmonitored.
What do we think?
We think boarding schools are great. At least, nearly 50 percent of the boarding schools in Toronto are; especially when you consider the tremendous amount of successes and reputation they have garnered for themselves, their vast alumni network, and overall ranking.
Boarding schools are an excellent choice for the right student and family. When used correctly, they can lay a strong foundation for a successful future.
In this article, we have done our research and discovered these 15 schools to be the best boarding schools in Toronto. So, in case you’re new in town or searching for something similar, these are the best places to start.
However, it’s important that you do your research before enrolling your child in one of these schools.
What are Boarding Schools?
Ridiculous question, but say, you don’t have a clue?
In that case, boarding schools are educational institutions where students live on campus (in the school) throughout the length of the school’s academic term, semester, or otherwise specified.
The term “ boarder” is used to describe the children who attend these schools, and they usually attend them because they cannot commute to school every day. Boarding school life is often seen as more rigorous than regular public or private schools, but it can also be better for students who have trouble making friends or are struggling with their academics.
Boarding schools usually have dormitories where boarders live during the week while attending classes at the school campus. This style of living promotes camaraderie among fellow students, encourages teamwork, and provides an environment in which students feel comfortable sharing personal problems with each other. Some boarding schools also offer specialized programs for teenagers dealing with trauma or substance abuse issues.
Also Read: Military Schools for Troubled Teens
Comparing Boarding Schools to Day Schools: The Benefits
Boarding schools offer students the opportunity to focus on their studies in ways that day students do not. Boarders have more time to work on projects and assignments, participate in extracurricular activities and socialize with their peers.
This can be helpful for students who need help completing homework or want to work toward getting good grades at school.
Boarding schools also provide an environment where students can learn how to live independently early in life, as they are more likely than day students who return home each evening after school has ended for the day.
As such, boarding school is often a good choice if you’re looking for a school that will prepare your child for college or university life, as well as give them the chance to explore new interests outside of academics.
Suggested: 21 Free Boarding Schools for You
List of 15 Best Boarding Schools in Toronto
The following 15 schools are listed in no particular order.
- Lakefield College School
- Havergal College
- Branksome Hall
- Upper Canada College (UCC)
- The Bishop Strachan School
- Royal Crown School
- St. John’s-Kilmarnock School
- Albert College
- Trinity College School
- Academie Ste-Cecile International School
- Appleby College
- Rosseau Lake College
- Laureate College
- The Hill Academy
- Robert Land Academy
Lakefield College School
Lakefield College School is a private boarding school located just outside of Peterborough, Ontario. It’s one of the oldest boys’ schools in Canada and has been educating students since 1879. Students are taught in an environment that values diversity and foster community involvement both on-campus and off-campus.
The tuition for Lakefield College School is C$65,400 (for boarders) per year, depending on whether or not you’re receiving financial aid from government programs like the OSAP. It is also noteworthy that Lakefield College School offers tuition assistance to needs-based students who qualify.
The academic program at Lakefield includes everything from Canadian history to algebra II and A&P I & II – all taught by teachers who are passionate about their subjects as well as being highly qualified educators with years of experience under their belts.
Students have access to some incredible facilities including libraries plus state-of-the-art science labs which provide resources they’ll need throughout high school so they can succeed academically while also having fun doing it.
Havergal College is a private girls’ school in Toronto. It was founded in 1894 and named after Frances Ridley Havergal, an author, composer, and humanitarian. Today, Havergal has a strong academic program with a focus on the arts and sciences.
It also offers its students valuable experiences outside of their studies such as trips to China and India. The campus itself is beautiful—it’s located near Queen’s Park, so there are plenty of green spaces nearby for relaxation or study breaks.
Havergal is widely renowned for producing several high-profile women in Canada who have excelled in areas like sports, politics, writing, and performing arts. The cost of tuition at Havergal is C$67,560 for Canadian boarding students and C$68,540 for international students.
This tuition cost does not include registration and application fees that are payable before an application for an admission slot is accessible.
Branksome Hall, located in Toronto, is an independent day and boarding girls’ school that offers the following IB programs:
- Primary Years Program
- Middle Years Program, and
- International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.
Branksome Hall is an International Baccalaureate World School and university preparatory school known for its outstanding academic program, teaching its girls to become innovative leaders. The school prioritizes community service through strong values and international mindedness, and graduates of Branksome Hall are famously welcomed into leading universities in Canada.
Branksome Hall is a prestigious school, hence, it is quite expensive; it is one of the best schools in Canada. Thus, parents hoping to enroll their kids at this school as boarding students will expect to pay C$72,080 (Jk – grade 10) and C$75,580 (Grade 11 & 12); excluding additional fees for technology, music, registration, and other study-related expenses.
Parents with children in this school pay a hefty sum of C$85,000 – C$90,000 per year to cover all of their kids’ expenses.
Upper Canada College (UCC)
Alas! If you’re looking for a prestigious, all-boys school with a wealth of history and tradition, look no further than Upper Canada College (UCC). With alumni including former Canadian Prime Minister John A. Macdonald and musician Bryan Adams, UCC is one of the oldest and most prestigious boys’ schools in Canada.
This school lays a strong emphasis on leadership development and academic excellence, as well as intellectual rigor. The school boasts an impressive co-curricular program that includes more than 20 sports teams, an award-winning choir and orchestra program, intramural sports teams for students in grades 8 through 12, debate tournaments, and much more.
The Upper Canada College campus itself is located in Toronto’s upscale Forest Hill neighborhood — just steps away from some of Toronto’s most beautiful parks—so if you’re looking for a private boarding school with an excellent academic reputation plus plenty of outdoor space, then UCC should be high on your list.
The cost of tuition at UCC is within the range of most other boarding schools in Toronto. Aside from the C$5,000 non-refundable registration fee, parents of boarding students should expect to pay between C$61,850 – C$66,835 in tuition fees.
The Bishop Strachan School
Bishop Strachan School is an independent all-girls boarding and day school for students in Grades 7 to 12. The school is located in the heart of Toronto. It has a reputation for academic excellence and offers a range of opportunities to develop talents, interests, and independence.
Bishop Strachan School is named after John Strachan, Toronto’s first Anglican bishop. The school was established by Anglican clergymen who wanted to provide education to wealthy families in the growing city of Toronto.
Since its founding in 1867, Bishop Strachan continues to offer outstanding academics through grades 9-12, as well as a wide array of extra-curricular activities ranging from sports teams (soccer, cross country running) to student government initiatives (the Student Council Committee).
In terms of academic performance, it is difficult to mention the best schools in Toronto without naming Bishop Strachan School twice. Hence, it is an elite school that many average-income parents may not be able to afford.
The tuition fee costs C$69,145 for international boarders, excluding the one-time registration fee of C$8,500 and other study-related expenses.
Royal Crown School
Royal Crown School is a private boarding school in Toronto. The school has been operating for some years, and it’s the perfect place for students looking for an exclusive, rigorous, and traditional education.
The curriculum at Royal Crown School is challenging but rewarding. Students develop skills that will serve them well throughout their lives by taking part in extracurricular activities such as debating, drama club, and sports teams.
An average day includes six hours of classes plus three hours of homework each night; weekends are dedicated to studying or preparing presentations for upcoming tests or projects so students won’t have any time to slack off.
Currently, the tuition fee at Royal Crown School is not made public knowledge; but parents looking to enroll their child/ward at this school can contact them by sending an inquiry to [email protected] to find out more.
St. John’s-Kilmarnock School
St. John’s-Kilmarnock School is a progressive, IB day and boarding school for students in junior kindergarten, senior kindergarten, and grades one through twelve. Located in the heart of Toronto’s exclusive Yorkville neighborhood, St. John’s-Kilmarnock offers a safe and nurturing environment that encourages academic excellence, personal growth, and community involvement.
The school offers a wide range of extracurricular activities including athletics (including basketball and volleyball), drama, music, and the visual arts; it also has excellent science programs with state-of-the-art laboratories for biology, chemistry, and physics courses.
With only about 10 – 17 students per class on average at St John’s Kilmarnock School, you can expect your child to receive individualized attention from teachers as well as peers who are just as driven to succeed academically.
The cost of tuition at SJK School is C$73,700/year for boarding students; this does not include the C$5,000 registration fee for new students and study-related expenses that may be incurred.
Albert College is a co-educational, independent school for students in pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12. The school offers boarding and day programs on its 135-acre campus in Aurora, Ontario.
Albert College offers students the opportunity to take part in numerous athletic teams, clubs, and activities throughout their time at the school. In addition to academics, students can also participate in:
- Athletics (football/soccer)
- Theatre arts
- Intramurals (basketball)
In terms of academic strength, Albert College is considered fairly above-average. Thus, they make a decent choice, as well as a less-expensive one when you compare it to other boarding schools in Toronto.
The tuition schedule for its 2022/2023 session on its website reads:
- Canadian boarders (Grades 7-8) – C$56,800
- Canadian boarders (Grades 9-12) – C$66,200
- North American & Caribbean boarding students (Grades 7-8) – C$69,100
- North American & Caribbean boarding students (Grades 9-12) – C$75,400
- Other Global Regions (Grades 7-8) – C$69,100
- Other Global Regions (Grades 9-12) – C$75,400
To find out more about the fee schedule, click here.
Trinity College School
Trinity College School is a private day and boarding school located in Port Hope, Ontario, just northeast of Toronto.
The school was founded in 1865 and has been offering boarding since then. Trinity College School is recognized as one of the oldest and best independent schools in Canada. Trinity is also an IB World School.
The student-to-teacher ratio at Trinity College School is 6:1, with its class size estimated to be 12 – 20 students; which allows for more individualized attention from teachers to students.
It also boasts an impressive 88 percent overall graduation rate, with a large number of students going on to attend university or college after graduating from Trinity College School.
Most of TCS’s graduate students opt to study at top universities in Canada like Ryerson University, while others travel out to study at UCLA.
More than half of its student population are Ontario natives, while about 25 percent of that population makes up international students who come from 25 countries outside Canada.
The cost of tuition for boarders at this school is C$67,000; thankfully, Canadian (domestic) students will only pay C$50,000 by reason of an incentive program.
Academie Ste-Cecile International School
Academie Ste-Cecile International School is a private international boarding and day school in Toronto, Ontario. It offers co-educational education services to children from JK to Grade 9 and provides an alternative to homeschooling.
Boarding schools have become very popular in Canada, particularly among families who want their children to get a quality education while being exposed to different cultures.
This is because they offer great opportunities for learning and personal growth through interaction with other students and teachers. One of these top boarding schools in Canada is Ste-Cecile.
Also known as ASCIS, the school was established in 1979 and later became an International Baccalaureate World School in 1996. The school aims to foster excellence in academics and cultivate iconic leaders who are not only viable members of society but are logical-thinking individuals who respect differing cultural and religious beliefs.
The school’s philosophy is deeply rooted in Roman Catholicism; however, the school maintains strong respect and appreciation for religious diversity. Parents will particularly love the unique education approach this school offers, as well as its track record in maintaining small class sizes.
The cost of tuition at ASCIS is C$50,000 per year for international boarding students. It is easily one of the cheapest boarding schools in Toronto we have on this list.
Appleby College is a co-educational boarding and day school for students through grade 12. It’s located in Oakville, Ontario, with an enrolment of approximately 700 students.
The school offers a safe and nurturing environment where students can develop their talents to their fullest potential. Appleby College is committed to academic excellence, as well as fostering values such as integrity, respect for others, and service to the community.
Students can choose from over 20 sports teams each year including ice hockey, volleyball, badminton, or cheerleading.
Other activities include drama productions; field trips; service projects; art classes such as painting or photography; language classes like French or Spanish; music lessons like playing guitar or piano; drama club with annual performances put on by students every year towards the end of each term.
The cost of tuition at Appleby College is C$81,870 for international students and C$75,500 for Canadians. To learn more, you can visit their tuition page.
Rosseau Lake College
Rosseau Lake College is a co-educational boarding school located along the beautiful lake Rosseau in Ontario, Canada. This private high school serves students from grades 6 through 12 and has a student population of about 250 students.
Rosseau Lake School offers academic programs that are customized to meet each student’s needs and interests. The school’s two main programs include:
- Middle Years Program.
- Academic Program – which prepares students for university studies at either McGill University or Concordia University.
Like many other boarding schools on this list, this school also offers ESL (English as a Second Language) courses to non-native speakers.
The cost of tuition for boarders at Rosseau Lake College is C$58,400 for domestic students and C$63,100 for their international counterparts.
Laureate College is a private school in Toronto that offers an academically rigorous education for students aged 5 to 17. It has a reputation for being one of the best schools in Canada and has been ranked as one of the top 20 boarding schools in Canada by several publications.
The school is located on Bloor Street West near Bathurst Street, which means it is just a few steps away from some of Toronto’s most popular tourist attractions such as Chinatown and Kensington Market.
The cost of tuition ranges from C$9,600 to C$40,600/year.
The Hill Academy
The Hill Academy is located in Orangeville, northwest of Toronto – a city known for its diversity, athletics, and culture. Founded in 2006 by the Merill Family for “student-athletes,” this is a relatively newer boarding school in Toronto.
Although it’s been around for a lesser time, The Hill Academy still stands as one of the top-ranked boarding schools in Toronto.
And this isn’t just because they have an impressive curriculum; they also have a close-knit community that values tradition and excellence over anything else. Students are educated via collaborative learning, to foster academic, and societal excellence.
The cost of tuition at The Hill Academy for boarding students is C$69,740 per year.
Robert Land Academy
If you’re looking for an all-around excellent school that offers a great academic program, a wide variety of extracurricular activities and sports teams, and the chance to live on campus while getting a top-notch private education—all at a price that won’t break your budget—Robert Land Academy is your best bet.
Robert Land Academy offers grades 7 through 12, with an average class size of 15 students per classroom and plenty of individualized attention from teachers. Students can choose to live on campus or commute; whichever option they choose, there’s no question about the quality of their education.
Moreover, Robert Land Academy has received some of Toronto’s highest ratings for its high school programs in recent years.
Students are also encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities like sports teams or student councils; they can even apply their athletic skills in their classroom studies by joining their school’s intramural sports teams! There really isn’t anything this school doesn’t offer its students.
The cost of tuition at RLA is C$61,200 per year for boarding students. You can learn more about enrollment here.
Popular FAQs About Boarding Schools in Toronto
It’s never too early to start thinking about your child’s education. While there are many different options available, boarding schools are among the most popular for students in middle school and high school.
We’ve put together a list of some of the best boarding schools in Toronto. Whether you’re looking for a school that offers specialized programs or one that allows your child to get involved with extracurricular activities, there is something on this list for everyone.
But before making an appointment at any of these top boarding schools in Toronto, it’s important to understand what they represent and why they’re worth considering. Here are some common questions parents have about boarding schools:
How much do boarding schools cost in Canada?
While the cost of boarding school in Canada can vary widely depending on the school, it’s important to keep in mind that tuition fees are only one part of what it will cost you. Boarding schools have additional costs like uniforms and supplies, which can add up quickly.
However, there are many ways to reduce your total expenses at a boarding school by taking advantage of financial aid programs or other scholarships and discounts offered by these institutions.
What age can kids go to boarding school?
While the age of most students ranges from 11 to 18, there are some boarding schools that have a minimum age of 13. The maximum age for most boarding schools is 15.
Are boarding schools expensive?
The cost of boarding school depends on the school and the type of program you enroll in. Boarding schools can vary greatly in price, with some institutions charging more than others. Prices vary greatly depending on the number of years a student is enrolled at a given institution, as well as what activities they participate in while there.
Some boarding schools in Toronto charge less than C$65,000 per year (including tuition), while others charge over C$80,000 annually because they provide more amenities or have higher-quality facilities than other institutions do. The average cost of tuition in boarding schools in Toronto is C$65,700.
Is boarding school good for your child?
Boarding school is not for everyone. While it may seem like a convenient and flexible option, boarding schools are not the right choice for every family or child. Boarding school can be a good fit for some students, but it’s important to consider whether it’s right for your child.
There are other options available that may better suit your needs and lifestyle:
- Online schools are an excellent choice if you want to save money on tuition fees by taking classes from home or work. You can take advantage of flexible scheduling options and still be home every day with your child since you don’t need to commute back and forth from class every day.
- Private schools offer smaller class sizes which allow teachers more one-on-one time with students—a benefit particularly valuable during formative years when children begin learning basic skills such as reading, writing, and math so they can succeed in later grades of school.
What are the disadvantages of enrolling my child in a boarding school?
When it comes to boarding schools, there are some disadvantages. For example:
- Some kids just don’t like the idea of being away from home and having to live away from their families for a period of time.
- Parents may not want their children to live away from home either. There can be a fear that something might happen to them while they’re at school and no one would know about it until it’s too late.
- Some kids have trouble adjusting to their new environment and end up feeling homesick or missing their friends back at home. Others might not get along with all of their roommates or teachers, which makes life harder than necessary at times when you’re dealing with these kinds of issues on top of everything else going on in your life right now.
Wrapping It Up
The benefits of boarding schools far outweigh the costs and can help your child develop into a well-rounded individual. If you are considering sending your child to a boarding school, there are many options available in Toronto.
This article has covered some of the top boarding schools in Toronto, including Havergal College, Branksome Hall, Upper Canada College (UCC), The Bishop Strachan School, and Royal Crown School.