The 12 Best Private Schools in Leaside

The 12 Best Private Schools in Leaside

  • Giulia Gallina
  • 07/24/22

Leaside is an upscale neighborhood in Toronto, located near Eglinton Avenue East and Bayview Avenue. The area got its name from the William Lea family, who lived there in the early 1800s. Leaside is the ideal place for raising a family while still being close to main arteries and downtown.

If providing your child with the finest environment for intellectual, emotional, and social growth is one of your top objectives, contemplate private schooling. The private schools in Leaside can help your child develop their abilities and provide an excellent learning environment. The following are the ten best private schools serving the Leaside neighborhood.

1. Branksome Hall

Photo courtesy of

Founded in 1903, Branksome Hall is one of the longest-tenured private schools in Toronto. In the years since its founding, the all-girls school has acquired the properties that comprise its 13-acre campus, which is located in downtown Toronto. The campus blends century-old traditional homes with newer facilities like the athletic building pictured above.

Branksome’s student population has expanded along with its campus, from about 70 students in 1903 to nearly 900 today. Boarding students represent 18 different nationalities, and among the 125 faculty members, nearly half possess graduate degrees.

On campus, these students and faculty share two saltwater pools, a state-of-the-art gym, a fitness center, an indoor rock-climbing wall, and two expansive libraries. Even those amenities sell the campus short: it’s quite beautiful, set amid a ravine woodlot and within walking distance of the happening Rosedale area of downtown Toronto. The sheen of modern architecture is offset by the heritage mansions set on campus.

2. TFS – Canada’s International School

Photo courtesy of TFS

TFS describes itself as “the only full-continuum International Baccalaureate world school for French and English in Canada.” Since 1962, the school has maintained more or less the same core values: bilingual education, academic rigor, well-roundedness, and international viewpoints. The school aims to produce reflective and action-oriented world citizens.

Outside the classroom, TFS students take part in extra-curriculars like sports, the arts, student government, and niche clubs and activities. This being the 21st century, it’s de rigueur for an excellent school like TFS to offer STEAM facilities for such projects as coding or robotics. Students also participate in a citizenship program, which keeps the school on the same page through assemblies and societies.

Through an ethos of acceptance, safety, and inclusiveness, the school delivers on both its promise and the promise of each student. The two campuses serve about 1,500 students from age two to grade 12. Students and their families represent more than 40 countries, and the school’s alumni association represents much of the world as well.

3. Crescent School

Photo courtesy of Crescent School

Located at 2365 Bayview Avenue, Crescent School is an all-boys private day school. Crescent School's facilities are built on a 30-acre property in the heart of midtown Toronto and the school admits students from Grades 3 to 12. It’s known worldwide as a pioneer in boys' education.

With a population of 785 students, the school provides a robust academic and co-curricular program, including athletics, arts, outreach, business, and robotics. The average class size in Crescent School is 16 students, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 9:1. The tuition here is around $37,350 per year.

Built in 1913 by John William James, Crescent School is accredited by the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools. The staff at Crescent School are highly trained and dedicated to educational excellence.

Crescent School also provides a Summer Academic Program for all high school students and March Break, Summer Camps, and After School activities for children aged six and above.

4. Hawthorn School

Photo courtesy of Hawthorn School

Located at 101 Scarsdale Road, Toronto, Hawthorn School is an all-girls Catholic independent school. Hawthorn was established in 1989 and is a part of the Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario Athletic Association (CIS) and a Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) member.

Hawthorn admits students from preschool to grade 12. Students at Hawthorn participate in various extracurricular activities, including the Canadian Independent Schools Music Festival and the Ontario Classics Conference.

Service projects, school dramas, musicals, orientations, and sleep-away camps are among the activities offered to pupils as part of Hawthorn's fundamental curriculum.

Hawthorn offers a one-of-a-kind and highly specialized program that focuses on the needs of young girls while teaching them through a Catholic lens. Their Classical Liberal Arts Education provides cultural literacy and critical reasoning skills.

Hawthorn's all-girls environment and one of the lowest student-to-teacher ratios in the country allow each student to explore their potential in an enriching learning environment. Their Mentoring Program aids the students in the growth of virtues. The main languages spoken in Hawthorn are English and French.

5. Sunnybrook School

Photo courtesy of Sunnybrook School’s Facebook

Located at 469 Merton Street, Toronto, Sunnybrook School is an IB co-educational day school for students from JK to Grade 6. Sunnybrook School opened its doors in 1952, making it one of Canada's first preschools. The school was on the cutting edge of education from the start and has worked hard to stay there ever since.

Sunnybrook was the country's first school to implement the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. Since then, it has focused on developing 21st-century literacy skills, an international curriculum, and implementing Singapore Math. The school has an enrollment of 140 students.

6. Children's Garden School

Founded in 1986 by Marie Bates, Children's Garden School, on Eglinton east of Bayview, has been a special place for children and their families. The student-to-staff ratio in CGS is 8:1, and the average class size here is 12-20 kids.

Marie Bates believes pupils learn just as much in music class as they do in math class. The school has stayed faithful to the founder’s original ideals, which were to create a caring, open, and supportive atmosphere where students could get a good academic foundation.

The school's framework enables students to connect throughout the curriculum while expanding their interests. The reputation that CGS has established throughout its thirty-plus-year existence reflects the program's strength. The school admits from Preschool to Grade 4.

CGS is respected within the Independent School community and offers students a warm, nurturing environment. For the past 35 years, CGS has been the preferred private school in Leaside.

7. Maria Montessori

Founded in 1975, Maria Montessori is a co-educational day school. The school presents the precise letter of the Montessori approach in everything from multi-age classrooms and an emphasis on group work to a strong awareness of developmental stages.

Located at 125 Brentcliffe Road, Toronto, Maria Montessori School has operated at the same location in North Toronto's Leaside neighborhood. With a total enrollment of about 130 children, the school currently supports a Young Children's Community (toddler), three Casa, and two Elementary communities.

  • Young Children's Community (Toddler) — For children from 18 months. Half-Day runs from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, while full Full Day is 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.

  • Casa Dei Bambini (The Children's House) — For children from 2.5 years to 6+ years. Half-Day runs from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, while Full Day runs from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.

  • Elementary Program — For children from 6+ years to 12 years. Runs from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.

The Maria Montessori School is dedicated to addressing each child's social, emotional, physical, and intellectual requirements.

8. St. Clement's School

Located at 21 St. Clements Avenue, in the heart of midtown Toronto, St. Clement's School is an Anglican independent day school for girls. The school was founded in 1901 by Canon Thomas Wesley Powell as a coed school, but following World War I, it became an all-girls institution.

St. Clement's School provides a well-balanced, supportive learning environment based on academic success. The average class size is 16 girls, with English as the primary language. The school admits from grades one to 12 and has about 460 students.

St. Clement's School is known for its longtime commitment to academic rigor and quality in a small, loving setting.

9. Seneca Hill Private School

Founded in 1988, Seneca Hill Private School is a co-educational day school admitting from JK to Grade 12. The school is located at 33 Overland Drive, Toronto. Seneca Hill has small class sizes, strong academics, a nurturing environment, and a supportive community.

The school has a long history in Toronto and consistent leadership throughout. The average class size in Seneca Hill is 12 to 16 students, while the main language used here is English.

Seneca Hill, by any metric, meets and exceeds all the things that families look for in private education. Seneca Hill Private School offers:

  • A safe learning environment for your child
  • Personalized curriculum based on your child's preferred learning method
  • Passionate teachers
  • Affordable tuition rates
  • An environment free from bullying
  • Fun classes with a mix of individual and collaborative projects
  • The Edsby Learning Platform which sends you daily alerts about your child's education to your smart device.

The student population is 120 across K-12, so each student gets adequate attention from teachers. The curriculum is delivered through a keen understanding of student strengths, talents, and needs.

10. Howlett Academy

Located at 15-17 Madison Avenue, Toronto, Howlett Academy is a co-educational day school that admits students from JK to Grade 8. The core values of Howlett academy are integrity, accountability, innovation, teamwork, energy, and creativity.

Established in 2001, Howlett has an enrolment of 140 students. The average class size is 12 to 18 students.

The school's curriculum is engaging, relevant, integrated, and encourages intellectual curiosity. Howlett Academy's program comprises mathematics, French, sciences, music, arts, humanities, lifestyle choices, and personal fitness. English is the primary language in Howlett.

A clear, well-organized curriculum, attentive supervision, and a clear set of academic goals and expectations are strengths of the Howlett program. Students are encouraged to strive for greatness, and the institution has a strong track record of success.

11. Montcrest School

Photo courtesy of Montcrest School

Located at 658 Broadview Avenue, Toronto, Montcrest School is a co-educational day school with a progressive curriculum. Montcrest School is a warm and friendly environment that focuses on developing exceptional young people.

Montcrest was founded in 1961 and has an enrolment of 340 students. The school admits from JK to Grade 8 and has an average class size of 8 to 18 students.

Montcrest school offers:

  • Small class sizes
  • 21st-century skills - inquiry, technology & critical thinking
  • Project & inquiry-based learning (e.g., iSTEAM Program)
  • Visual & performing arts programs (music, drama & dance)
  • Athletics - varsity teams (CISAA), intramurals & varied clubs
  • Leadership Development

12. Blyth Academy Lawrence Park

Photo courtesy of Blyth Academy Lawrence Park

Opened in 2010, Blyth Academy Lawrence Park is a co-educational private school offering full-time programs for Grades 9-12 and part-time programs, including night school, summer school, online, and private studies. The average class size is 12 students.

Blyth Academy is located at 2660 Yonge Street. The objective of Blyth Academy is to offer students a high-quality education that is highly customized, motivating, and provides a clear path for their post-secondary futures.

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