The History of Royal St. George's College

Founded as an Anglican Choir School in 1961, Royal St. George’s College continues to foster its musical traditions and Christian values.

RSGC began in the 1950s as the dream of John Bradley and Healey Willan. Bradley subsequently enlisted the support of his fellow teachers at St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, most notably Jack Wright, who became the first headmaster of the School, and John Allen, his successor. These founders envisioned a school that would combine the best attributes of the independent school traditions with the training of boy choristers in the music and liturgy of the Anglican Church.

The College opened its doors in 1964 on the property of the Church of St. Alban-the-Martyr. As the school established a strong academic reputation, enrolment grew, as did the campus. A modern classroom wing was built, complete with science laboratories, a library and a full-sized gymnasium.

Shortly after the College’s 25th anniversary, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II honoured RSGC by granting it “Royal” designation, making it the only pre-university institution in Canada with that distinction.

Situated in the historic Annex area in the heart of Toronto, RSGC is close to cultural and academic centres such as the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the University of Toronto, the Toronto Central Reference Library, and numerous theatres. It is easily accessible from all parts of Toronto and from areas served by GO Transit.

Our Campus

The campus at Royal St. George’s speaks volumes about the school itself: it is intimate in scale and offers many of the most up-to-date amenities; yet it stands on a foundation going back over a hundred years.

Back in the late 1800s, the site was intended to be the cathedral for the Anglican Church. While only a third of the cathedral itself was ever completed, the finished building serves as a school Chapel that is the envy of many larger schools. The classrooms and gymnasium that make up the Senior School are built on the pilings that had been laid for the rest of the cathedral, extending seamlessly out from the Chapel.

The original parish hall forms the core of our Junior School and assembly hall, with the benefit of several key additions. See House, built as the Bishop’s residence, is the administrative hub of the school and the home of our admissions office, a gracious and comfortable building where we welcome families and visitors.

At the heart of the campus is the school’s famous tarmac, a playground sometimes grudgingly given over to parking, but always a hive of activity for students and staff together: from pick-up games in breaks and formal Physical Education classes, to the after-school institution of the winter ball hockey league, the tarmac is anything but the humblest feature of the school; many of the best memories graduates take with them are formed here.

Chapel

We conduct services according to the standards of the Anglican Church of Canada and follow the liturgical calendar, including Saints’ Days and Festivals. Within this context, boys of all religions and beliefs are invited to express their spirituality. We come together to celebrate the presence of God and the working of the spiritual in our lives. All boys must attend Chapel services and while they are not required to actively participate, they are expected to be respectful of those who do.

Important things you should know about our Chapel services:

  • Father David Donkin is our Chaplain.
  • Mr. Douglas Jamieson is the Director of Choral Music and Organist.
  • All staff and students must attend Chapel (Blazers required).
  • Chapel is a special and sacred time for many; therefore, we encourage exemplary behaviour.