Our History

* Montcrest School Principals


Founded as The January School devoted to small classes, with students enrolled according to ability rather than date of birth.

Founded by Patricia and Taduez Grygier to serve their son, Jan, who was born in January and not permitted to enter Kindergarten until the following year. It started with seven students and was located in Annex on Spadina Avenue.

* First Principal, Patricia Grygier (1961 – 1966)


The Grygiers move to Ottawa and handed over the school to the Board of Directors and a new Principal.

* Mrs. Darling (1966), Principal *died suddenly
* Carolyn Atkinson, Principal (1966 – 1968)
* Marilyn Etchells, Principal (1968 – 1970)
* Katherine Livingston, Principal (1970 – 1982)


Organized as Montcrest School by Katherine S. Livingston, in a house at 4 Montcrest Boulevard, provided through the generous support of Charles Lake Gundy. A special education program is established for children with learning disabilities.


The name of the school was officially changed to from the January School to Montcrest School.


Charles Lake Gundy donates the house and property at 4 Montcrest Boulevard to Montcrest School. The Ewart R. Angus Wing of 4 Montcrest is opened, thanks to a gift from the estate of Ewart R. Angus and other sources. A bursary program is established through a gift from the Angus Estate. The first Montcrest Mini-Marathon held at Montcrest School.


Grades seven and eight are added. The Gervase Moore Family purchases 543 Broadview Avenue and donates its use to the school. The first school dramatic production The Little Prince inspires Montcrest’s drama program and the evolution of The Montcrest Players in 1996

* Josephine Wilson, Principal (1982- 1983)
* Diane Johnston, Principal (1983 – 1987)


The first Montcrest Parents’ Association started by Dr. Phillip Rawkins.


The proceeds from the sale of 543 Broadview were donated in Mr. Moore’s memory, to the school by the family of Gervase Moore.


Montcrest School leases 658 Broadview Avenue, with an option to purchase within two years. A renovation program begins to convert the property to additional classrooms and other school facilities, to be ready for the September 1986 school year.


Montcrest celebrated its first Kite Day in the spring.
658 Broadview Ave. is renovated and opens in the fall to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Montcrest School.

* Graham Hookey, Principal (1987 – 1990)


Thor Eaton donates the outdoor amphitheatre and playground to Montcrest School.

* Alan Croombe, Principal (1990 – 1991)


Fundraising by the Montcrest Parents enabled the school to build the two story annex and science room. Montcrest Parents’ Association is renewed and re-structured.

* Elaine Danson, Principal (1991 – 2006)


Through the efforts of the Montcrest Parents’ Association funds were raised for a computer lab.


Montcrest School purchased 650 Broadview to expand its grade seven and eight program to two classes at each grade level and provide a larger computer lab, science room and multi-purpose room. This purchase also made available a larger space in 4 Montcrest for a Music room. First annual Montcrest Fall Fair organized by MPA with ceremonial opening of 650 Broadview by Board members Rene Pantalone and Hugh Heron. Montcrest School becomes an approved member of the Conference of Independent Schools (CIS)


First Montcrest Singers. Montcrest begins the SSAF (Small School’s Athletic Association)


Montcrest School purchased 660 Broadview to acquire the land necessary to build a separate structure housing a gymnasium, library and classrooms. A second grade 1 class was formed with the vision that Montcrest would have two classes at each grade from one to eight. The Montcrest Parents’ Association bought computers for the new classrooms.


Spring groundbreaking ceremony for construction of new building located in backyards of Broadview lots. The school hosts a fall reunion to coincide with its 35th Anniversary and the opening of its new building (now Danson House) and named the gym The Eaton Gymnasium. First instrumental band program.


The Montcrest Parents’ Association raised funds to expand and update our computer lab with seventeen new computers and software in 650 Broadview.
First school teams compete in CISAA (Conference of Independent School’s Athletic Association).
First Honour Pins presented to students.


The Science Lab at 650 Broadview is completely renovated thanks to fundraising efforts by the Board of Governors. Our first CESI (Canadian Educational Standards Institute) evaluation. Montcrest School becomes a member of CAIS (Canadian Association of Independent Schools). First CISAA (Conference of Independent School’s Athletic Association) athletic banner awarded.


660 Broadview is completely renovated to provide a new grade 6 building that also has classes for the Small Class program and a multipurpose room. With proceeds from the M.P.A. auction we were able to upgrade the art room and band room. Through the Annual Giving Fund the amphitheatre is expanded and a new security system is installed throughout the entire campus.


658 Broadview is completely renovated with new administration offices, Principal’s office, a French class and Tuck Shop. The offices at 4 Montcrest are re-arranged with some becoming resource class

Montcrest School celebrates our 40th Anniversary.


650 Broadview is renovated and houses the senior classes (grades 7 & 8) along with our science lab, computer labs, senior workroom and the kitchen has been enlarged to accommodate our lunch program.
4 Montcrest is dedicated as “Livingston House” to Katherine Livingston in recognition of establishing Montcrest School.


Annex building renamed as “La Cabane Française”. 4 Montcrest “Livingston House” is renovated and houses the Art room, Music room, Junior and Senior Kindergarten, Grade 1 (with all new cubbies), Admissions, Academic Resources, Special Ed. Coaching and Faculty Staff Room.


The ‘new building’ was re-named Danson House to honour Elaine Danson, Principal (1991 – 2005) of Montcrest School upon her retirement.

Montcrest School purchased 664 Broadview to acquire the land for future development.

Montcrest’s Standing for Character initiative was created to help ensure the shared values of good character are infused into the curricular and co-curricular programs of the school, and are visible in the actions and daily interactions of all members of the Montcrest community.


Montcrest School celebrates our 45th Anniversary.

The gymnasium building has been dedicated to Elaine Danson and is now called “Danson House”.

* Steve Beatty, Head of School (2006 – 2011)


House system introduced for all students and members of staff at Montcrest School.

The four houses are: Fox House (Terry Fox – a Canadian Hero); Livingston House (Katherine Livingston – Montcrest School’s first Principal); Masih House (Iqbal Masih – the inspiration for “Free the Children”); McClung House (Nellie McClung – a champion of women’s rights).


660 Broadview Ave. the house where William Peyton Hubbard, Toronto’s first black politician, lived is now called “Hubbard House”.

Montcrest School renews mission statement.


Growth Centre developed to offer Montcrest students educational specialists who provide specific, research-based intervention using a variety of strategies and programs to assist learners of all ages with the acquisition of academic and assistive technology skills.


Montcrest’s backyard space is rejuvenated with spaces for play and sport complete with trees, boulders, and benches. Garden dedicated to the memory of Montcrest’s beloved grade 1 teacher, Sherry Bleakney.


Montcrest School celebrated our 50th Anniversary with a whole host of events for families and alumni including a special Kite Day celebration, an Alumni Pub Night, the official opening of the Community Garden behind 664 Broadview Ave., SPICE Day and more.

* David Thompson, Head of School (2011 – 2019)


Our school library was transformed into a state-of-the-art Learning Commons. We introduced e-books and more iPads to complement our paper collection.

Montcrest School senior student leadership program evolves into a partnership with Outward Bound with support from the R. Howard Webster Foundation.


Montcrest created a new vocal music room, private music studio, grade 6 classroom, and made improvements to the Aftercare & MPA room.


Montcrest School hosts first iSTEAM Night.

Danson House is renovated to improve classrooms and create a new performing arts dance studio and Athletic office.


Montcrest School launches the Building Together Campaign to commence its largest ever building project to transform learning and teaching spaces.


Construction of Phase 1 of the Building Together Project began in the spring of 2017. This included the demolition of La Cabane.


Phase 1 of the Building Together project is completed in March 2018. Phase 1 included our new Grade 7 and Grade 8 homerooms, breakout rooms, and staff rooms. Construction then began on Phase Two of the project.


Phase Two of the Building Together Project was completed in February which included our new brightly-lit Art Room, Instrumental Music Room, Science Lab and Project Room, the Thompson Pass, Grade 6 Homerooms, and a Senior French Classroom.

On May 28th, 2019 Thomson House was officially opened. The building is named Thomson House to recognize Peter and Diana Thomson’s generous support of Montcrest.  In May and June, we celebrated the retirement of our Head of School, David Thompson.

* Erin Corbett, Head of School (2019 – 2021)


A year of change. The 2020 year demonstrated how dynamic and resilient the Montcrest community is. With the completion of the Building Together project, Erin Corbett lead the school through an unprecedented year with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Montcrest developed Montcrest Goes Mobile (MGM), our very own online learning program. MGM focused on building relationships while working within an online environment. Montcrest also unveiled our new brand identity with the beloved kite as our new logo. 


As the pandemic continued, Montcrest developed a hybrid model allowing for students to be on campus when it was deemed safe to do so. While online, MGM’s learning environment became more dynamic as cocurriculars, house challenges and community building events enriched the school experience for students.

Montcrest welcomed Interim Head of School, Don Kawasoe for the start of the 2021-22 school year.


We made our announcement in September 2021 that the 2022-23 school year began with Patti MacDonald as our new Head of School. As we move back to a more normal school year, we look forward to continuing the work of our Strategic Plan and continuing to enhance school life for our students, continuing to making it a place where each child becomes who they’re meant to be.

CIS Ontario