Spreading Our Roots in the Community: School Openings 1855 to 2015

St. Mary's Barrie

St. Bernard's, Orillia
Holy Family, Alliston 
St. James, Colgan 
St. John's, Waubaushene
(Closed in 1999)
St. Monica's, Barrie

Prince of Peace, CFB Borden
(Merged with Our Lady of Grace)
Guardian Angels, Orillia
(Closed in 2012)
St. Paul's, Alliston
St. Marguerite d"Youville, Barrie
St. Francis of Assisi, Innisfil
Saint Mary, Huntsville

Foley, Brechin 
Our Lady of the Assumption, New Lowell
(Merged with Our Lady of Grace)
Our Lady of Grace, Angus
St. Charles, Bradford

Notre Dame, Orillia
St. Mary's, Collingwood 

Our Lady of Lourdes, Elmvale 
St. Nicholas, Barrie
St. Dominic Secondary School, Bracebridge

Sacred Heart, Midland 

Monsignor Lee, Orillia                         
St. Peter's Secondary School, Barrie
Monsignor Castex, Midland

Monsignor Clair, Barrie 
The Good Shepherd, Barrie
Mother Teresa, Bradford
(re-named St. Teresa of Calcutta)
St. Antoine Daniel, Victoria Harbour
Our Lady of Mercy, Honey Harbour
(Closed in 2017)
St. Joseph's High School, Barrie

St. Ann's, Penetanguishene
St. Michael the Archangel, Barrie
Holy Cross, Innisfil
St. Margaret's Continuation School, Midland

Father F.X O'Reilly, Tottenham
St. Catherine of Siena, Barrie
St. Bernadette, Barrie
Canadian Martyrs, Penetanguishene
St. Noel Chabanel, Wasaga Beach

St. Mary's, Victoria Harbour
(Closed in 1999)
Marie of the Incarnation, Bradford

Holy Trinity High School, Bradford  
Jean Vanier High School, Collingwood
Patrick Fogarty Secondary School, Orillia
St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Tottenham

St. Joan of Arc High School, Barrie
Monsignor J.E. Ronan, Beeton
St. Patrick's, Phelpston
(Closed in 2001 and merged with
Our Lady of Lourdes)

Pope John Paul II, Barrie
Sister Catherine Donnelly, Barrie

St. John Vianney, Barrie
St. Theresa's High School, Midland

Monsignor Michael O'Leary, Bracebridge
St. Jean de Brebeuf, Bradford 

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, Barrie
St. Peter the Apostle, Parry Sound
St. Angela Merici, Bradford


A Bit About Our Past...

The current Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board came into being in January 1998 as a result of provincial legislation. Our new name, replacing The Simcoe County Roman Catholic Separate School Board created in 1969, did not alter the Board’s underlying commitment to quality Catholic education.

Since an amalgamation of 17 smaller boards into one in 1969, the Board has continued to expand its boundaries. Our borders were once again expanded in 1998, so that we now include the area from Highway 9 in the south to Huntsville in the north, and from Collingwood in the west to Brechin on the east side of Lake Simcoe. Even before the past amalgamations of smaller boards, Catholic education had a strong presence in this expansive community. A number of our schools opened in the 1800s. Since that time, there have been many others built to serve our vibrant Catholic community. 

The generosity of religious orders was instrumental in providing Catholic teaching in our early schools. The Grey Nuns of Pembroke, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peterborough and Toronto,Ursuline Sisters of Chatham, Les soeurs de la Sainte Croix, and Les frères du Sacre Coeur were pioneers in our early history, and donated their salaries back into the schools. They remain symbols of the tradition of Catholicity which we carry forward with us today.

Through the lobbying to extend government funding to high schools, which began in the late 1800s, Catholics in our county took a leadership role. The Township of Tiny launched a legal challenge now known as “Tiny vs The King” in 1925 in an attempt to gain funding under the terms of the British North American Act.This challenge went to the highest court of appeal in the British Empire. Although it was unsuccessful at that time, it was inspirational to those who continued the crusade until full funding was finally extended to Grades 11, 12 and 13 in 1984.

Back in September 1969, the student population of our Board was 5,883. Ten years later, in 1979, as enrollment in other Boards declined, the student population remained virtually unchanged. It wasn’t until the Board moved into the 1980's,that it began to experience rapid growth and expansion. By 1989, there had been a 52% growth in the school population in just a four year period. In the early 1990's, Simcoe County was recognized as one of the most rapidly growing jurisdictions in the province. Today, this growth is beginning to stabilize and our current student population is approximately 21,000.

Over the years, the Board managed to accommodate the population growth by building many new schools in the communities it served. Extending classes from the Junior Kindergarten level through to Grade 13 was a significant milestone in our development. The Board was a provincial leader in the evolution of governance for its French language schools. We also have a history of leadership in introducing new programs into the classroom such as Special Education, Catholic Family Life Education, and Reading Recovery.