New Name for Collingwood Catholic High School

New Name for Collingwood Catholic High School
Posted on 06/10/2020

JUNE 10, 2020 - BARRIE, ON: Our Lady of the Bay Catholic High School will be the new name of the high school in Collingwood, formerly named after Jean Vanier, who was found to have assaulted at least six women over the course of several decades. 


The tragic news about Jean Vanier became public in February and deeply impacted the school community. The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board provided counselling and support, discontinued the wearing of school uniforms bearing Vanier’s name and initiated a number of committees to work on a path forward, including one tasked with renaming the school. 


The committee surveyed the community on possible names and narrowed the choice to three options. Students, staff and families had the opportunity to vote on one of the three names and a total of 634 members of the community voted. Our Lady of the Bay received an overwhelming majority (53 per cent) of votes. 


“Our Lady of the Bay has great meaning for the Catholic community in Collingwood - the name honours Mary, the Mother of Jesus and pays tribute to the significance of the “Bay” in the Collingwood community,” said Joe Zerdin, Board Chair. “It honours First Nations peoples and the immense ecological significance of Georgian Bay both historically and today. It also makes a meaningful connection with St. Mary’s Church and St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School, also named in honour of Jesus’ mother.” 


“I am so incredibly pleased that this school now has a new name so that they may continue the healing process and build a new identity, while still honouring the tremendous accomplishments of all students, staff, and families who have been involved with this strong, faith-filled Catholic school since it opened” said Brian Beal, Director of Education.



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Media Contact: Pauline Stevenson, Communications Manager 705.722.3555 ext., 229 pstevenson@smcdsb.on.ca