They are among the most prominent and respected Canadians, a Who’s Who of actors and artists, captains of industry, politicians and media luminaries. But although their lives have led them in different directions, they have one thing in common: they are Old Boys and Old Girls—alumni of Canada’s upper-crust private schools. Some spent their early years as straitlaced school leaders, others as radicals and rabble-rousers. In the following pages, Maclean’s presents a sampling of the past.
BRENTWOOD COLLEGE SCHOOL
Mill Bay, B.C. (1923)
Dr. Wilfred Bigelow, renowned heart surgeon; Alastair Gillespie, former federal cabinet minister; Blair Horn, Olympic gold medallist, rowing, 1984; Ben Butterfield, opera tenor; Darren Barber, Olympic gold medallist, rowing, 1992.
CROFTON HOUSE SCHOOL
Ann Mortifee, actor, writer and performer; Kit Pearson, children’s author (A Handful of Time)-, Catherine Regehr, fashion designer; Barbara Nichol,
scriptwriter (Beethoven Lives Upstairs).
ST. GEORGE’S SCHOOL
Ronald Cliff, chairman, BC Gas Inc.; Peter Bentley,
chairman and CEO, Canfor Corporation; Austin Taylor, former chairman and CEO, ScotiaMcLeod Ltd.
ST. MICHAELS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL
Victoria (1906, University School; 1910, St. Michaels; amalgamated 1971)
Col. Cecil Merritt, awarded Victoria Cross, Second World War; Edmund Davie Fulton, former federal cabinet minister, former justice, B.C. Supreme Court.
Peter Lougheed, former premier of Alberta; Nick Graham, president and CEO of Joe Boxer Corp.; Albert Schultz, actor (Street Legal, CBC’s Side Effects).
BALMORAL HALL SCHOOL
Jennifer McQueen, former high commissioner to Jamaica, the Bahamas and Belize; Geills Turner, wife of former prime minister John Turner; Loreena McKennitt, singer.
ST. JOHN’S-RAVENSCOURT SCHOOL
Winnipeg (1821, St. John’s; 1929, Ravenscourt; amalgamated 1950)
Arnold Heeney, former Canadian ambassador to NATO; Duff Roblin, former premier of Manitoba; James Richardson, former federal cabinet minister; Gordon Osier, chairman, North American Life Assurance Co.; George Richardson, chairman and managing director, James Richardson & Sons Ltd.; Brian Dickson, former chief justice, Supreme Court of Canada; Hartley T. Richardson, president, James Richardson & Sons Ltd.
Belleville, Ont. (1857)
G. Brent Ballantyne, president and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods Inc.; Jean Pigott, former chairwoman, National Capital Commission.
Valerie Pringle, The Bishop Strachan School (1968-1971) Co-host, CTV’S Canada A.M.
Oakville, Ont. (1911)
Raymond Massey, actor;
John H. Osier, former justice, Supreme Court of
Ontario; Otto Jelinek, retired figure skater, former federal cabinet minister; J. Pearce Bunting, former president, Toronto Stock Exchange; Aubrey Baillie, president and chief operating officer, Nesbitt Thomson Inc.; Dylan Neal, TV actor (The Bold and the Beautiful).
In her year-end message in the 1958 Branksome Slogan, head girl Jackie Burroughs encouraged her fellow Branksomites to “enter wholly into the spirit of our school. ” But since graduation, Burroughs has made her name as a free spirit, first marrying Zal Yanovsky, lead guitarist of the Lovin’ Spoonful, and then going on to star in such films as A Winter Tan and The Grey Fox.
Ironically, she is now best known as the former teacher Aunt Hettie on CBC’s Road to Avonlea
JACQUELINE BURROUGHS (7948-58)—Jackie, past chieftain of the McLeods, and U.N. contest winner has played on clan, class and school basketball teams. Member of the Choir and all School activities, her enthusiastic leadership as Head Girl will long be remembered. Bon Voyage Jackie, “Roger over and out!"
The whole school [UCC] went on strike for about three hours because we didn’t get a day off when Princess Elizabeth got married [in 1947] and we didn’t get a holiday for winning a football championship. There were other reasons but those were the ones remember. I guess we figured there was safety in numbers.
—Hemy (Hal) Jackman, Pickering College (1941-1945), UCC (1945-1948), University of Toronto Schools (1948-1950), now lieutenant-governor of Ontario
Colm Feore, Ridley College (1971-1977) Actor of stage and screen ( Thirty-two Short Films About Glenn Gould)
The entire class arranged to charter a bus. We snuck out one night and went over
the river to Niagara Falls [New York] after lights out. We didn’t drink much. I was under age—about 16. We thought we got away with it. The next day, we got called in by the headmaster and the entire class got caned. Hit across the ass with a cane—10 times.
—Peter Gzowski, Ridley College (1949-1952), host, CBC Radio’s Morningside
Robert MacNeil, journalist (MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour); John Turner, former prime minister of Canada; Charles (Chunky) Woodward, former owner, Woodward Stores Ltd.; John Bassett, chairman, Baton Broadcasting Inc.; Donald MacDonald, former federal cabinet minister and former high commissioner to the United Kingdom; Robert Stanfield, former leader, Progressive Conservative Party of Canada; Matthew Perry, actor (TV series Friends).
THE BISHOP STRACHAN SCHOOL
Victoria Matthews, bishop, the Anglican Church of Canada; Jalynn Bennett, president, Jalynn H. Bennett & Associates Ltd. consulting firm; Veronica Tennant, former principal dancer, National Ballet of Canada.
Dr. Lavina Lickley, chief of surgery, Women’s College Hospital, Toronto; Frances Dafoe Melnick, figure skater (world pairs champion, 1954, 1955; Olympic silver medallist, 1956); Erica Goodman, harpist; Linda McQuaig, writer (Shooting the Hippo); Miranda de Pencier, actress (Butterbox Babies).
Margaret Norrie McCain, lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick; Susan Swan, author (The Wives of Bath); Margot Kidder, actress (Superman); Jane Urquhart,
author (Away); Helen Sinclair, president, Canadian Bankers Association.
LAKEFIELD COLLEGE SCHOOL
Lakefield, Ont. (1879)
Valdy (Valdemar Horsdal), folksinger; André Desmarais, president and chief operating officer, Power Corp. of Canada; Paul Desmarais, chairman, Power Financial Corp., and vice-chairman, Power Corp. of Canada; Matt Frewer, actor (Max Æ Headroom); Andrew, Duke of York.
Newmarket, Ont. (1842)
Llewellyn Franklin Barker, physician and educator who worked with Sir William Osier;
Peter Widdrington, chairman, Toronto Blue Jays, and former president and CEO, John Labatt Ltd.; John Meisel, professor of political studies, Queen’s University, Kingston,
Ont., and former chairman, the CRTC; Ward Cornell, former broadcaster (Hockey Night in Canada).
St. Catharines, Ont. (1889)
Hume Cronyn, actor; Adam H. Zimmerman, corporate director, Noranda Forest Inc., former chairman, Confederation Life; Peter Worthington, journalist and cofounder, The Toronto Sun; John Stubbs, president, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C.; Geoffrey Stevens, journalist and former managing 1 editor, The Globe and Mail; W. Darcy McKeough, former treasurer of Ontario; Philip B. Lind, vice-chairman, Rogers Communications Inc.; Robert W. Korthals, former president, Toronto-Dominion Bank; Samuel Irwin, co-chairman, Irwin Toy Ltd.; George
Irwin, president and CEO, Irwin Toy; Peter Herrndorf, chairman and CEO, TVOntario; William G. Glassco, stage director and founder, Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre.
ST. ANDREW’S COLLEGE
Aurora, Ont. (1899)
Lawren Harris, artist and member of the Group of Seven; Edward Crawford, chairman, the Canada Life Assurance Co,; Frank Moores, former premier of Newfoundland; Anthony Fell, chairman and CEO, RBC Dominion Securities Inc.; Kiefer Sutherland, actor.
Vincent Massey, St. Andrew’s College (1902-1906) Canada’s first native-born governor general
ST. CLEMENT’S SCHOOL Toronto (1901) Barbara Wagner Hoffman, figure skater (four-time Canadian pairs champion; four-time world pairs champion; Olympic gold medallist with partner Robert Paul in 1960); Isabel Bassett, TV reporter, producer, author; f Carling Bassett, former professional tennis player; Jodi White, government consultant and former chief of staff to Prime Minister Kim Campbell.
TRINITY COLLEGE SCHOOL Port Hope, Ont. (1865) Frank Darling, architect (federal Parliament Buildings,
The country was debating Newfoundland joining Confederation, and my father led a force that was promoting economic union with the United States.
He did not support Confederation—and neither did I. The night Newfoundland joined Confederation [March 31,1949], the whole school assembled in the dining-room and broke into 0 Canada Throughout the year, they had tormented me by calling me ‘Canada Crosbie.’But when they finished, my brother, Andrew, Frank Moores [the future premier of Newfoundland] and I responded by singing Ode to Newfoundland.
—John Crosbie, St. Andrew’s College (1945-1949), formal federal cabinet minister
Royal Ontario Museum); Sir William Osler, worldrenowned physician called “the father of modern medicine”; Sir Edwin Leather, former British MP and former governor of Bermuda; Edgar Bronfman chairman and CEO, the Seagram Co. Ltd.; Charles Bronfman, co-chairman, the Seagram Co. Ltd.; Hagood Hardy, composer; Peter Jennings, anchor, ABC News; Peter O’Brian, film producer (The Grey Fox, My American Cousin); Ian Brown, host, CBC Radio’s Sunday Morning; David Macfarlane, journalist, author (The Danger Tree).
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO SCHOOLS
Wishart Spence, former justice, Supreme Court of Canada; Mavor Moore, actor, dramatist and former chairman, the Canada Council; John Evans, chairman, Torstar, and former president, the University of Toronto; William Stinson, chairman and CEO, Canadian Pacific Ltd.; Peter Godsoe, president and CEO, the Bank of Nova Scotia; Charles Baillie, vice-chairman, Toronto-Dominion Bank; Jeffrey Simpson, political columnist, The Globe and Mail; Laurie Graham, six-time Olympic gold medallist, downhill skiing.
UPPER CANADA COLLEGE _
Robertson Davies, author (Fifth Business, What’s Bred in the Bone); Peter C. Newman, journalist, author (The Canadian Establishment) and former editor, Maclean’s; Edward (Ted) Rogers, president and CEO, Rogers Communications Inc.; Stephen Clarkson, professor and author (Trudeau and Our Times); Michael Wilson, former federal cabinet minister; John Eaton, chairman, Eaton’s of Canada Ltd.; Conrad Black, chairman and CEO, Holllnger Inc.; John Bosley, former Speaker, House of Commons; David Gilmour, broadcaster and author (Back by Tuesday); Perrin Beatty, CBC president and former federal cabinet minister; Michael MacMillan, chairman and CEO, Atlantis Communications Inc.; Peter Dalglish, founder and executive director, Street Kids International.
BISHOP’S COLLEGE SCHOOL
Lennoxville, Que. (1836)
Edward M. Bronfman, president, Broncorp Inc., and deputy chairman, Edper Enterprises Ltd.; Peter F. Bronfman, chairman, Edper Investments Ltd. and Edper Enterprises Ltd.; Noel Goodridge, chief justice of Newfoundland; Timothy Porteous, president, Ontario College of Art, Toronto; Norman Webster, journalist and former editor, The Globe and Mail, The Montreal Gazette; Robert Fowler, Canadian ambassador to the United Nations; Scott Abbott, inventor of Trivial Pursuit.
Jean A. de Grandpré, founding director, BCE Inc.; Pierre Péladeau, president and CEO, Ouébécor Inc.; Jean Coutu, chairman and CEO, le Jean Coutu Group; Claude Béland, president, la Confédération des caisses populaires desjardins; Robert Bourassa, former premier of Ouebec; Richard Drouin, chairman and CEO, Hydro Ouebec; Pierre Marc Johnson, former premier of Ouebec.
LOWER CANADA COLLEGE
principal, McGill University, Montreal;
Harold T. Shapiro,
principal, Princeton University,
Princeton, N.J.; Stuart McLean, broadcaster and author (Welcome Home: Travels in Small Town Canada).
MISS EDGAR’S AND MISS CRAMP’S SCHOOL
Lilias Torrance Newton,
portrait painter; Mary Cross Dover, commander of Canadian Women Army Corps in
the Second World War; Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic, artist; Sharon Sparling, author (The Nest Egg); Carole Corbeil, author (Voice Over); Minna Shin,
Bill Ardell, president and CEO, Southam Inc,; Freddie Jaques, CEO, Kelloggs Canada; Boyd Whittall, CEO, British Steel; William Young, vice-chairman and CEO, Consumer’s Distributing Inc.
Virginia Stikeman, producer, the National Film Board’s Studio D.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Collège Jean-de Brébeuf (1933-1941) Former prime minister of Canada
TRAFALGAR SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
Cairine Wilson, Canada’s first female senator.
KING’S EDGEHILL SCHOOL
Windsor, N.S. (1788, King’s College; 1891, Edgehill School for Girls; amalgamated 1976)
James Palmer, entrepreneur and chancellor, University
of Calgary; Joan Fraser, editor, The Montreal Gazette.
Michael Ignatieff, Upper Canada College (1959-1965) Broadcaster, author
Rothesay, N.B. (1877, Rothesay Collegiate School; 1894, Netherwood; amalgamated 1984) John Humphrey, founding director, humanrights division, United Nations secretariat; The Irving Family: Jim Irving, Arthur Irving and Jack Irving, New Brunswick businessmen; Robert Findlay, president and CEO, MacMillan Bloedel Ltd.; Catherine Nugent, Toronto socialite; Richard Hatfield, former premier of New Brunswick; William Morrow, president, National Sea Products Ltd.
Compiled by SANDRA PARRAN
After eight years at UCC, John Fraser flunked Grade 11.
“I got a seven in physics,” he recalls. “It amazed me that I got a seven because I didn’t write the exam and everything was based on the exam.” Fraser then went on to a public Toronto high school, before entering Lakefield College School for Grade 12. But he returned to public school for Grade 13, where biology and Latin tripped him up—and he failed again. It was only thanks to night school that Fraser was able to complete high school.
And his low grades prevented his acceptance at the University of Toronto—ironic, given his current position as master-elect ofthat university’s Massey College.
In 1944, her final year at The Study, Phyllis Bronfman Lambert—who
would later become founding director of Montreal’s Canadian Centre for Architecture—was sub-head of her house, Delta Beta, a member of the school’s first ski team and an artist. “Phyllis Bronfman sculptured an entire crèche this Christmas and did a beautiful piece of work,” notes the yearbook. Added her classmates: “Phyllis Bronfman jumps her classes, learns her work and soon will pass us!”
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