St. Andrew's College, Aurora

Order of Canada United States Ontario
St. Andrew's College, Aurora
15800 Yonge Street

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Coordinates44°00′42″N 79°28′36″W / 44.011599°N 79.476600°W / 44.011599; -79.476600Coordinates: 44°00′42″N 79°28′36″W / 44.011599°N 79.476600°W / 44.011599; -79.476600
MottoQuit ye like men, be strong
Religious affiliation(s)Non-Denominational Christian
Head of schoolKevin McHenry
Grades5 to 12
Colour(s)Red and white         
MascotSaints, Andy (St. Andrew)

St. Andrew's College, also known as SAC, is an independent school founded in 1899 located in Aurora, Ontario, Canada. It is a university-preparatory school for boys in grades 5 to 12, with a focus on academic achievement, athletics, and leadership development. It is accredited by the Canadian Educational Standards Institute and is affiliated with other associations, including CAIS, CASE, NAIS and the International Boys' Schools Coalition (IBSC). St. Andrew's College's Arms were registered with the Canadian Heraldic Authority on August 15, 2006.[1]

St. Andrew's College was first situated at the northeast corner of Yonge Street and Roxborough Avenue in the Toronto neighbourhood of Rosedale, in a house named Chestnut Park that was previously owned by Sir David Macpherson. In 1905, the School moved to within Rosedale in an area west of MacLennan Avenue from Summerhill Avenue to Douglas Drive just north of Rosedale Field into a large Collegiate Gothic structure. The institution made its final move in 1926 to Aurora, where the current campus takes up 126-acre (0.51 km2) campus in a suburban environment. Its Georgian architecture is built around the traditional quadrangle form. There are four boarding houses on campus, which is home to approximately half of the 651 boys. Many teaching faculty also live on campus.


St. Andrew's College in Rosedale, Toronto, circa 1910s, prior to the move to Aurora, Ontario

The School's mission statement is Dedicating ourselves to the development of the complete man, the well-rounded citizen. Sports are a compulsory activity and considered an essential part of school life and culture; 72 teams across 22 sports are offered by the School. As of 2002, every classroom and common area at St. Andrew's College is covered by a wireless network.

The students have a broad selection of courses to choose from, including Advanced Placement (AP) classes to better prepare them for post-secondary studies. As well, many AP examinations are offered at this testing location. Example of AP courses offered are chemistry, English, calculus, statistics, economics and computer science. SAC has a 100% university acceptance rate and graduates move on to post-secondary education around the world, including Canadian, American and British universities.


More than half the students from over 29 countries attending St. Andrew's College live in residence. Day boys, from York Region and the surrounding area, are a part of the four day houses: Ramsey, Laidlaw, Smith or Perrier. Middle School consists of students in grades 5 through 8 while Upper School comprises students in grades 9 through 12. Macdonald House is the home to all boarders attending grades 5 through 8. Upper School residents live in the four boarding houses: Flavelle, Sifton, Memorial, and Macdonald. The programs for Middle School students are generally independent of those for Upper School. The Middle School clans are Douglas, Montrose, Wallace, and Bruce. Each student is also part of a clan, where they participate in various activities to earn Clan Points.

In addition, St. Andrew's students hail from an array of different backgrounds. Half of the School's student body are boarders and nearly 50% of the boarding community is international, coming from such countries and regions as Bermuda, Korea, Bahamas, Mexico, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Germany, Indonesia, Spain, Bermuda, China, Nepal and the United States to name a few. The remaining students are from various provinces across Canada.


Design and additions

In 1999 the architectural firm KPMB headed a project which consisted of planning for a new middle school and parking lot on the established campus[2]. From 2000 to 2003, the same architectural firm had an additional project which included the addition of a middle school wing onto an existing building, a parking lot and outdoor spaces and alterations to the existing college, originally constructed in 1926.[3] The plans for these projects are currently kept at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, Quebec.

Academic facilities

Coulter Hall - A three-floor building designated for use by the Social Sciences and English departments. The basement floor is the lockers for Smith and Laidlaw houses and also houses the History and Cadet departments and the first floor is home to social science courses while the second is home to the history and business departments.

Ketchum Auditorium - The School's auditorium, adjacent to Coulter Hall. The Ketchum Auditorium is home to St. Andrew's annual school plays and drama department. It is named after the third headmaster Kenneth G. B. Ketchum LLD.

Ketchum Auditorium Plaque.jpg

McLaughlin Hall - A three-storey wing connecting the Bedard Athletic Centre, Coulter Hall, and Rogers Hall. It is completely devoted to science-related studies. The first floor is designated for geographic studies. The second floor is designated for biological studies and computer science. The third is designated for mathematics, chemistry and physics. It also features a permanently installed Focault pendulum, one of only a handful in Canada.

Towers Library - the main library at St. Andrew's College. It is named after Graham Towers, the first governor of the Bank of Canada, and an Old Boy.

Wirth Art Gallery - is a facility designed to house the arts and media arts departments for the School. It is also the location of noted in-house local artist Tino Paolini. It was named for Old Boy Alf Wirth '59.

Student and school facilities

Ackerman Field - named after Gorden Ackerman, a former football coach and teacher at the College, the Ackerman Field is one of the School's sports fields.

Bedard Athletic Centre - This building, named after the School's sixth Headmaster, Robert Bedard, is home to the School's athletic needs. It houses one of the two gymnasiums on campus, as well as 6 international squash courts, a 25-metre six lane indoor swimming pool, the fitness and weight training facility, 10 locker rooms, and a fully staffed sports injury clinic.

Dunlap Hall - This is one of the original four buildings on campus. Today it houses the School's administrative facility. Dunlap Hall is separated into two floors: the first serves numerous functions including the Headmaster's office, admission office and the School's administration office. The second floor houses the alumni and advancement office and the university guidance office.

Staunton Gallery - The main part of the School where most of the students congregate, was dedicated to departing Headmaster Ted Staunton. The commons area is adjacent to the Wirth Art Gallery.

Cole Hall - The dining hall where breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served daily. It is also the site for many formal meals and ceremonies, like the annual St. Andrew's Day lunch & dinner in November. The music rooms are also located in the basement of the Great Hall.

High Ropes Course - The high ropes course is the School's only rope course and is frequently used to train the School's cadets, especially those in grade 12 who wish to become cadet instructors, where completing the high ropes course is mandatory.

Memorial Chapel - The School's main Chapel, which is dedicated to the Andreans who fought and died during World War I and II. The donation was made by Sir Joseph Flavelle, who also donated funds to establish Flavelle House. Morning services as well as some special services like the Remembrance Day Service are held in the Memorial Chapel.

Quad - Located directly in front of the boarding houses, the quad is supposed to represent the sacred ground at St. Andrew's, and is used to host Prize Day in June and the annual Cadet inspection in May. However, students are allowed to use the quad for athletic purposes at designated times during the day.

Yuill Family Gymnasium - The main athletic facility for all Middle School students. Yuill Gym may also be used for Upper School activities, such as the annual Homecoming dance or some assemblies. Moreover, the Yuill gym is home to the Middle School rockclimbing facility. It was named for Old Boy Bill Yuill '57.

Yuill Family Athletic Complex - The upper fields of the School. Consists of a state of the art synthetic turf field, with an 800-seat stadium, press box, and scoreboard. Surrounding the field is a 6-lane regulation track. The complex also includes a regulation-size baseball diamond, batting cages, warm-up mounds, and multipurpose athletic courts. The complex was completed in Spring of 2012 and is named for its lead donor, Old Boy Bill Yuill '57.

La Brier Family Arena - A new hockey arena. It is being used for U12, U14, U16, JV and Varsity teams. Built and completed in 2014, it is the cornerstone in our athletic program and is named for its lead donor, the La Brier Family.

Rogers Hall - Built in 2003, this is the main building for the Middle School and is named after lead donor Dem Rogers '59.

The Center for Leadership, Innovation, and Performance (CLIP) - A fairly new addition to the campus (2015), which is home to the Business, Robotics, and Music classrooms, The Band room, where the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Pep Band practice and play, and the Wirth Theatre, where all of the school plays are held. The CLIP provides a connection from the Staunton Gallery to the Cole Dining Hall.

Residential facilities

In addition to the School's academic and athletic facilities, there are four residential facilities for the boarding students at St. Andrew's. They are:

Cadet Corps

St. Andrew’s is also home to Canada’s second largest Royal Canadian Army Cadets Corps. Established in 1905, the #142 St. Andrew's College Highland Cadet Corps is now a credit earning, multi-year leadership program, but still culminates in an annual inspection in May. The School's cadet corps is also affiliated with the 48th Highlanders of Canada, retaining the same motto ("Dileas Gu Brath" - "Faithful Forever") as well as uniform (scarlet tunic and Modern Gordon tartan). In 2005, the centennial year, the Corps was granted the Freedom of the City of Aurora.

The Pipes and Drums Band is an integral part of the St. Andrew's College Highland Cadet Corps and one of its best-known elements. The primary responsibility of the Pipes and Drums Band is to provide music for the Battalion when it is on the march. In this role, the Band will be front and centre at the Annual Church Parade, the Headmaster's Parade, and the Annual Inspection in May.

The Cadet Corps closely resembles that of the Canadian army. Beginning from grade 8, all students at St. Andrew's must participate in the Cadet program. Those who wish to further pursue their leadership position in the Cadet Corps can either become platoon instructors or apply for senior positions within the corps. There are four mandatory levels in the cadet program, which accompanies each grade, and they are as follows:

As well, the St. Andrew's College Cadet Corps has won a multitude of awards. It won the Strathcona Cup for general efficiency of private school cadet corps in 1944, 1945, 1947, 1954, 1955, 1961, 1964, 1967, 1973, 1980, 1981 and 1983. Moreover, it won the Earl Grey Challenge Trophy for the Best Cadet Corps in Canada in 1960-1961.[4]

Rank structure

Similar to the Canadian Forces, a Cadet can be promoted on merit gained through Cadet accreditation and leadership within the corps. The rank structure is equivalent to that of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets; the Cadet Corps is one of only a few Cadet Corps in Canada which still keeps Cadets officers ranks.

Piping and drumming

In addition to the normal Cadet Corps, the Pipes and Drums Band are also paramount to the School's Cadet Corps. Internationally renowned as "North America's piping heartland" for its Piping and Drumming program, St. Andrew's College attracts hundreds of potential pipers each year to its summer "Ontario School of Piping and Drumming at St. Andrew’s College" camp.[5]

Like the Cadets in the Royal Canadian Army Cadets program, pipers and drummers can elevate their rank in the same way that the normal school Cadets do.

In June 2019, the decision was made to field a competitive band in grade 3 alongside the existing band, which competed in grade 5. [6]

School events

Each year, St. Andrew's hosts' certain events that are special only to the School. Some of these activities and events involve the School's entire student body, while others invite alumni and their friends and families. These events serve different purposes, some of which are integral to the School's identity while others are used for fundraising causes.

Picture of the School's first cadet corps in 1905.


Middle School Clans:

Students in a particular Upper School house, both day and boarding, are in the same clan.

Upper School Clans:


St. Andrew's College is one of the original members of Ontario’s “Little Big Four” (the others being Ridley College, Trinity College School, and Upper Canada College). The photographs of each year’s representative teams line the walls along the first and second floors of the Bedard Athletic Centre. Sports are mandatory — all Upper School boys must participate in two out of three sports terms during the year, while Middle School students must participate in all three terms.

St. Andrew's has a tradition of sporting, as shown by its participation in both private and public school leagues and associations:

St. Andrew's College has teams for the following sports:


Notable faculty

Notable Alumni

St. Andrew's notable alumni, known colloquially at the school as 'Old Boys', include:









  1. ^
  2. ^ Canadian Centre for Architecture. "St. Andrew's College, Master Plan Study, Aurora, Ontario (1999)". Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  3. ^ Canadian Centre for Architecture. "St. Andrew's College, Aurora, Ontario (2000-2003)". Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  4. ^ Captain J.M.Stephens, CD. "History of 142". Retrieved 2008-11-20.
  5. ^ "Ontario School of Piping and Drumming at St. Andrew's College". Retrieved 2008-11-20.
  6. ^ "New competition band for Ontario; McGillivray gives way to MacIsaac". Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  7. ^ History
  8. ^ "I am Andrean" "St. Andrew's College", Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Rob McEwen profile