Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute

Infobox Education in Canada
name= Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute

motto= Hic Patet Ingeniis Campus
motto_translation= “Here lies open the field for the quest of knowledge."
streetaddress= 155 Paisley St.
city= Guelph
province= Ontario
areacode= 519
phone= 824-9800
fax= 837-1469
schoolboard= Upper Grand District School Board
affiliation= Public School
principal= Wes Coffey
viceprincipal= Dorothy Fair (grades 9 and 10), Heather Pedjasie (grades 11 and 12)
schooltype= Public
grades= 9-12+
language= English
teamname= Gaels
colours= Green and white
founded= 1854
enrollment= 1326
enrollment_as_of= October 2006

The Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute (GCVI, Guelph C.V.I., GC) is a high school in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. .” The school is the third oldest continuously operating high school in the province of Ontario, Canada.

Brief History

The Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute (GCVI) was founded in the early 1800s by John Galt (founder of Guelph, Ontario) and originally housed in a small four window building known as the Priory. The school moved in 1854 to its current site on Paisley Road due to the construction of the Grand Trunk Railway.

The original building on the new site was torn down after a few decades and a new school constructed. Eventually a wooden gymnasium was added in 1886, and the school remained the same until 1906, when a large new wing was added to the left of the bell tower.

Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute had Canada's first high school lunch cafeteria.

By this time the school was developing a reputation second to none in the province. Finally, by the nineteen twenty’s there were serious problems with overcrowding. In 1923 a new building opened (constructed at a cost of $400,000) that included modern plumbing, a massive skylight covering the large, two story, open auditorium area. It was called the most modern and upscale school building in Ontario.

The older buildings were connected to the school and used periodically before they were torn down in 1962 to facilitate several more additions including a modern gym, business and science wing, and tech wings.

Over the years tens of thousands of students have passed through the halls of GCVI, and many have left a memorable and distinct mark on the history of Canada.

Accomplished alumni include: Col. John McCrae (Author of “In Flanders Fields.”), Hugh C. Guthrie (Canadian federal opposition leader, leader of the Conservative Party), Ed Joliffe (one of three GCVI Rhodes Scholars and founder of the Ontario CCF, and opposition leader in the Ontario House), George Alexander Drew (Mayor of Guelph, Premier of Ontario, Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, Leader of the Conservative Party, Ambassador to the UK, founding chairman of the Ontario Securities Commission, World War I hero).


The Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute consists of four main buildings. The Old Building (building A) consists of three levels. The bottom level holds the visual arts department, chemistry department and a general sciences department. The floor above holds the guidance department, main office, geography department, math department and an auditorium that extends up into the top floor. The top floor holds the English department, family studies department and the biology department.The New Building (building B) also consists of three levels. On the bottom level there is the business and economics department, as well as the physics department and the nurse's office. On the floor above, there is a computer education department. On the very top floor of The New Building there is the history department and the modern languages department.Building C consists of two levels. On the first level there are three separate gymnasiums. Above is the school cafeteria.Building D holds the school's technology departments and music department. The technology department has nine different shops. They include: integrated technology, transportation technology, manufacturing technology, construction technology, communication technology, technological design, computer engineering technology and computer and information science.


The Old Building of the Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute consists of building styles that are unique only to that school in the City of Guelph. The original oak doors are still present from the building's original construction in 1923. Marble and granite encase all of the hallway floors throughout The Old Building. The hallways on the main floor of The Old Building measure an outstanding 18 ft. in height. The main entrance way into the school is surrounded by a large archway. It is easy to see the vast number of students who have walked the halls of G.C.V.I. as there are large indents that have been left in the granite stairways of the school from many thousands of feet walking up and down them each day.

Famous Alumni

(The following are currently listed on the school's "Wall of Fame":
*Carey Skinner
*Scott Anderson
*James Jerome Hill
*Arthur William Cutten
*Dr. David Ouchterlony
*William Ernest Hamilton
*Alfred Dryden Hales
*Terry Doyle
*Carol Anne Wood
*Beth Goobie
*Andrew P. MacDonald
*Donna Strickland
*William Mount, M.D., PhD. quantum Chromodynamics
*The Honorable Hugh Guthrie, K.C.,M.P.
*Christina E. Hill, M.D., F.R.C.S.(C)
*Brigadier-General Kenneth Torrance
*Jean Little
*Joey Slinger
*Edward Johnson
*Margaret Craig
*George Sleeman
*Effie Smith
*John McCrae
*John Kenneth Macalister
*Dominic V.P. Cardillo
*Hon. George Alexander Drew
*P.G. Reid
*Deborah Whale
*Hon Mr. Justice James M. Farley
*Theodore Jewell
*Bishop Matthew Francis Ustrzycki
*Fredrick Mills
*Casey Bauman-Wike
*Luke Kirby
*Mitchell L.M. Greer(not in HOF - yet.)
*Harry Howell played for the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters
*Doug Sneyd Well known cartoonist
*Charley Fox

Influence on Canadian history

*Former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker married a GCVI teacher, and made two prominent visits to the school including a stop as opposition leader in 1957, just weeks before being sworn in as Prime Minister, and one as Prime Minister in 1963 just before losing the next election to Liberal Leader Lester B. Pearson
*John Diefenbaker’s first visit launched the 17-year political career of Alfred Dryden Hales, alumnus of G.C.V.I. Hales chaired the Public Accounts Committee for 6 years, and was beloved by his constituents.
*Less than 24 hours before Diefenbaker’s first visit Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent stopped at the school. Diefenbaker drew a much larger and much more enthusiastic crowd (a sure sign of what was to come in the election).
*John Diefenbaker had replaced George Alexander Drew (a former GCVI Student) as leader of the Conservative Party less than a year before becoming Prime Minister in 1957.
*During the Ontario provincial elections of 1943 and 1948, both the Premier George Alexander Drew and Opposition Leader Ted Jolliffe Fact|date=October 2007 were former GCVI Students, so regardless of who won the election the Premier of Ontario would have been a GCVI alumnus.
*George Alexander Drew was the second GCVI student to hold the position of Federal Leader of the Opposition, following Hugh Guthrie, who held the post for little under a year in the early half of the 1900’s.
*In 2006 GCVI's football team was the first ever to go to Western Bowl (one of the five high school OFSAA football championships) from Guelph.

School Website

[] - Main Page
[] - GCVI Yearbook


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