Ridley College

Ridley College is a co-educational boarding and day university-preparatory school located in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Ridley College
Motto"Terar Dum Prosim"
"May I be consumed in service"
HeadmasterJonathan Leigh (2005-current)
School typeCo-ed Private Boarding/Day
Religious affiliationAnglican
LocationSt. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Campus SurroundingsNiagara
School ColoursOrange and Black
Website [http://www.ridleycollege.com/ www.ridleycollege.com]


Founded in 1889 under the auspices of its first headmaster, J. O. Miller, the School moved to its present location as a result of a fire in the old school building. Today, Ridley College is widely considered one of Canada's most prestigious private, independent secondary schools. Ridley's current headmaster, Jonathan Leigh, a graduate from Eton College and Cambridge University, succeeded Rupert D. Lane in January of 2005.

Originally founded as a boys-only school, Ridley became co-educational in 1973 under headmaster Richard Bradley, a Cambridge classics scholar. Named in honour of Nicholas Ridley, a sixteenth-century Protestant martyr, Ridley College remains tied to its original Anglican origin, but has long welcomed students of other denominations and faiths. The School yearbook is titled "Acta Ridleiana".

Lower School

The Lower School (formerly, Middle School) is located across the campus from the Upper School and the Chapel. The Lower School has one Grade 1/2 class, one Grade 3/4 class, one Grade 5 class, one Grade 6 class, two Grade 7 classes and three Grade 8 classes. The Lower school timetable consists of eight 37 and a half minute periods, with a lunch and one morning recess. The Lower School has a Drama Room; a design shop; an art room; grades 5-8 homerooms, in which English and math are taught; a resource centre; and, a boys' and girls' residence. The typical Lower School class has 10-15 children. Lower School also hosts a 'Student Council'.

Upper School

There are approximately 500 Upper School students at Ridley. The Upper School, or School House, Building has a campus co-op store, a computer repair and order desk, and classrooms. The Second Century Building ("2CB") houses: science labs; a music department, providing an instrument for every student in a class; a photography darkroom; an art department; and the Mandeville Theatre. The Mandeville Theatre is an auditorium--not only used by Ridley, but also by nearby schools and production companies. The theatre can seat 353 people.

The Memorial Chapel

The Bishop Ridley College Memorial Chapel was built during the 1920s, dedicated to the memory of those Ridleians who died defending Canada in World War I. The chapel was enlarged during the 1960s. Each stained glass window is unique, bearing such non-traditional imagery as Ridley football helmets, but also more conventional Christian imagery. The Chapel is equipped with a sound system, a new Yamaha grand piano and 2 pipe organs. The Ridley Pipe Organ is a Casavant Freres Opus 1099. It had a second manual keyboard added later in its life. The pipe for this added organ are located at the back of the Chapel, while the original four sets (great, choir, swell and pedal) are at the front. The Lower School chapel service includes at least one musical performance each Friday.


The School is well respected academically among its peers, which include Upper Canada College, St. Michael's College School, Trinity College School, Appleby College, Bishop Strachan School, Bishop's College School, Crescent School, Nichols School, Havergal College (which, historically, was Ridley's sister School), Branksome Hall, Lakefield College School, and St. Andrew's College. Ridleians consider a culturally-diverse student body an asset to, and an exemplifying characteristic of, the School. Ridley continues to welcome students from throughout Canada, including Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and the Maritimes; from the United States; Latin America; the United Kingdom; the Caribbean; and, from southeast Asia. The School participates in the English-Speaking Union.

Ridley students benefit from superior facilities to enhance their studies. Ridley's 'Second Century Building' is an excellent example of such superiority, with facilities emphasizing the use of laptop computers, the sciences, and the performing arts. Class sizes tend to be comparatively smaller, about half of that of public (government-operated and controlled) schools. The faculty are superior, with many holding graduate degrees and being available for academic consultation during evening study within the Ridley residence system. Over 98% of Ridley graduates matriculate to universities worldwide. Upon graduation, all graduates, both male and female, become entitled to optionally use the post-nominal "O.R." (Old Ridleian).

The School reorganised the terminology applied to its curriculum coincident with the implementation of the new Ontario four-year secondary school curriculum. The School continues to offer a fifth, "PG" ("post-graduate") year (similar to the previous OAC and AP), in order to ensure competitive university admission for Ridley graduates to universities in the United States and Canada. The School is a test administration site for the SSAT and the SAT. Thus, even as Ontario has abbreviated its standards for public schools, Ridley continues to exceed by a wide margin Ontario's minimum secondary school educational requirements.

Ridley College is accredited to the Canadian Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) [ [http://www.cais.ca CAIS - Canadian Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) ] ] and the Canadian Educational Standards Institute (CESI) [http://www.cesi.edu] under the Ridley College Board of Governors. [ [http://www.ridleycollege.com/common/governors/default.asp?L1=11&L2=5 Ridley College ] ]

As a private, University-preparatory school, Ridley College is neither associated with nor accountable to any local school board.

Ridley College alumni pursue post-secondary degrees at top Canadian universities, including the University of Toronto, McGill University, Queen's University, the University of Western Ontario, McMaster University, Dalhousie University, Brock University and the University of Waterloo. US and English universities include Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Georgetown, Oxford and Cambridge.

chool Motto and Colours

The School's Latin motto is "Terar Dum Prosim", translated as "May I be consumed in service", a reference both to the martyrdom of Nicholas Ridley and to modern Ridleians' obligations to give to others of themselves. The School uniform is known as 'blues and greys'. The School Colours are orange and black, and the School mascot is the Tiger (known as 'Hank'). The orange-and-black car used in cheerleading at football games is known as the 'Hank Tank'.

chool Life

Ridley's School Life philosophy could be said to embrace four essential qualities: academics, athletics, citizenship, and faith.

One of Ridley's most notable traditions is the 'Snake Dance,' a school spirit-building celebration to inaugurate the fall sports season. Other traditions include an annual Cross-Country Run, intramural competition among dormitory residences for the Bradley Shield (girls') and Bermuda Cup (boys') trophies, the Chimes Challenge (a sprinting contest held during the midday chimes of the clock tower) and the annual Prize Day that concludes the school year, which is divided into three trimesters, known as the 'Michaelmas', 'Lent' and 'Trinity' terms. North American students typically return to their families during School holidays, and often international students who choose not to return to their home countries (or are unable to due to time constraints) are billeted with some Ridley families residing in North America during some School holidays.

The School comprises a Lower School (grades 1-8, formerly the Middle School) and an Upper School (grades 9-12 and PG). Essential to School life is the Ridley residence system (see House system), in which both boarders and day students participate, supervised by Housemasters who are also members of the School's faculty and reside within the residences. The residences are named for prominent alumni. Mondays and Tuesdays begin with a brief Chapel service in the Anglican tradition, and school days on Wednesdays and Saturdays being of half-day duration.

The School has dining halls for both the Lower and Upper Schools. On Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, intramural and inter-School sports fixtures are held. Often, alumni choose to have their weddings and baptisms take place in the Ridley College Chapel. The School faculty includes a full-time Chaplain, who also has academic duties.

Social discipline in the residential setting is based on the demerit system, and accumulations of demerits lead to the imposition of 'gatings', during which students are prohibited from leaving the campus and must 'check in' with the Master on Duty each half-hour, on the half-hour, when not engaged in classroom work or taking meals.

In 1981, the National Film Board of Canada released the documentary film "Ridley: A Secret Garden" about the School. [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0244169/ Ridley: A Secret Garden (1981) ] ]

In 2000, the book "Ridley: A Canadian School", by Richard Bradley and Paul Lewis, was published, also about the School. [ [http://www.kipnotes.com/High%20Schools.htm High Schools ] ]


The school has several competitive athletics teams, including the boy's soccer team, Canadian Independent Schools National Champions in 2003, the boy's ice hockey team, which competes in the highly competitive Midwest Prep Hockey League, and the boy's lacrosse team, defending champions of the CISAA league. Boy's basketball has continued to be a strong program at Ridley, winning numerous Canadian Independent Schools Championships in the last few years. Traditionally, cricket was a popular fixture at the school. Today one of Ridley's most renowned athletics programs comprises its strong rowing crews. Ridley crews often hold, and are currently holding, the honour of National Champions as a result of prevailing in the CSSRA Championships, held in St. Catharines on an annual basis. Ridley has won the Royal Henley Regatta's prestigious Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup four times, the most of any Canadian boarding school and has trained numerous Canadian Olympic rowers. Girls' sports include, but are not limited to, rugby, introduced in 2002; field hockey, volleyball, soccer, and hockey. In fact, the First Girls hockey team at Ridley College are the two-time defending CISAA champions and have been silver and bronze medalists in their first two seasons in the North American Prep Hockey Association.

The Ridley College Tiger Swim Team has dominated in several categories in the All-Ontario (OFSSA) Championships. Their powerful Men's Team won the overall championship in 2006 over almost 300 other schools. Their Women's Relay Team set successive back-to-back All-Ontario records in 2004 and 2005.

Cadet Corps

The School maintains a well-established tradition of mandatory service in the Royal Canadian Army Cadets. Each year, all students are required to parade in an inspection by a visiting Canadian Inspecting Officer. Ridley participated in its 100th Cadet Inspection anniversary in May 2007.

Notable Alumni

* Frederick Walker Baldwin, Aviation Engineer, First Canadian to Pilot Aircraft
* Henry Allen John, 8th Earl Bathurst, Lord-in-Waiting under Prime Minister Harold Macmillan"
* Sir John Irving Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine, Oxford University, Rhodes Scholar, Founder of the Wellcome Trust Center for Human Genetics"
* Joe Clarke, Founder, CEO, Aviation Partners, Inc"
* Professor Richard Conn Henry, Professor of Physics & Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, Co-Investigator on the Apollo-Soyuz Mission, Los Alamos National Laboratory"
* James Coyne, Rhodes Scholar, Governor of the Bank of Canada [ [http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/bios/coyne.html James E. Coyne- Biographical note- About the Bank- Bank of Canada ] ]
* Hume Cronyn, descendent of the Labatt brewery family, film and stage actor, Academy nominee for The Seventh Cross, Tony Award winner as Polonius opposite Richard Burton's Hamlet, appeared in Cleopatra, 12 Angry Men, The Pelican Brief, Order of Canada"
* Robert George Brian Dickson, Chief Justice of Canada, PC, CC, CD, LL.B, LL.D, Companion of the Order of Canada"
* Jason Dorland, former Olympic rower"
* David A. Dodge, Former Governor of the Bank of Canada. [ [http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/bios/dodge.html David A. Dodge- Biographical note- About the Bank- Bank of Canada ] ]
* Colm Feore, film and stage actor, "Trudeau'; [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0299404/ Trudeau (2002) (TV) ] ] "Pearl Harbor"; "The Sum of All Fears"; "The Insider"
* Martha Finn, daughter of Thomas D'Arcy Finn, first Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)"
* Malcolm L. Gosling, descendent of the family business, Gosling Brothers, a leader in the wines and spirits industry. Served as a pilot officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
* James K. Gray, Co-Founder, Canadian Hunter Exploration, sold to Burlington Resources for $3.4 billion, Director of Brascan Corp., Canadian National Railways, Order of Canada"
* Peter Gzowski, journalist and author, "Morningside"; "The Private Voice, A Journal of Reflections". [ [http://www.cbc.ca/news/obit/gzowski_peter/ cbc.ca ] ]
* Josie Ho, Hong Kong actress, daughter of Macau billionaire, Stanley Ho"
* David L. Humphreys, biographer of former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark"
* Sam Irwin, Businessman, Founder and CEO of Irwin Toy, Ltd"
* Arthur Courtney Kingstone, Ontario Supreme Court Justice"
* Raine Maida, lead singer of Our Lady Peace (he did not graduate from Ridley)"
* Elizabeth Hilary MacKeen, Rowing #1 Coxie (yeah right)
* Hon. Colonel Fred P. Mannix, Order of Canada, Chairman of Loram Company, Ltd., Founded the Canadian Defense and Foreign Affairs Institute. Former President of the Canadian Polo Club"
* Samantha McGlone, Canadian triathelete"* Bruce H. Mitchell, CEO, Permian Industries, Board of Directors, Bank of Montreal"
* Hon. Darcy McKeough, Former CEO of Union Gas and Former Treasurer of the Province of Ontario, appointed Officer of the Order of Canada"
* Thomas Rodman Merritt, grandson of Thomas Merritt, United Empire Loyalist, President of the Ridley College Association"
* Dr. H. Jeremy (Jere) Packard, educator and historian, taught at Hotchkiss, Eton College, served as Vice-Principal of Choate Rosemary Hall and Headmaster of Ridley College
* G. Scott Paterson, Chairman, JumpTV Inc, Former CEO of Paterson Partners, Inc., Director of Lionsgate Entertainment Corp., Former Vice-Chairman of the Toronto Stock Exchange"
* Michael Sabia, CEO of Bell Canada"
* Robert Watson, President and CIO of Lyster Watson"
* Richard B. Wright, former faculty member, author of 11 novels, Giller Prize, Trillium Book Prize, recipient of the Governor General's Award, appointed Officer of the Order of Canada
* Humphrey Hume Wrong, Canadian diplomat, served as Canada's Ambassador to United States, succeeding Lester B. Pearson. Notable for his early involvement in negotiating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Named undersecretary to Nato, but died before taking up the post"
*Adam H. Zimmerman, Former Chairman of the Board of Noranda Forest Inc. Director, MacMillan Bloedel Limited, Maple Leaf Foods Inc., The Toronto-Dominion Bank and Southam, Inc"


External links

* [http://www.ridley.on.ca/ Ridley College]
* [http://www.ridley.on.ca/alumni/ Ridley College Alumni]
* [http://www.topprivateschools.ca/school.asp?school_id=20 Ridley College] Profile By TopPrivateSchools.ca
* [http://iiswinprd01.petersons.com/pschools/code/instVC.asp?inunid=1874&sponsor=1 "Peterson's" entry for Ridley College]
* [http://www.cisaa.ca Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario Athletic Association]
* [http://www.cais.ca Canadian Association of Independent Schools]
* [http://ontarioplaques.com/Plaques_MNO/Plaque_Niagara39.html Image of Ontario Heritage Trust Plaque memorializing Ridley College]

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