Woburn Collegiate Institute

Woburn Collegiate Institute

Infobox Education in Canada
name= Woburn Collegiate Institute

motto= Studium Eruditionis Crescat
motto_translation= Let the zeal for learning flourish
streetaddress= 2222 Ellesmere Road
city= Toronto
province= Ontario
postalcode= M1G 3M3
schoolboard= Toronto District School Board
affiliation= None
superintendent= Don McLean
trustee= Scott Harrison
principal= Gayle Ferguson
viceprincipal= M. BreadnerD. McKenzie-Williams
schooltype= High School
grades= 9-12
language= English
area= Scarborough
mascot= Wildcat
colours= Red, Blue, and White
founded= 1963
enrollment= 1316
enrollment_as_of= Spring 2006
homepage= http://www.woburnci.com/

Woburn Collegiate Institute is a secondary school on Ellesmere Road in the Scarborough district of Toronto. Its motto is "Studium Eruditionis Crescat".


1847-1863 - In the early 1800s, education in Scarborough was not very well established. There was only one school, set up in a primitive building. By 1847 however, Scarborough had grown to the point where something more organized was required, so 16 School Sections were established; SS # 6 included the Woburn Community. At this time, a school, also designated SS # 6, was erected on Markham Road, just north of the 2nd Concession (Ellesmere Road). This one story frame structure was 23' x 33'. Several windows provided light and a wood stove provided heat. Between 1850 and 1862, Alexander Muir taught at SS #6. He composed "The Maple Leaf Forever", which for many years was Canada's unofficial national anthem. This is why the maple leaf is part of the school crest. By 1862, a larger school was required, so the frame structure was moved to Old Danforth Road and converted into a house. 1863-1956 - In 1863, a brick school was built on the site where the frame building had stood. An attractive structure, it had cream-coloured quoining on the corners and around the gothic windows. In 1895, an addition to the back of the building expanded it to two rooms. A few years later, the convenience of two outdoor privies was finally added. The school operated this way until 1956. By then, though, the old school just could not keep up with the demands of modern education. SS #6 was boarded up and the students were sent to Golf Road P.S. Consideration was given to turning SS #6 into a museum, but by 1963 extensive repairs were needed. Finally, just before the new Woburn C.I. was opened, the old school was demolished. During the demolition the 1863 date stone was discovered to be, in fact, a tombstone for Thomas Hubbard, who died in 1850. It is believed that a stone-mason made an error on the tombstone and then decided to use the other side as a datestone for a cost-conscious school board. The school's bell was also salvaged and presented to the new school. It became a tradition of the graduating Grade 13 class to steal the bell. The bell has vanished and it appears that the Grade 13's are not to blame. The bell was borrowed by the Board of Education but returned to Woburn Jr. There, early in 1980 or 1981, persons unknown picked it up.

Woburn CI began in 1947, when it was established that Scarborough needed more schools for its growing population.

In 1963, the old SS #6 building was demolished and Woburn Collegiate Institute opened. [http://www.woburnci.com/about/history/]


Woburn is a single building, containing 72 classrooms, 2 large gymnasia (which may be divided into 4 smaller sections), a weight training room, a dance studio, an auto shop, two music rooms, two tech shops, and a library (resource center). The school also has a main office, a guidance office (student services) and an office for each of its departments. The building encompasses a rectangular garden in the centre, referred to as the "quad", which is famously known throughout the school for a peculiar statue by Romanian-Canadian sculptor Sorel Etrog entitled "Soma". Identical statues can be found inside the Yonge-Eglinton Centre and York University's Accolade East building. Behind the school is a 400-m track, football field and goalposts for outdoor sports activities. [http://www.woburnci.com/about/floorplan/WoburnCI_Floor_Plan.pdf]


As of 2004, 1266 students are in attendance at Woburn. Of these, 581 (46%) are female and 685 (54%) are male. 694 (55%) have a primary language other than English, and 26% have been living in Canada for less than five years. Woburn represents over 70 different languages and a multicultural environment. Gang-related activities have been noted in the past but new initiatives such as the hiring of two hall monitors and the placement of security cameras have notably deterred it. [http://www.tdsb.on.ca/profiles/4202.pdf]

The school has been the home for Scarborough's gifted programme for exceptional students since 1978. [http://www.woburnci.com/departments/specialed/woburn_gifted.pdf]

Extracurricular activities

Student Activity Council (SAC)

The SAC is selected by the Woburn students:"to represent their intereststo support and fund their sports and clubsto organize special activities within the school"

The SAC represents Woburn students at the school and in the community. THe SAC organizes social activities and encourages school spirit. In the past SAC events have included dances, Charity Week activities, Winter Week and the Formal. Funding for all clubs and most sports teams comes from the sale of SAC/ID cards and from fund-raising activities. A successful SAC is the result of 100% student support.

2008-2009 Woburn Student Activity Council

President: Ben Varughese
Vice-President: Abhiramy Vivekananthan
Administrative Assistant: Safwan Bhaiyan
Senior Treasurer: Amanda Cullmann
Junior Treasurer: Joshua Duncan
Grade 12 Reps: Thushanth Sivaanthan & Bharathy Vivekanantham
Grade 11 Reps: Diriye Hassan & Raksanan Sasitharan
Grade 10 Reps: Andrew Curtis & Kevin Wu
Grade 9 Reps: "To Be Determined"
Media Coordinators: "Yohan Yee & Erin Reid"

Staff Advisor: Ms. Ohnegemach & Mr. Hulme


Prefects are the good-will ambassadors of Woburn. Working closely with faculty, the Prefects of Woburn are responsible for making sure school events run smoothly, such as Welocome Day, photo days, and other various fairs such as the career and volunteer fair. Furthermore, the Prefects also plan an annual event for the children at Woburn Jr. called Springfest.


The flagship subject of Woburn academics is a part of many Woburn student's lives, and it is rightfully considered an extracurricular activity in itself. Perhaps the best method to describe Woburn's strength in mathematics is to look at the school's representation in the International Mathematical Olympiads (IMO). Canada first began sending the now six-member team to the event in 1981. Beginning with Woburn's first student representation at the event in 1986, over the next 18 years Woburn would be represented at the IMO an impressive eleven times, [http://camel.math.ca/CMS/Competitions/IMO/histsum.html] exceeding the representations of more famous academically elite high schools such as Earl Haig Secondary School (seven times), and Upper Canada College (five times).

Physics and Chemistry

In addition to the IMO, Woburn students have also gone on to represent Canada in the International Chemistry Olympiads (IChO) and International Physics Olympiads (IPhO).

Programming Enrichment Group (PEG)

PEG [http://www.wcipeg.com/] is a group of students who meet on a weekly basis after school to study advanced computer science topics, discuss algorithms and approaches to difficult problems, often on the level of the International Olympiad in Computer Science. Topics covered and types of problems approached vary depending on competition entries.

The learning methods used vary as well: sometimes students meet in study groups with their leader teaching them and solving practice sheets or programming problems, sometimes they are taught by one of the senior students, sometimes they work on the problem as a team, and sometimes they are taught by their coaches.

PEG students meet after school typically two nights per week to prepare for competitions in programming. Every year, members take part in competitions at provincial, national and international levels. PEG has additionally started its own competition, called Woburn Challenge, to draw in both students from other schools and university students. This contest has grown to become province-wide (occasionally wider).

Since its formation in the early 1990s, PEG has [http://www.woburnci.com/groups/peg/pegachieves%20new.txt competed successfully] in a large number of competitions.


The Woburn Robotics Team [http://www.team188.com/] has a decade-long legacy. It is a team of students who build large, complex robots to compete in FIRST Robotics, the largest high school robotics competition on the planet.

They began in 1995 under the guidance of Mark Breadner and Roly Anderson, and in 1998 became the first non-American team to compete in what was then called USFIRST. In 2001 the team played a major part in bringing FIRST to Canada, with the founding of the Canadian Regional [http://www.firstcanadianregional.org/portal/index.php] - the first regional event to be held outside of the United States. For their enormous effort they were rewarded with the Chairman's Award, the competition's most prestigious award.

Over the years the team has established itself as a strong presence both on and off the field, with their excellent robots, trademark red-and-white hockey jerseys, experience and team spirit. They continue to participate in FIRST competitions held in Canada and the United States.

Team 188, Woburn Robotics, came 3rd at the Waterloo Regional Competition this year. Furthermore, an alumnus of Woburn Collegiate, Shawn Lim, received the prestigious Woodie Flowers Award which is given to a mentor whom shows notable contributions to the team.

Woburn Music

The school is notable for its music programme, consisting of several hundred students in band and choir classes, a Madrigal Choir, a concert choir, a Chamber Choir, two concert bands, a Wind Ensemble, and two jazz bands and a combo.

The ensembles of the music programme have regularly been invited to perform at national-level competitions and often make excursions to the US, including most recently Orlando, Florida in mid-May, 2006. The Wind Ensemble and Madrigal Choir have done particularly well in competitions, consistently placing at or near the top of the standings. On Friday, February 17, 2006, the Wind Ensemble travelled to the [http://www.onband.ca Musicfest] competition held at the Le Parc Hotel, in Markham, Ontario, playing at the highest level, B500. The band received an enthusiastic [http://www.woburnmusic.com/wmrec/archives/000950.html gold] rating.

Woburn's music department is student-represented by way of the Music Council, a body of elected students who help to keep the programme running smoothly. The Council pans and runs many events and fundraisers through the year that would not exist without their assistance. [http://www.tdsb.on.ca/profiles/4202.pdf] [http://www.woburnmusic.com]

Woburn Rookie Drama Festival

See Woburn Rookie Drama Festival.

Notable Alumni

Steven Page and Ed Robertson - Members of the band Barenaked Ladies
Hannah Sung - Former MuchMusic personality
Des McAnuff - Tony award-winning director
Sudz Sutherland - Award-winning filmmaker
Brad Duguid - Liberal MPP for Scarborough Centre
Bob McKenzie - Sports Broadcaster for TSN
Tyler Anthony - Blue Jays Assistant Coach
Ramanan Sivaranjan - Member of the band The String Hoppers
Monika Schnarre - Actress and former winner of the Ford Supermodel of the World Contest. [10]
Fabian Rayne - Former CFL player and member of Rugby Canada 7's team
Brad Tapper - NHL Player
Matthew Lau - Prominent Woburn catcher
Allan Cole - SportsCentre-TSN producer
Sofie Kouleas - SportsCentre producer-TSN
Steve Kouleas - Sports Broadcaster - The Score
Ross Fattori - Freelance Writer
Steve Payne - Former NHL Player
Charlie Huddy - Former NHL Player

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