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Toronto Catholic District School Board

The Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB, known as English-language Separate District School Board No. 40 prior to 1999[3]) is an English-language public-separate school board for Toronto, Ontario, Canada, headquartered in North York.[4] It is one of the two English boards of education in the City of Toronto, serving the former municipalities of Scarborough, North York, York, East York, Old Toronto and Etobicoke. With 85,864 students, the TCDSB is one of the largest school boards in Canada, and is the largest publicly funded Catholic school board in the world.[5] Until 1998, it was known as the Metropolitan Separate School Board (MSSB) as an anglophone and francophone separate school district.

Toronto Catholic District School Board
formerly Metropolitan Separate School Board (MSSB)
TCDSB Logo.svg
80 Sheppard Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario, M2N 6E8, Canada
District information
Motto"Transforming the world through witness, faith, innovation and action."
EstablishedApril 2, 1953 (MSSB)
January 1, 1998 (separation of French schools)
ClosedDecember 31, 1997 (MSSB)
Superintendents8 (areas)
1 (Student Success and Adult Learning Centres)
Schools163 elementary schools
28 secondary schools
3 combined schools
2 alternative schools[1]
BudgetCA$1.2B[2] million (2014–2015)
District IDB67059
Other information
Chair of the BoardBarbara Poplawski
Director of EducationRory McGuckin
Elected trustees12
Student trusteesRhea Carlisle, Joel Ndongmi (2017–2018)
Headquarters of the school board



TCDSB's former entity, Metropolitan Separate School Board

Prior to 1998, the Metropolitan Separate School Board was the governing body of all publicly funded Roman Catholic schools in Toronto. In 1998, the board was reorganised, resulting in the separation of English and French language schools, the latter of which are now part of the Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud. The resulting board was named the Toronto Catholic District School Board.


The Toronto Catholic District School Board mission statement relies on as "an inclusive learning community uniting home, parish and school and rooted in the love of Christ" that "educates students to grow in grace and knowledge and to lead lives of faith, hope and charity." The vision encourages learning communities of the Board to "transform the world through witness, faith, innovation and action." [6]

The school board is governed by 12 elected trustees who serve for a four-year term. Each year one secondary school student is selected to serve on the board as a student trustee (who is not entitled to vote). The chair of the board, the vice-chair, and the honorary treasurer are elected at the inaugural meeting of the board, and serve for one year. As of August 2013, Ann Andrachuk serves as chair, and Sal Piccininni serves as vice-chair. Trustees are paid $18,500 a year in salary, and can claim up to $18,000 for expenses. Prior to the 1998 separation of French-language schools, the Metropolitan Separate School Board had three French language seats.[7] The policies of the Board are administered by the Director of Education and designates.

There are more than 85,864 students serving over 200 Catholic schools, and represent close to 475,000 Catholic school supporters in all of Toronto. The TCDSB also has staff consisting of 6,000 teachers, 2,800 support staff, 360 principals and vice principals, and 200 administrators.[8]

In addition, the Board operates standing three committees: the Student Achievement and Well Being, Catholic Education and Human Resources, Corporate Affairs, Strategic Planning and Property, & Governance Framework.[9]


Ward Trustee Municipal Ward Federal and Provincial Riding TDSB Corresponding Ward Notes
1 Joseph Martino 1, 2, 4 Etobicoke North
Etobicoke Centre
1, 2
2 Ann Andrachuk 3, 5, 6 Etobicoke Centre
2, 3
3 Sal Piccininni 7, 12 York West
York South-Weston
4, 6
4 Patrizia Bottoni 8, 9, 10 York West
York Centre
4, 5
  • Chair of the Corporate Affairs, Strategic Planning and Property Committee
5 Maria Rizzo 15, 16, 23, 25 Eglinton-Lawrence
Don Valley West
8, 12, 13
  • Vice-Chair of the Corporate Affairs, Strategic Planning and Property Committee
6 Frank D'Amico 11, 17 York South-Weston
6, 9
  • Vice-Chair of the Board
7 Mike Del Grande 24, 33, 37, 39, 40 Willowdale
Don Valley East
Scarborough Southwest
Scarborough Centre
12, 17, 19, 20
8 Garry Tanuan 41, 42, 44 Scarborough-Agincourt
Scarborough-Rouge River
Pickering-Scarborough East
21, 22
9 Jo-Ann Davis 19, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 Trinity-Spadina
St. Paul's
Toronto Centre
10, 11, 14
  • Chair of the Student Achievement and Well Being, Catholic Education and Human Resources Committee
10 Barbara Poplawski 13, 14, 18 Parkdale-High Park
7, 9
11 Angela Kennedy 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34 Don Valley West
Don Valley East
Beaches-East York
13, 15, 16, 17
  • Chair of the Board
12 Nancy Crawford 35, 36, 38, 43 Scarborough Centre
Scarborough Southwest
18, 19, 22
  • Vice-Chair of the Student Achievement and Well Being, Catholic Education and Human Resources Committee
Student Trustee(s) Karina Dubrovskaya
(Bishop Allen)
Allison Gacad
(St. John Paul II)
--- --- ---
  • Part of the Nurturing Our Catholic Community Committee

Chairs of the BoardEdit

Italics indicate the trustee remains active.[10]

  • Averell Robinson, Q.C. - 1953–1954; Original chair of the MSSB
  • Rev. Msgr. Hugh Callaghan, D.P. - 1954–1955
  • Gerard Godin - 1956–1957
  • Georges B. Heenan - 1958–1959
  • Michael J. Duggan - 1960–1962
  • Edward J. Brisbois - 1963–1965
  • Dr. John J. Andrachuk - 1966–1967
  • Rev. Msgr. Percy H. Johnson, P.H. 1968–1969; School named after him.
  • J.A. Fullerton - 1970–1971
  • J.A. Marrese - 1972–1974
  • Joseph Grittani - 1975–1976
  • Rev. E.F. Boehler - 1977–1978
  • Bruno M. Suppa - 1979–1980
  • Paul J. Duggan - 1981–1982
  • Edward T. McMahon - 1983–1984; 1996–1997
  • Rev. E.F. Boehler - 1984–1985
  • Rev. C. Matthews, S.J. - 1985–1986
  • Caroline M. DiGiovanni - 1986–1988
  • Michael Lofranco - 1988–1989
  • Donald E. Clune - 1989–1992
  • Elvira DeMonte - 1992–1994
  • Paul B.R. Fernandes - 1994–1996
  • Joseph Martino - 1997–1999 - Last chair as MSSB and first chair of the reorganized TCDSB.
  • Rose Andrachuk - 1999–2000
  • Mike Del Grande - 2000–2001 - Later became city councilor; 2014–2015
  • Joseph Carnevale - 2001–2003;
  • Oliver Carroll - 2003–2007 - Ousted in early 2009 for conflict of interest charges.[11] Now serves as a teacher for the Toronto District School Board since 2010 and teaches at Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies from 2012 onwards.[12][13]
  • Catherine LeBlanc-Miller - 2008–2009
  • Angela Kennedy - 2009–2010 - later removed by the judge and was later re-elected; 2015–2016
  • Ann Andrachuk - 2010-2013
  • Jo-Ann Davis - 2013–2014
  • Barbara Poplawski - 2017-present

Directors of EducationEdit


The current director of education is Rory McGuckin who was appointed in 2017.

Past directorsEdit

  • B. E. Nelligan - 1965–1983
  • Berchman Kipp - 1983–1989
  • Tony Barone - 1989–1996
  • Norm Forma - 1996–1997
  • Johanne Stewart - 1997–2001
  • Tom Donavan - 2001–2005
  • Noel Martin (Acting) - 2005
  • Kevin Kobus - 2005–2007
  • Les Nemes - 2007–2009[14]
  • Ann Perron - 2009–2011[15]
  • Bruce Rodrigues - 2011–2013 (now CEO at EQAO)
  • Angela Gauthier - 2013-2017 (served as Interim Director in 2011)

School Building ArchitectureEdit

Like the TDSB-built schools, 70% of the TCDSB stock of school buildings outside of the old City of Toronto were built after World War II and during the 1950s. These are typically Mid-Century modern in style with two to three storey brick facade and large double hung windows albeit from the cross attached. Some are built in Tudor Gothic style ones in the late 1800s.


School bus transportationEdit

The following service providers have been contracted by the school board:[16]


Uniforms are mandatory for students at the secondary level and elementary starting in the fall 2011.[17] In 2010 some elementary schools started implementing use of uniforms. [17]

In 1988, the MSSB ruled that public separate high schools are required to wear uniforms. At the time, all of the high schools in Scarborough except for Blessed Cardinal Newman had uniforms. Some trustees anticipated protests from parents and students from Newman.[18]

As of 2018, all TCDSB elementary students must wear a uniform of a white or navy blue top, and navy blue bottoms. This is enforced in special programs such as the gifted program and ME.


Enrolment of non-CatholicsEdit

While Catholic high schools are funded by the provincial government, making them open to any students who wish to attend, elementary schools do not have to enroll non-Catholic students. Many argue that the practice of fully funding separate schools exclusively for the Catholic faith is discriminatory to other religions (the United Nations has twice chastised the province for this policy). Supporters of the current Catholic education system point out that it has existed, in one form or another, since Confederation, and that the Constitution Act, 1867 enshrines the right to government-funded religious education to all Catholics. The opposition, however, argues that this is an appeal to tradition, and point to other provinces in Canada which amended the constitution to abolish Catholic school funding. It is up to the school principal whether or not non-Catholics are enrolled.

Government fundingEdit

Recently, the issue of government funding for religious schools has become a major political issue (see Ontario general election, 2007), with PC Party Leader John Tory supporting an extension of funding to all religious schools, Dalton McGuinty's Liberals and Howard Hampton's NDP supporting the status quo, and Frank de Jong's Greens alone calling for elimination of public funding for all religious schools (including Catholic Schools).

Trustee spending scandalEdit

The board was embroiled in controversy in May 2008 when a report commissioned by the provincial government uncovered spending abuses by certain trustees, including charges for meals, promotional materials, and prohibited benefits.[19][20] Provincial supervisor Norbert Hartmann was appointed to oversee administration of the board as a result.[21]


The official symbol of the Toronto Catholic District School Board was designed in 1969 by the internationally recognized design artist, Allan Fleming, who designed the Canadian National logo. It combines the cross, the anchor, and the heart representing the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. It is based on the cross and anchor symbol used by the early Christians in the catacombs, the added heart representing humanity.[22]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ TCDSB Alphabetical School Directory Archived 2012-03-21 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Toronto Catholic District School Board". Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  3. ^ "Ontario Regulation 107/08". e-Laws. Government of Ontario. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  4. ^ "About Us Archived 2011-04-11 at the Wayback Machine." Toronto Catholic District School Board. Retrieved on March 11, 2011. "Administrative Offices: Toronto Catholic District School Board 80 Sheppard Avenue East, North York, ON M2N 6E8"
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-30. Retrieved 2012-12-01.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ TCDSB Mission and Vision
  7. ^ "Newcomer wins French seat on school board." Toronto Star. November 16, 1991. News p.A12. Retrieved on July 24, 2013. "[...]to one of the three French-language seats on the Metropolitan Separate School Board."
  8. ^ TCDSB - About Us Archived 2013-09-14 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Committees of the Board | TCDSB
  10. ^ Inaugural Meeting
  11. ^ Judge orders Catholic trustee out - Toronto Star, February 7, 2009. Retrieved on October 12, 2013.
  12. ^ Rushowy, Kristin Ousted from Catholic board, trustee now a public high school teacher - Toronto Star, September 10, 2010. Retrieved on October 12, 2013.
  13. ^ People | SCAS Ed-Vance
  14. ^ "News release" (PDF). 2007.
  15. ^ "News release" (PDF).
  16. ^ "Toronto Student Transportation Group – Providers". 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  17. ^ a b "CityNews Toronto, Winnipeg & Edmonton - local news, entertainment, life, video and sports". 2018-05-17. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  18. ^ "Catholic high school students must wear uniforms, board says." Toronto Star. February 2, 1988. News p. A16. Retrieved on September 15, 2013. "Now students at all 32 Catholic secondary schools except for Blessed Cardinal Newman school in Scarborough wear uniforms. Some trustees fear Blessed Cardinal Newman students and their parents will protest the decision."
  19. ^ - Education - Catholic board cuts 85 teachers
  20. ^ "Microsoft Word - EPTC_Report Final ver 6.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  21. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2008-07-09.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-14. Retrieved 2013-03-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit