The top 10 secondary schools in Ottawa

Secondary education is the immediate step before heading off to university, so many concerned parents want of course to look for a very good high school to guarantee their children receive the best preparation.

Many people interested in moving to Ottawa from nearby cities have asked me which are the best high schools in the city, or in other cases, whether I might know of any important points about certain schools.

Continuing with the posts about the best schools in Ottawa,  I present here the ranking of the 10 best secondary schools,  based on the Fraser Institute’s rankings. That institute looks at student performance in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta schools.

You might want to know that one of the Ottawa high schools is among the top six in Ontario, out of 739 secondary schools in the province, and I have heard many good things about that school.

The information provided in this post is based on province-wide academic results in maths tests and on the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT).

The top 10 high schools in Ottawa

10. Canterbury High School (8.1 out of 10)

This school is located in the southeast sector of Ottawa, in the Altavista ward. It belongs to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and has 1,360 students. It is a school with a strong tradition of excellence and creative activity, and well known for its specialized Arts Canterbury program.

Address: 900 Canterbury Ave, Ottawa, K1G 3A7

Phone: (613) 731-1191

9. Longfields Davidson Heights Secondary School (8.1 out of 10)

This school is located in the Barrhaven area. It belongs to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and has 2,250 students in grades 7 to 12.

The Intermediate level (grades 7 and 8) includes Regular English, Early French Immersion and Middle French Immersion, while at the secondary level, the school offers a Regular French program as well as Extended and Immersion French. 

The school sits on 1.5 acres and contains a football field and a soccer field.

Address: 149 Berrigan Dr, Nepean, ON K2J 5C6

Phone: (613) 843-7722

8. Holy Trinity Catholic High School (8.1 out of 10)

This school is situated in Kanata and it’s part of the Ottawa Catholic School Board. It has a strong commitment to addressing inappropriate behavior such as bullying, harassment, and discrimination and it works hard to maintain a positive school climate, helping create student achievement and well-being.

Address: 180 Katimavik Road. Kanata, K2L 4A7

Phone:  613-591-9955

7. Ecole Secondaire Catholique Paul Desmarais. (8.2 out of 10)

This school is located in the west end of Ottawa in the Stittsville neighborhood. It belongs to the Conseil des écoles Catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) and it offers a francophone education for students from grades 7 to 12.

Its educational programs have a strong focus on technology and sports.

Address: 5315 Abbott St E, Stittsville, K2S 0X3

Phone: (613) 744-2618

6. Nepean High School (8,2 out of 10)

This school is located in the Westboro neighborhood and it belongs to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. It takes pride in having a rich programs in academics, athletics, fine arts, and leadership. 

Address: 574 Broadview Ave, Ottawa, K2A 3V8

Phone: (613) 722-6551

5. John McCrae Secondary School (8.3 out of 10) 

This school is located in Nepean. It belongs to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. It has modern facilities, large spacious classrooms, modern computer labs, updated technology shops, art studios, and open science laboratories.

Additional facilities are provided by its community partnership with the adjacent Walter Baker Centre. The students use the resources of the public library and have access to the sports facilities for activities such as aquatics, hockey, squash, and fitness.

Address: 103 Malvern Dr, Nepean, K2J 4T2

Phone: (613) 823-0367

4. Earl of March Secondary School (8.6 out of 10)

This school is situated in Kanata and belongs to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. It has 1,185 students and offers a composite general arts education.

Its Advanced Placement Program offers nine courses that allow students to obtain university credits while still in secondary school. French Immersion programs are offered in twelve courses in the regular school program.

The school takes pride in having athletic programs, award-winning bands, drama and dance performances, visual arts, leadership programs, student council, and over 60 sports and club activities.

Address: 4 The Parkway, Kanata, K2K 1Y4

Phone (613) 592-3361

3. All Saints High School (8.6 out of 10)

This school is located in Kanata North and it belongs to the Ottawa Catholic School Board. It takes pride in providing a values-based education that attracts many families from different faith backgrounds who choose to enroll their offspring in All Saints.

The school has extensive facilities including a chapel, library, 2 large gyms, 4 computer labs, 7 science labs, a drama room and stage, 2 music rooms, dance studio, a transportation lab, a cosmetology lab, and an outdoor track & fitness program.

All Saints has had much success in sports such as baseball, curling, cross-country, soccer, and track & field. In 2011 the varsity boys baseball team won the city championship. The 7/8 girls soccer team won the city championships in 2008 and 2009. In 2016, the Senior Boys Basketball Team won the tier 1 city championship against AY Jackson.

Address: 5115 Kanata Ave, Kanata, K2K 3K5

Phone: (613) 271-4254

2. Lisgar Collegiate Institute (8.8 out of 10)

This school is the oldest high school in Ottawa. It was founded in 1843 and has a solid reputation for excellence in Academics, Arts, and Athletics. It’s located in downtown Ottawa and belongs to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.

It has The Gifted Program, a special program for students from grades 9 to 12, identified as intellectually gifted; and The International Advanced Placement Program (AP) that allows students to receive equivalent credits for first-year courses at many universities in Canada, the United States, and other countries.

The school has one the oldest secondary symphony orchestras in Canada, and its students regularly receive awards and medals in math and science contests.

Address: 29 Lisgar St, Ottawa, ON K2P 0B9

Phone: (613) 239-2696

Lisgar Collegiate Institute

1. Colonel By Secondary School (9.2 out of 10)

This school is the neighborhood of Beacon Hill in Gloucester and belongs to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. It ranks number six among secondary schools in the province of Ontario.

It’s one of the only two English public schools in Ottawa to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Colonel By has offered the program since 1997, while the other high-school that has the IB program is Merivale, which started offering it more recently.

The IB program is a rigorous two-year pre-university course of studies that provides an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education. The IB diploma is recognized by colleges and universities worldwide.

The IB program is offered to students in grade 11 and grade 12. But the preparation for the challenge begins in grade 9 and grade 10. More than 50% of Colonel By students are enrolled in the IB Program.

Address: 2381 Ogilvie Rd, Gloucester, K1J 7N4

Phone (613) 745-9411

Colonel By Secondary School

This ranking of schools is based, as I pointed out, on academic results, and doesn’t measure other aspects of school life such as the well-being of students, sense of community, inclusion, and others things that parents might want to consider in choosing a school for their kids.

I intend to give you this information merely as a guide, so that you might complement it with other references. I hope it’s helpful for you. Take care.

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4 thoughts on “The top 10 secondary schools in Ottawa

  1. Congrats on your last blog, also for this one. This information is beneficial and guides us to make an intelligent decision around the environment we want for our children. However, I get confused , is there any school which offers primary a secondary programs?

  2. Hi Diego, thanks for your comment. Schools are divided in Elementary or Primary schools, and High or Secondary schools. In some cases high schools include Middle School, that is grades 7 and 8. In other cases there are Middle schools just for 7 and 8th graders.

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