Many schools in the Halton District School Board are named to honour the civic contributions of particular individuals or to commemorate unique local traditions, culture and the history of the community. In this section, you will find a list Halton schools who are named for people and the reasons for this honour.
Alexander's Public School (Burlington)
The name honours Alexander Hohol, a student in Burlington who tragically passed away in 1999 when he was in Grade 8 at John T. Tuck Public School. The name of the school celebrates the life of a student who was kind to others, curious, hard working and who had a positive attitude towards learning. These are qualities valued by our schools as important to learning.
Alton Village Public School (Burlington)
The name Alton is the surname of one of the original settlers in this community, Thomas Alton, who first arrived in the Burlington area in 1819. Thomas and his wife had 16 children and many of their decendents are still living in the Burlington area today. Alton bought and farmed land on north side of Upper Middle Road, west of Appleby Line, eventually amassing 1,250 acres. This area has been known as the Alton community.
Anne J. MacArthur Public School (Milton)
Anne (Campbell) MacArthur (1909-1998) was born in Nassagaweya Township, raised and educated in the Milton community. After graduating from the University of Toronto and the Ontario Teachers College, MacArthur taught for nearly 40 years, including 27 years as an inspirational history teacher at Milton District High School. After retirement in 1973, she devoted many years to politics, becoming the first female Reeve for the Township of Nassagaweya (1969-1973), and then the first female Mayor of the newly annexed Milton after regional government (1974-1976). MacArthur was a prominent community advocate for Milton and devoted much of her life to the community. In 1970, she worked on the Pits and Quarries Legislation to protect the Niagara Escarpment. She became a founding member of the Niagara Escarpment Commission and served on the NEC from 1973-1987.
Boyne Public School (Milton)
Boyne Public School refers to the former village of Boyne, located south of the school site at Regional Road 25 and Britannia Road. The village was named for the Boyne River in northeast Ireland and took that name when Irish settlers arrived in this area of Halton in approximately 1818. The settlement once had a woollen mill, saw mill, school house and post office.
Bruce T. Lindley Public School (Burlington)
Bruce T. Lindley was the Superintendent of Finance with the Halton Board of Education when it was formed in 1969. When the school opened in 1981, it was named in honour of B.T. Lindley who was present at the official opening ceremonies.
Chris Hadfield Public School (Milton)
Chris Hadfield, born August 29, 1959, was raised in Milton, Ontario, and graduated from Milton District High School in 1977. He attended Royal Roads (Victoria, BC) and the Royal Military College (Kingston, ON) and received a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering (with honours) in 1982. He conducted post-graduate work at the University of Waterloo and received a Master of Science in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee in 1992.
As a trained CF-18 fighter pilot, he flew for the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), as a test pilot F/A-18 and A-7 aircraft, and completed research work with NASA. In total, Hadfield has flown more than 70 different types of aircraft.
In June 1992 Chris Hadfield was selected to become one of four new Canadian astronauts from a field of 5330 applicants. In 1995 Hadfield served as Mission Specialist 1 on STS-75, NASA’s second space shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russia Space Station Mir. Hadfield flew as the first Canadian mission specialist, the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm in orbit, and the only Canadian to ever board Mir.
In 2001, Hadfield served as Mission Specialist 1 on STS-100 International Space Station (ISS) assembly Flight 6A on the Space Shuttle Endeavor. During the mission Hadfield performed two spacewalks, which made him the first Canadian to ever leave a spacecraft and float freely in space.
C.H. Norton Public School (Burlington)
C. H. Norton Public School was named for Cecil Norton who started a ‘bus’ system by taking a group of kids to school in an seven-passenger Pierce Arrow Limousine in 1936. He recognized that every child, regardless of circumstances, needed and deserved an education and without his transportation, many students in the rural communities in north Burlington would not have been able to attend school. Over the next several decades, Mr. Norton’s business grew into a fleet of 500 buses, transporting 15,000 students each day. The present day location of C. H. Norton Public School is located several hundred yards from Cecil Norton’s former home.
Captain R. Wilson Public School (Oakville)
Captain R. Wilson (1806-1888) was a resident of Oakville and the captain of two Lake Ontario schooners, the 'Lady Colborne' and 'Baltic.' Captain Wilson was instrumental in aiding escaped slaves to the safety of the harbour at Oakville. The African American escapees were concealed in the grain vessels aboard his ship. ‘Captain Robert,’ as he was known, built a house (at 279 Lawson Street), which became known as Mariner's Home, because of his custom of welcoming and accommodating ill and homeless sailors during the winter months. Captain Wilson was also an important member of the Temperance Union.
Charles R. Beaudoin Public School (Burlington)
Chuck was a teacher with the Halton District School Board for more than 25 years. He taught at Mohawk Gardens, W.E. Breckon and C.H. Norton. He was an outstanding teacher, adored by his students and respected by his colleagues. He loved going to work everyday to create memorable and meaningful experiences for his students.
Chuck was truly committed to the Jump Rope For Heart Program and inspired schools throughout the province to participate in this most worthy cause. He created the Burlington Bouncers, who not only promoted the Heart and Stroke Foundation and its programs, but also competed across Canada. He wanted his school community to be healthy and active and to make a difference in the lives of others through their fundraising efforts. He influenced and enriched the lives of everyone who knew him.
Following his death in 2000, his family helped open the newly-built school on Clubview Drive in 2004. (Note: For the 2003 –04 school year C.R. Beaudoin Public School was temporarily located at the former W.E. Breckon Public School site.)
Chisholm Public School (Oakville)
Chisholm Public School was named after Colonel William Chisholm (1788-1842), the founder of Oakville. Chisholm owned the first tavern, sawmill and gristmill in Oakville and served as postmaster and customs collector. In 1820, Chisholm was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada for Halton. In 1829, he was appointed Justice of the Peace in the Gore District and was reelected in Halton in 1830 and 1836. Rebecca Street, is named after his wife, Rebecca Silverthorn Chisholm.
Craig Kielburger Secondary School (Formerly E.C. Drury High School, Milton)
The start of Craig Kielburger’s social justice journey has been well documented in the media. At the age of 12, he started a school-based club to raise funds and awareness about child labour. Today, that club is Free the Children, an international non-profit organization empowering North American students to become global and active citizens. Since its founding, the organization has built more than 750 schools in developing countries, provided education to more than 55,000 children every day, established 23,000 alternative income programs and provided clean water and medical programs to hundreds of thousands of families. Free the Children runs events and youth leadership training conferences that encourage and inspire young people to get out into their local communities and ‘be the change’.
Kielburger is also co-founder of Me to We, an innovative social enterprise challenging the notions of consumption and redefines the relationship between business and charity. Today, Free the Children is the world’s largest network of children helping children through education, with more than one million young people involved in programs in 45 countries.
Dr. Charles Best Public School (Burlington)
Dr. Charles Best Public School was named after Dr. Charles Best (1899-1978), an important person in the medical field. When Charles Best was an assistant to Dr. Fredrick Banting at the University of Toronto, he played a role in the discovery of insulin, enabling an effective treatment of diabetes. During World War II he was influential in establishing a Canadian program for securing and using dried human blood serum. In his later years, Dr. Charles Best was an adviser to the medical research committee of the United Nations World Health Organization. In 1967, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. In 1994, he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. In 2004, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Dr. David R. Williams Public School (Oakville)
Dr. David R. Williams OC OOnt MSc MD CM FCFP FRCP LLD (Hon) DSc (Hon) is a respected physician and astronaut, Officer of the Order of Canada, and recipient of the Order of Ontario among his many honours.
Dr. Williams completed residency training in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine and held numerous leadership positions in emergency medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre as well as academic positions at the University of Toronto. As a physician/scientist, he was appointed the Director of the McMaster Centre for Medical Robotics and is the former President and CEO of Southlake Regional Health Centre where he led the hospital to become a teaching and research centre.
Dr. Williams was selected for the Canadian Astronaut program in 1988. From 1998 - 2002, Williams served as NASA’s Director of the Space and Life Sciences directorate with responsibility for research in both physical and biomedical space sciences at the Johnson Space Center.
Williams served as a mission specialist on two space shuttle missions. In 1998, he served as a STS-90 mission specialist on the Space Shuttle Columbia, and in 2007 as a crew member on the STS-118 mission to the International Space Station where he completed three spacewalks.
Williams also served as an aquanaut on the first NEEMO (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) crew aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory in 2001 and 2006.
In 2012, Williams was inducted as a Member of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame and he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. The following year Williams was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for his work in space exploration. In 2015 he received the Order of Ontario and the Award of Excellence from the College of Family Physicians of Canada, as well as numerous honorary degrees.
Dr. Williams is the author of several children's books. He and his family reside in Oakville.
Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School (Burlington)
Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School was named after Frank Hayden, famously known for creating the modern day Special Olympics. In the early 1960s at the University of Toronto, Dr. Hayden began researching the fitness levels of children with intellectual disabilities. Based on this research, he proposed a national program of sport training and competition for persons with intellectual disabilities. His research became known to the Kennedy Foundation in Washington DC, and for two years Hayden helped establish a fitness award program and federal legislation to assist the disabled. He continued his efforts to establish a national sport program and in 1968 helped organized “The Chicago Special Olympics” for 1,000 athletes. Immediately after the Chicago games, Hayden legally incorporated “Special Olympics Inc.” and was instrumental in organizing Canada’s first games in 1969 in Toronto.
E.J. James Public School (Oakville)
The school is named after Ernest (Jimmy) James, a man who had no middle initial, but whose nickname was Jimmy; hence the addition of the initial to the school's name. Ernest James came from Britain before World War I, farmed near the Ford plant in Oakville and went overseas in World War II. Returning from war, he held various positions in the Oakville area (then Trafalgar Township), including postmaster, trustee and business administrator for the school board. When Mr. James’ first wife died at a young age, he remarried a woman who was Linbrook Public School's librarian.
Elsie MacGill Secondary School (Milton)
Elsie MacGill (1905-1980) was the first woman to earn a Master’s degree in aeronautical engineering (1929). She was also the first practising Canadian woman engineer and first female aircraft designer. In 1940 she became chief aeronautical engineer of Canadian Car & Foundry (Can Car) in Fort William, Ontario. There, she headed the Canadian production of Hawker Hurricane fighter planes during the Second World War - producing more than 1,450 aircraft. An active feminist, MacGill was national president of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (1962–64). She was also a member of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada (1967–70). MacGill is a recipient of the Order of Canada.
Emily Carr Public School (Oakville)
Emily Carr was born in Victoria, British Columbia and studied art in San Francisco, London and Paris. She also taught art to children between 1883 and 1907, painting in a unique and modern style that was rejected at the time. Her art was profoundly influenced by the First Nations people of British Columbia and The Group of Seven, who named Carr "The Mother of Modern Art". In addition to painting, Emily Carr was also an acclaimed writer, receiving the Governor General's award for her book titled, "Klee Wyck".
More than 50 years after her death, Carr has become a Canadian icon, known to many who are not readers or who know nothing of art. She has been and continues to be the subject of books, academic theses, poetry, film and theatre productions. During her lifetime, her art was exhibited in Canada, the United States and Europe. She is valued as an important part of Canadian art history.
E.W. Foster Public School (Milton)
E.W. Foster Public School was named in honour of the late Edgar William Foster, a distinguished citizen of Milton and long-time educator. Mr. Foster's leadership with Milton schools for more than four decades earned him the nickname, ‘Mr. Education.’ His son, Ian, followed in his father’s footsteps and is a former superintendent with the Halton District School Board.
Florence Meares Public School (Burlington)
Florence Meares Public School is named in honour of Florence Meares and her lifelong commitment to education in Halton. She is a former teacher, Vice Principal and the first female elementary school Principal, appointed by the former Burlington Board of Education. In her retirement, she continued to serve in education as a public school board trustee from 1976-1982. She is an active member of the Burlington Historical Society and the Nelson Women's Institute. Florence Meares has been presented with numerous awards, including Burlington's Citizen of the Year, the International Year of the Older Person Award for Burlington South, the Ontario Residential Care Association Award and the Queen's Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee Award.
Frontenac Public School (Burlington)
Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac et de Palluau (May 12, 1622 – November 28, 1698) was a French courtier and Governor General of New France from 1672 to 1682 and from 1689 to his death in 1698. He established a number of forts on the Great Lakes and engaged in a series of battles against the English and the Iroquois.
Ethel Gardiner Public School (Georgetown)
Ethel Gardiner served Halton community as an educator and as a leader in education for about 40 years. She was a Halton District School Board teacher from 1967-1995, and a trustee for the Halton Hills community from 1995-2006. She was also elected Chair of the Board for six consecutive years (1998-2003). Ethel’s teaching and educational career included roles as a classroom and special education teacher, teaching principal, Board trustee and Chair.
In each of these roles, Ethel’s passion for her constituents and community, her advocacy for students and staff, as well as her commitment to public education was very evident. She was quick to herald the accomplishments of students, educators and support staff, and often did so in a public forum, further promoting the successes of public education. Ethel also met each task in a fair and equitable manner, and sought relevant information in order to make informed decisions for the betterment of students and staff of the Board, and public education as a whole.
As Chair of the Board, Ethel brought leadership and vision to the board of trustees in Halton, pioneering change and focusing outcomes on student achievement. Ethel was honoured for her accomplishments and outstanding service to public education with the prestigious provincial "Dr. Harry Paikin Award of Merit" presented at the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association annual meeting in June 2004. Ethel’s passion for people was accented by other pursuits in her life – commitment to family, volunteer participation on a number of community initiatives, caring for the environment, and a quest for lifelong learning and education. Ethel’s leadership, vision, compassion, commitment and dedication are skills that will be long remembered within the Halton District School Board, and by all who had the good fortune to know her.
Garth Webb Secondary School (Oakville)
Garth Webb was a Burlington resident and World War II veteran of the D-Day Normandy campaign. He spearheaded the establishment of a non-profit organization, called the Juno Beach Association, and began raising the $10 million necessary to build an interpretation centre as a lasting memorial to sacrifices and contributions of Canadian soldiers. The Juno Beach Centre and Museum opened on June 6, 2003 at Courseulles-sur-Mer, France with more than one thousand Canadian veterans in attendance. Since its opening, more than 660 school groups and hundreds of teachers and educators have visited the Juno Beach Centre. Webb passed away in 2012.
Gary Allan High School (Burlington)
Gary Allan (1946–2001) was an incredible teacher who had a lifelong passion for learning. Gary began his career path as a chef and then entered the teaching profession in 1969, first in Hamilton and then at General Brock High School in Burlington in 1976, becoming the first Technical Director at E.C. Drury High School in Milton.
In 1983, Gary was appointed first Head of the Self-Reliant Learning Program, an innovation designed for students who were having difficulty in school, with programs in which learning was tailored to the individual’s needs. Flexible timetabling provided opportunities to take classes during the day, evenings and weekends. Under Gary’s leadership, the program grew and the Milton site was soon added.
Gary understood students entered the programs for a variety of reasons and with diverse needs. If they needed something that was not offered, he was determined to find a way to help them and thus Gary and the staff committed to "do whatever it takes" to encourage their students. Adults and adolescents alike responded to the opportunity to return to school and an extraordinary learning environment was nurtured.
Gary Allan High School provides a variety of alternative learning opportunities for students outside the traditional high school setting. These programs provide many of the same credit courses found in high schools but the mode of delivery or the location is different. Most programs are available in each community in Halton - Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville.
George Kennedy Public School (Georgetown)
George Kennedy (1799-1870), was one of the original settlers in Georgetown and whom Georgetown is named after. George Kennedy settled in the area in 1821 and built a sawmill, gristmill, foundry and a woolen mill, which fostered the early economic development of the area.
Gladys Speers Public School (Oakville)
Gladys Speers was the first female Inspector of Schools in the Oakville Board and donated the land upon which the school is located. She also donated a piano to the school. Gladys Speers was a School Trustee for Trafalgar Township and also taught school in the Town of Oakville. She used to come to the volunteer tea at the school between 1976 and 1984. She resided in Oakville until her death in 1995.
Irma Coulson Public School (Milton)
Irma Coulson (1922-2013) was a former teacher and principal in the Halton District School Board. She began her teaching career in the 1940s in a one-room schoolhouse, spending most of her career in Milton schools, retiring in 1983 as Principal at Kilbride Public School. In her retirement she devoted her time to the Milton community including a 20-year commitment as a board member and volunteer at Halton Recovery House. Coulson received the Milton Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 for her service to the Milton community.
J.M. Denyes Public School (Oakville)
James Malcolm Denyes had been a public school inspector in Halton from 1913 to 1938. Mr. Denyes, confined to a wheelchair at that time, opened the school on December 6, 1955. Because of his confinement, Mr. Denyes began needlepoint as a hobby and in September 1957, presented his own handiwork - a needlepoint chair - to the school. J.M. Denyes died on February 25, 1960.
James W. Hill Public School (Oakville)
The Underground Railroad secretly transported fugitive slaves from the southern United States across the border to freedom in Canada. From 1820 to 1865, thousands of African-American slaves escaped into Canada. Although Oakville was a small terminus for the Underground Railroad, hundreds of African-Americans came to this area, including Maryland-born James Wesley Hill, also known as 'Canada Jim'. After crossing the border in a packing box,
Hill settled on a farm in Oakville. He helped many slaves who followed by giving them work on his strawberry farm, helping make Oakville the one-time strawberry industry capital of Canada. Hill became an agent for the Underground Railroad, returning to the United States several times over the next few years and leading an estimated 700-800 African Americans back to Oakville. He became known as 'Canada Jim' for his escapades. Hill built a house which still stands today at 457 Maple Grove Dr. Hill's memory is honoured in Montgomery County, Maryland.
John T. Tuck Public School (Burlington)
When John T. Tuck and his family came to Canada, they settled in Vinegar Hill, Waterdown before moving to a strip of land in southeast Burlington that extended from the lakeshore north to what is now Fairview Street. John Tuck was a farmer as well as a school trustee and donated the land for the school to be built on in the late 1950s.
John William Boich Public School (Burlington)
John Boich is a former teacher, principal, and Halton District School Board superintendent (1972-79), who dedicated his career to education. Following his time as a superintendent, Boich served as the Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Education Administrative Officials and on numerous committees and boards, conducted research projects for the Ministry of Education, and provided expertise on several educational studies in other countries.
Prior to his death in 2011, Boich was known as a vital contributing member of the Burlington community. He co-chaired the Shape Burlington committee, which was a citizen advisory committee on civic engagement that recommended changes in the way city hall engages the public.
Joseph Gibbons Public School (Georgetown)
Joseph Gibbons Public School named in honour of Joseph Gibbons, the Mayor of Georgetown for 18 years in the 1950s and 60s. Prior to becoming mayor, the active lawn bowler was a barber for nearly 30 years as well as being a municipal assessor. He has a street named after him in Georgetown called Gibbons Place.
Lester B. Pearson High School (Burlington)
Lester B. Pearson High School was named after the 14th prime minister of Canada, once the president of the United Nations. When it comes to Canadian Prime Ministers, few accomplished so much in so little time as Lester B. Pearson. During his five years in office, Pearson oversaw the introduction of the Canada Pension Plan, a national system of universal Medicare, the Commission on bilingualism and biculturalism and the Maple Leaf Flag. Moreover, he did it all without ever winning a majority government.
M.M. Robinson High School (Burlington)
M.M. Robinson High School was named after Melville Mark (Bobby) Robinson (1888-1974). A Burlington resident, Robinson made significant contributions to education, sport and agriculture, locally and globally. He was the Chair of the Burlington Board of Education and the first chair of the amalgamated Burlington Board in 1958.
Robinson was the sports editor of the Hamilton Spectator and he founded the British Empire Games (later the Commonwealth games) in 1930. He was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in the 1950s. Robinson was also a fruit farmer in the Burlington area, founded the Ontario Food Council and co-founded the Ontario Food Terminal. He was inducted into the Ontario Agriculture Hall of fame in 1984
McKenzie-Smith Bennett Public School (Acton)
From the early 1940s to 1957, Garnet McKenzie and Elmer Smith (fondly known as Pat and Smitty to those who knew them well) worked side-by-side as the Grade 7 and 8 teachers at Acton Public School (now known as Robert Little Public School). Garnet McKenzie later became the principal of Acton Public School.
In 1957, Elmer Smith was appointed as principal of the newly opened M.Z. Bennett School (M.Z. Bennett was named after Mini Bennett who had been principal of the school for a number of years).
In 1977, the new Acton District High School was built and the old Acton High School – situated beside M.Z. Bennett -- became a middle school. The middle school was named McKenzie-Smith in honour of Garnet McKenzie and Elmer Smith.
The McKenzie-Smith Bennett name was given to the school when the two schools, M.Z. Bennett (a Kindergarten to Grade 5 school) and McKenzie-Smith (a Grade 6 to 8 school) were joined together in the mid 1990s.
Munn’s Public School (Oakville)
Munn's Public School honours Daniel Munn, the original settler of a two hundred-acre land grant at the southeast corner of Dundas Street and Sixth Line. He received a land grant in 1808 to build a log structure to serve as both church and school. Land for a new church and school on the north side of Dundas Street was deeded by Jordan Munn, one of his sons, in 1842. In 1844, a frame church was built and in 1952, a school at the present-day Munn's Church site was built. A new location for a school was found on Daniel Munn's original land grant, so a new one-room school was built in 1900. An eight-room school replaced the one-room school in 1955 and six additional rooms were added to the school in 1959.
Nelson High School
Nelson High School takes it name from Port Nelson which was a busy port along Lake Ontario, immediately east of the Village of Wellington Square, at the foot of Guelph Line. In 1873 Wellington Square and Port Nelson were incorporated as a village under the new name Burlington. Port Nelson is named for Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson who won a decisive victory for the British at Trafalgar in 1805.
Oodenawi Public School (Oakville)
Oodenawi Public School references the Ojibwe term ‘community’. The Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation is part of a much larger civilization of people known as the Anishinabe. They are the original people who resided on the traditional territory of what we now know as Halton. The Oakville land was part of the 1805 Toronto Purchase and 1806 Head of the Lake Purchase between the Crown and the Mississaugas. Mississaugas speak the language of Ojibwe.
Palermo Public School (Oakville)
The village of Palermo, at the intersection of Dundas Street and Old Bronte Road, is considered the oldest remaining urban centre in Oakville and one of the town's only original remaining villages. The Palermo community is referenced back in the 1841 census. According to the Oakville Historical Society, there are many places in Halton named in connection to Lord Horitio Nelson, British Admiral (1758-1805).
Lord Bronte was one of his titles and Palermo, Italy (Sicily) was where he met his mistress, Lady Hamilton, after the Battle of the Nile. They eventually married. There is a Palermo Schoolhouse located on 2431 Dundas Street W., which has been recommended for heritage designation (according to 2009 Town of Oakville documents). Constructed in the early 1940s, complete with the cornerstone of the previous schoolhouse built in 1875, it served as a school in the village of Palermo for a couple of decades.
Since its closure, the building was used by the Trafalgar Police Department, however Trafalgar Historical Society currently occupies the school. The former Halton Board of Education had previously owned a school named Palermo Public School, located on Bronte Road, on the east side and south of Hwy. 5. The school was closed and sold in 1978
Paul A. Fisher Public School (Burlington)
Paul A. Fisher Public School was named after a man who loved his family, his work and his community. In his later years, Paul Fisher contributed greatly to the community life of Burlington. He was, for a time, a member of the Burlington School Board, served on the local Horticultural Council and Fruit Marketing Board. He was a charter member of the Rotary Club and helped establish the Halton and Peel Trust Company. For his work as Chairman of the Water Commission, he was presented with a Citizenship Award. He served on the Building Committee of the Joseph Brant Hospital and was its second Chairman of the Board.
Pauline Johnson Public School (Burlington)
Pauline Johnson Public School (Burlington) Emily Pauline Johnson (1861-1913) was one of Canada's most popular and successful entertainers at the turn of the century. She was the daughter of a Mohawk Native-Canadian father and an English mother.
At the age of 31, when society expected her to marry and have children, she began to tour the country. She gave popular recitals of her poetry, comedy routines and theatrical performances from Halifax to Vancouver. She was the first Native poet to have her work published in Canada. She was also one of the few female writers at the time who could make an independent living by writing and performing.
P.L. (Peter Lymburner) Robertson Public School (Milton)
In the early 1900's, Milton inventor and businessman Peter Lymburner Robertson (1879-1951) established the Robertson Manufacturing Company in the town of Milton and began producing the Robertson screw and screwdriver - at the time, a unique square recess impression in the head of a screw. It was a revolutionary change in the fastener industry. The first patent was issued in 1909 and the last patent expired 55 years later in 1964. His firm was the largest employer in Milton for more than 50 years. Robertson screws and screwdrivers carry his name to this day.
An innovator, industrialist and astute businessman, Robertson's products became widely used, from the wooden bodyworks of Henry Ford's model T to ships built by the British Navy in WWII. Robertson Manufacturing Company also became one of the first firms in the fastener business to pre-package screws and nails. Robertson's 40-year career transformed the Haldimand Country farm boy into a millionaire-philanthropist. He remained in control of his company until his death in 1951.
While P.L. Robertson is known throughout Canada as the inventor of the Robertson screw, to the people of Milton, he was simply P.L.
Robert Baldwin Public School (Milton)
Robert Baldwin (1804-1858) was called to the Bar in 1825. In 1829, he was elected a member of Parliament of Upper Canada for the town of York. He had pure and unselfish motives and devoted himself to bringing about a good understanding between the English and French-speaking inhabitants of Canada.
Robert Bateman High School (Burlington)
Robert Bateman, now a British Columbia resident, is an exceptionally well-known artist, specializing in realistic paintings of birds, animals and our natural surroundings. He was born in Toronto and earned a degree in geography from the University of Toronto. After graduating, Bateman was a teacher for the next 20 years, including a two-year stint in Nigeria. He taught art and geography at Nelson High School until the late 60s, when he became an art consultant at the former Halton Board of Education.
In 1970, he became a part of the original staff at the new-opened Lord Elgin High School, where he taught until 1976. At that time, he gave up teaching to paint full time and to travel widely to many remote natural areas with his artist/conservationist wife Birgit, also a teacher, whom he met at Lord Elgin High School. When General Brock High School and Lord Elgin High School were combined in 2004, the newly-created school was named Robert Bateman High School.
Robert Little Public School (Acton)
Robert Little was born in England in 1835. At the age of 13, he was appointed as Junior Assistant at the Lancastrian Night School in Edinburgh and two years later, Assistant Teacher in Sessional School of St. Andrew’s Parish. In 1852, Robert Little and his family came to Canada and he took a teaching position at S.S. No. 5 Esquesing. He was appointed Principal at Acton Public School in 1863. In 1871, Robert Little was appointed Inspector of Public Schools for Halton County and acted as the Town Inspector of the Board of Education for Milton and Oakville.
In 1884, he helped prepare the New Series of Ontario School Readers, but would not accept any remuneration for his work. Following an attack of typhoid fever, Robert Little died in 1885. In 1900, 15 years after his death, Robert little’s former pupils raised $300 to build a granite monument at his gravesite in Fairview Cemetery, Acton.
Ryerson Public School (Burlington)
A process to rename this school will begin in September 2021 and will be completed by late November 2021. Ryerson Public School was named after Egerton Ryerson for his contributions to the Ontario education system, however, Ryerson was also instrumental to the design of Canada’s residential school system. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concluded this assimilation amounted to the genocide of Indigenous people. For more information, please view the June 17, 2021 HDSB news release.
Sam Sherratt Public School (Milton)
In the early 1980s, Milton Trustee Ivan Armstrong suggested the new Timberlea area school in Milton be named after former Milton resident Sam Sherratt, "a great admirer of children." Sam Sherratt worked as a member of the caretaking staff at J.M. Denyes Public School from 1954 to 1970 and died of cancer in 1971.
Sir E. MacMillan Public School (Burlington)
Sir Ernest Alexander Campbell MacMillan (1893-1973) was one of the most influential Canadian musicians of his time, having devoted his life and energies to the service and advancement of music in our country. MacMillan was conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra from 1931 to 1956 and conductor of Toronto’s Mendelssohn Choir from 1942 to 1957. He appeared as guest conductor in North and South America, Europe and Australia. He served as president of the Canadian Music Council from 1947 to 1966 and of the Canadian Music Centre from 1959 to 1970.
In 1935, he was the first Canadian musician to be knighted, an honour conferred upon him by King George V.
Syl Apps School (Oakville)
Charles Joseph Sylvanus "Syl" Apps, CM (January 18, 1915 – December 24, 1998) of Paris, Ontario was a Canadian professional hockey player for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1936 to 1948. At the end of his hockey career, he was appointed as the athletic commissioner for sport in Ontario. Apps was elected as the Conservative Member of Provincial Parliament in Ontario, representing Kingston. He was appointed Minister of Correctional Services in 1971.
Tecumseh Public School (Burlington)
Tecumseh (c.1768-October 5, 1813), whose given name might be more accurately rendered as Tecumtha or Tekamthi, was a famous Shawnee native leader. He spent much of his life attempting to rally disparate Native American tribes in a mutual defense of their lands, which eventually led to his death in the War of 1812.
Tiger Jeet Singh Public School (Milton)
Tiger Jeet Singh is a Milton resident and former wrestler who fought in the Canadian, U.S. and international wrestling circuits from 1965 to 2005. During that time, he wrestled professionally in Japan for 22 years. He has used his public image to deliver a message of peace and unity through sport and to promote an education and anti-drug/gang message to children.
His many philanthropic activities include a $200,000 donation to community of Sujapur, India to build water and sewer infrastructure; $35,000 raised through his leadership with Kopz4Kids (monies were shared between Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington and Halton Healthcare facilities in Georgetown, Milton and Oakville); as well as being a generous donor to the Milton District Hospital Foundation. Singh's many humanitarian activities include serving as a non-governmental ambassador (in trade) to United Nations in 2000-2001, with a mandate to reach out to southeast Asian countries.
Thomas A. Blakelock High School (Oakville)
Thomas A. Blakelock was a prominent citizen of Oakville who served the community in a variety of roles. He came to Canada in 1906 and founded a lumber company with his brother. While a resident of Oakville, he held the positions of Councillor, Deputy Reeve, Reeve and Mayor of Oakville. He served as a Liberal MPP from 1929-1944 and was Building Commissioner for the Oakville Board of Education, personally overseeing the construction of T.A. Blakelock High School in the mid-50s.
He died in 1974 at the age of 91.
Tom Thomson Public School (Burlington)
Tom Thomson (1877-1917) is considered one of the most important and influential early Canadian artists. Together with members of the Group of Seven, he created a distinct approach to portraying rugged Canadian landscapes.
Viola Desmond Public School (Milton)
Viola Desmond (née Davis) was born 6 July 1914 in Halifax, Nova Scotia where she initially trained as a teacher but soon joined her husband in a joint barbershop and hair dressing salon. She expanded her business, the Desmond School of Beauty Culture, across the province and became a mentor to young Black women in Nova Scotia. It is however the story of her courageous refusal to accept an act of racial discrimination in a theatre in New Glasgow, NS in 1946 that provided inspiration to a later generation of Black persons in Nova Scotia and in the rest of Canada. Desmond passed away on 7 February 1965.
In December 2016, it was announced that Viola Desmond would be the first Canadian woman depicted on the face of a Canadian bank note -- the $10 note in a series of bills to be released in 2018.
W.H. Morden Public School (Oakville)
William Hardy Morden (1863-1940) was Councilor of the Township of Trafalgar from 1914 -1916 and 1935-1939. He was Deputy Reeve from 1917-1918 and Reeve from 1919-1934. He was also Warden of Halton County in 1920 and 1930. Mr. Morden generously donated the land on which W.H. Morden Public School was built in 1953, on Morden Road.
W.I. Dick Public School (Milton)
W.I. Dick Public School is named in honour of Mr. William Inglis Dick, Q.C. Mr. Dick practiced law in Milton from 1894 to 1953. He was the secretary of the Milton Public School Board from 1902 to 1908 and served as a trustee from 1909 to 1912. He was the Crown Attorney of Halton from 1904 to 1949.