best schools in ottawa best schools in ottawa

7 Best Schools in Ottawa For Your Children

Some of the best schools in Ottawa are well-known all over Canada thus having an education in the capital of the country is nothing but a privilege.

Families moving to Ottawa will be happy to know that the city offers the best quality of education and makes it legal for students between the age of six and eighteen to be enrolled in school.

Every parent is concerned about their children’s education and is confused as to where to enrol them. The Ontario government pays for elementary and secondary and has the best schools in Ottawa.

So here, we have the list of the top 10 best schools in Ottawa.

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1. Earl of March Secondary School, Kanata.

One of the best schools in Ottawa and opened on December 7, 1971, the Earl of March was the first secondary school in that area. It was designed as the best educational institution in that province with the best facilities.

It resembled a large high school with a 750-seater auditorium, a gymnasium with a balcony, a large cafeteria, a library, separate rooms for science, arts and technology, an exercise gym, and a small learning area.

The school was one of the initial schools in Ottawa to offer French immersion and the first in Ontario to offer an Advanced Placement program. It is a program that provides high school students with the opportunity to receive credits from the University for their performance.

The name Lions know for the Earl of March’s active group. Many sports coaching is offered here. The auditorium of the school is one of the best in Ottawa. It is so vast that it can be divided into four lecture halls and used as classrooms.

In the 1970s and 80s, it was used by the Kanata Theatre before they built their own. Also, in the 1980s, it was used by Kanata United Church. It is usually used for meetings, school assemblies, band practices, concerts, and musicals.

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2. Colonel By Secondary School, Gloucester.

Colonel By is a non-semester school and the only public school offering the International Baccalaureate diploma program. It is a pre-university course of study offered to students from grades 11 to 12.

The preparation begins in grades 9 and 10 through training in various classes. It is one of the few best schools in Ottawa that provides such training in the lower grades.

The school has a history of great maths students who performed excellently in national maths contests conducted by the University of Waterloo and many other local and national competitions. In 2009, the school came first in the city and fifth in Canada in the Grade 9 Pascal’s Math Contest.

The school is also a strong performer in Canadian science contests. In the academic year, 2018–2019, a student of Colonel By Jeffrey Li was given the top prize of the highest-scoring student in Ontario for the Michael Smith Science Challenge.

Many of the students of Colonel By are active participants of Canada’s Capital Cappies, a theatre club hosting plays by the students and are judges by many well-known judges in Ottawa.

In 2012, the school won many prizes from the theatre; Top Critic Team, Top Female Critic, Top Male Critic, and Featured Actor in a Play. In 2019, they won Female Lead Actor in a Musical, Best Song, and Best Orchestra.

The school is notable for its lead athletes. They have won many medals in various competitions held in Ottawa. One of Colonel By’s gold medalists in 2007, Oluwasegun Makinde, a 15-year old set a new junior provincial record of 21.74 seconds in the men’s 200m running, breaking the old record of 22.75 seconds.

The Colonel By Open Eyes club is known for its charity works. They host the Community Pancake Breakfast, a fundraising event in the community every year.

Also, they are the top school contributors to Relay for life, a society that raises money for Canadian cancer research.

3. John McCrae Secondary School, Nepean.

Welcome to John McCrae Secondary School

John McCrae is one of the other best schools in Ottawa. It was built in 1999 in the Nepean district of Ottawa and supports grades from 9 to 12. The school is attached to the Walter Baker Sports Centre and provides many activities like swimming, squash, weightlifting, and a library.

The school offers several sports events like Field Hockey, Golf, Hockey, Touch Football, Field Lacrosse, Swimming, Rugby, Soccer, Football, Track & Field, Varsity Girls Rugby, Varsity Girls Touch Football, Curling, Tennis, Water Polo, Badminton, and Baseball.

Awards are given every year like Athlete of the Year, Bulldog Award, Spirit of the Bulldog, the Alexa Sirenko Athletic Award, and the True Sport Award-team award.

The school is the only one in OCDSB to provide a High-Performance Athlete program that supports the students in their education accommodations competing at the Provincial, National, and International levels in various events.

They also have a section of art programs that exhibits the multiple artworks of students. Every year, during occasions like the annual Grad Showcase, the Red Poppy Gallery presents the artworks of its students.

The school has a huge range of clubs like Art Club, Concert Band, The Core, Chess and Strategy Club, Philosophy Club, Eco Club, Gay-Straight Alliance Club, Link Crew, Peer Tutoring, Robotics Club, Student Action Group, Yearbook Club and many more.

There are also councils in various sections like the Students Council, the Athletic Council, and the Music Council.

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4. Sacred Heart High School, Stittsville.

This school serves as a middle school and high school with classes from grades 7 to 12. The Ottawa Catholic School Board runs it in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

The students who come to Sacred Heart are mostly from the feeder schools like Guardian Angels Catholic Elementary School, Holy Spirit Catholic Elementary School, St. Phillips Catholic Elementary School, St. Stephen’s Catholic Elementary School, Stittsville Public School, and many other schools in the district.

The school provides a variety of activities and clubs. All students are asked to participate in at least one club per semester. This can enhance the skills and leadership opportunities of students.

The school has a particular hold on spirituality. They celebrate their faith in different ways. The school chapel holds a stage to celebrate the Eucharist throughout the year for various occasions.

There are grade-level masses during Holy Spirit Parish. Liturgies of the word, Ash Wednesday liturgies and other small liturgies. The school also provides religion classes and visits to the chapel to reflect on their faith and pray together.

The Ottawa Catholic School Board Parent Involvement Committee (The PIC) is a committee of parents, trustees, principals, and the Director of Education.

Their purpose is to encourage and enrich the involvement of parents in the school board to improve student well-being. CSPA appoints this committee. All these irreplaceable factors make the school one of the best schools in Ottawa.

Photo by Shubham Sharan on Unsplash

5. Glebe Collegiate Institute, Ottawa.

Administered by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Glebe Collegiate Institute has approximately 1700 students and is one of the best schools in Ottawa. It is also the largest school in the district.

The school offers specialized courses like French Immersion, English as a second language, bilingual, gifted, and a learning disability and a particular education learning centre.

They are the best in academic standing and offer the best music programs in the city. They have a group called Offbeat, which is an unconventional percussion. They use things like trash cans, brooms, chalk dusters, and water barrels s instruments. They are a five-time gold award-winning group.

The school is built in traditional architecture, which is kept consistent despite the additions given to the building. The school has gone through several renovations in the science departments to make the labs the best in the district.

The building includes an underground swimming pool, an auditorium with balcony seating, a subbasement dedicated to an orchestral music room, instrument storage, the music teachers’ office, and a small greenhouse on the roof. All the teachers and students have access to a good internet connection.

Some notable alumni are NHL hockey player Syd Howe, singer Alanis Morissette, and CBC news icon Peter Mansbridge.

6. West Carleton Secondary School, Dunrobin.

West Carleton Secondary School in Dunrobin is under the jurisdiction of the Ottawa Carleton District School Board. It serves a large geographical area in Ottawa’s western region encompassing Carp, Fitzroy Harbour, Constance Bay, and north Kanata.

The school is beautiful on 43 hectares of field, wetland, and forest, shared with the Bill Mason Outdoor Education Centre, an OCDSB outdoor education and environmental studies centre.

In 2018, the school underwent an addition by including a room for 250 students with new classrooms, including a dance practice room and a gym.

One class is entirely dedicated to science and technology and two rooms for arts and related. There is also a gymnasium with gender-neutral washrooms and changing rooms.

The school was ranked 8.7 during the 2016-17 academic year, making it one of the best schools in Ottawa. The atmosphere in the West allows the students to be comfortable and feel welcome and gives a sense of family.

Seventy-five percent of the students studying in the West choose to further study in colleges and universities.

West students are from various community schools like Jack Donohue P.S., Huntley Centennial P.S., Stephen Leacock P.S., St. Michael’s E.S., Stonecrest P.S., W.E. Johnston P.S., and other secondary schools in the area. And many other reasons make it one of the best schools in Ottawa.

7. St. Mark Catholic High School, Ottawa.


In 1980, St. Marks only had grades 7 and 8 and later added classes 9 to 12 within the next seven years. The school currently enrolled 1100 students.

Since 1987, the school has attained great media attention because of its Canned food Drive. In their 2009 edition, they collected 62,000 cans, surpassing the 1,000,000 can mark in the 22 years it was held. They even had a one-year record of 72,000 canned food items.

The school has a great sports team. In 2006, the school won the National Capital Bowl, played among Ottawa, Eastern Ontario and Central Ontario.

In 2009, many sides of the school brought a championship home, including the junior varsity girls soccer team, senior boys rugby team, junior boys football team, and varsity girls football team.

The school is one of the best schools in Ottawa, with notable alumni like Olympic Wrestler Evan Macdonald, hockey players Stefanie McKeough, Will Petschenig, and Slater Koekkoek, Canadian football offensive linemen Scott Mitchell and swimmer Seanna Mitchell.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, Ottawa is a city that is privileged to have some of the best schools in Canada, and every family moving to Ottawa should give the city’s education system a chance.

The quality of education in Ottawa is exceptional and the city offers the opportunity for students between the age of six and eighteen to be enrolled in school.

Furthermore, the Ontario government provides funding for both elementary and secondary education, making Ottawa a great choice for parents who are concerned about their children’s education.

With the best schools in Ottawa, parents can rest assured that their children will receive a top-notch education. There are many more schools that are the best in Ottawa. Let us know them in the comments.

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