NT Athletics Committee: ROI (Return on Involvement)

It’s been 30 years, but I can still feel the excitement of running football-equipment-clad down the sloping aisle of the auditorium and jumping up onto the stage, as the entire faculty and student body roared out the school song. Today, I have two daughters at my alma mater. Lucky me!

That NT Spirit

While the bricks and mortar of the school have changed dramatically, one thing hasn’t changed: the spirit of the school—unmatched, I would argue, by any other school in the TDSB.  It’s such a great community to be involved in! Which has brought me to a deep appreciation for a different kind of ROI: Return on Involvement.

At Red and Grey Day 2017, the students, faculty, parents and alumni were treated to an athletics spectacle both indoors and out. The volleyball, basketball, soccer, field hockey and football teams all locked in healthy competition with a variety of fierce rivals from across the city, and our teams made us proud. The school spirit was palpable and inspiring.

The NT Athletics Committee

Recognizing the tremendous success of the NT Music Council Committee, a sub-committee has formed under the umbrella of the NT Foundation: the NT Athletics Committee. With an emphasis on connecting the past with the present and looking towards the future, the newly minted committee is made up of existing and past faculty as well as alumni, some of whose involvement in the school goes back 50+ years! All are eager to give back and see today’s athletes succeed and be involved in all that NT has to offer. The committee’s express purpose is to raise awareness (and perhaps a few funds) to support the athletics department at North Toronto.  

It’s still early days. Thus far, we’ve held two modest activities: creating a database for communication and selling some great NT clothing at Red and Grey Day. The current heads of the athletic program have given us some ideas, identifying what they consider pivotal to improving our students’ athletic experience at NT—and we are there to support those objectives.

Get Your ROI

Want to get involved? We’ll keep you posted on upcoming events that will make you proud and extend your ROI from North Toronto. Send us a note at ntathleticscommittee@gmail.com.

— Michael Colley (’89)

Michael at Red & Grey Day
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NT Musicians Keep Popping Up!

On Sunday, November 12, 2017, the Orpheus Symfonietta, under the baton of Stuart Beaudoin, performed a Remembrance Day concert in Uxbridge, Ontario. The chamber orchestra included six NTCI grads, spanning five decades, some of whom have participated in this group from as early as its inception in the 1980s.  

This orchestra (which has gone by various names over the years) draws musicians from all over the Greater Toronto Area and numbers 36 at its largest. It comes together sporadically, usually once a year; most of these musicians play regularly in other bands and orchestras.

It is remarkable, then, that one-sixth of its complement is made up of NTCI grads—one more example of the lasting effect of the NT music experience. Nancy, Mark and Brian have been playing in ensembles in and around Toronto for over 50 years, Allan for almost 65 years. A life-long commitment, a life-long enrichment. All six were on stage at Roy Thomson Hall in 2012 for the Memories Forever concert, part of NT’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

They will be playing for years to come—and no doubt bumping into even more NTCI music grads!

— Brian Maltman (NT ’71)

Front row (left to right): Lynda Busch, violin (’76), Duncan Andrews, horn (’91), Nancy Nourse, flute (’70). Back row: Brian Maltman, trombone (’71), Allan Shantz, cello(’58), Mark Maitman, trombone (’71).

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John Hay Carter (NT Staff, ’85–’01)

“Organized, creative and totally dedicated to his students” – words used to describe NT’s John Carter. A teacher of math and computer science, John came to North Toronto via Harbord CI and Parkdale CI. He also spent two years with CUSO in Ghana. During his years at NT, he coached the badminton team, but it was his dedication to the classroom that led to a huge “fan club” of past students who kept in touch with him. His attention to detail came to light when he threw himself into the task of designing the Math Office when it was moved from the “closet” at the the end of the math wing to the room that had been the Ladies’ Staffroom! He was also a leader in computer science education during the 90s and authored several computer science textbooks and higher-level mathematics textbooks.

After John took early retirement from the TDSB, he spent several years as a lecturer at the University of Toronto in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and most recently was the Dean’s representative on academic offences. However, he always maintained contact with NT as he took on the task of keeping his fellow NT retirees informed about what was happening, and he did a great job organizing lunches for retired staff.

John passed away on Monday, October 9, 2017, at the age of 76 at the Toronto Western Hospital, leaving behind his wife, Laryssa, their two children and two grandchildren along with his brothers, nieces, a nephew and many friends. He will be greatly missed.

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NTCI Says Thanks for Alumni Support

At our last Dragons’ Den session, we awarded funding to various clubs, as well as to the committee organizing the Remembrance Day. We thought you might like to hear from the recipients themselves how much your support means to them, so here’s a sampling of the thank you notes we received:

Good morning, Ron,

I just wanted to say thank you for listening to my pitch about Prom 2018 and for being so generous with the donation. It will strongly benefit the students attending! Thank you for allowing for this opportunity to occur.

Many thanks,

Dear Ron,

On behalf of the Remembrance Day committee, I would like to thank you and the NTCI Foundation for your continued support of the Remembrance Day assemblies. 

These two assemblies have become a fixture in our school and a very memorable, meaningful way to honour the tremendous sacrifice and participation of NT students in the Great Wars of the 20th century, the Korean War, the war in Afghanistan, and modern peacekeeping efforts. We would like to extend to you and any other members of the NT Foundation a personal invitation to attend either of our two services being held at the school on the morning of November 10, 2017. We would be honoured if you could join us.

 A very sincere and heartfelt thank you, 

Dear Mr. Wakelin,

On behalf of the Robotics Team at North Toronto, we’d like to thank you for supporting our team and providing us with monetary funds that are crucial to our team’s success.

We hope that the Robotics Team and the NT Foundation will continue to work closely together in the future to create a strong and welcoming engineering-based club for North Toronto students.


Hi Mr. Wakelin,

On behalf on the Graffiti team, thank you so much for the generous funding, it is muchly appreciated. I can’t tell you how important it is to the continued success of Graffiti. Additionally, thank you for organizing such an awesome event, it provides a great opportunity for the students involved to gain skills in a pitch-like environment, amongst other things.

Thanks again,

Dear Mr. Wakelin,

Thank you for taking the time and consideration for funding so many clubs at North Toronto. On behalf of the PAL heads, Spanish Club, and Archery Club, we thank you for the funding. We know we will put it to great use to enhance the NT experience, encourage students to develop many skills, and ensure equity when buying club shirts and vests. 

Again, thank you and all the other alumni so much!

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The Spirit of Giving … Back: Celebrating Excellence at NT

’Tis the season: a time imbued with the spirit of giving. And for us at the Foundation, it’s all about the spirit of giving back. We have many opportunities throughout the school year to meet NT’s current students and to experience their amazing dynamism, intelligence and abilities. Please help us support these incredible young people as we wind up our Celebrating Excellence fundraiser for NTCI student scholarships. There can be no better way to provide for the future than by investing in our students.

We will be increasing the amounts of Foundation-funded scholarships by 10 per cent next year, bringing NTCI awards recognizing academics, athletics, arts and leadership more in line with current costs. Please consider helping us do this; 100 percent of donations to the Celebrating Excellence campaign will go directly to the scholarship fund.  

The Foundation truly appreciates your contributions to this campaign. Generous donors will be acknowledged on a plaque on the trophy case itself and may qualify for a year-end bonus (see below for details)!  All contributors will receive tax receipts (over $25).

  • Pentagon Patron: $1,000 and above
  • NT Norseman: $500 to $999
  • Spirit Sponsor: $250 to $499
  • Naming rights for the trophy case: $8,000. This is available to an individual, family, team or a graduation class.

Please mail your gift to: The NTCI Foundation at 17 Broadway Ave, Toronto, ON, M4P 1T7. Specify the Celebrating Excellence campaign. If you have any questions, please email Nancy McFadden at nancyanddoug.mcfadden@gmail.com or call (647) 351-2850.

Thank you so much. We cannot support this legacy of excellence without you.

With sincere wishes for your health and happiness in the coming year,

The NTCI Foundation

Year-End Bonus:

NT Pop Socket
NT Pop Socket

Gifts of $100 or more qualify for a free concert t-shirt (specify size), an NT pop socket or a copy of Hail! North Toronto: Celebrating a Century, our 2012 centennial history. If you donate $250 or more, you may select two. For Toronto residents: These NT heirlooms can be picked up in Room 412 at lunch and after school from Mark Kinoshita. Please contact Mark at mark.kinoshita@tdsb.on.ca to make the arrangement, and then check in at the office before going up. For those of you who live farther afield, call Nancy McFadden (contact above) to make arrangements.

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Remembrance Day Assembly At North Toronto

Remembrance Day 2: Lt. Col. Michael Clarry (’81/’82) with NT students.

On November 10, North Toronto held a very meaningful and moving Remembrance Day service. The assembly began with a video featuring Terry Kelly’s “A Pittance of Time,” a song  that revolves around the two minutes of silence we hold for war veterans on November 11. This was followed by an entry parade of NTCI veterans and the NT Cadet Flag Party.

Principal William Mack opened the assembly with some brief remarks, and from that point on the NT students took charge. Four students told stories of former NT war veterans who had served. This helped to personalize mere names on a list. This was followed by student-made legacy slide show that once again told stories and humanized the lives of former NT students who fought for our country.

Remembrance Day 1: Lt. Col. Michael Clarry (’81/’82) addressing the assembly.

Lt. Col. Michael Clarry (NT ’81/’82) addressed the student body with a motivational talk, basing part of it on  John McCrae’s lines “To you, from failing hands we throw / The torch: be yours to hold it high. The assembly continued with the presentation of a video outlining Canadian involvement in peacekeeping.

The final part of the morning involved some memorable artistic performances by NT students: the poem “Dulce et Decorum Est,” the song “Mother’s Pride,” and a beautiful choral rendition of “Un Canadien Errant.” After the “Last Post” was played, followed by a minute of silence and “Reveille,” the students all joined together to sing our national anthem with fervour.

The NTCI Foundation is honoured to fund this event every year and was gratified to receive warm thanks for this from John Taylor, staff advisor. The assembly was truly a special day in the life of our student body and highlighted the respect and high regard our students still have for those who went before them.


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Diana Bishop (’71)

After a highly successful career in Canadian media and now heading up The Success Story Program, a personal branding business, NT alumna Diana Bishop has published her memoir, Living Up to a Legend: My Adventures with Billy Bishop’s Ghost. As the grand-daughter of WWI flying ace Billy Bishop and the great-great-granddaughter of Timothy Eaton, Diana grew up in a home that was far from ordinary. In her highly readable and often poignant book, she shares her grandfather’s powerful legacy and, although he died when she was only three years old, the profound influence he had on her life as well of that of her father.

The book and Diana’s story has been featured in both the Toronto Sun (http://torontosun.com/2017/06/04/living-in-the-shawdow-cast-by-first-world-war-hero-billy-biship/wcm/d095d36b-8544-42e8-959c-918d8f648a9a) and the Globe and Mail (https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/leadership-lab/billy-bishops-grandaughter-we-have-never-been-hungrier-for-responsible-focused-authentic-visionaries/article35356583/). Published by Dundurn Press, Living up to a Legend is available at Chapters-Indigo, Amazon and directly through Dundurn Press.

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Gordon Stanley Davies  (’53) (1933-2017)

Born in 1933, Gordon lived a rich and full life. He attended North Toronto in the glory days of Jack Dow and played violin in the school’s fledgling music program, although science ultimately proved to be his passion. After completing his PhD in marine biology at the University of California, he returned to Canada and accepted a position at the University of Waterloo in Canada’s first Environmental Faculty. He played a significant role in preparing Canada’s first Environmental Assessment Process, worked with Thomas Berger on the McKenzie Valley Pipeline inquiry and headed up Kenya’s Wildlife Planning Unit, which was responsible for establishing new national parks in that county.

Gordon had two sons – Erik (born in Nigeria) and Ben (born in Vancouver) – with his first wife, Anita D’Aoust. In 1989, Gordon suffered a life-altering stroke but, although partially paralyzed, continued to teach, work and travel. In 1996, he attended the Maytime Melodies 50th anniversary concert at Roy Thompson Hall and reconnected with Kay Smythe (née Charles, also ’53) – his first girlfriend at NT! – whom he had not seen since graduating. Kay and Gordon were married in Muskoka at a ceremony enhanced by a stirring rendition of John Rutter’s “The Lord Bless You and Keep You,” which had been performed at the 50th Maytime Melodies concert.

In living with a stroke-related disability, Gordon realized that there were no books written from the perspective of survivors. He took on the challenge of filling this void by interviewing other stoke survivors. Using a single finger to type, he documented their stories and his in What’s Your Handicap? A Guide to Stroke Recovery, published in 2014.

Known for his gentle humour and quiet wisdom, Gordon passed away peacefully on June 9, 2017, with his wife, sons and stepson at his side.

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Alumni Are Always Welcome

At the end of the 2016–2017 school year, two alumnae from the class of ’63, Virginia Gibb and Marilyn Kidd, came back to visit their alma mater. They were pleased to see that their names were still displayed as Ontario Scholars in the hallway. In a letter of thanks, Marilyn remarked, “It was wonderful to see all the changes in the school as well as all the souvenirs of the past. It’s great that the school keeps its treasures and passes on a sense of history of the place for future generations. NT inspires a lot of loyalty in its students past and present. ‘True, ever faithful,’ as the song goes.

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Nancy Steinhauer (’88) Pushing the Limits

When educator Nancy Steinhauer (’88) reconnected with a fellow NT alumna, editor Martha Kanya-Forstner (’87), who knew that the result would be an exciting new book? Pushing the Limits: How Schools Can Prepare Our Children Today for the Challenges of Topmorrow was co-authored by Nancy and lawyer and educational researcher Kelly Gallagher-Mackay (who attended NT before completing high school at Earl Haig) and edited by Martha Kanya-Forstner. The book draws on Nancy’s years with the Toronto District School Board as a teacher and principal and Kelly’s work as research director for People for Education to provide “a vision of what schooling can and should look like in our rapidly shifting world.” Highly readable, and of particular interest to parents and educators, the book highlights success stories of diverse and sometimes marginalized students and their innovative teachers in classrooms and schools where the future is now.

Nancy is currently principal of the Mabin School, one of Canada’s first Ashoka Changemaker Schools; Kelly is an assistant professor of law and society at Wilfred Laurier University. In 2016, Martha took on the role of editor-in-chief of McClelland & Stewart and Doubleday Canada and vice-president of Penguin Random House Canada.

The book and its authors have been featured:

Pushing the Limits is available in bookstores and through Penguin Random House (http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/258497/pushing-the-limits-by-kelly-gallagher-mackay-and-nancy-steinhauer/9780385685382/).

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