Category Archives: Alumni News

Stories about NT graduates.

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

— Michael Colley (’89)

Michael at Red & Grey Day

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).

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!

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 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 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.

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.


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.

Homecoming Concert – First in Every Way!


For those of you who were able to attend the inaugural Homecoming Concert on October 14th, you know just how lucky you were to be there. Alumni and guests were treated to an intimate concert with Jim Cuddy (’74) and The Skydiggers, including Andy Maize (’78) and Josh Finlayson (’82), along with special guests Devin Cuddy (’05) and Charlotte Cornfield (’06).

The evening started with music by Charlotte Cornfield, who mused that in Grade 10 she had been asked “not to return” to the NT Orchestra, after she’d missed a Kiwanis Festival event for a recording gig instead. Devin Cuddy, son of Jim Cuddy, and talented artist in his own right, played some soulful songs on the piano, and thanked a teacher at NT for encouraging him to follow his passion and pursue a degree in music.

After a long intermission, where NT alum gathered in the atrium to reminisce and catch up with old friends, alumni were treated to a lively concert by The Skydiggers that included some top-notch dancing in the aisles, and wonderful tales by lead singer Andy Maize. Maize recalled a bus ride to the Santa Claus Parade with the Marching Band, where music teacher Mr. Krueger had repeatedly reminded the musicians not to take their cases off the bus, as there would be nowhere to put them once the parade started. In typical Grade 9 fashion, Maize had ignored the repeated requests and ended up with his trumpet case on Bloor Street. While he couldn’t remember exactly what he had done with the case, he did remember Mr. Krueger’s choice words in response to his stupidity.

For the final act, Jim Cuddy took the stage with The Skydiggers to perform his own music, as well as some of his popular Blue Rodeo tunes. Cuddy, probably one of NT’s most famous alumni, confessed that he wasn’t really open about his musical talent in high school. In fact, Grade 11, when a friend he ran into in the “alley” on his way to audition for Maytime Melodies challenged him (“You?!”), he chickened out. Luckily, he eventually mustered up the courage to share his talent with the rest of us. In the final number, surrounded by The Skydiggers, Cuddy laughed that he never would have hung out with these “minor-niners” in high school, but that time had allowed them to finally come together.

No doubt, it will be the great music that most of us remember about the evening. But beyond that, it was the stories – the shared stories – that meant something to all of us. Because even if we didn’t all turn out to be rock stars, we all remember what it was like to be a minor-niner, afraid to walk up the alley, and in trouble with Mr. Krueger, or someone else, because we did something just a little stupid.

Special thanks to all of the artists, as well as Tammie Presnal Jennings (’82) and Lisa Pen (’82) for designing the logo for our swag, Phil Presnal (’85) for being our amazing sound technician, Peter Bombaci (’85) for being the awesome MC, and Principal William Mack for allowing it all to happen!

Red & Grey Day / Homecoming 2017

October 12 and 13 were certainly busy days for North Toronto and its alumni. These two days, which preceded the very successful Homecoming Concert on the 14th, were set up to attract former students to reconnect with each other and visit or revisit their alma mater.

Mary Kay (Hartman) Winter (’61), Nancy Caldicott (’61) and Stephen Hartman (’57) took in a tour of the school
Mary Kay (Hartman) Winter (’61), Nancy Caldicott (’61) and Stephen Hartman (’57) took in a tour of the school

Red and Grey Day on the 12th featured a number of sporting events and a reception in the staff room for alumni. Various memorabilia from different years were on display for everyone to look over, eliciting recollections of past events and classmates. Afterwards there was a get-together at the nearby Granite Brewery, run by NT’s own Sam Keefe (’06).

The Class of ’57 gathered at the Rose and Crown.
The Class of ’57 gathered at the Rose and Crown.

The next day, the alumni were treated to a Show and Share event where people identified former classmates from old photos or brought their own memorabilia. A wide range of classes were represented, and people came from as far away as British Columbia and even New Zealand. An added feature to the day was a number of tours of the school led by current students in the PAL program. For many of those present it was their first view of the new school, and they were impressed with the facilities and also grateful that the design still included features of the former building. In the evening, a number of classes got together at various venues across town.

Class of ’87 gathered at the Monarch Tavern
The Class of ’87 gathered at the Monarch Tavern (owned by NT alumnus Evan Georgiades,  ’87).

All in all, it was a wonderful opportunity for NT grads to relive the spirit of NTCI!

Celebrating Excellence: Keeping the Spirit Alive

It has been an exciting fall for the NTCI Foundation. Our first major Homecoming event culminated in the concert Saturday night, starring Jim Cuddy and The Skydiggers. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces and to watch multiple generations of NT musicians perform some of their best-loved music to the many generations in the audience. Let’s keep the spirit alive by making a lasting contribution to our scholarship fund.

The Celebrating Excellence campaign concludes at year end. As a result of contributions to date, we have been able to set up the new trophy case, restore some of the most iconic trophies and contribute over $3,500 to the scholarship fund at Commencement in October. We have decided to increase that amount by 10 percent next year. This will bring NTCI awards recognizing academics, athletics, arts and leadership more in line with current costs. We hope you will consider making a donation; one hundred percent will go directly to the scholarship fund.  

Generous donors will be acknowledged on a plaque on the trophy case itself. 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 questions, email Nancy McFadden at or 647-351-2850.

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

Year-End Bonus:

Gifts of $100 or more qualify for a free concert T-shirt (specify size); an NT pop socket or our NTCI centennial history book. If you donate $250 or more, you may select two. These NT heirlooms can be picked up in Room 412 at lunch and after school from Mark Kinoshita. Please contact Mark at to arrange a time and then check in at the office before going up. 

NTCI Homecoming Concert: Behind the Scenes

NTCI Homecoming Concert: Behind the Scenes                                       

IT HAPPENED! It actually happened! After months and months of planning, emailing, phoning, texting, arranging and discussing – NTCI’s first inaugural Homecoming Concert took place in the school auditorium!

It took an incredible team of people to create this event:  we worked with agents, lighting and sound technicians, our NT principal, swag people, design people, and many, many more, all of whom made this journey exciting at each stage. Along the way we met up with other NT alumni – Devin Cuddy’s agent, Bryan Boake (’05); the Skydiggers’ sound technician, the wonderful Phil Presnal (’85); and overall amazing, incredible swag designers Tammie Presnal Jennings (’82) and Lisa Pen (’82). (We love the cool little “Norseman dude”!) These are just some of the alumni who helped make this event a true success.

And then, after months of preparation – contracts, riders, rentals, logistics of every imaginable stripe – we moved into the school and it hit home that this night was going to be amazing! Throughout the day, the artists came for their respective sound checks, and Lisa, Jamie, Mark and Kirsten had the privilege of sitting in the auditorium and just listening, in awe of the talent onstage, not to mention the quality of the sound, thanks to the acoustics of the auditorium and Phil’s enhancements. Surreal!

Working backstage with all the artists and our amazing MC, Peter Bombaci (’85), was a real treat. Everyone was laid back yet so professional. They all were excited to look around the music rooms and  try to find their photo up on the walls. Some remembered their time at Maytime Melodies, others their time on the field, while others just remembered how they felt overall during their five-year stay at NT. All of them remembered Mr. Russell, a teacher all of them had had, and when he asked if he could come backstage, everyone welcomed him with open arms. They talked about winning and losing City Championships, that one play that ended the game – and the games that are still a “thorn” in Mr. Russell’s side. The stories and the laughter backstage were wonderful!

When the night was upon us and everyone was piling into the school, it was exciting to see old friends and the smiles on faces of everyone who had come to reunite with their school. And that was really the goal of Homecoming Weekend: bringing everyone together to see one another, get connected or reconnect – and enjoy some alumni music along the way!

To all who worked onstage, backstage and behind the scenes: You all kept “alive the spirit of N.T.C.I.”  “Our North Toronto led the way” that night, and and we can’t thank you enough!

by Kirsten Sixt