Category Archives: Alumni News

Stories about NT graduates.

Reunion Announcement: Calling All Members of the Class of ’69…

To celebrate “50 Years Later”, exciting plans are in the works to hold a Class of ’69 reunion this coming October. At this point the exact timing and location of the event is TBD although the tentative plan is to hold a dinner event at a Toronto venue and include a visit to the new school.

To make sure you don’t miss out, watch the NTCI Foundation website for more information and/or contact any of the organizing committee:

Internship Request

Recently, the Foundation was contacted by a 2018 NT grad seeking a summer internship opportunity (May to August). She is currently completing her first year at the University of Western Ontario in engineering and is specializing in mechatronics, which is a combination of software, mechanical and electrical engineering. She stated that she would be content to be involved with something directly related to her field of study or in any professional workforce that would help her gain experience and diversify her skills. If you are able to provide such an opportunity or know of someone who could, please contact Foundation chair Ron Wakelin (; he will put you in contact with this very promising grad.

Editor’s Note: At the Foundation’s last meeting, the receipt of the above request sparked a discussion of how the Foundation might be a platform for connecting established alumni with current students/recent grads. If you are interested in providing mentorship, internship or other career enhancing opportunities to other alumni, please contact Ron Wakelin at the above address.

Saving Our Heritage – The Scholarship Winners’ Photographs

Editor’s note: For the past number of years, the NTCI Foundation’s archivist, Nancy Baines, has been working on a labour of love – the cataloguing and digitizing of the University Scholarship Winners’ photographs. In the following article, Nancy shares this journey.

If you attended NT any time prior to the 1990s, you will probably remember the rows of scholarship photos that lined the main wall of the foyer. Discretely framed, with five faces to a frame, these photos of former NT university scholarship winners, displayed our bragging rights to academic excellence from 1919 to 1986 when this practice was discontinued. Sometime in the 1990s, these photos were taken down and carelessly stored anywhere that space could be found for them. Some were piled in the back of the auditorium under the stairs, others in the former “kitchen-cum- archives room” in the basement and still others were placed in the boiler room and caretakers’ room. There they languished until it was decided to build the new school. 

When I took over the care of the archives, I did not realize that the photos were so unloved. But eventually, realizing that something had to be done to preserve them, I appealed to the TDSB’s conservationist for advice on how to take better care of them. Needless to say, 348 framed photographs took up too much space to properly store them in their frames. So, several months before the big move, I had the caretakers comb the school to locate all the photos. Then I removed them from their frames, carefully noting the information about them. Fortunately, I also had a typed list that a former secretary had kept of the winners. After destroying the frames, I got some pleasure in smashing the glass to little pieces, wrapping it and putting the whole mess out for the garbage. But no more could be done until well after the move. Then I took on the chore of scanning the photos and placing the pictures themselves into binders, recording each name and scholarships won. All this has been done to the best of my ability and now four large binders are available for anyone who would like to see them. We also have a USB key with the scanned photos.

However, much to my dismay, some of the framed photos never resurfaced when we went looking for them in 2010.  The following photos / scholarship information are missing:

  • 1964:   Susan Lederman, Douglas Long, Warren Milne, Glen Patterson, Peteris Zvilna
  • 1965:   Francis Aboud, Jacqueline Constam, Georg Gunther, Lorraine Koffman, Sheldon Larry
  • 1969:   Wendy Wayling  (although listed as having no photograph) 
  • 1971:   Paul Eprille, Ingid Jarvis, Jan Shapiro, Dianne Short, Martin Snelgrove, Marilyn Thomson
  • 1981:   Peter Chan, Helen Ferrigan, Stephen Ko, Christopher McLeod, Paul Quinn
  • 1982:   Michael Armstrong, Peter Wan
  • 1983:   Jill MacDonald

I have scanned and enlarged the yearbook photos for the students listed above. They are fuzzy but better than nothing. If anyone has information about the scholarships these alumni won and/or a copy of their scholarship photos, I would appreciate hearing from you. Please contact me at:

Your Dollars at Work!

Each fall and spring for the past few years, the NTCI Foundation has held a “Dragons’ Den” where current student groups present their requests for funding. This event allows for a direct connection between alumni and current students, ensuring that the Foundation is supporting the proposals that contribute to a vibrant experience for all NT students. This year, the 2019 spring edition of the Foundation Dragons’ Den was a spirited affair with several groups important to NT student life, Graffiti and PALS, stepping up to make their respective cases.

With the current Graffiti editorial computer now 10 years old, the newspaper’s energetic business team made a compelling presentation about the need for a replacement. Their argument was strong and full funding was allocated. The grant will allow the editorial team to continue the tradition of producing an award-winning student newspaper for their fellow NT students.

The Peer Assistance Leaders, or PALs as they are known in the school, were the second group to make their funding appeal to the Foundation Dragons. The organization of 131 members, which helps transition Grade 9 students to high school life, was looking for financial support for a variety of initiatives. These included mentorship workshops, holding pizza “breaking-the-ice” lunches with the Grade 9s and buying additional vests/t-shirts to identify members of PALS as approachable and friendly faces to whom young students can reach out to. The PALS reps made a convincing case and secured their requested financial support, thus ensuring that the students in the 2019/20 NTCI Grade 9 class will be welcomed and supported.

To show your “graditude” to NT and support student groups of today, please donate to the NTCI Foundation:

Save the Date: An NT Athletics Fundraiser

In an effort to “Connect the Past with the Present to Build Towards the Future” in support of North Toronto Athletics, an event is being held on April 25th 2019 at Safari Bar and Grill to connect alumni, staff and current NT parents. The event promises great food, good friends, celebrity alumni and a Silent Auction as well as a memorable gift for every ticket holder!      

Help us maintain and further the legacy of sports success stories at North Toronto–tickets are only $30.00. Get your ticket and you too can be part of the action!

For more information and tickets:

Alumni in the News – Joseph “Joe” Cressy (’03)

A Toronto City Councillor for Ward 10 (Spadina-Fort York) since 2014, NT alumnus Joe Cressy was re-elected in the 2018 municipal election by one of the widest victory margins of any Councillor in the city. Although he is one of the youngest City Councillors, he has already held various appointments, including to the Toronto Board of Health, the Toronto Community Housing Corporation Board of Directors, the Sub-committee on Climate Change and Adaptation, and the Parks and Environment Committee, as well as being Toronto’s Youth Equity Advocate. 

The son of former Toronto City Councillors, Gordon Cressy and Joanne Campbell, Joe was born and raised in downtown Toronto as part of a family whose defining values focussed on community building and public service – values that continue to drive and define him. NT Foundation board member Lisa Cain recently asked Joe about his time at NTCI.

As with so many others, my years at NT were a formative experience. As I think back on them a flood of memories return. Teachers, who were more like mentors, like Ms McConnachie and Ms Whelan, who instilled an interest in politics and social justice in me. Years of playing football, rugby and soccer with wonderful coaches like Mr Smith taught me the importance of teamwork. I remember the moments of student activism where I joined with fellow students to host forums and demonstrations against the war in Iraq. We were kids at North Toronto, but even then we believed we could change the world for the better. I grew-up at North Toronto. As with every teenager, it was a time of personal discovery, and not without its challenge. But as I think back, I can’t express how grateful I am to North Toronto (the teachers, coaches, students and administrators) for setting me on the path that I continue to walk down today.

In December, Joe was featured in Toronto Life where he opened up about the panic attacks and anxiety issues that ultimately led him to seek treatment. Explore the following link to read the whole story:

We salute Joe for sharing his mental health issues and wish him well.

Alumni In The News – Paul Raff (’86)

The Paul Raff Studio, headed by architect and NT alumnus Paul Raff, has won a prestigious 2018 CODAworx Award for the artwork “Atmospheric Lens”–an architectural feature at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre subway station.

Commissioned by the TTC for the Toronto-York Subway Extension as part of an official mandate to recognize the importance of the user’s experience in the new infrastructure, this public artwork is being recognized as successfully integrating art into interior, architectural, or public spaces.

This award is one of many that Paul and the Paul Raff Studio have received. In 2001, he became the youngest ever recipient of the Ontario Association of Architects’ Allied Arts Award for lifetime achievement and in 2009 was awarded the Allied Arts Medal by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. Congratulations Paul!!,h_550,c_fill/v1400510474/project/5b1074b6476f5-vaughan-metropolitan-station-3.jpg

NTCI: A School In Demand…

This time of year, the office staff of NTCI is busy collecting applications from potential future NTCI Alumni–grade 8 students who would like to spend their next four years at North Toronto. This is nothing new as each year hundreds of applications are received from students out of the North Toronto catchment area.

While students who are “in-district” (i.e. within the catchment area boundaries), are able to simply select North Toronto, those “out-of-district” must apply, even if they are just across the street from an in-district student. To date, the out-of-district applicants from NT’s feeder schools (Deer Park, Glenview and Hodgson) or those with siblings at NTCI have automatically been accepted; the remaining applications are at the mercy of a lottery for placement.

It is ironic that in 2003, when the old NT building was being considered for demolition, the TDSB considered NTCI as a good candidate for rebuilding as it was on the TTC line and would allow out-of-district students, specifically those from the former North York, to attend easily. At that time, it was the norm that over two thirds of the school population came from out-of-district, having won their place at NTCI through the lottery process. In 2009, there were 600 applications for 270 places.

Today, the tables have turned. As more condos are built in the area, the school’s population is more and more in-district. Last year about 500 applications were received for only 200 places; this year will be similar. But unlike the past, fewer and fewer places are available for the lottery.

The TDSB plays it safe and erects signs around new developments saying that moving into the new building does not guarantee that students will be able to attend a local school. So far this has not been the case, but with NT’s enrolment increasing each year, there may soon be a lottery for even feeder school students!