Purchase a limited-edition NT mask for $20 at https://soft-masks.ca/ntci and $7 from every purchased mask will be donated to the Foundation. In addition, 20% of sales from all other masks purchased from Soft-Masks by NT alumni or friends of NT between November 16 and December 16 will be donated to the Foundation.Continue reading Buy a mask and support the Foundation
Do you remember the words of our school song?
Hail North Toronto! was a key feature of this year’s Red & Grey Day, NT’s annual celebration of athletics and school spirit. This year, each home form picked a theme to celebrate, then decorated their classroom and dressed up according to that theme. Each class sang the school song, and the different versions were then pulled together into two (mostly) spirited videos. Follow along with students in grades 9 and 12 and grades 10 and 11.
October 10 also featured assemblies, a hot dog BBQ lunch, and a performance from the school band. Of course, the day’s main attraction was a packed sports schedule, with students being dismissed early to watch different teams play throughout the day. A great day for NT sports, as the school won or tied every game: two field hockey, two boys volleyball, girls ultimate, girls basketball, boys soccer, and a football game.
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!
For NT alumni, it’s hard to think about our days at North Toronto without conjuring up memories of Red and Grey Day, Maytime Melodies or receiving the latest copy of Graffiti in homeroom. The same is true for Charity Week, an annual tradition at North Toronto that continues to be a hallmark of NT’s student initiatives.
Charity Week has certainly changed over the years, but the purpose remains the same. Students choose a charity that they feel passionate about, and often, something that is relevant to the times. Two years ago, students chose Shine Bright, an organization supporting youth struggling with mental health issues, and most recently selected Forests Ontario, an environmental non-profit with a mission to make forests greener and healthier. The students then raise money for the charity through various fundraising events within a dedicated time frame: this year’s Charity Week was the fourth week of January.
Some of us may recall past Charity Week fundraising events such as the teacher dunk tank, the “lip-sync”, or, the semi-formal at the St. Lawrence Market. However, today’s students have other events including a multi-cultural luncheon hosted by the Classics department, a raffle, and “home form booths” selling everything from pizza to “o-grams” (e.g. sing-o-grams, kiss-o-grams) and services. Not surprisingly, the student service auction no longer exists, likely a sign of these more politically correct times! Regardless, it is wonderful that Charity Week is still very much a part of the North Toronto experience.
As an important part of the school’s legacy, North Toronto C.I. is fortunate to have a large collection of trophies, plaques and awards. Many of these artifacts, recognizing the varied achievements of NT students, are found in the school’s Archives Room. In a recent visit to NT, Nancy Baines, the Foundation’s archivist and a member of NT’s staff from 1969 to 2000, identified some of the significant trophies in the collection:
- Ostrander Trophy for Proficiency and Leadership in Athletics (girls) – awarded from 1939 to 75;
- J.M. Greene Music Company Trophy for Citizenship, Scholarship and Music –awarded from 1947 to 1978;
- The Sifton Trophy for School Citizenship – awarded from 1939 to the present;
- The Kerr Trophy for Student Leadership – awarded from 1928 to the present 2018 (awarded for 90 years!).
She also pointed out some of the lesser known trophies in the collection:
- Hill, Ford and Kaethler Trophy for Leadership and Co-operation in Grade 11 and 12 Music – awarded circa 1967
- The North Toronto Trophy for Junior Oratory – awarded from 1957 to 1962.
- NTCI Juvenile Sports Champion Trophy – awarded from 1957 to 1978;
- The Seaforth Cup Interscholastic Sports Competition – awarded in 1958;
- TS Harbord Invitational Jr. Basketball Tournament – awarded from1960 to 1996.
There are many fascinating stories behind these awards and of the students who were honoured to receive them. Throughout this year watch for articles featuring a closer look at NT’s trophies and their recipients.
Betty Bealey Laureateship in English ($300.00): Anastasia Zaritovskaya
Gibbons Award in French ($500.00): Mahshad Jalali Farahani
Hal Brown “Triple A” Award ($300.00): Marco Pannozzo
Kerr Trophy for Young Women ($500.00): Eloise Cockett
NTCI Foundation Centennial Scholarship ($500.00): Eric Yuyitung
R.R.H. “Bud” Page Valedictory Prize ($300.00): Eloise Cockett
Senator Keith Davey Award ($625.00): Emily Sakaguchi
Sifton Trophy for Young Men ($500.00): Max Zimmerman
Remembrance Day, originally known as Armistice Day, commemorates the end of the First World War on November 11, 1918. While the original reason for the event took place 100 years ago, its observance has taken on new meaning with each armed conflict involving Canadian soldiers – most recently Afghanistan. While most alumni will recall an assembly or other observation of this special day during their years at NT, in recent years Remembrance Day has become even more profound for NT students.
This year’s assembly on Friday, November 9 was held twice in order to accommodate the school’s population. It began with a song video, Pittance of Time, featuring the ghosts of former soldiers visible only to those willing to partake in a moment of silence in the modern setting of a convenience store. The emotional pull of this piece set the atmosphere for the rest of the event. A bagpiper led a procession of NT veterans into the auditorium. Spanning several generations and representing different conflicts, each veteran was introduced by a student volunteer. A slide show followed featuring photographs of NT grads who lost their lives in World Wars I and II. The young faces in the images looked like many of the students in the auditorium.
Addresses were given by two NT grads currently in active service: Captain John Stevens (’83) and Lieutenant Colonel Michael Clarry (’82). A second slide show outlined Canada’s involvement in peacekeeping missions around the world. Music was provided by the Symphonic Band, and Choir. To draw the assembly to a close, there was a reading of “In Flanders Fields,” the playing of The Last Post, a minute of silence, and Reveille.
This outline does not do justice to the organization behind the event nor to its impact. After the assembly, a reception, supported by monies from the Foundation, was held for the special guests, staff and organizers. During this, it became clear how much the assembly reflected the students who produced it, and how deeply they were invested in its meaning. We need not worry that today’s students “don’t get it”. They do – and at NT they created a powerful reflection of this important day.
Regular readers of the Foundation news will recognize the name, Elvino Sauro (’52)—NT’s benefactor extraordinaire! His financial contributions include the Heritage, support for the “Memories Forever” concert (part of the 100th anniversary celebrations in 2012) and an endowment leading to the establishment of the Elvino Sauro Music Award, ensuring that deserving students in need continue to experience private lessons and other enhancements to their music education.
Although Elvino passed away on September 8, 2017, his spirit of giving back continues. A star trumpeter in his days at NT, he purchased his own instrument and took lessons, thanks to a loan from the school. Although he paid the loan back long before graduating, he made sure that the instrument “came home,” as he bequeathed this trumpet to NTCI’s Music Department in his will. The instrument, a good quality student model, is well travelled—note two faded travel stickers, one from Cunard Lines! There is even music inside the case that looks like marching band music! However, Elvino’s legacy doesn’t end here!
When NT’s 100th anniversary approached, Elvino decided he wanted to play again. So, at the age of 79, he bought two professional level trumpets, began practicing and performed in the band and orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall. In the spirit of Elvino’s generosity, his estate representatives donated these instruments to NTCI. Thanks to Elvino, students have the opportunity to play professional level instruments, not the kind usually found in a high school music room!
Elvino’s life was strongly shaped by his years at North Toronto CI and he has left a wonderful legacy that continues to inspire. Bravo, Elvino!
Over the past few years, we have featured articles about our “Dragons’ Den”—a twice yearly event at which student groups ask the Foundation for funding to support NT’s extra-curricular clubs and teams, many of which were thriving when you were at the school. Clubs like Graffiti, the illustrious school newspaper, request monies to help with their printing costs, while the Remembrance Day Committee, which puts on an annual assembly at the school, uses our funding to pay for pipers and a reception for the participating Veterans. Without our help, some of these groups would not exist, or would be unable to do some of the things they do.
At our most recent Dragons’ Den, the Foundation was able to provide some financial support to all of the groups who requested funding. For example, the YMCA Exchange group received a grant to purchase TTC passes for students visiting from an Indigenous Reserve in Northern Ontario so that they could travel around the city with their NT hosts. Another group received funding to pay the cost of a bus so that members could attend a leadership camp. Although the groups making presentations often ask for more funds than we are able to provide, we do our best to award at least some of what they request. We particularly try to support groups whose initiatives reflect NTCI’s traditions and heritage.
When you consider donating to the Foundation, remember that any amount, large or small, is always welcome! Your $50.00 donation could help pay the registration fee for the Robotics Team to participate in a competition. A $100.00 donation could pay for a new team jersey! Please remember, your donations go a long way to ensure the continuation of the school’s extra-curricular activities. The funding we provide is always appreciated: the students are genuinely grateful for any contribution we can give them.
At our fall 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.
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.
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!