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  • 2022/2/20 14:00
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Parents often come to ask us whether it is better to let their children go to Canadian public schools or private schools. In fact, we cannot generalize about this issue. In the final analysis, we must choose the right one. In this article, ECanadaSchool will analyze the characteristics of various schools from multiple perspectives, so as to facilitate the placement of different types of children.

Canadian Secondary School Classification

In Canada, secondary schools are usually divided into two categories: public secondary schools and private secondary schools, with more detailed subcategories within each category.

Classification of public high schools

1) Ordinary public high school

2) Church public high school

Classification of private secondary schools

1) Noble High School

2) Boarding private secondary schools

3) Ordinary private high school

Analysis of the characteristics of various schools

01 Ordinary public high school


- Unified management by regional public education bureaus, such as Toronto Education Bureau, York Public Education Bureau, Vancouver Education Bureau, and the level of teaching management is guaranteed. Each education bureau has multiple primary and secondary schools for students to choose from, and some schools are open to international students.

- The tuition fee is relatively low compared to other private secondary schools, and the tuition fee for an academic year is about 16,000 Canadian dollars.

- For students who need a homestay, the school itself or a school partner institution will help the student arrange a homestay. Boarding fees are also usually around CAD 16,000. With other miscellaneous fees, the total cost is nearly $40,000 per year.

- There are only about 5% international students in the school, and there is a good English learning atmosphere.


- The school only opens in September and January. The list of schools that accept international students and the number of international students in each school are limited. Generally, applications need to be started six months or more in advance.

- The class time of public schools is from 9:00 in the morning to about 3:30 in the afternoon. The free time after school is long, which is not suitable for students with poor self-control.

- Without intensive English learning courses in private secondary schools, international students may have mathematics, physics and chemistry courses in grade 12 and English in grade 10. They need to spend half an academic year to one more academic year to take English courses, which will affect their time to university.

Suitable for the crowd: Primary and middle school students, with good English proficiency, strong self-control, or students who want to lay a solid foundation or have relatives and friends living near the school.

02 Church public high school


- Compared with other middle schools, the management of church public middle schools is more strict, and there are regulations on students' dress, words and deeds, and the school spirit is generally good.

- The rest of the advantages are roughly the same as ordinary public high schools. Compared with other public education bureaus, the tuition fee is about 16,000 Canadian dollars for an academic year.

- Homestay arranged by the school or school partner institution. The total cost is also nearly $40,000 per year.


- There will be interactions related to Catholicism/Christianity in the church school, such as studying the Bible, praying, etc. Although it is not compulsory for international students to join the church, it is not suitable for students who are not interested in religious activities.

- The school only opens in September and January. The list of schools that accept international students and the number of international students in each school are limited. Generally, applications need to be started six months or more in advance.

- The class time of public schools is from 9:00 in the morning to about 3:30 in the afternoon. The free time after school is long, which is not suitable for students with poor self-control.

Suitable for the crowd: middle school students, good English proficiency, no exclusion of Catholic/Christian, students with good self-control.

03 Noble high school


- The school has a long history and a high reputation.

- The students are all from high-quality families, with good quality and high self-cultivation, and there are many talents.

- Almost 100% admission rate. After graduation, students go to major universities. The network of classmates after graduation is not comparable to that of ordinary middle schools.

- Students live in the school and are managed by special personnel. Rich teaching and extracurricular activities, advanced teaching facilities, high attention of each student, and multi-faceted development of students.


- The cost is relatively high, about 60,000-70,000 Canadian dollars per academic year (including tuition, living expenses, etc.)

- Admission requirements are high, students are subject to examinations and interviews

- The school prefers that students start from the lower grades and receive aristocratic education from an early age

Suitable for the crowd: students in lower grades, with excellent grades, good English proficiency, and good family economic foundation.

04 Boarding Private Secondary Schools - International Schools


- Flexible start time, small class sizes, and students receive high attention from teachers.

- The teaching schedule is tight, and students will not be idle after school at 3:30 in the afternoon.

- The English courses are arranged intensively to avoid the situation that the credits of the English courses are not enough.

- The purpose of the school is to enter a higher school, and the enrollment rate is higher than that of ordinary public high schools, and some schools can even reach nearly 100% enrollment rate.

- Students live in the school and are managed by life teachers. Parents don't have to worry about room and board, and they don't have to worry about the safety of students.


- The annual tuition fee is about 20,000 Canadian dollars, which is slightly higher than that of public high schools, ranging from 4,000 to 5,000 Canadian dollars, but much lower than that of noble schools.

Suitable for the crowd: Grades 7-12, students with average to good English proficiency and average self-control. Or students who have no relatives or friends in Canada and hope that the school can be managed in a closed manner.

(Famous private boarding school: J. Addison School)

(Famous boarding private school: Columbia International College)

(Famous boarding private school: Bronte College)

05 Ordinary private high school


- Fast credits, flexible start time.

- Students are mostly for the purpose of taking credits, the courses are intensive, and English test training is also provided.


- There are many international students and the English learning environment is average.

- Most schools of this type do not have independent campuses, and most of them lease certain floors in an office building, or only have a small office building. The facilities are not as good as other schools, and there are relatively few courses for students to choose from.

- Some schools may have management chaos.

Suitable for: Students in grade 12 who urgently need to take credits; or students who do not perform well in public schools and want to improve their average grades.

As the saying goes, "gold always shines", each student has his own characteristics, preferences and needs, as long as he chooses a school that suits him, and works hard during the study period, I believe that students can be promoted to their ideal university and welcome. A new stage in life!

Canada and the United States immigration agents have a number of high-quality public and private middle schools. You are welcome to consult Canada and the United States immigration for questions about school selection and application.

Examples of high-quality secondary schools in Canada

Ordinary public high school:

1. York Regional Public School Board (YRDSB) (Ontario)

2. Toronto Distric School Board (TDSB) (Ontario)

3. Vancouver School Board (VSB) (BC)

4. Montreal English School Board (EMSB) (Quebec)

Church public high school:

1. York  Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) (Ontario)

2. Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) (Ontario)

Boarding Private Secondary Schools:

1. J. Addison School (Ontario)

2. Columbia International College (Ontario)

3. Bronte College (Ontario)

Noble private high school:

1. Ridley College

2. Albert College

3. Queen Margaret's School