Canada’s largest province economic motor contains most of the country’s students, and a large number of its best institutions of higher education.

Additionally, though not officially bilingual, Ontario nonetheless organizes provincial education into four distinct school systems, along language (English and French) and religious (secular or Catholic) lines, offering parents from many backgrounds and traditions a variety of schooling options.

General Education Facts

Education in Ontario runs from Kindergarten (Year 0) to Grade 12.

Ontario is unique in Canada for dividing its school system into four distinct sub-systems:

  • French Separate system
  • French Public system
  • English Separate system (including French Immersion)
  • French Separate system
  • The Separate system is denominational Catholic, whilst the public system is secular.
  • Individual municipalities and communities are responsible for operating schools within their jurisdictions through local elected parallel school boards, with linguistic divisions based on region.
  • The provincial education ministry, the Ministry of Education, is responsible for provincial curriculum development and management, as well as teacher certification.
  • All schools in Ontario must follow the same basic curriculum, regardless of religious or political affiliation, though many schools offer exciting courses and opportunities beyond the core requirements.

Post-secondary Education Facts

In Canada, there are basically four types of post-secondary educational institution:

  1. Universities, which are empowered to grant all levels of post-secondary degree
  2. University Colleges, which are empowered to grant four-year and two year degrees, as well as technical degrees
  3. Colleges, which are empowered to grant two-year and vocational degrees
  4. Private schools that offer specific religious, vocational, technical or language training.

In Canada, post-secondary education is the responsibility of the provincial and territorial governments, and the provinces administer all funds provided by the Government of Canada for the express purpose of college and university administration.  In Ontario, the ministry responsible for managing higher education is Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

The federal government, however, still offers a variety of funding options to individuals and universities for research, student financial aid, and for various scholarships.

Ontario Opportunities for Higher Learning

The University of Toronto is one of Canada’s top 3 universities.

Consistently ranked among the top 50 worldwide, the university boasts several Nobel laureate instructors, the largest endowment of any Canadian institution of higher learning, a British-style college system, an unparalleled national and international alumni network, a stunning campus in the heart of Canada’s largest city, and unparalleled prestige.

The University of Ottawa is one of Canada’s top 10 universities, with a campus a short walk from Canada’s federal parliament, a numerous bilingual departments, one of the country’s top rated engineering programs, and an enormous alumni network.

The University of Waterloo is renowned in Canada for the strength of its research programs, the prestige of its applied sciences and engineering programs, and its technology institutes.

The university even counts among it’s faculty famed cosmologist Dr. Stephen Hawking

The Ontario School of Art and Design is one of Canada’s top 3 design schools, and offers an internationally renowned group of media, plastic and visual arts programs, as well as extensive international placement and exchange programs.

The Royal Military College of Canada, one of two universities in Kingston, is Canada’s military officer academy.  Aside from officer training, education focuses on the applied sciences, natural and social history, and military history.

Queen’s University in Kingston is one of the Canada’s top 10 research universities, a historical rival to both the University of Toronto and McGill University, and carries the special prestige of a royal charter.

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