North Oshawa School – School Section No. 11

Like the Westmount School, North Oshawa was built in later years. It was first opened in 1923 and has since been re-named the Queen Elizabeth School.

In the early 1920s the population of the district had grown to the extent that a school was going to have to be built. It would also be required to be centrally located for some of the families.

Two other schools were in the vicinity – Conlin’s and Maxwell’s[1]. These were too far away for many of the children and Maxwell’s was so crowded that some of the pupils were sitting in the aisles.

The land on which the school now stands comprises six acres and was bought from the Fittings Ltd. for $1500. Fittings first bought it from Prosper Vallant for the deposit of sand on it, useful for making moulding. However the sand was not there in sufficient quantity for their requirement so the property was sold to the township of East Whitby for the much-needed school.

When the two-room building was being erected and the foundation was laid, they ran into trouble with quicksand. This delayed the completion of the school and raised the cost of construction.

The trouble was eventually overcome and the school was at last ready for classes. The exterior was of red brick and the equipment was quite modern. It was well lighted. There were slate black-boards in the classrooms[2] and also the cloakroom space was adequate.

The water supply came from the well on the grounds, nearby. A large tank was placed in the basement and an electric pump was used. The washrooms were in the basement and taps and sinks took care of the supply of drinking water for the classrooms on the main floor. At first the building was heated with a large coal-burning hot air furnace. Later, a hot water system was installed.

The grounds outside were levelled off and trees were planted. The school could accommodate ninety pupils.

When the school was just opened Mr. Jesse Arnott was the first principal and his assistant was Miss Irene Rathwell. Mr. Arnott taught in the school for a total of [                       ] years.

In Jubilee year 1927, it was recorded in the “Reformer” that the trustees were:

Mr. William Edgell – chairman

Mr. Robert Wilson – secretary

Mr. Robert Grierson – treasurer.

The years have passed and urban sprawl has also caught with north Oshawa, the same as it has with some of the others. New additions have had to be built. In 1928, a two room addition costing $50 000 was erected and in 1943, three more rooms were added. The north Oshawa district was taken into the corporation of Oshawa city in 1950. The population is increasing and soon more classroom space will be required for the Queen Elizabeth School.

This was the only school in which the original building was not demolished when it was remodelled. The additional rooms were added to the structure.


[1] Maxwell Heights

[2] Quite a change from earlier years when the blackboards were painted wood.

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