TFS – Canada’s International School is a bilingual, coeducational and non-denominational independent school for students from age 2 to university entrance. We provide our students with an international perspective.
Our Mississauga campus has been part of the school since 1965. Sunny and intimate, it houses an extraordinarily close-knit community of students, parents and staff. For more information please read about our application procedures or contact admissions.
An exceptional education
Did you know?
Learn more about the TFS educational approach on our main website.
A cornucopia of activities and opportunities
No day is complete without co-curricular activities. Based on student interests, these year-long programs can include
Our Mississauga campus has a unique Community Service and Leadership Program. Students in Grades 6 and 7 must complete 15 hours of school-based community service and leadership activities. The goal is to have these students become role models for their younger peers.
From Grade 4 to 7, all students in each grade – from both campuses – participate in overnight trips together. The idea is to foster relationships beyond the classroom and further develop leadership skills across both campuses.
Enhancing education and supporting our families
At TFS, we believe in the thoughtful integration of technology into our teaching and learning. These include:
Onsite Child Care
As part of our commitment to environmental sustainability, TFS encourages carpooling. The school offers a web-based service to assist parents to coordinate car pools to and from both campuses. This secure, third-party system provides matches between TFS families with similar travel requirements.
TFS also organizes private bus transportation for students attending our Mississauga campus.
Lunch at our Mississauga campus
Monday through Thursday, students can select from a menu of healthy, hot lunches, which are delivered to the school. The Parents’ Association on our Mississauga campus organizes Pizza Lunches on Fridays.
Parents of students from PK through Grade 7 on our Mississauga campus rent textbooks from the school. Charges for renting the textbooks range from approximately $25 for PK to approximately $325 for Grade 7.
Starting in Grade 1, all students must wear the TFS uniform. Uniform items are available for purchase, in person or over the phone, at the TFS Shop, located on the Toronto campus.
The TFS PA also holds Used Uniform Sales throughout the year. The sales offer parents the opportunity to purchase gently used uniform items at a savings of 50% or more.
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TFS students form lifelong bonds and, after they graduate, each becomes a member of the TFS Alumni Association. There are now over 2,200 alumni all around the world! The Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations supports alumni and helps them stay engaged with their alma mater and with each other.
Ways to connect
The Alumni Directory is a secure electronic directory that builds community by helping alumni search for and communicate with former classmates. Among other things, alumni can update profiles, post messages, seek others with similar professions or interests, and promote their businesses.
Alumni registered in the Directory are added to TFS’ alumni email list. Email is the primary method TFS uses to stay in touch with alumni. If you have not yet registered, you are not receiving email notices of upcoming events, news and volunteer opportunities. Signing up is quick and easy on the Alumni Directory. Join the majority of TFS alumni who are staying connected!
Also facilitated through the Alumni Directory is TFS’ Alumni Mentorship Program. Over 200 alumni have already signed up. By filling out the appropriate information in their profile, alumni agree to let TFS’ Level IV and V students contact them directly to ask specific questions about academic programs, universities and career paths, or more general questions about places to work or live. Join the program and lend your knowledge and experience to help your younger TFS peers. Read our Alumni Mentorship Program FAQ.
Events and volunteering
There are many kinds of events and volunteer opportunities at TFS for alumni. Alumni get involved in the all-important Alumni Reunion Weekend and help out at TFS by judging debating tournaments or the annual Science Fair, or sharing their university and professional experiences with current students.
Class notes and school news
Entre Amis, a twice-yearly newsletter exclusively for TFS alumni and friends, was established in 2008 and is distributed electronically to alumni. Entre Amis is always looking for news about alumni to include in Class Notes. Let us know about anything new happening in your personal or professional life. If you would like to receive a copy of Entre Amis, please contact the Advancement and Alumni Relations Department.
Entre Nous is the annual print magazine for the entire TFS community – alumni, current parents, students and staff. Each issue contains school-wide news and features about alumni, the rich history of the school and our teachers, as well as updates on current initiatives underway at TFS.
Alumni of Distinction Award
In 2008, TFS’ Alumni Association (TFSAA) announced its first Alumni of Distinction Award, recognizing an alumna/alumnus who has made a difference in the community and in the world. Annually, the Alumni Recognition Committee honours a fellow alumna/alumnus for her or his outstanding achievements and contributions to society.
In celebration of TFS’ 50th Anniversary, the Alumni of Distinction Committee will publicly highlight the success and diversity of 10 alumni extraordinaire!
All members from the TFS community (alumni, parents and staff) are eligible to nominate a candidate. Members of the TFSAA Executive, the Selection Committee, alumni who are currently employed at the school and their immediate family cannot be nominated.
Nominations will be reviewed by a Selection Committee, comprised of alumni and the Head of School, and the nominee and nominator will be contacted by December 2012.
See Award Winners to learn about the achievements of our recipients.
Be part of the alumni team
Would you like to be part of the team that helps to shape alumni programs at TFS? Consider joining the Alumni Association Executive. The all-volunteer executive works closely with the Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations and is involved in:
In addition to volunteering, our alumni also demonstrate their support for the school through donations. One top area of alumni support is funding bursaries to attract top students who do not have the financial means to attend TFS. To learn more see Support TFS.
TFS is proud to offer a limited number of bursaries for high-achieving students who are considering TFS for Grade 6 and above, but whose families do not have sufficient financial means to cover the full cost of tuition.
Bursaries are available to students applying to attend either our Toronto or Mississauga campus for Grade 6 and above.
The bursary amount will be applied to tuition fees. Other costs will be the responsibility of the parents, including uniforms, books, excursions, etc.
Bursary selection criteria
To qualify, students must meet two criteria: academic merit and financial need.
To assess academic merit, students will be required to write TFS entrance tests.
Financial need will be assessed by Apple Financial, an external agency. Please note, there is a $75 annual charge for this assessment and processing of the assessment will take two to three weeks. Please visit www.applefinancialservices.ca for more information and all forms.
Bursaries are not automatically renewed. Both financial need and academic merit must be demonstrated every year.
TFS offers many services to enhance our students’ educational experience and make life easier for their busy parents.
TFS offers onsite child care for students from Jardin d’éveil (age 2) to Grade 7.
Parents have many options to choose from:
All of our programs are available either on a yearly or as-needed basis.
Interaction between our qualified and experienced staff and the children takes place in French, further developing their French language understanding and oral skills.
To review the costs for various child care options, please refer to Tuition and Other Costs.
We know that one of the most anticipated times in any given school day is lunch! On TFS' Toronto campus, hot lunches are provided to children in our Jardin d’éveil (age 2) and full-day Pre-Kindergarten as part of the program.
An optional hot lunch program is available to students from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 1 at La p’tite école and from Grades 2 through 5 at our Junior School. The Senior School has a full-service cafeteria called La Terrasse, which serves breakfast and lunch daily, with lunch options including a salad bar, homemade soups, made-to-order sandwiches and hot entrée items.
All food services on the Toronto campus are provided by Aramark Food Services.
The Parents’ Association also organizes Pizza Lunches for students on the Toronto campus periodically throughout the year.
The Parents’ Association on our Mississauga campus organizes Hot Soup Lunches on Tuesdays and Pizza Lunches on Fridays. On the remaining weekdays, students can select from a menu of healthy, hot lunches provided by The Lunch Lady.
Starting in Grade 1, all students must wear the TFS uniform to school. Uniform items are available for purchase, in person or over the phone, at the TFS Shop. Located on the Toronto campus, the TFS Shop is the exclusive supplier of all TFS uniform items. It is managed by the school and all proceeds directly benefit our students.
The TFS PA also holds Used Uniform Sales throughout the year. The sales offer parents the opportunity to purchase gently used uniform items at a savings of 50% or more.
Parents of students from PK through Grade 7 on our Mississauga campus, and from PK through Grade 5 on the Toronto campus, rent textbooks from the school. Charges for renting the textbooks range from approximately $25 for PK to approximately $325 for Grade 7.
Students in Grade 6 through Grade 12 (Level V) at the Senior School purchase their textbooks through The Canadian School Book Exchange (CSBE). Parents can order new or used books online or by phone. Orders are delivered directly to parent’s home or office before the first day of school.
CSBE also gives students the opportunity to hand in used books in June for resale online to other students on a consignment basis. Parents also have the option of donating used books, with the proceeds from the sales of these books eligible for a tax receipt from TFS.
TFS offers many ways for our students to get to and from both campuses.
Carpooling: as part of our commitment to environmental sustainability, TFS encourages carpooling. The school offers a web-based service to assist parents in coordinating car pools to and from both campuses. This secure, third-party system provides matches between TFS families with similar travel requirements.
Public Transit: TFS’ Toronto campus is located right on Bus Route 124 (Sunnybrook), connecting to Lawrence subway station. Bus Route 11(Bayview) is a short walk from the campus’ main entrance and connects to Davisville subway station. Please see the TTC website for a full schedule.
Busing: private busing is not offered to the Toronto campus; however, the following bus companies have indicated they offer this service. Please contact them directly to inquire about routes and rates.
Children on the Go
The School Bus
On The Go Transportation
Private bus transportation for students in the Mississauga area attending the Mississauga campus is organized by the school. The service is subsidized; to review costs, please refer to Mississauga Bus Fees. Children are picked up between 7:30 and 8:15 am, and return home between 4:15 and 5:00 pm. Exact pick-up and drop-off times are set each summer, once final routes have been established based on demand.
Mississauga students who complete Grade 7 and continue at the Senior School in Toronto can access our complimentary daily bus service to and from various locations in Mississauga and Etobicoke. This free service is also available to other Senior School students (Grade 8/Level I and older) who live in the Mississauga and Etobicoke area. To accommodate students’ co-curricular and academic activities after school, two departures from Toronto are available, at 4:15 and 6:05 pm daily.
Without the generosity of our parents and supporters, TFS would not be...
Our families mean a lot to TFS. They provide us with the means to deliver the margin of excellence that makes a TFS education unique and outstanding. Their dedication, through volunteering and philanthropy, allows us to reach higher, be innovators and further nurture our students – who will be leaders in the global community of tomorrow.
Independent schools operate effectively with revenue from tuition which covers the basic operational costs of educating a student. The richness of our programming and superior facilities are the result of parents championing our cause with philanthropic support.
No matter the size of the gift, your support is essential.
To learn more about philanthropy and how important it is to TFS, please contact Julie Castle, Executive Director, Advancement at (416) 484-6980, ext. 4296 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Annual Fund
Each year, current parents are asked to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Annual Fund according to their means. The Annual Fund supports innovation and enables TFS to respond to opportunities that have an immediate and direct impact on your children’s educational experience.
Carrousel des nations à TFS
A new annual event, called Carrousel des nations, is a celebration of our families and staff, their many cultural backgrounds and our internationalism. Combining world foods with multi-cultural student talent, the Carrousel brings our community together to raise funds for a specific project or initiative at the school each year.
Leadership Giving at TFS
There are also opportunities for leadership giving, which enable benefactors to designate support to significant physical or program enhancements, and play an active role in the strategic direction of the school.
Parents of our students are integral to the vibrancy and success of TFS. We rely on them as partners in their children’s educational journeys. Their involvement as volunteers, donors, organizers and members of TFS’ Board of Directors is an important part of what makes our school a true community.
Parents can take part in life at TFS in so many ways! They act as class representatives and judges at debating tournaments and the Senior School Science Fair. They are inevitably recruited to help with the culinary adventure of International Day, or to volunteer during the Winter Carnival, and they exemplify citizen skills by supporting students' toy and food drives for those less fortunate.
All parents and caregivers of students at TFS are members of the Parents’ Association and are welcome to attend the monthly general meetings of the PA Council. One of the core mandates of the PA is to raise funds to purchase educational materials and for other special initiatives, through events such as Pizza Lunches, the annual Fun Fair in Toronto and the Barbeque in Mississauga. They also support dozens of branch and school-wide activities, from Terry Fox Spirit Day to Halloween and Valentine’s Day celebrations and more.
At the beginning of each school year, the PA sends out an orientation package to all TFS families that includes information on meeting dates, events, committees and contact information for all PA Council members.
New members are always welcome to join the PA Council!
Map & Directions
306 Lawrence Avenue East
TFS' Toronto campus is located on Lawrence Avenue East, just west of Bayview Avenue.
Map and directions to the Toronto Campus.
The Toronto Campus includes:
View a map of the Toronto campus, including parking. Please note: parking space is limited and busy during student drop-off and pick-up times.
The TFS Toronto Campus is conveniently accessible via the TTC. The campus is located on Route 124 (Sunnybrook) and Route 162 (Donway) with connections at the Lawrence subway station. Route 11 (Bayview) also runs close to the school with connections at Davisville subway station. Please refer to the TTC website for full schedule details.
1293 Meredith Avenue
TFS' Mississauga campus is located on Meredith Avenue between Queen Elizabeth Way and Lakeshore Road East. The campus is a five minute drive from Highway 427 and QEW.
Map and directions to the Mississauga Campus.
At TFS, we are committed to protecting the confidentiality of the personal information we collect. To maintain your trust, we must be responsible and accountable in how we treat the information you share with us.
All personal information collected by TFS from prospective and current families and students, alumni and staff is stored in secure and confidential databases and files with strict access controls. Only authorized staff at our school has access to these databases.
Personal information is used as appropriate by the school, the Parents' Association and TFS Foundation to deliver programs, conduct school business and keep you informed of school activities, programs, special events, and volunteer or funding opportunities.
TFS does not rent, sell or trade the personal information we collect to or with any other organizations.Occasionally, we use outside suppliers; we ensure tight controls over data are adhered to. When we share personal information such as name, address and/or email address, the information is destroyed after use. In exceptional circumstances, TFS may have to disclose personal information when required by law.
Working at TFS
Are you passionate about educating the internationally-minded citizens of tomorrow? Do you have a world view that includes respect for cultural diversity and the importance of gaining knowledge from those with different backgrounds and points of view?
If this sounds like you, then consider working at TFS at either our Toronto or Mississauga campus.
What we look for in our teachers:
What we offer our teachers:
If you are a qualified educator with superior teaching skills, a demonstrated commitment to co-curricular activities and the development of the whole child, please contact us to explore teaching opportunities at TFS. We may not have an immediate opening, but we are interested in speaking with you.
What we look for in our administration team members:
Our administration staff is chosen for the breadth and depth of their knowledge and skills and their determination to keep TFS at the forefront of teaching and learning. Occasionally, openings come up on our administrative team, in our branches or in the Business Office, Admissions, Advancement and Alumni Relations, Human Resources, IT, and Marketing and Communications Departments.
Our Admissions Department, located on our Toronto campus, handles applications for both the Toronto and Mississauga campuses.
Or you can reach us in person or by mail:
To reach our administrative staff, please consult the list below:
Office of Advancement & Alumni Relations
Our School Branches
To learn more about each of our four branches, please visit their individual websites:
How to Apply
Exploring and applying to a school for your child can be a daunting prospect. The TFS Admissions team is here to support you and make that process as smooth as possible.
The Admissions Department, located on our Toronto campus, handles applications for both the Toronto and Mississauga campuses.
Here is an outline of the application process:
Step 1: Obtain an application form.
Step 2: Complete and mail the application with the following information:
Note: A confidential report is required from student’s previous school (Grades 3 and above)
Admissions Office, TFS – Canada’s International School
We accept and assess candidates for 2013 throughout the year, space permitting. However, we advise you to submit applications well before the published offer dates.
Please contact the Admissions Department directly regarding space availability at (416) 484-6533 Ext. 4247
Step 3: Once the application is received for children applying to Pre-Kindergarten and above, the Admissions Department will contact the applicant’s family to arrange for one or more of the following:
Step 4: Decisions will be communicated to families in writing.
If you have any additional questions, please contact the Admissions Department at 416-484-6533, ext. 4247 or by email at email@example.com.
TFS wants all children who attend our school to feel at home in their educational environment, and assessment is a key means of determining a child’s fit with the school.
Procedures vary according to the grade for which the child is applying. For most students, applying with little or no prior knowledge of French, all assessments are done in English. French is not required for entry, up to and including Grade 7, the last year during which the Introductory Program is offered. Francophone students who do not speak English will be tested in French. Bilingual students will be tested in the language of their choice.
Jardin d’éveil (age 2)
No assessment is required and applications for the program are currently being accepted for the 2013-14 school year. Typically, Jardin d'éveil entrants are randomly selected based on the pool of candidates received by the end of day on November 15. Early applications will not receive priority. However, new applications for siblings of children currently enrolled in the school will be given priority in terms of space availability. The same applies to children of alumni.
Please note: Applicants for entry into Jardin d’éveil in September 2013 must be two years old by December 31, 2013.
Children in Jardin d’éveil who want to continue at TFS will have to apply for Pre-Kindergarten (PK) and be assessed in the same way we assess all new prospective PK students. Entry into PK is not guaranteed; however, Jardin d’éveil children will have priority.
Pre-Kindergarten (age 3)
Children are assessed through an individual standardized aptitude test lasting approximately 45 minutes, during which we closely monitor language and reasoning skills, concentration and maturity. All children must be toilet-trained by the time they start school in September 2013.
Please note: Applicants for entry into PK in September 2013 must be three years old by December 31, 2013.
Screenings for PK candidates for September 2013 will be scheduled from January 7 - February 8, 2013. Screenings will continue after these dates as long as space is available.
Junior Kindergarten (age 4), Senior Kindergarten (age 5) and Grade 1 (age 6)
Students are assessed through an individual standardized aptitude test, lasting approximately 1 hour for JK candidates, and 1.25 hours for SK and Grade 1 candidates, during which we closely monitor language and reasoning skills, concentration and maturity.
Screenings for JK, SK and Grade 1 candidates for September 2013 will be scheduled individually by appointment.
Grades 2, 3, 4 and 5
The assessment includes a standardized aptitude test as well as subject testing in English, Math and (when applicable) French. At this level, the testing process usually takes between 3 and 4 hours.
Testing Day: Saturday, January 26, 2013
Grade 6 to Grade 12 (Level V)
The assessment includes taking the SSAT as well as a personal interview at TFS. (Please visit www.ssat.org/ontario for SSAT details.) Students who speak French will undergo a separate French assessment at the time of their interview.
Candidates are asked to set up individual interviews by appointment from January 2013 onwards.
Tuition & Costs
What does it cost to attend TFS?
At TFS, tuition payments cover the operational costs of educating a student. As an independent school, the margin of excellence TFS provides is thanks to the generous financial support of our parent community and alumni.
Initial Registration Fee
New students are charged a one-time only registration fee. This fee applies to all new students entering from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 (Level V).
The non-refundable fee is $5,000 for the Toronto campus and $1,500 for the Mississauga campus.
Parents with children entering PK may choose to pay the initial registration fee in two instalments, 50% at the time of registration, with the balance due the following January.
Introductory French Program
Our Introductory French Program is available to students in their first year at TFS, up to and including Grade 7 who have no, or minimal, prior knowledge of French. As of Grade 1, an additional fee of $1,500 is applied for this introductory program.
A family discount in the amount of $500 for each full-time student is available to families with three or more children in the school.
Tuition Refund Insurance
The school strongly encourages parents to take advantage of the optional Tuition Refund Plan, available through Dewar Insurance. This program offers parents an opportunity to insure fees in the event of student withdrawal or dismissal, provided the student has attended more than 14 consecutive calendar days commencing with the student's first class day of attendance in the academic year, according to the Terms and Definitions of the policy. The insurance premium is approximately 2.5% of the annual tuition fees including HST. This one-time fee is due and payable in full at the time of registration.
The Annual Fund
We would not be where we are today without the generous financial support of our community. In fact, TFS would not exist without philanthropy; it is part of the fabric of our school.
Whether enabling a talented and deserving student to attend TFS through financial aid, supporting the athletics teams, or making improvements at either of our campuses possible, all gifts make a valuable contribution to the TFS community.
Quite simply, every TFS student (including yours!), regardless of their age, interests, strengths or potential, is touched by resources made possible through Annual Fund contributions.
Read more about our Annual fund and how families give to the school at Support TFS.
TFS offers families three payment options when paying tuition fees:
Receipts for Income Tax Purposes
The Business Office issues receipts by the end of February that can be used for income tax purposes. The amount and availability of these receipts vary by age, grade and tax year. Receipts which are issued include:
Open House Dates
Our Admissions Department offers families many ways to get to know TFS.
In addition to greeting parents and their children individually, the school also holds several Open Houses on each campus throughout the school year.
At these sessions, parents will hear from the Director of Admissions and the branch Principal, as well as from current students of all ages. Daytime Open Houses are followed by a tour to see our classrooms, facilities and students in action.
Please note that we are accepting applications for limited spots available for 2013-2014. To RSVP for an Open House, please contact the Admissions Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-484-6980, ext. 4247 or sign up online. Also, please indicate which Open House date and campus you are interested in.
* Please note, presentations begin promptly.
La p'tite école. Where it all begins.
La p’tite école (age 2 to Grade 1):
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
101 Mildenhall Road
Junior School (Grades 2 to 5)
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Senior School (Grade 6 to Grade 12):
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Mississauga Open House Dates (PK to Grade 7):
Thursday, May 16, 2013 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
No matter the age of the student, TFS strives to ensure that each child has an enriching and rewarding educational experience.
From Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 5
In partnership with our teaching staff, TFS’ psychoeducational consultant works with the younger grades on both campuses, observing classes to support students. A strong emphasis is placed on academic, behavioural, social and emotional growth.
If teachers identify a specific learning or emotional/social need, the School-Based Support Team (SBST) is assembled. Made up of a Principal, Vice-Principal, the psychoeducational consultant or school psychologist, a resource teacher and the class teacher, the goal is to develop and implement a learning strategy that will allow each child to flourish. Parents are involved throughout the process.
Grades 6 – 7
Students in these grades experience rapid development, and TFS supports their changing social and emotional needs, as well as their academic ones. It’s also the time when our students transition into independent learners, as they enter our Senior School.
Formal guidance classes start in Grade 6 with a curriculum that includes peer relations, health and well-being, and developing skills such as time management, and organizational and study strategies, among other topics. Outside of class, our counsellors are on hand to meet small groups or on an individual basis, to address student needs. There are five guidance counsellors dedicated to the Senior School student population.
Grades 8 – 12 (Levels I – V)
Becoming a senior student can be overwhelming, as well as exciting. Interests bloom and ideas about possible careers begin to take shape. Guidance classes now focus on topics specific to future academic and career directions.
Individual counselling becomes increasingly important, allowing students and their families to become more knowledgeable about course selections, summer and experiential learning opportunities, scholarships, university programs and, finally, making the all-important decision about where to go to university.
Recognizing the connection between personal well-being and academic success, TFS hosts two third-year nursing students, who are completing their community health practicum, each fall and winter term. The nursing students’ main focus is health promotion, focusing on subjects such as nutrition, substance abuse and stress. They interact with the Senior School students inside class and out, through presentations, informal discussions and bulletin boards.
Senior School Guidance Services
Centrally located in the Senior School, the Guidance Department is well-loved and much-used by our students.
The counselling services provided include:
Support for Learning
Many forms of support are available to our learners, such as peer mentoring, the Learning Centre and the Testing Centre.
The Learning Centre provides support to students with identified and non-identified learning needs, and assists them in developing effective learning strategies. It is staffed with Learning Strategies teachers and is supported by the school’s psychoeducational consultant.
The Test Centre is a supervised location offering specialized accommodations – such as extended time, use of a computer and Spell Check for tests – to students with formally identified learning needs.
In addition to our counsellors, the Guidance Department is home to a host of other resources. The library contains an extensive collection of academic calendars, viewbooks and general information about universities at home and abroad.
Dedicated computers are loaded with software such as Career Cruising, School Finder and Scholarship Finder (for Canadian universities), and SAT practice tests. Scholarship and financial aid information and applications are also available.
The department oversees all standardized test preparation at the school. The PSAT is undertaken by all Grade 10 and 11 students (Level III and IV), and support and resources are available for those taking the TOEFL, SAT and ACT tests, including test registration information, booklets, preparation courses, mock exams and workshops.
Our Guidance Departments hosts numerous special events and programs around careers and university selection.
These include: visits from over 70 university liaison and admission officers each year; university evenings focusing on the application process, admissions criteria, and academic programs for Canadian, American and international universities; campus visits; career lunches with our alumni, and an online mentorship program connecting our alumni with students in Grades 11 and 12 (Levels IV and V).
Learning at TFS includes learning to lead. Leadership development is not only encouraged, but embedded in activities throughout TFS.
New this school year, the House system has been introduced to students in the Junior School (Grades 2 through 5). Similar to the long-established House system at the Senior School (described below), students in the Junior School are assigned to a House to develop relationships across grades and build school spirit.
Leadership programs at the Junior School are incorporated throughout the Grade 5 school year. Each year the program varies; however, it always involves raising awareness about issues of social justice and includes a fundraising campaign for a local charity.
Mississauga student role models
Unique to our Mississauga campus, students in Grades 6 and 7 are part of the Community Service and Leadership Program. Fifteen hours of school-community service and leadership activities are required from each student. The goal is to have these students become role models for their younger peers. This can take the form of running lunchtime games, being a member of the outreach group, or volunteering to help teachers conduct co-curricular activities.
Leveraging Senior School leadership opportunities
The Senior School offers numerous diverse opportunities for students to lead, no matter the grade. In fact, leadership and co-curricular activities at the Senior School are supported full-time by our Dean of Student Affairs.
The Conseil des délégués is a junior student council made up of elected representatives from each Grade 6 and 7 class. They form the official liaison between homeroom classes and staff, and plan events throughout the year.
WEB – Where Everybody Belongs – is a middle school transition program for students new to the Senior School, such as new Grade 6 or 7 students, or Level I’s from Mississauga. WEB Leaders are at the heart of the program. Students in Grades 8 and 9 (Levels I and II) who are selected to become WEB Leaders receive training to become year-long mentors to new students.
From Grade 8 to 10, students can take part in Outward Bound programs. Leadership is an integral part of each of these three wilderness excursions.
Students in Grades 8 through 12 can also run for the Student Council. The 15-member council communicates students’ concerns to the wider student body during assemblies and to school administrators.
All students in the Senior School are assigned to a House, with each House made up of students spanning all Senior School grades. The 12 House Heads are elected Grade 11 or 12 (Level IV or V) students who embody school spirit at TFS, and who organize and run key events such as the much-anticipated Spirit Week.
Most of the Senior School’s major clubs and organizations are led by one of 19 Prefects, all elected Grade 11 and 12 (Level IV and V) students. Two of the Prefects are elected annually to be TFS’ Head Boy and Head Girl, the school’s highest-ranking student leaders. Students also have the opportunity to be captains of athletic teams or to act as peer mentors.
No matter which leadership role a student chooses to fulfill, stepping up, taking the lead and engaging their peers in the life of the school is an ongoing and proud tradition at TFS!
Trips & Exchanges
From field trips a few hours long, to overnight trips lasting two weeks, TFS believes its students must explore the wider world. What better way to help develop the skills our students will need as internationally-minded citizens?
Organized on an age-appropriate basis and directly linked to the curricula, these outings allow students to make real life connections between classroom learning and experiential activities.
Our youngest students start locally, visiting places that speak to our region’s past and present, such as Riverdale Farm, St. Lawrence Market, the Kortright Centre for Conservation and the Toronto Zoo.
In Grade 3, students begin to participate in outings that include their peers from both campuses of TFS. The idea is to foster relationships beyond their own classroom and to start to develop leadership skills – another key aspect of many TFS excursions.
Overnight trips are popular and highly anticipated occasions from Grades 4 through 7. Our students experience the wilderness and leadership centres at Bark Lake and Camp Kanawana, and the francophone culture in Montreal.
Field trips at this age include English and French theatre outings and sports days off-site.
Students at the Senior School visit museums, art galleries, French theatre and more. They can also participate in an Outward Bound program, offered from Grades 8 through 10 (Levels I through III) over different seasons: in the fall (leadership and urban wilderness training), spring (backpacking), and winter (camping and dog-sledding in Algonquin Park).
Taking the TFS experience abroad, students have the opportunity to be part of an annual French Exchange to Paris or a trip to Spain, or take on the challenge of a community service trip to South America. Students involved in debating or Model UN have the opportunity to represent TFS at events in North America and beyond.
From exploring our own backyard to travelling continents away, TFS students bring their intellectual and experiential curiosity, no matter where they go.
Clubs & Activities
From Pre-Kindergarten (age3) through Grade 12 (Level V), TFS is dedicated to offering co-curricular activities and clubs that will interest and inspire our students no matter the age.
Students at La p’tite école can chose from activities that take place before school, after school and during the lunch hour, many conducted in French. These can include sports such as soccer, floor hockey, basketball and tennis instruction, or chess, violin and Spanish lessons.
The diversity and number of activities increase as children move up through the grades. In the Junior School, some of the more unique athletic offerings might include fencing, Ultimate Frisbee and inline skating, along with traditional sports like soccer. Artistic activities might incorporate cartooning and animation. Instruction in Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic is also offered.
Our Mississauga campus conducts after school co-curriculars based on students' interests and demand. These have expanded to include year-long robotics and Mandarin instruction, as well as sports, arts and “So You Think You Can Dance Mississauga?”. Another option is PlayLab for Grades 5 to 7, which combines creativity, engineering and design to allow students to create amusement parks, new sports or green machines.
The Senior School buzzes from the energy of all the activities that take place there on a daily basis. No one misses out on ClubFest, a fall fair held by all the clubs at the Senior School, each vying to add participants to its ranks. Over 30 clubs are available, including Outreach, iPhone applications developer club, Cave Records (our recording club), debating, the Globe environment club, Classics, Model UN, Radio TFS and Limited Edition (the student newspaper), to name just a few.
For those craving more music, the Senior School currently has six music clubs and ensembles for students to join, including choral, jazz, concert band, percussion and guitar.
Students will run out of time before they run out of fascinating activities to get involved with at our school.
Music, visual art, drama, and poetry and prose are all part of the artistic life of our students at TFS.
Arts are amalgamated into general classroom activities and are also specifically taught by specialist teachers. They are also a key component of co-curricular activities and clubs. Like other aspects of their TFS education, the arts are introduced to our students at the earliest ages.
While sessions are set aside for artistic activities alone, they often become part of curriculum units or projects, as well. This integration of subjects is key to the educational approach of the Primary Years Program of the International Baccalaureate, which is being introduced from PK through Grade 5 at TFS.
Skills are enhanced as the students move up through the grades and experiment with writing, song, dance, drama and visual arts. Field trips to theatres and museums, and visits from artists in different media complement the curricula.
Many after school co-curricular activities have an arts focus. Recent offerings include violin and dance at La p’tite école, cartooning and choir at the Junior School, and visual arts and contemporary dance on our Mississauga campus.
Developing their own point of view
As students continue into the higher grades, they begin to develop their individual styles for expressing themselves artistically, and the Senior School provides them with ample opportunities to do so.
In addition to classes dedicated to visual arts, music and drama, creative activities play a key role in the curricula of many subjects. For instance, as part of Grade 10 (Level III) English, students produce a film based on a piece of literature, while in one math class, students are required to create a board game as a means of demonstrating their understanding of certain principles.
Among the dozens of clubs students can join at the Senior School, a significant number are devoted to the arts. Musically, students can be a member of the string, wind or jazz ensembles, join Cave Records (a music recording club), or try out for the annual drama production. Students can also put their writing and photography talents to work on the yearbook or student newspaper. If organizing is their forte, students can apply to be a member of the Arts Council, the student body responsible for co-curricular arts activities.
The Senior School holds many notable arts events each year, such as the famed Dance Show and MAD (music art and drama) Night, a festival highlighting all things artistic. One of the most anticipated occasions is the IB Art Show, when the most senior art students present their collections of original artwork, developed and refined over a two year period of time. The stunning display of creative talents and critical analysis skills is not to be missed!
When some people think about TFS, they think academics. The truth is athletics are also integral to student life at TFS.
No matter the age or interest, we want our students to be vigorous and engaged, in body and mind. We aspire for all of our students to find their athletic home at TFS.
Indoors and out, athletic activity is constant: on our regulation-sized Play & Sports Field and in the 25-metre swimming pool, or in the gymnasia found at all four of our branches.
Physical and Health Education are part of the regular curriculum up to Grade 9 (Level II), after which it becomes optional. Recreational and co-curricular activities complement this strong program and are a part of daily life, whether it’s lunchtime floor hockey at the Junior School, a rock-climbing workshop for students in La p’tite école, soccer skills on the playground in Mississauga or student-staff sports matches at the Senior School.
Our competitive sports program encompasses more than 50 teams across both campuses, from Grade 4 and up. Teams usually practise twice weekly and play against other independent schools. All competitive teams at TFS are called the Cougars. In fact, the Cougar athletic logo sits proudly in centre field on our Play & Sports Field on the Toronto campus.
TFS is a member of the provincial Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association (CISAA) and competes for championships in a wide variety of sports. One look at the banners lining our gym walls tells you just how much students care about sports at our school.
TFS Mississauga students compete mainly in competitions organized by the Private School Athletic Association (PSAA) in Peel region.
As well, a partnership with Zodiac Swim School enables TFS to offer access to a comprehensive program of after-school swimming instruction on the Toronto campus.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a high-quality program of international education that spans Pre-Kindergarten all the way to university entrance.
Over 20 years ago, TFS was authorized to teach the Diploma program of the International Baccalaureate, and was the first school in Toronto in which the program was mandatory.
In the 2010-2011 school year, TFS began implementing the Primary Years Program (PYP) and the Middle Years Program (MYP) of the IB. Authorization in these programs by the International Baccalaureate Organization is expected in spring 2013.
What makes these three programs so highly sought after?
More than the content of study itself, it is the approach the IB takes to learning that is unique. The IB propels students away from insular study inside a classroom alone. It demands active engagement in learning and ensures this learning is intrinsically linked to students' lives and the world.
Please Click here to view a short video about the IB Learner Profile.
The Primary Years Program
All programs of the IB are founded on the inquiry-based model of learning. During the PYP years (Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 5), units of study are developed based on six transdisciplinary themes. They are: who we are, where we are in place and time, how we express ourselves, how the world works, how we organize ourselves and sharing the planet.
The transdisciplinary nature of the PYP allows for a synthesis of subjects to be incorporated into each unit of study. So, for instance, learning about Folktales as a 'how we express ourselves' unit of study involves writing, study of global cultural traditions, visual arts, history and more.
The Middle Years Program
The MYP takes place from Grade 6 through Grade 10 (Level III). The MYP employs an interdisciplinary approach, reflecting the more advanced study of subjects at this age. Therefore, unlike the PYP, which draws various subjects into theme-based units of study, subjects are studied on their own. However, exploring connections between various subjects is an important part of the MYP program.
In MYP, units of study are based on specific content which is then examined through one of the five areas of interaction: approaches to learning, community and service, health and social education, environments and human ingenuity. This deepens the level of inquiry and helps students relate the subject matter to the world around them as well as their own lives.
The IB Diploma Program
At TFS, students undertake the IB Diploma program during their last two years of high school, and have the unique opportunity to study for the IB Bilingual Diploma.
Based on a liberal arts approach, students must include subjects from a wide range of study areas in their program. Subjects are carefully considered and selected in consultation with the Diploma Coordinator, guidance counsellors and teachers. The final course of study is designed with the input of both students and parents, and with an eye to what students might wantto study once they enter university.
Subjects are studied over a two-year period, concluding with a final set of exams marked by external examiners, under the auspices of the IB organization.
Being part of the IB Diploma program also means fulfilling the Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) components. The CAS program requires students to be involved in creative pursuits, physical activities and community service over these two IB Diploma years.
Students also flex their writing and critical thinking skills as they undertake the Extended Essay. The Extended Essay is a 4,000 word, independently-written research paper on a thesis of the student’s choice, supported by a faculty supervisor.
The unique and highly-regarded Theory of Knowledge course asks students to reflect critically upon knowledge claims and judgments made in a wide range of academic and experiential areas.
At TFS, students have the opportunity to study for and achieve the IB’s Bilingual Diploma, which has additional French-language requirements.
Is it rigorous? Yes. However, after leaving TFS, graduates tell us time and again how much of an impact the IB experience has had on their lives, and how well-prepared they felt as they began university.
Intro to French Program
Children may enter TFS up to and including Grade 7 with no prior exposure to French. These students are placed in our Introductory French program. This special program offers intensive French language development during the student’s first year, after which students are integrated into the regular bilingual academic stream.
Introductory French teachers speak French every day in class, and employ a wide variety of strategies and resources to make learning French fun. Children quickly acquire comprehension, and reading, writing and oral language skills, depending on the age of the child.
Most of the students who come to TFS are not French speakers. However, by the time they graduate, all our students are fully bilingual in the English and French languages.
At TFS, our unique program combines three curricula. As a result, our Grades 8 to 12 are called Levels, beginning with Level I at the Grade 8 age level and concluding with Level V in Grade 12.
To understand exactly where your child would fit if joining TFS after Grade 7, please contact our Admissions Department.
The Senior Curricula
From Level I through Level III, students continue to study within the Middle Years Program (MYP) of the IB, while also continuing to follow and meet the requirements of the curriculum of the Ministry of Education of Ontario.
Concluding the French national curriculum
The French national curriculum, which begins when students enter TFS, culminates in Level II. After more than 10 years of instruction in this highly-regarded and disciplined program, students now have the option of taking a series of exams, the same exams taken by students in France at this grade.
The exams are developed for native French speakers, not those for whom French is a second language. Despite this, almost all of our Level II students choose to write the exams, and their results are consistently outstanding. The five-year success rate is 99%. These students are awarded the Diplôme National du Brevet des Collèges.
Entering the Diploma Program
In Level IV and V, the last two years of high school at TFS, all students must undertake the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. Acknowledged worldwide for its excellence and rigour, the program takes the form of a liberal arts course of study, meaning students must engage in a wide breadth of subjects, and no subject area can be excluded.
The IB Diploma provides an exceptional foundation for entering into university, and, in fact, since the program exceeds the requirements of a secondary school diploma, students are often offered advanced placement in courses at university.
Being part of the IB Diploma program also means fulfilling the Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) components. The CAS program requires students to be involved in creative pursuits, physical activities and community service over the two IB Diploma years. As well, students undertake a research paper called the Extended Essay and take the unique Theory of Knowledge course.
Concurrently, students also meet the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma program, and are awarded the OSSD as well as the IB Diploma when they graduate.
Distinctive to TFS, students have the opportunity to study for and achieve the IB’s Bilingual Diploma, which has additional French-language requirements.
Grades 6 & 7
Entering Grade 6 and 7 is an important development in the life of students at TFS. On the Toronto campus, students make the transition from the Junior School to the Senior School, while on the Mississauga campus, students in these grades become the senior members of the student population.
It also marks three significant changes in the students’ academic lives.
Subject by subject
Students make the important change in Garde 6 from being taught in a dedicated classroom, generally by one assigned teacher, to rotating among classrooms, as they are now taught by subject-specialist teachers. They also, for the first time, have the opportunity to select an optional language course.
Students in these grades are becoming independent learners, while also undergoing dramatic physical, emotional, social and psychological changes. In support of this, starting in Grade 6, students receive formal guidance instruction. The guidance curriculum addresses their developmental needs, with topics that include peer relations, health and well-being, along with time management, organization and study skills.
The Middle Years Program begins
Grade 6 students continue with the curricula of the Ministry of Education of Ontario and the Ministry of Education of France. It is also at this point when the Primary Years Program of the IB ends and the Middle Years Program (MYP) begins.
The IB is a high-quality program of international education. Like the PYP (Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 5), the MYP is inquiry-based, allowing students to connect the acquisition of knowledge, skills and insight to their own lives and the reality of the world around them.
Unlike the PYP, which draws various subjects into theme-based units of study, MYP subjects are studied on their own. However, exploring connections between various subjects is an important part of the MYP program.
Once students move into Grade 2, they transition from La p’tite école into the Junior School on the Toronto campus or move into a new wing of the Mississauga campus.
Students in these grades continue learning the curricula of the Ministry of Education of Ontario, the Ministry of Education of France and Primary Years Program (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization.
The IB is a high-quality program of international education. Its PYP program is introduced to our students starting in Pre-Kindergarten and continues to the end of Grade 5. It follows an inquiry-based model of learning.
English language discovery
In Grade 2, students begin to receive extensive instruction in the English language, following the Ontario curriculum. The purpose of our approach is to immerse students in the language in many ways and forms. Children create journals, storyboards, use mind mapping and other techniques to engage with the language, fostering acquisition, creativity and critical thinking skills.
And the results? TFS students consistently perform in the 98th or 99th percentile for English on the Canadian Test of Basic Skills.
Bringing academics into a wider realm
As students mature, aspects of the curriculum lend themselves to a wider approach to learning. For instance, introducing studies on children’s rights provides opportunities to develop leadership skills; students address the issue with their younger or older peers at a school assembly using a multi-media presentation they produce themselves.
Similarly, students embark on more specific field trips, and beginning in Grade 3, on overnight trips. This link to the real world is a key aspect of the PYP and cements knowledge and understanding of subject matter in a way that cannot be achieved by classroom learning alone.
A world of delight and discovery awaits the youngest children at TFS.
The Jardin d'éveil, our French-language program for two year olds, was started in the 2010-2011 school year and has been a resounding success.
Situated in a former residential home on the property of our Toronto campus, the Jardin d'éveil was designed to stimulate learning through a range of play activities. Social, emotional, physical, linguistic and cognitive development is intrinsic to the program.
In the Jardin orange room, children are encouraged to participate in sensory activities at the sand, water and music tables, prompting discovery through play. They can also spend time observing creatures in recreated natural habitats, such as fish and snails.
The Jardin bleu room allows children to explore learning centres such as dress-up and drama, play house, construction and building blocks. This helps with their social development and ability to cooperate, as they learn to live and play together.
Independent exploration and learning to problem-solve occur in the Jardin jaune room. Stocked with logic-building toys and puzzles, it allows children to experiment to find solutions and encourages the development of critical-thinking skills.
To build healthy bodies and develop gross motor skills, just outside the walls of the Jardin d'éveil sit play structures, such as a jungle gym, play school bus, riding toys, a sandbox and more. Allowing for physical activity no matter the time of year is the Jardin vert room, a large space in the former residence converted into an indoor playground, ensuring active play time can be scheduled each and every school day.
If you want your child to continue at TFS in the academic program, starting in Pre-Kindergarten at age 3, please contact the Admissions Department for assessment requirements and more.
Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 1
TFS teaches a unique blend of curricula: that of the Ministry of Education of Ontario, the Ministry of Education of France and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization, and it all begins in the early year.
Immersed in French
From the moment children join TFS, through Grade 1, they are instructed only in French. Children quickly embrace the language and are gently encouraged to increase their use of French during classroom activities.
Instruction in the English language begins in Grade 2 at TFS. People often wonder if this approach hinders the acquisition of English. The answer is no! The language skills students acquire learning French gives them an advanced linguistic foundation for learning, exploring and appreciating English.
The Primary Years Program Begins
Underpinning the French and Ontario curricula is the Primary Years Program (PYP) of the IB. The IB is a high-quality program of international education.
Undertaken from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5, the PYP is a framework; it is not what is taught, but how it is taught. It takes an inquiry-based approach to learning, through which the curricula are delivered. This means that learning is not a passive exercise removed from the everyday world; rather it is a highly active and interactive exploration that engages students in the world in which they live.
Students in these grades learn about science, history, geography, reading and writing, the arts and more through transdisciplinary units of study. They also grow and develop their gross and fine motor skills, learn to get along together, and start to understand the world around them in all its fascinating aspects. And they do so at La p’tite école on our Toronto campus and at our Mississauga campus, where they are supported and taught by nurturing staff, within inspiring educational environments.
At TFS, we strongly believe in an educational environment that is bilingual, co-educational and has an international perspective.
French and English
To start with, our students learn more than a second language. They develop deep knowledge about another culture and a different way of looking at the world. By emphasizing language acquisition, and ensuring all of our students achieve fluency in English and French, we are providing them with skills they will need as internationally-minded citizens in the 21st century.
Additionally, studies in cognitive development have shown that bilingual children benefit greatly from increased usage in the area of the brain that handles executive functions. Executive functions include critical activities such as organizing, multi-tasking and managing conflicting information.
Boys and girls learning together
TFS’ co-educational approach to education fosters understanding and respect across genders, and provides a platform for boys and girls to develop cooperative behaviours, as they work in partnership in class or during co-curricular activities. Students learn critical communication skills and acceptance of diverse learning and work styles in either sex.
For instance: a good social environment in the classroom nurtures confidence and self-esteem in boys and girls. Both are comfortable responding to questions and making presentations in front of each other.
TFS students also learn to be teammates and leaders together from a young age, through academics, sports, clubs such as debating and the Model UN, and through expeditions like Outward Bound, and the many leadership opportunities that the school provides.
What makes TFS an international school?
TFS is a dual-language school.
All our students achieve fluency in French and English by the time they graduate. They also learn about another culture and develop a different way of looking at the world.
TFS is a member of the Council of International Schools.
We are only one of two schools in Canada who belong to this group of international schools from around the world, a community committed to excellence in international education.
TFS is an IB World School.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a high-quality program of international education that spans Pre-Kindergarten all the way to university entrance. Learn more about the IB at TFS at IB Programs.
TFS attracts staff from countries all over the globe.
Our staff bring with them their native cultures, languages and histories, as well as personal talents, passions and experiences. Many have degrees in both education and other fields. We value the multiculturalism of our staff, the individual knowledge they provide to our students and the richness they bring to our school.
TFS is passionate about teaching and learning from an international point of view! To view profiles of some of our fascinating teachers, please read more about TFS’ international staff.
Every day, we hear how increasingly interconnected our world is becoming. Understanding other cultures, points of view, languages and ways of doing things is imperative to succeeding personally and professionally in this environment.
TFS offers an international perspective. To learn how TFS helps prepare students to bring their intellectual strength and empathy into the wider world, see our Student Profiles.
Board & Leadership Team
TFS Board of Directors
TFS is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors that oversees the strategic direction and financial affairs of the school. It is also responsible for appointing the Head. The Headmaster supervises the day-to-day operations of the school.
The Board is made up of present parents, past parents and alumni.
Comprised of 15 elected members and three ex-officio members (the President of the Parents' Association, the President of the Alumni Association and the Chair of the TFS Foundation), the Board of Directors is supported by various Committees.
If you have any questions about the TFS Board, its Committees or the processes that govern them, please contact email@example.com.
TFS is not your typical school.
Very few schools can claim that they started in a basement, and then expanded into classrooms located in churches, synagogues and skating-rink change rooms.
Our origins in 1962 were in the basement of the home of Harry and Anna Giles, founders of Toronto French School. They were impassioned by the emerging sense of Canada as a country of two languages and many cultures. Frustrated by the lack of educational options for their own children, they started a bilingual school in their home with six students and a francophone teacher from Beirut.
Their radical experiment was wildly successful, and soon the Giles and their supporters were scrambling for class space around the Greater Toronto area. Each location was called a branch, and at their peak, they stretched from Mississauga in the west, to Don Mills in the east.
In those early days, Harry Giles recruited teachers directly from France, as well as from other francophone nations such as Algeria and Lebanon, and from England and Germany. Some French nationals even became teachers at TFS to fullfill their national service!
The school continued to grow. In 1971, a new building was constructed at 101 Mildenhall Avenue, in the Lawrence Park neighbourhood of Toronto; it was TFS' first high school. In 1981, the school purchased 318 Lawrence Avenue East, just a short walk from Mildenhall. The oldest and grandest of the three mansions on the former Sir Clifford Sifton estate, it was designated the new high school, while 101 Mildenhall became home to younger students.
One year later, TFS acquired the remaining two mansions, giving the school almost all the property from Mildenhall to Bayview along Lawrence Avenue. Today, the Toronto campus is home to La p'tite école (age 2 to Grade 1), the Junior School (Grade 2 to 5) and the Senior School (Grade 6 to Grade 12/Level V), and is situated across eight acres. Behind the building is a true natural treasure: our own 26-acre portion of the Don Valley ravine.
Our Mississauga campus, part of the TFS family since 1966, is a very special place. Sunny and intimate, it offers programs for students from PK (age 3) to Grade 7, with most students opting to continue at the Senior School once they have completed Grade 7. Close-knit, those who attend our Mississauga campus often call themselves TFS' Mississauga family.
TFS has come a long way: from a basement to two beautiful campuses, and from six students in 1962 to almost 1,300 students almost 50 years later.
What hasn't changed is TFS' promise to you: we are co-educational, bilingual and non-denominational.
We are Canada's international school.
Campuses & Branches
TFS is one school with two campuses and four branches. It sounds complicated, but it isn’t!
We have a campus in Toronto and one in Mississauga. The term, branch, is part of TFS lore. In the early years of TFS’ history, there were no centralized schools; instead, class space was rented from commercial properties and houses of worship across the Greater Toronto area. Each location was called a branch.
As the school progressed and prospered, classes were indeed consolidated, but the term branch remained.
On our beautiful campus in Toronto, we have three branches:
Our Mississauga campus is also often called TFS’ fourth branch. A very special place, it is sunny and intimate, and offers programs for students from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 7. Almost all of our Mississauga students continue at the Senior School once they have completed Grade 7.
Within TFS, each branch is a unique community unto itself, but remains part of the school as a whole. Through campus-wide and school-wide activities, we build relationships between students across grades and locations, and our dedicated staff members collaborate and share expertise.
Our School facilities
Classrooms are designed to optimize learning. Classrooms for our younger students are outfitted to stimulate developing curiosity, intellect and imagination, with books, displays based on the curriculum, intriguing objects, reading nooks, activity centres and more. Each classroom, from SK to Grade 12 (Level V), is equipped with an interactive whiteboard (e.g. SmartBoards).
TFS has made the integration of state-of-the-art technology into the classroom a priority. From PK to Grade 12 (Level V), each classroom has access to both traditional computer labs and mobile computer laptop and iPad carts. Beginning in Grade 2, a TFS email account is provided to each student. Computers at the school are loaded with age-appropriate and subject-specific software and special IT and media tools are available.
The great outdoors
Another one of TFS’ priorities is to deeply embed the natural world into the curriculum as a source of discovery, knowledge and to allow our students to more closely connect to the outdoors.
In addition to gyms, all branches have outdoor play or recreation areas, as well as areas to sit quietly on one’s own or in groups. On the Toronto campus, an artificial turf, FIFA regulation-sized Play & Sports Field is situated behind the Senior School. Beyond the field sits a truly rare resource: 26 acres of the Don Valley ravine, also part of our Toronto property.
TFS’ Mississauga campus has an outdoor student common, in addition to play structures, and is surrounded by grassy play fields.
Caring for our environment
At TFS, we are mindful about the impact on our environment and this is apparent in our curriculum and how we manage our facilities. Programs addressing the recycling of all types of waste material (e.g. organic, batteries, fluorescent tubes) and reducing plastic bottle usage through the installation of hydration stations for filling reusable water bottles have been implemented. Energy-saving lighting and mechanical equipment have been installed.
The school endeavours to minimize its carbon footprint by purchasing materials locally, using FSC-certified wood products in all new construction and renovations, using VOC-free paints and ensuring all of our cleaning products are environmentally-friendly.
In fact, both the Toronto and Mississauga campuses have been certified by Ontario Eco Schools, and the Senior School on the Toronto campus will soon have solar-panels installed on its roofs.
Our teachers mean the world to us. They have come from countries all over the globe, and bring with them their native cultures, languages and histories, as well as personal talents, passions and experiences.
Launch our poster gallery to read more about the incredible journeys our teachers have made on their way to TFS.
In 1975, TFS held its first graduation ceremony, for just 13 students. Since then, over 2,200 students have graduated from TFS and gone on to make their mark in the world. They have entered a staggering array of careers and have visited, studied or lived in countries all over the globe. We like to hear about their continued journeys and keep them connected to each other and the school.
Our alumni are part of TFS and are actively involved in the life of the school. Each new graduate becomes a member of the TFS Alumni Association (TFSAA). The alumni voice continues to be heard as the President of the Alumni Association Executive sits as an ex-officio member on the TFS Board of Directors.
Introducing the Department of Advancement and Alumni Relations
Our dedicated Alumni Relations office regularly communicates with alumni primarily via our Alumni Directory. The office shares news from the TFSAA and the school, including volunteer opportunities.
The Alumni Directory is a virtual network our alumni rely on. It allows them to easily connect with former classmates as well as network with alumni who have similar professions or interests.
Through TFS’ Alumni Directory, many alumni have signed onto our online Mentorship Program, which allows our most senior students to directly contact alumni to ask specific questions about academic programs, schools and career paths, or more general questions about places to study, work or live.
There are two key publications designed to keep alumni connected. Entre Amis is a twice-yearly newsletter exclusively for TFS alumni and friends. The school also publishes Entre Nous, an annual magazine which contains school-wide news, features about alumni, the rich history of the school, its teachers and future directions.
Revisiting and reconnecting
The Réunion annuelle des anciens élèves is a key annual alumni event that brings the TFS community together. The reception and dinner allow alumni and their former teachers to reconnect and reminisce over old times. It is also the occasion when Le prix de distinction des anciens élèves de TFS is awarded to an alumna or alumnus who has made a difference in the community and in the world. In 2011, Dr. Samantha Nutt ’87, Founder and Executive Director of War Child Canada and a recent recipient of the Order of Canada, was presented with this unique award.
To celebrate TFS' 50th anniversary in 2013, 10 recipients will be awarded the Alumni of Distinction award. Learn more about them in our Alumni of Distinction Gallery.
Involvement on the part of our alumni is eagerly anticipated and appreciated, whether they judge a debating tournament or the Science Fair, or speak at a Career Lunch for the older students. And, of course, some Toronto-based alumni carry on the tradition and enroll their own children at TFS!
No matter where they go in the world, our alumni will always have a connection to each other and to TFS.
Mission & Accreditations
TFS’ Mission Statement identifies our reason for existing and affirms what our parents and students should expect from us; it conveys our vision of what we want to be.
TFS – Canada's International School is a bilingual, co-educational and non-denominational independent school for students from age 2 to university entrance. We ensure high educational standards and a Canadian and international perspective. In our caring and supportive learning environment, we enable and encourage students of diverse backgrounds to discover and develop their intellectual, physical and creative potential. We demonstrate our commitment to the development of the whole child through stimulating academic and co-curricular programs.
We prepare our students for the future.
As a top academic school, TFS is accredited or authorized by a number of governmental and educational bodies.They are:
TFS is a member of each of the following organizations:
Early Years - Grade 12
306 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario, M4N 1T7
Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 7
1293 Meredith Avenue, Mississauga, Ontario, L5E 2E6
Learn more about our Mississauga campus
Thank you for exploring TFS - Canada's International School!
To get an inside view of life at TFS, please go to our Student Profiles section to watch videos of our students and listen to them talk first-hand about their backgrounds, interests and aspirations.
Open House Dates
See the full list of Open House dates for the coming year.
How to Apply
Our application procedures and recommended deadlines to apply are outlined by grade.
Tuition & Costs
Review a full list of tuition fees and other costs for our programs at either campus.
Children are assessed differently depending on grade. See the assessment procedures, timelines and deadlines.
Bursaries are available for high-achieving students applying to attend either our Toronto or Mississauga campus for Grade 6 and above.
What is it like to be a student at TFS?
We would say students at TFS are energetic and engaged, nurtured and supported, always involved and never bored.
Athletics, the arts, clubs, leadership development, field trips and excursions are intrinsic to student life. After all, we can’t educate the internationally-minded citizens of tomorrow by limiting their experience only to a classroom setting.
Athletics are part of the curriculum as Physical Education, while our competitive sports program begins in Grade 4. Athletics also have a significant presence in co-curricular activities from Junior Kindergarten and up.
Similarly, the arts abound everywhere you look. In addition to studying visual arts, music and drama, the arts are integrated into almost every class or subject. They also play a major role in co-curricular activities and clubs. Seasonal concerts, plays, musicals, other performances and the annual art show are not to be missed.
Leadership begins with Grade 1 students presenting to peers and develops from there. Programs include leadership committees in Grade 5 and many opportunities for more senior students to become peer role models, mentors, club leaders, House Heads, members of student government, etc. Students can also engage in community service at home and abroad through class activities, clubs and optional trips.
Trips off site start in Grade 2. These popular excursions become longer and take place farther afield as students develop and grow.
Individual support for our students is important at TFS. Our Guidance Department, psychoeducational consultants, resource teachers and others are on hand to provide support. Working closely with teachers and administrators, they ensure students are happy, healthy and well-informed. By the time students graduate from TFS, we want them to be outstanding young adults ready to take on the world.
The best people to speak about life at TFS are our students. Listen to them in their own words on these short videos, as they talk about their backgrounds, interests and aspirations.
Competitive sports teams at TFS:
Athletics are integral to student life at TFS.
• 11 teams at the Junior School
Trips and exchanges:
Trips allow our students to explore the wider world.
• Overnight trips from Grade 3 and up
TFS is renowned for its academic excellence. However, academics at TFS are about more than just gaining knowledge. We educate children to become thoughtful citizens, who will bring their intellectual curiosity and empathy into the wider world.
TFS offers a French-language program for two year olds called Jardin d’éveil, with academic programs beginning in Pre-Kindergarten (age 3) and concluding in Grade 12 (Level V).
French in the classroom
Students from PK up to and including Grade 7 are accepted into TFS with no prior knowledge of French. Thanks to our highly successful Introductory French Program, students who enter an introductory class can move into the regular, bilingual academic stream in the next school year.
From PK through Grade 1, our students receive instruction only in French. TFS was the first school in Canada to introduce the immersion approach to learning French. Now, as then, it provides the ideal environment in which to acquire a new language.
Our outstanding curricula
Unique to TFS is how we blend three well-respected curricula. Each, on its own, is comprehensive and delivers a highly-regarded education. However, by engaging our students in the curricula of Ontario, France and the International Baccalaureate (IB), we offer our students an exceptional educational experience.
The French National Curriculum
The French national curriculum, which begins when students enter TFS, culminates in Level II. At its conclusion, most students at TFS chose to sit a series of National French exams identical to those taken by students of the same age in France. Our students’ results are excellent, which is a testament to their French proficiency, since the exams are developed with native French students in mind. Over the past five years, the average success rate has been 99%. Our successful students are awarded the Diplôme National du Brevet des Collèges.
The Ontario Secondary School Diploma
At all stages of a child’s education at TFS, the curriculum meets the stipulations of the Ontario Ministry of Education. This becomes particularly important during the high school years. TFS incorporates the specific requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) into the curriculum, to ensure that they are fully met. All students at TFS graduate with an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
The IB Diploma Years
The IB Diploma is a distinguished academic accomplishment that is recognized world-wide. The program is mandatory at TFS and is taught during the last two years of high school. Since the program exceeds the level of acquisition of knowledge and critical thinking skills required by a secondary school diploma, students are often offered advanced placement in courses at university.
The IB Diploma program is based on the highly-valued liberal arts approach, requiring students to take a balanced selection of subjects, so no subject area is excluded.
In addition to specified course requirements, students studying for the IB Diploma must also write an Extended Essay, take the unique Theory of Knowledge course and commit to Creativity, Action and Service activities over the two IB years. Students also have the opportunity to pursue the IB Bilingual Diploma.
Welcome and bienvenue.
TFS - Canada's International School is a bilingual, co-ed school that educates students from age 2 to university entrance.
No prior knowledge of French is required at TFS for students applying up to and including Grade 7. Our Introductory French Program gives students intensive instruction in the French language, while following the same curricula as their peers. It has been a proven success at TFS since we began almost 50 years ago.
TFS provides its students with an international perspective, through the combined strengths of the curricula of the Ministry of Education of Ontario, the Ministry of Education of France and the International Baccalaureate programs.
Our students are well prepared to be internationally-minded citizens of the 21st century.
Enhancing our international curricula is our staff. They arrive at TFS from across Europe, Asia, Africa and South and North America, bringing rich histories, traditions and unique points of view. They show our students the world.
Families come to TFS for:
We invite you to explore our website to learn more.
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The new TFS Viewbook is online!
Our Viewbook gives a vibrant introduction to everything TFS has to offer. The best way to see us in action is to visit us at an Open House in May, or come for a private tour of the campus. Visit us soon, as we are accepting applications for limited spots available for 2013-2014.
Excellence in French and English
While 90% of TFS students have little or no knowledge of French when they enroll, they graduate bilingual with an international outlook that sets them on a path to a bright future. No prior knowledge of French is required for entry up to and including Grade 7.
Why Choose TFS?