Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School - Toronto

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Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School (Mary Ward C.S.S. / Mary Ward) is a Roman Catholic located in Toronto. The secondary school is part of the Toronto Catholic District School Board. It is home to 1200 students and was founded in 1985 in a set of portable buildings. The school moved into a permament home in 1992. It is located at the the northwest corner of Kennedy Rd. and McNicoll Ave.. The school is named after Mary Ward, a 17th century English Catholic nun who founded the Loreto Sisters. The school motto is "Because we believe".

Mary Ward is a unique in that it is school of self-directed learning. It is one of only 2 self-directed learning schools in Ontario and 7 in Canada. The building is constructed to promote this, as there are few classrooms, instead there are large common work areas.


Direction 2000

Mary Ward runs under a program called "Direction 2000". With no structured timetable, students to structure their own school days. Students complete 18 units in each course at their own pace. (20 in the old curriculum). Each unit is a learning package - its consists of readings, study questions, seminars, labs and tests) Final exams are held at the course completion.

Each student at Mary Ward has a "teacher advisor" (aka TA), who acts as a mentor, guide, and support for the students throughout their time at the school. Students "check in" with teacher advisors throughout the day to ensure that they are in school attendance.

Because of the self paced studying, students can complete high school in as little as 2-3 years or as long as 6 years.

Notable alumni

Craig Kielburger, Free The Children (Cofounder)

School Mascot

  • Mary Ward Wolverines - red and blue

School Newspaper

  • Mary Ward Planet


3200 Kennedy Road
Toronto, Ontario
M1V 3S8
Telephone: 416-393-5544
Fax: 416-393-5768


Principal: Ms. Patricia Coburn - [email protected]
Vice Principals: Mr. Derek Chen - [email protected]
Ms. Violet Keenan - [email protected]

Mary Ward

Mary Ward (1585-1645) was the founder of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At age 15 she left home to do religious service


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