A Brief History of Our School

List of 6 items.

  • 1800s - the A.W. Mackenzie years

    "The Grove—Preparatory School for Boys," as it was originally named, was established when the son of local pioneer Sam Strickland approached Sparham Sheldrake to start a school in his home. The home consisted of a large farmhouse with several rooms, a shed, and a kitchen on 25 acres of land with room to accommodate about 15 boys.

    In 1895, Reverend Alexander Mackenzie who was teaching at The Grove made an arrangement to buy the school from Sheldrake. Dr. Mackenzie, who would remain as Headmaster until 1938, established the school's educational philosophy of combining a rigorous academic curriculum with a full and enriching program of sports, arts, and outdoor education. Mackenzie was a wonderful Headmaster who not only instructed the boys but also, by his example, was a great character builder. Under Mackenzie's leadership the school flourished. New classrooms, dormitories and a dining room were added and in 1924 a Chapel was built.
  • 1930s, 1940s - the Gordon Winder Smith years

    In 1938 Mackenzie died and his son Kenneth became the school's third Headmaster—a position he held until joining the navy two years later.

    Gordon Winder Smith, a master at the school, and an outstanding athlete who had been educated at Royal Military College, was appointed Headmaster in 1940. The school was faced with a mounting debt, buildings in poor condition and very little property surrounding the school. Working closely with the school's Board of Governors, Winder Smith or "Boodie" as he was known, worked diligently to retire the debt. He then embarked on a program of upgrading the facilities and adding new buildings and residences.
  • 1960s - the Jack Matthews years

    In 1964 Mr. Smith retired as Head of School and the Winder Smith Dining Hall was opened in his honour.

    Jack Matthews was appointed as Headmaster in 1964 and over the next seven years the school expanded both in numbers and in international acclaim.
    In 1966 the school was renamed Lakefield College School to better reflect its mission.
    The Duke of Edinburgh visited in 1969 and the school became the first member of the Round Square Conference of Schools—an international association of schools with similar values and beliefs.
  • 1970s - the Terry Guest years

    In 1970 the funds for a new theatre were donated and construction began.

    In 1971 Mr. Matthews went on to found Lester B. Pearson College in British Columbia.

    Terry Guest was appointed Lakefield's next Headmaster and during his tenure the school continued to grow. Ashelworth House and a considerable amount of property surrounding the school were purchased, extending the campus considerably.

    In 1977 Prince Andrew attended the school, starting a long lasting relationship that continues to this day.

    In 1979 LCS celebrated its centennial.
  • 1980s to 2000s - the Hadden years

    In 1985, Head of School David Hadden assumed leadership of the school.

    Many significant changes took place during his tenure including the 1989 decision for the school to become co-educational in response to changing times, and enrollment and financial pressures. 

    The school's competitive academic program integrated the use of technology into the curriculum. Additional construction projects, including a new library, music and art building, three residences, a Chapel, academic building, newly renovated theatre, tennis courts, and outdoor rink, greatly changed the campus landscape.

    In October 2007, the LCS community celebrated the gift of Northcote Campus, a historically-significant, 160 acre addition to the school's property. During David Hadden's twenty-third and last year as Head of School, the construction of Hadden Hall and the Paul and Hélène Desmarais Family Outdoor Education Wing were underway.
  • 2008 - Present

    David Thompson was The Grove’s eighth Head of School from 2008-2010. During his time at The Grove, students enjoyed for the first time ever, the newly constructed state-of-the-art LEED Gold recreation centre, Hadden Hall, the McEwen Gymnasium and the Paul and Helene Desmarais Family Outdoor Education Wing.  As well LCS witnessed the opening of its eleventh student residence, Cooper House.

    From the fall of 2010 until the spring of 2012, Sarah McMahon led The Grove community providing steadfast leadership as the school's first female Interim Head of School.

    And in March 2012, LCS was pleased to welcome Struan Robertson as its new Head of School. Since that time, the school has launched its latest strategic plan, Our Way | More Intentionally Lakefield and has opened its twelfth residence, Uplands House.

    More than 130 years since its opening, the school motto, 
    mens sana in corpore sano—a sound mind in a sound body—remains central to the way the school operates today.

Our 4 Rhodes Scholars

List of 4 members.

  • Allie Binnie 93

  • Hélène Deacon 95

  • Erin Freeland-Ballantyne 99

  • Kim Rutherford 01


School Information

4391 County Road 29, Lakefield Ontario K0L 2H0   705.652.3324   admissions@lcs.on.ca


Lakefield College School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12, located in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.

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