The Grove Preparatory School for Boys
Lakefield College School, originally known as “The Grove Preparatory School for Boys,” was established by Sparham Sheldrake in 1879 with enough space to teach fifteen students on a beautiful 25-acre property. The property featured a farmhouse, kitchen and several rooms.
In 1895, Reverend Alexander Mackenzie purchased The Grove, playing a crucial role in establishing the school’s educational philosophy of a rigorous academic curriculum combined with an enriching program of arts, sports, and outdoor education. Under Mackenzie’s guidance, the school flourished and in 1924 new classrooms, a dining room, dormitories and a Chapel were built.
The Grove Grows and Serves Its Mission Introducing a New Name
In 1940 when Gordon Winder Smith was appointed Headmaster, the school was falling victim to intensifying debt. Because of Smith’s resilient efforts, he corrected the debts and even upgraded several of The Grove’s facilities. Smith retired in 1964 and the Winder Smith Dining Hall was opened in his honour.
Jack Matthews then took over as Headmaster and served the school for the next seven years. In 1966 the school was renamed Lakefield College School in an effort to better represent its mission. After the Duke of Edinburgh’s historic visit in 1969 the school became the first member of the Round Square Conference of Schools, an association of schools that share similar values.
Lakefield College School Opens its Doors to Girls
Upon the departure of Matthews from Lakefield to pursue other educational endeavours, Terry Guest was appointed the next Headmaster. During this time, Lakefield experienced a significant period of growth. Ashelworth House and new property acreage was purchased, adding to the expansion of the school. In 1985 David Hadden took over as Head of School and brought about one of the most significant changes in Lakefield’s history, opening the school to girls.
Under Hadden’s leadership, Lakefield College School became an inclusive coeducational institution. This change enabled both girls and boys the privilege to receive the high-quality private school education that Lakefield is known for. Hadden served Lakefield College School for 23 years. His most noteworthy accomplishments included introducing modern technology into the school’s curriculum, as well as facilitating many construction projects that upgraded the campus’ facilities for student enjoyment.
Hadden also contributed to the prosperity of Lakefield College School as the CEO of the LCS Foundation. The foundation aims to provide financial resources needed by the school in order to achieve Lakefield’s strategic vision of delivering a world-renowned learning experience to students which they cannot receive elsewhere. Hadden’s contributions to the foundation helped create an ideal learning environment where students can flourish.
Lakefield College School Remains Committed To Tradition During Growth
After the school became co-educational many new additions were built including a new library, residences, a Chapel and a theatre. In 2007 Lakefield graciously accepted the gift of Northcote Campus, adding 160 acres to the school’s already expansive 155-acre property. Since then Lakefield has seen the addition of the LEED Gold recreation centre, Hadden Hall, the McEwen Family Gymnasium, the Televisa Fitness Wing, the Phelan Family Learning Commons, the Paul and Hélène Desmarais Family Outdoor Education Wing and Indoor Climbing Wall, Cooper House and Uplands House.
It has been more than 130 years since Lakefield College School’s inception and our commitment to our school motto, mens sana in corpore sano—a sound mind in a sound body, and it remains integral to how we run our school today.