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Story of our School

Toniata Public School is located in Brockville, Ontario along the beautiful St. Lawrence River in the 1000 Islands.  

Toniata first opened its doors to students on January 6, 1964 at a cost of $325 000.  The cornerstone was laid by Dr. F.M. Bliss, Chairman of the Brockville Public School Board in 1963 along with the depositing of a capsule which contains items from that time period that include the names of the students in each class and their teachers.  

 When Toniata first opened in 1964, 200 students attended the school.  Below is an article from the local newspaper dated January 6, 1964 about the opening.  Hugh Bates was the first principal of the school.  


Some folks ask how Toniata got its name.   It was discovered in an article from the local newspaper that Dr. Bliss announced to students that a "distinctive Canadian name was desired for the school and the First Nations name, Toniata, was chosen."  

Upon further research, it was discovered that, "one of the great mysteries of early Canadian history is the identification of the site of a First Nations village or camp known as Toniata."  

From Champlain's exploration of the Upper St. Lawrence, until the British captured Quebec, maps showed a spot named Toniata.  This area was defined as being placed halfway between present day Ogdensburg and the Gananoque River.  The name, which had various spellings on the old French maps, seemed to disappear as the British maps replaced the French maps.  See the map below for a visual of the geography, circa 1686.   

Today, Toniata Public School has a variety of learning opportunities and extra-curricular activities for our students.  Students are learning how to co-create success criteria with their teachers to help them own and understand what it takes to be successful with their academic studies.  These are based on learning goals (derived from the curriculum) that the teacher establishes with the class.  Some opportunities evolve into real world learning activities where students apply what they learn to experiences beyond the school walls and we are working to enhance and expand on these types of opportunities. We have an excellent instrumental music program for our grades 5 and 6 students.  Students learn to read musical notation and play a variety of instruments including the trumpet, flute, and clarinet among others.  Toniata is also very proud of its annual school musical.    

We are very proud of the learning and extracurricular experiences we offer our students at Toniata Public School.  Please check out our Facebook page for daily updates and information.  Thank you!

Toniata Facebook Page link

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