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Toronto Catholic District School Board

School History And Tradition

painting of st. sebastian by raphaelThe congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Conception arrived in Canada from Italy in 1968, with a mission to serve the rapidly growing Italian community in Toronto. Its ministry began in the Bloor-Dufferin area, working from St. Anthony Church with hopes of establishing its own parish nearby as soon as possible.  In 1970, the order purchased a former Protestant church and the parish of St. Sebastian was created at 20 Pauline Ave.  Shortly afterwards, the clergy enlisted the assistance of the Metropolitan Separate School Board to build a separate school to accommodate the high number of Catholic children living in the vicinity – primarily the area northwest of Dufferin and Bloor Streets.

 In 1972, St. Sebastian Catholic School began its first year of teaching, operating from and sharing facilities with J.J. McGrand (now St. Mary’s Secondary School).  The students were all bussed from within the boundaries of Dufferin, Lansdowne, Bloor, and Dupont.

 The construction of a permanent building for St. Sebastian began in 1978, and in 1979 the student population was being educated in its own self-contained structure sharing the school grounds with Pauline Public School.  The official school opening was in May 1980.  The school proudly celebrated its 25th anniversary in May 2005.

 Over the years the enrollment increased, with the majority of children beingpicture of st. sebastian school

of Italian and Portuguese backgrounds.  However, many diverse cultures have contributed to and enriched St. Sebastian’s identity.  Since its earliest years, St. Sebastian has offered its students the International Language Program, a program which develops and instills pride in one’s ancestry and culture.  In fact, St. Sebastian was the first school to administer an International Language program, initially funded by the Italian Consulate and then by the Ministry of Multiculturalism.

 As well, St. Sebastian was one of the first schools to successfully operate a shared facility site with a public school.

 Throughout its years, St. Sebastian has consistently striven to provide a well-balanced, solid education to its students and meet the needs of the Catholic children in the area.