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School Life

An Insider’s Guide for day and boarding students

Part home, part homeroom, part sisterhood or brotherhood, part club, part team, part family — the Houses of Ridley give new meaning to the concept of “schoolhouse.”

Every Ridleian — day and boarding — belongs to one of the Houses of Ridley. In fact, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between day and boarding students because everyone is so engaged in activities and House life. For all students, being part of Ridley is an exciting, all encompassing experience. Friendships are deeper. Learning is more intense. You rub shoulders, learn from and become friends with students whose lives and backgrounds may be very different from your own. Your world opens up.

The ten Houses — Arthur Bishop House East

and West, Burgoyne House, Dean’s House, Gooderham House East and West, Leonard House, Mandeville House and Merritt House North and South — are more than residences. They are the fabric of our school life. Houses are small communities within the school. They are your home base, your network and an easy way to get involved in Ridley life. Housemaster, faculty advisor, teachers and coaches affiliated with each House form a close system of support for each student in their House so that every Ridleian can make the most of his or her experience. Many students don’t dream that a House system and school life like Ridley’s exist anywhere but in books and movies. Others have known about Ridley and anticipated living the House life like their friends, parents or brothers and sisters before them. Schoolhouse, dream house, your house?

Welcome to life in the Houses of Ridley.


An Insider’s Guide for Day and Boarding Students | 3

Housemasters are faculty members who live with their families in houses attached to the residences. A Housemaster is responsible for monitoring the progress and development in all areas of school life for all the students in his or her House. Housemasters have considerable experience in dealing with issues that face adolescents. Students can take questions about any aspect of their lives to their Housemasters.












Assistant Housemasters are also faculty who live with their families in houses or apartments attached to the residences. They provide additional support for students’ care and well-being.





r oN d Each


evening a different faculty member on the House’s “Duty Team” supervises evening study hours.

Just as each student is a member of a House, faculty members teaching throughout the school have House affiliations.



Affiliated Faculty

Housemates All students — boarding and day — in a particular House.

House Captains are a select group of seniors responsible for organizing events and assisting in the daily routines of their House. House Captains help new students transition into their residences and make the House more of a home. House Captains are appointed by the Housemaster.


u s e c a p tain

Residence Don Graduate students receive one-year appointments to assist with the organization and supervision of weekly and weekend House activities.

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Each House has its own history, traditions, colours, school tie, team and resident faculty including a Housemaster, Assistant Housemaster and Residence Don. Upper School Girls’ Houses are Gooderham East and West, Leonard and Mandeville. Boys’ Houses are Arthur Bishop East and West, Merritt North and South and Dean’s House. All junior boarders (Grades 5 to 8) live together in Burgoyne House.

tour house

Here, we give you a tour of Dean’s House. Tuck Shop Also known as a snack bar, most Houses have their own Tuck Shop with comfortable couches.

Study Library It’s nice and quiet in here.

The second House on campus, Dean’s House was constructed in 1907 to meet the increased demand from parents who wanted to send their sons to Ridley. The first group of 30 boys took up residence in 1908. Dean’s House was so named because Ridley’s senior master, assistant to the Headmaster, had been officially called “the Dean.” Designed to be more like a home than a dormitory, what continues to set Dean’s House apart is that it is the only stand-alone House.

Assistant HM’s residence

HM’s study While you’re studying, so is he.

TV Lounge You’d be surprised how many of us crowd in here when a game is on.


Main Stair

You can knock on his door any time you need something. Just make sure you don’t let his dog out.

Main Entry

DEAN’S House - Ground Floor

DEAN’S House - Second Floor Washroom

= Day Student

= Boarder

If you thought most people shower in the morning, think again. Somebody’s always in here.

Laundry facilities Your mom always wanted you to do your own laundry. Here’s your chance.

Housemaster’s residence (Second floor)

Housemaster’s residence (First floor) The Housemaster is there for you 24/7. You might get invited in for some great snacks if you play your cards right.

Boarders There are usually one or two boarders and one day student assigned to a room.

Main Stair

Day Students

Common Room Includes TV, pool table, comfortable couches, the Globe & Mail newspaper each day, a water cooler and good study tables.

Quiet Study Room

Make yourself at home in your House. You’ll probably spend more time here than you will at your real home.

House Room Make it your own with posters, photos, your favourite music and all your treasured “stuff.”

Each House has its own personality driven by its


community of closely-knit students and

keys to the

Housemaster. Like the people who live in them, Houses have quirks and specialties. This makes House life even more fun and interesting because no two Houses are alike and because students and their friends can have just as much of an impact on their House as the House has on them. Being a House Captain, competing

ORIGINS The House system has been a traditional feature of British schools and schools in former British colonies for centuries. “House system” can also refer to university residential colleges and Houses like those at Harvard and Yale, which in turn are based on the college systems at Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England.

with one’s House team, planning service projects and social events also give students the opportunity to discover where their particular talents and interests lie and to shine in their own unique ways.

Arthur Bishop House East House Colours

Number of Housemates

Yellow and black

63 boys

Mascot is a Beast (get it… A B East).

(43 boarders, 20 day) Seniors choose a “Beast of the Week,” photos from home, Fall BBQ with tugo-war and bad jokes. House Charities

Wells of Hope (drilling water wells in Central America), Mike’s Miracles


Bragging Rights


We’re known for our balance. We’re happy and spirited, but not wild. We’ve got great students, athletes and musicians. Ours is a House people are glad to be in, because there is plenty of mutual respect and support. We won the camp Olympics last year, but we don’t like to brag.

Current Countries Represented

Canada, China, Colombia, France, Hong Kong, Mexico, Pakistan, South Korea, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Venezuela

Arthur Bishop House West House Colours

Number of Housemates

Red, blue, and silver

52 boys (30 boarders, 22 day)


Each year we present the Centennial Trophy to the ABWest student who contributes most to the House in Spirit, organizing House events and leadership. Additionally, each week we award the title of ‘Best of the West’ to a student that exhibits leadership within or beyond the House.

Bragging Rights

Inter-House School Reach Champions 7 years running, a Jeopardy-like trivia contest. We have a reputation for being laid back, although our House spirit is pretty intense. And while academics are important, we do our best to be involved in the arts and athletics.

Current Countries Represented

House Charities

United Way. We support two local charities: Mainstream and Community Care. Mainstream provides a range of services to community members with developmental challenges. Amongst a host of other services, Community Care aims to deliver emergency services to community members that find themselves without food or shelter.

Bahamas, Bermuda, Barbados, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Germany, Guyana, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, USA

BURGOYNE House (Junior Boarders House, Grades 5-8) House Colours


Number of Housemates

16 (9 boys, 7 girls)

House Charities

God’s Hope: The Sierra Leone Project


Sunday trips near and far for activities like movies, go karts, rock climbing, plays in Toronto, shopping, paint ball; Halloween Feast, making gingerbread houses at Christmas, celebrating silly holidays like National Pastry Day

Bragging Rights

“Our House is smaller than the Upper School Houses so you can make a really good group of friends. Plus it’s right in Lower School so it’s a very short walk to classes.”

Current Countries Represented

Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, USA

An Insider’s Guide for Day and Boarding Students | 9

Dean’s House House Colours

Number of Housemates

Navy blue and grey

53 boys (38 boarders, 15 day)

House Charities

KidsFest is a non-profit organization committed to eradicating the root causes of child poverty in Canada.


Mascot is the Knight. Our motto is “Carpe Diem”; Special Award: Knight of the Night (awarded each week to a boy in the House whom the Housemaster selects based on his service to the House or special accomplishment in sport, academia or extracurricular at Ridley). Fall BBQ; Christmas Dinner and Secret Santa Gift Exchange; Annual Dean’s Tennis Tournament; House Shinny Hockey

Bragging Rights

The only stand-alone House on campus

Current Countries Represented

Bahamas, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, South Korea, USA

Gooderham House East House Colours

Number of Housemates

Green and white

50 girls (30 boarders, 20 day)

House Charities

G House organizes the Run for the Cure for the entire school. We sponsor a child in South America with World Vision and we organize a Christmas shoebox programme for Operation Christmas Child.



Croc mascot and her name is Gertie. We carry her to every event. Fancy dress Christmas party in the Great Hall. February talent show. Day Girl House party with awards: Best New Girl, Best Returning Girl, Outstanding Senior. Blossom Award, Miracle Girl Award

Bragging Rights

Our motto:


Always — Be — Cind.

Current Countries Represented

Barbados, Canada, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, Venezuela

Gooderham House West House Colours

Number of Housemates

51 girls


(32 boarders, 19 day)


Red, White & Pink Day, Valentine’s Day Bake Sale, Denim Day (April), mascot is the flamingo

Bragging Rights

Most academic prizes won on prize day – 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009

Current Countries Represented

House Charities

Breast Cancer Research, Community Care Toy Drive

Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, South Korea, USA, Venezuela

Leonard House House Colours

Number of Housemates

Red and black

54 girls (39 boarders, 15 day)

Bragging Rights


Mascot is the Ladybug, Coffee Houses where Ladybugs share their talents, smoothie nights, spaghetti dinners, Senior Thanksgiving dinner

House Charities

Free the Children in conjunction with Mandeville House.

Competitions Won: Bradley Shield three times, keen tug-of-war competitors and House Reach (quiz show) competitors. We’re known for crazy House spirit.

Current Countries Represented

Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Russia, Spain, USA

An Insider’s Guide for Day and Boarding Students | 11

Mandeville House House Colours

Number of Housemates

Yellow and orange

53 girls (39 boarders, 14 day)


Nicknamed the Duckies, we award Dazzling Duck Pins to members of the House for notable achievement and special recognition for good deeds. We also present personalized gingerbread women to every member of the House at Christmas.

Bragging Rights

Our motto is “Where there is spirit there is song.” We have lots of spirit and a recent win at the annual Camp White Pines Scavenger Hunt.

Current Countries Represented

House Charities

Halloween for Hunger and Free the Children. We’re working to raise funds to build a school in Kenya.

Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, UK, USA

Merritt House North House Colours


Number of Housemates


Bragging Rights

48 boys

The Annual House Music & Karaoke Competition

MNO boys have won the Bermuda Cup for the past five consecutive years and they have won Sports Day for the past nine consecutive years.

(29 boarders, 19 day)

House Charities

Current Countries Represented

Community Care, Out of the Cold dinner hosts, Raise the Roof / Toque Tuesday

Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago


Merritt House South House Colours

Number of Housemates

Yellow and orange

62 boys (42 boarders, 20 day


Bragging Rights

Our crest depicts a flexing figure we call The Hulk. Our annual June banquet is a Surf and Turf feast enjoyed on the parking lot adjacent the House, replete with music and awards. We honour a boy at every House meeting with the Hulk of the Week trophy for something special he has recently achieved.

Current Countries Represented

House Charities

Dog Guides, training dogs for people who are blind or visually impaired, and those who have hearing and other medical or physical disabilities

Located in the centre of the action on campus, all of the following are short walk away – field house, gym, hockey rink, Mandeville Theatre, Matthews Library, swimming pool and tennis courts. Star athletes, thespians, and brainiacs all inhabit MSo and are always in the thick of things with regard to Bermuda Cup and School Reach competitions.

Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, UK, USA, Venezuela

House COMPETITIONS Bermuda Cup (Upper School Boys) What started as a cricket competition in the early 1900s later became an overall athletic competition to determine the strongest House and winner of the sterling silver Bermuda Cup. Today, events can include hockey, basketball, soccer and more. Points are awarded for each event and the competition is intense. Bradley Shield (Upper School Girls) The girls of 1982-83 were the first to compete in formal inter-House sports. A counterpart to the Bermuda Cup for boys’, the Bradley Shield is named for Richard Bradley, Ridley’s Headmaster of the 1970s who initiated coeducation. This much-coveted award is fiercely contested throughout the year and contributes greatly to bonds within Houses.

FAMOUS HouseS Several British children’s book series feature House systems, the most famous of which is the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. While we cannot say for sure, it’s been said that publishers had difficulties translating the “House” concept in some foreign editions because there was no adequate word to convey the importance of belonging to a certain House, the loyalty owed to one’s House, and the collective pride felt upon winning House prizes.

An Insider’s Guide for Day and Boarding Students | 13



Current students share their tips on House life and a few unabashed reasons their Houses are the best.


“Lifelong friendships are made in your first few weeks as you hang out with the people in your House. Don’t be shy. Just be yourself.”

“Unlike many other schools Ridley does not have cliques. It is the people who are themselves that truly succeed not only with the friendships they make but in everything you throw yourself into.”

An-Na :: Seoul, South Korea :: Age: 17

Connie :: Ontario, Canada :: Age: 16

House: Mandeville :: Boarder

House: Gooderham East :: Day

“I love the location of my House. At first I thought it was too far from the centre of things but Leonard offers a refuge. For lack of a better term, it’s really down to earth. All the boarders are happy to be with each other and the day students are so well integrated into the House. I love that on some lazy Friday nights we will set up a game of Sing Star and Dance Dance Revolution, or just watch a movie.” Morgynne :: Ballinafad, Ontario, Canada :: Age: 15 :: House: Leonard :: Boarder

“There are no other Houses on campus that can say they have characters quite like ours. We still stick together as a House no matter what. My advice to new students? Dive head first into it. Make sure you get involved in sports, House events, and extracurricular activities. Before you know it, you’re a Ridleian.”

“Best advice to new students: Make friends. This is a very simple task at Ridley due to the diverse crowd at Ridley. Finding someone with the same interests will be quick.”

Shaun :: Diego Martin, Trinidad and Tobago

Conad :: Moscow, Russia :: Age: 15

Age: 17 :: House: Arthur Bishop West :: Boarder

House: Merritt South :: Boarder

“When you live with the same group of girls for an extended amount of time in close quarters you get to know each other in a way only possible at boarding school. I love so many things about living in G-West: The colour pink, the best campus location, the diversity of our girls and especially the people.” Mary :: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada :: Age: 17 :: House: Gooderham West :: Boarder


“Being in a House creates a new element on top of the existing student activities like academics, sports, and arts. This new element allows you to gain valuable life lessons and is a great experience for the future. Some days can be tough but when I come back to my House, there’s always someone there to brighten my day. And nothing compares to the amount of spirit we have dressing up for and cheering at House events. Advice: From personal experience, the best thing to do is to be vocal early. It took me a year to step out of my comfort zone. As I started to contribute more and more to the House, I felt a great sense of belonging and every aspect of the House became so enjoyable.”

“Get on with your roommate, a solid friendship in that area can make or break your year. Bring food and your own pillow. Finally, just relax. Ridley isn’t a test or competition. It’s your school and your home — the more comfortable you make yourself the more you will get out of all that it has to offer (the list is endless!).”

Nadia :: St. Catharines, Ontario :: Age: 17

Daniel :: Sarasota, Florida, USA :: Age: 17

House: Gooderham East :: Day

House: Merritt South :: Boarder

“I love the attitude of our House. We are a very confident group of guys and we love to come together and compete against other Houses. I find the House competitions bring us together as we all strive to be the top House. Advice: Get to know the people in your House early. Start the relationships early. Talk to the Prefects and seniors in the House to help you get acquainted. Starting relationships early makes everything so much better because you are not doing it alone.” Maxwell :: St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada :: Age: 17 :: House: Merritt North :: Day

Day Student Meets House Life Deanna :: Thorold, Ontario, Canada :: Age: 17 :: House: Leonard :: Day

As a day student, I never thought I would get the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful thing as House life at Ridley. The Houses involve everyone on campus. Being part of a House allows you to not only bond with students but also teachers and Housemasters. It is just another part of Ridley that makes it so unique and different compared to other high schools. My House is Leonard House. It’s a great group of girls from all over the world. They are driven and dedicated when it comes to House competitions, school, and sports. All the girls are such a pleasure to be around and are always there to help those in need. Our Housemaster and duty staff are the best group of people we could ask for. No matter what time of day, they are able to help out with homework, a personal problem or are just there to talk. I can remember my first day as a student at Ridley College. It was nerve wracking but extremely exciting. Advice that I would pass along to future Ridleians: Put yourself out there. Students at Ridley are friendly and always welcoming to new students, so you can always approach them.

An Insider’s Guide for Day and Boarding Students | 15

The Life of Ridley The expression “the life of Reilly” has always meant living life to the fullest. The same can be said for the Life of Ridley. As one day student said,

“I sleep at home, but I live here.”

Adventure is part of the Ridley experience whether you’re coming from the other side of the globe as a boarding student or from Toronto as a day student. Beyond the ambition and challenge of the academic programme is the diversity of extracurricular options in the arts, athletics, leadership and service. Along with these programmes, Ridley offers The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which gives students international credits for extracurricular activities in community service, personal development, athletics and outdoor adventure. You engage with artistic, leadership and athletic challenges that are not only fun and satisfying but in the process they build your courage, creativity and problemsolving skills. Through this rich and full life you

engage with people here and build friendships and relationships that sustain you. It’s a life that

leads you to contribute — first to your Ridley community and then to the world.


Athletics Boys Soccer (4 levels) Hockey (3 levels) Basketball (3 levels) Squash (2 levels) Rugby (2 levels) Lacrosse Softball Tennis (2 levels)

Girls Basketball (2 levels) Field Hockey (3 levels) Swimming Squash Hockey (2 levels) Volleyball (2 levels) Gymnastics Dance

Coed Harriers (Cross Country – 2 levels) Rowing Swimming (2 levels) Track and Field Golf Badminton

Expeditions Outdoor adventure, dog sledding, leadership and team building skills (Training, Bronze, Silver, Gold levels)

Service Admission Assistants, Student Escorts, Tour Guides Alzheimers (volunteering with seniors) Amnesty International Art Monitors (art studio care) Athletic Monitors (athletic centre care) Bethlehem Place (volunteering with children) Big Bunch (Big Brother/Sister programme) Biomonitors (bio lab care) Burgoyne House Counsellor Campus Watch Community Care (food bank) Grad Committee Green Tiger (environmental) House Captains Library Assistants Library Monitors (library care) Music Monitors (music studio care) Officer and NCO Training Prefects Servers Club (assisting Chaplain) String Ensemble Student Committee

Skills Acta Ridleiana (yearbook) Art in Public Spaces Athletic Therapy Clinic Board Games Cadet Band Cadet Green Star Programme Card Sharks Chapel Choir Cappies (Theater and journalism students are trained as critics) Chinese Calligraphy Confirmation Cooking Club Core Training Debating Deconstructing and Reconstructing Fashion Drill Team Drivers Ed Equestrian Figure Drawing Film Clubs Filmmakers Garage Band International Cooking Club Jazz Band (2 levels) Learn to Knit Martial Arts Math Contest Club Meditation Open Water Scuba Certification Origami Orchestra Origin (mathematics publication) Outdoor Club Politics Club Private Pilot Ground School Pursuit of Excellence in Music Ridley Singers School Reach (interscholastic academic competition) Science Club Sixty Minutes (campus issues discussion) Skeet Shooting SOMA Conference (Model UN) String Ensemble Tai Chi Tiger Tribune (newspaper) Yoga

Theatre Fall and Winter play and musical productions

An Insider’s Guide for Day and Boarding Students | 17

In the Land of Ridley Ridley is a community, a school and a tradition. It

is also a remarkable physical place. One hundred and seven acres that combine beautiful grounds, a mix of historic architecture and forward-thinking facilities. If you think of Ridley like a country, School House is our capital and the Houses are a network of villages and towns. All Houses have easy access to everything Ridley has to offer, including two libraries, two theatres, a state-of-theart athletics arena and field house, swimming pool, two gymnasiums, five tennis courts, playing fields, an historic Chapel and the Great Hall dining room.

Merritt House

Athletic Fields

Fieldhouse & Tiger Rink

Second Century Building & Mandeville Theatre

Dean’s House

School House (Upper School) Arthur Bishop House Memorial Chapel

Gooderham House


Iggulden Gymnasium

KenyonLett House

Leonard House

Mandeville House

Burgoyne House

Alumni Hall (Lower School)

Marriott Gates An Insider’s Guide for Day and Boarding Students | 19

Visit Ridley Call us to arrange a visit that can be tailored to your interests. We look forward to meeting you on campus in the near future. Ridley College P.O. Box 3013 2 Ridley Road St. Catharines, ON L2R 7C3 Canada (905) 684-1889

Turnaround Marketing Communications Text: Andrea Jarrell Photography: Michael Branscom


THE BEAVER is the national animal of Canada but also represents the industriousness with which all Ridleians engage in school life.

The three bishops’ miters represent our Anglican history and heritage.

The three white birds and reversed triangle come from the family crest of our namesake, Bishop Ridley.

The maple leaf is Canadian but this trio is specifically from the Ontario flag.

The three lions are from the British sovereign’s coat of arms, connecting the school to its British roots.

TERAR DUM PROSIM Our motto, which means May I Be Consumed In Service, is at the centre of who we are and the way in which we hope our graduates will contribute their talents and leadership to the world.

A LEGACY THAT’S YOURS. To graduate from Ridley is to have the keys to knowledge in your pocket, true friends by your side, a ticket to the world in your hand and the resources of a legacy at your back as you move forward in life.

P.O. Box 3013 2 Ridley Road St. Catharines, ON L2R 7C3 Canada (905) 684-1889

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Ridley College viewbook series by Turnaround Marketing Commuications  

Ridley College viewbook series by Turnaround Marketing Commuications