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Ontario Rebuilding World-Renowned Choir School

Archived News Release

Ontario Rebuilding World-Renowned Choir School

Province Supporting More than 500 Students with State-of-the-Art Learning Spaces

Ministry of Education

Ontario is investing in the reconstruction of St. Michael's Choir School - one of Toronto's most unique music education schools. 

Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister of Education, was joined by Daiene Vernile, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, and Bishop Robert Kasun, Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Toronto, at St. Michael's Choir School in Toronto this afternoon to announce funding to modernize and rebuild the school.

This investment will enable St. Michael's Choir School to provide over 500 students with state-of-the-art learning spaces, including spaces to deliver its renowned music program.

The unique school provides students with outstanding music education and performance training by holding concerts and public performances, including an annual concert at Massey Hall. The new school will also serve as a community and creative hub by making the auditorium and rehearsal space available for public use.

Providing students with better places to learn and investing in training the next generation of Ontario's artists and performers is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing $11.2 million to help the Toronto Catholic District School Board and the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation rebuild St. Michael’s Choir School.
  • Strengthening Ontario’s culture workforce and fueling the creative economy are key goals of Ontario’s first-ever Culture Strategy.
  • Alumni of St. Michael’s Choir School include actor and singer Michael Burgess, the conductor of the Vienna State Opera, Janko Kastelic, and jazz singer Matt Dusk.
  • The modernization of St. Michael’s Choir School includes plans to preserve heritage elements of the current school.
  • The school will also remain linked to the historic St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica, which will allow the site to continue operating as an important community hub.
  • While community hubs are locally-driven, the province’s role and objective is to make it easier for community partners to offer services that are integrated and coordinated, strengthening community partnerships and making the best use of public space.

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“Ontario is committed to building strong learning environments that support student achievement and well-being. This is an important investment in the long-term prosperity of our province that will enable students in the St. Michael’s Choir School community to reach their full potential.”

Indira Naidoo-Harris

Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care

“The arts play such an important role in communities across our great province. This investment will provide students from St. Michael’s Choir School with the opportunity to continue to enjoy the school’s rich music program for years to come and to share their talent with the community and the world.”

Daiene Vernile

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“Words cannot express how grateful we are for today's government announcement – not only for us in Toronto, but those across Canada and internationally, who have advocated so passionately and diligently for the students at St. Michael’s Choir School. I congratulate all the partners who have worked together to make this much needed new school a reality for our students and staff. It has been a long time in the making.”

Jo-Ann Davis

trustee, Toronto Catholic District School Board

“We appreciate the province’s continued investment in the arts and in education. Our prestigious St. Michael’s Choir deserves a world class facility in which to learn and to practise and this funding will enable us to build the type of school that this community so richly deserves.”

Barbara Poplawski

chair, Toronto Catholic District School Board

“We express our gratitude to the Government of Ontario for their continued commitment to publicly funded Catholic education in our province. St. Michael’s Choir School is recognized both locally and internationally as a leader in both education and sacred music. It is heartening to see that their tradition of academic and musical excellence will continue for generations to come in a facility that will foster student success.”

Cardinal Thomas Collins

Archbishop of Toronto

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