In our fast changing world, it is easy to forget how rare an institution like Montcrest has become. Only a handful of Canadian organizations remain with 50-plus year histories. Institutional longevity is not only rare, it is increasingly valuable. The Board of Governors fully appreciates our past and the importance of protecting what has made Montcrest so special.
That said, it is hard for any of us to imagine those first seven students sitting in a Montcrest classroom somewhere in Toronto’s Annex back in 1961. Or the move, in 1970, to 4 Montcrest Boulevard, a building donated to the school by the estate of Charles Lake Gundy. But this is how our current campus came to be. Danson House, the houses on Broadview, our playgrounds – all of the physical assets we take for granted today – were thoughtfully purchased, built, and cared for by past generations of parents and staff.
It would be easy to leave our collection of red brick buildings as is, considering their unique urban charm. So much of our campus is magically-suited to our progressive educational program and community experience. But this would ignore the fact that some parts, such as our senior classrooms, are working but are not ideal.
In the past 5 years, the Board has allocated significant time to campus planning. In 2011, our playground was completely rebuilt. Almost all of Danson House, including the library, a music room, dance studio and classrooms, were renovated. We thank all of the parents and faculty that made this possible. The Board is following a thoughtful 20-year capital investment plan developed by our property committee. But there is still work to do.
Last year, we had a record number of students and demand to be at Montcrest has never been greater. The school has become exceptional at helping children discover and acknowledge their unique voices, in part because of our small class sizes, which we remain unwaveringly committed to. We are recognized as pioneers of the differentiated learning concept. We know, through the successes of our graduates, how well our efforts are working. Montcrest students are well prepared for high school, period.
As we consider how fortunate we are to have Montcrest, let's also remember to embrace the foresight and philanthropy of those leaders who came before. What would we be without them?