boarding schools in Canada
Perry was a high-ranked tennis player back at Ashbury College. Source: Frederick M. Brown/AFP

High school is one of the most important stages of a budding young adult — a gateway, if you will, into the world of higher education that prepares you for college or uni. Boarding schools in Canada have a reputation for doing this best.

It is known as one of the most attractive destinations for foreign students. Canada was ranked second in reading, tenth in math and seventh in science in one OECD assessment.  As it’s a bilingual country, you’ll pick up English and French studying here too, getting the best of both worlds. Below we list some of the most influential people that have attended boarding schools in Canada:

boarding schools in Canada

King Felipe VI still keeps in touch with his schoolmates from Lakefield College School. Today, his daughter Leonor is attending a prestigious boarding school in Wales. Source: Andres Ballesteros/AFP

Prince Andrew and King Felipe VI

These royalties attended Lakefield College School, a private day and boarding school in the north of Ontario which was the first Canadian member of Round Square, an international affiliation of schools. King Felipe VI maintains ties with the school and former classmates to this day.

Lakefield College School pupils get to study and live in a beautiful campus that offers a fantastic outdoor classroom, equipped with 315 acres of beautiful grounds, a lake, fields, forests and small village-like residences. It is also one of the largest waterfront campuses among Canadian boarding schools.

Matthew Perry

This “Friends” star was raised in Ontario and attended Ashbury College in Ottawa. He then became a top-ranked tennis player during his time there, which he says contributed to the success of his acting career. Established in 1891, Ashbury College is leading independent day and boarding school for boys and girls in grades four to 12 formed by the former faculty of Bishop’s College School in Quebec. Today, the IB World School is home to students from over 60 countries, with an average class size of 17 and a university placement rate of 100%.

boarding schools in Canada

Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland sold pizza slices to his classmates in St. Andrew’s College. Source: Tolga Akmen/AFP

Kiefer Sutherland

Fun fact: Sutherland ordered pizzas and sold slices to his classmates at St. Andrew’s College — an independent boarding and day school — in Ontario at a markup. This actor also reportedly bred white rats in his room. He would later drop out to pursue acting. 

With more than 118 years of tradition, the college is the largest all-boys boarding school in Canada. Located in Aurora, Ontario, it is home to 259 boarding students from 30 countries.

boarding schools in Canada

Sarah Levy owed much of her desire to pursue a career in the performing arts to her tutelage under Branksome Hall’s Director of Performing Arts Judith Friend. Source: Greg Deguire/AFP

Sarah Levy

Known as Twyla Sands in the Emmy-winning “Schitt’s Creek,” this actress attended Branksome Hall in Toronto, Canada. In a speech, Levy expressed her gratitude towards Branksome Hall for her successful performing career. “Branksome helped develop me as a writer, dancer and artist,” she told the audience, which consisted of Senior and Middle School students, and invited guests. Branksome Hall is an independent day and boarding school for girls that offers the International Baccalaureate programme. Its 13-acre campus in the heart of Toronto includes a gorgeous ravine woodlot with an outdoor classroom and a winding pathway.

Laurie Holden

boarding schools in Canada

This Bishop Strachan School (BSS) alumnus is now an acress, producer, and human rights activist. Source: Presley Ann/AFP

This Bishop Strachan School (BSS) alumnus is now an acress, producer, and human rights activist. She is best known for her roles in “The X-Files”, “Silent Hill”, and “The Walking Dead”, amongst others. Attending BSS provided her a strong foundation that has served her well in the fickle industry of show business. “I remember at BSS it was cool to be smart and athletic,” she says. “We wore uniforms and didn’t wear a lot of makeup, and it was all about being your best self.” BSS is the country’s oldest independent day and boarding school for girls in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, situated in a safe, quiet, leafy neighborhood, close to the heart of Canada’s largest city.