Oldest high school celebrates milestone anniversary in Mississauga


Published May 3, 2024 at 2:50 pm

port credit secondary school history

Mississauga’s oldest secondary school celebrates 100 years (plus four) this weekend.

Port Credit Secondary School was planning to celebrate its milestone anniversary in 2020 but the plans were postponed due to the pandemic.

Now, the school, at 70 Mineola Rd. E. in Port Credit, has a huge celebration planned for May 4.

The event includes a staff and faculty reception, tours, a memorabilia display, a student talent show and a pub night. There will also be a dedication to alumni Fred Ketchen, a former Toronto Stock Exchange chairperson. More information on the celebration can be found here. 

The current Port Credit Secondary School began its history as a continuation school, a school above the elementary level, on Forest Avenue in 1919, according to an online history. It consisted of two rooms, two teachers and 22 students. In those days, only the lowest grade or “First Form” students attended for free. Second Form was $9 a year, while Third and Fourth Forms were $15 a year.

port credit secondary school history

The first school was built in 1919.

Henry Alvin Doupe was the school’s first principal, according to the Port Credit Secondary School 50th Anniversary booklet produced in 1970. Doupe stayed on at the school until he retired in 1950.

“He was noted for his very strict discipline, but many students remember a gentler nature and a keen sense of humour,” the booklet notes.

He and his assistant Louie Leggott were also the teaching staff.

In 1927, the continuation school had evolved into a full high school and more teachers were hired. There were 217 students and a staff of six by 1928.

Around that time, the school’s blue and gold colours were chosen and a competition was held for the school crest. A design with the Port Credit lighthouse was selected. It was known as Port Credit High School and later changed to be called Port Credit Secondary School.

With the need for more space, on March 28, 1930, a new school opened and the old school became an elementary school.

port credit secondary school history

A new school was built in 1930.

In 1933, teacher W.J. Wood joined the staff when he was only 23 years old. There were only 11 teachers and 320 students at that time.

“Port Credit was a beautiful place to live and work as it was a district of fruit orchards and market gardens on one end and the picturesque Credit River and Lake Ontario on the other,” Wood wrote in the 50th anniversary booklet. “Pollution had not yet been invented and the Queen Elizabeth Highway was still a country concession called Middle Road while the street cars ran from Long Branch loop to the Port Credit Post Office.”

In those days, the Port Credit High School was the only one in the area. The closest high schools were in Brampton, Oakville and Mimico, Wood wrote.

Wood joined the Air Force in 1940 during the Second World War but returned to teaching in Port Credit in 1945 and became principal in 1950. Wood stayed until 1956 when he became principal of the brand new Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School (now closed).

port credit secondary school history

The school is seen damaged after a fire 1956.

The school continued to grow with the addition of a new wing but on Oct. 18, 1956, a huge fire destroyed eleven classrooms and the old wing of the school. The new wing suffered smoke and water damage.

Rebuilding was quick, however, and by the spring of 1957 the renovations and repairs are complete. The building was then large enough to accommodate 700 students.

port credit secondary school history

The new school was opened in 1963.

By the 1960s the school population was continuing to grow and the current school on Mineola Road was opened in 1963.

port credit secondary school

The current school is seen here in 1980.

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