The first school in the village of New Edinburgh opened in 1838. The school moved to Crichton Street around 1875. In 1887, when New Edinburgh was annexed to Ottawa, this two-room school house became part of the Ottawa school board. The original structure was demolished in 1919, and a new structure designed by W.B. Garwick was erected.
Over time enrollment fell, and the school was frequently threatened with closure. In the 1980s it became one of a number of Ottawa area alternative schools focused on independent and unstructured learning. It was eventually shuttered in 1999.
The 200 Crichton Street building houses The School of Dance, The School of Dance Artist-In-Residence, The Celia Franca Foundation and the Crichton Cultural Community Centre. Two renowned musicians, Caroline Leonardelli and Beverley Robinson, have a music studio in the community centre.
The school had many students whose parents either worked for Foreign Affairs or were foreign diplomats serving in Ottawa.