Islington JMS is a public elementary school in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada. It is part of the Toronto District School Board and is located close to the intersection of Burnhamthorpe Road and Dundas Street West.
In 1832, the population of Islington had grown to 1016. It was apparent a school was needed. So, in 1833, the first Islington School was built. The one-room log cabin, located west of the cemetery on the north side of Dundas Street was paid for by voluntary donations of the community. The teacher was also paid by money collected from the people. This first school had a wall painted black so it could be used for a blackboard.
By 1883, the growing population of the village of Islington necessitated a larger school. Thus, land on Canning Avenue (now known as Cordova Avenue) was purchased and a larger school was built for around $1480. William Tyrell, who had designed the Old Mill, also designed this new red-bricked one-room school. The only lighting in the school was natural sunlight. Heat came from a woodstove in the corner of the classroom. Best of all, this new school sported real slate chalkboards.
Boundaries for attending this school extended from Lake Ontario to Eglinton Avenue (which was then known as the Richview Sideroad). Pupil attendance could be to 100 pupils depending on the time of year and the weather. But the average student attendance was 40. Students walked to school or were brought in by horse and wagon. School was in session for eleven months of the year. In 1914, a second room was added to the schoolhouse.
In 1919, more property was purchased on Cordova Avenue so that a new school could be built to accommodate Islington’s growing population. This more traditional school, which opened in September 1920, had six classrooms, an office, and a good-sized auditorium with a stage. Folding doors could make this huge room into two good playrooms. In the decades that followed, more additions were added to this school. In the 1950’s, enrolment in the school increased to 1150. In 1954, a half-day rotary program was instituted for grades 7 and 8. The Advancement Program was introduced in 1959. By then, the school consisted of 22 rooms.
In 1973, the Etobicoke Board of Education passed a motion to demolish the traditional school and build on its same site a new and modern one. For the 1973-74 school year, students were bussed to nearby Queensland and Bloorlea Schools. In September 1974, the new school was ready. It had cost $1,318,500 to build. Reminders of Islington’s past history were incorporated into this new school. Some old bricks from the 1920 school were carefully laid into the new school’s foundation. The original stained glass windows went on display in the new central resource centre, as did the old iron school bell. This new school made provisions for a Community School program, had the new library, and open area pods, which allowed for flexibility in teaching methods.
In 1994, renovations to Islington JMS included a second floor of self-contained classrooms and another pod, a modern lunchroom, two huge gymnasiums, a retractable stage, an elevator, and a new modern foyer and office.
In 2008, Islington Junior Middle school’s history is 175 years old.