1837 - The Brother of the Christian Schools arrived in Montreal to found the first permanent community of De La Salle Brothers in North America
1851 - At the request of Bishop De Charbonnel, five Brothers came to Toronto to establish a grammar school at the corner of Lombard and Jarvis Streets
1871 - De La Salle Institute extended to include secondary classes and was relocated to what was then the Bank of Upper Canada. The building still stands at the corner of Adelaide and George Streets with the inscription “De La Salle Institute Erected A.D. 1871”
1880 - De La Salle Institute became De La Salle College as university entrance courses were added to the curriculum
1905 - The De La Salle Cadet Corps was formed
1910 - The De La Salle Band was formed with the sole purpose at the time to parade the Cadets
1914 - The College took a major step and relocated to 67 Bond Street right next to St. Michael’s Cathedral
1922 - The first issue of Delescope, now known as Oak Leaves (as of 1938), was printed and consisted of eight pages
1925 - The senior section of the College moved to what is now Our Lady of Perpetual Help School and became known as De La Salle Moore Park
1931 - Brother Alfred opened the new school, De La Salle “Oaklands” on the Avenue Road hill to 270 students at a tuition amount of $5 per month
The De La Salle Property –Originally, what is now De La Salle “Oaklands” was part of a 200-acre grant by the Government of Upper Canada in 1798 to Chief Justice Honourable John Elmsley. By 1836 the crown land was given by the Elmsley family to St. James Anglican church. Senator John Macdonald bought 35 acres from the Anglican Church in 1858. He named his new property “Oaklands”, as he often admired the splendid oak trees on the acreage. This land ran up the east side of Avenue Road from Cotthingham Street, almost to St. Clair Avenue. The castle-like mansion (Heritage House) that exists today on the crest of the hill began in 1860 as a compact gothic house. Today this house has been designated as a historic building, since it is regarded as the best example of gothic domestic architecture in Toronto.
1950 - After a great deal of effort on the part of the Brothers and the alumni, the present structure (Main Building-Senior School) was officially opened to 743 students
1953 - After an undefeated season, the Junior Football team played their very first football game on the brand new field of the De La Salle Stadium (Lower Campus). They beat St. Mike’s, winning the OCAC Championship
1967 - Grades Nine and Ten were placed under the auspices of the Metropolitan Separate School Board (MSSB) -today the Toronto Catholic School Board. Grades One through Eight remained private
1967 - The De La Salle Arena was officially opened in April, replacing the outdoor rink built in 1954. The Metro Chairman, William Allen, Mayor William Dennison, and the entire Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team, who would win the Stanley Cup later that year in May, were on hand for the grand opening
1987 - The entire high school was under the direction of MSSB, now the TCDSB
1989 - The De La Salle Centre was opened to facilitate class retreats for students attending Catholic schools in the Toronto area. The Centre is now home to the Junior School
1994 - After much ongoing thought and discussion, the Brothers determined that returning the school to its former independent status would best meet the spiritual and educational needs of the Catholic community they are called to serve. In September of that year, “Oaklands” reopened its doors as an independent, co-educational, university preparatory school
St. John Baptist de La Salle
St. John Baptist de La Salle was born in Reims, France on April 30, 1651. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1678. He gave up the opportunity for a promising career in the Church and became deeply involved in the Christian education of the sons of artisans and the poor. In order to do this more effectively, he formed a group of young men, called Les Frères des Écoles chrétiennes, who would work in these gratuitous schools and become the nucleus of a new form of religious life in the Church. With them, he would introduce many innovations in the field of education.
The work of the Brothers today is still the Christian education of youth, especially the underprivileged. Joining the Brothers in this mission today are some 90, 000 lay persons ministering to over one million children and young adults in over 80 countries.
De La Salle died on Good Friday, April 7, 1719. He was canonised in 1900 and on May 15, 1950, Pope Pius XII bestowed upon St. John Baptist de La Salle the title of Principal Patron before God of all Christian Teachers.