Originally, what is now De La Salle College 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.
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.
2011 story done on the school, it's campus and history.