Old Ottawa South Community Association

Milestone Anniversary for Glebe Collegiate Institute
Glebe CI circa 1929-30.

Milestone Anniversary for Glebe Collegiate Institute

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Plans are underway for celebrating Glebe Collegiate’s 100th anniversary in 2022-2023! Glebe School Council is seeking input from community and alumni for ideas to mark the special occasion. We are holding a brainstorming session at Glebe Collegiate on February 6, 2020 at 7pm. Spread the word and come on out and join us!

 “Yellow and blue, yellow and blue!

What we want we always do! Who are you!? Who am I!?

We’re the gang from GCI!

A-rick-a-rack a-rick-a-rack, hullabaloo, balloobala, humpty dumpty, rickety-rack, sis boom ba!



Glebe CI began holding classes in the fall of 1922. The school wasn’t fully completed at that time and had the official opening in 1923 when the building was finished.

Glebe Collegiate Institute was created as an expansion of Ottawa Collegiate Institute (OCI) which was housed in the building that is now Lisgar Collegiate Institute. In 1919, the Adolescent School Attendance Act had made attending school compulsory until age 16, leading to a dramatic rise in secondary school enrollment. Glebe was built on what was the outskirts of town in this era. In old photos, you can see dirt roads and empty hills. At that time, the Glebe was considered far from the downtown.

OCI initially consisted of the Glebe and Lisgar campuses which led to much rivalry between the schools. Early on, Lisgar students were attending a banquet at Glebe when a food fight broke out! Only the principal was able to quiet things down and bring peace. Eventually, Glebe and Lisgar became separate entities with their own administrations.

Glebe CI holds fond memories for the many alumni and families who were affiliated with the school, and strong devotion from current students. Past students have gone on to excel in various disciplines in the arts and sciences. Glebe even has its share of illustrious alumni such as Peter Mansbridge, Alanis Morissette and Angela Hewitt.

A Plan

As an almost 100 year old building, Glebe is in need of some revitalization. Certain aspects are difficult to fix in an older building, as anyone who lives in an old home will know. One difficulty is the lack of air conditioning. Some of the classrooms are unbearably hot in the spring and fall when temperatures are still high. A fundraising effort is underway to provide fans to all these classrooms. Some fans have already been purchased but more are required. If you would like to contribute to the Glebe Fan Club, please bring cash or a cheque into the school office. Tax receipts are available.

Other parts of the school are ageing but can be repaired. One large project that has been brought to the attention of the School Council is to fix the auditorium. The auditorium is well used by the high school and also by the community, including other schools. For example, Mutchmor public school holds their Grade 6 graduation there to accommodate all the people who would like to attend the ceremony. The Glebe CI community would like to facilitate repairs and upgrades so the auditorium can be used more widely by the school and community.

Glebe school council is beginning the planning and fundraising process for this landmark 100th anniversary celebration. We are planning fundraising events in the new year, as well as a brainstorming symposium with the community to see how we should celebrate this event. To stay informed, please watch for the next Glebe CI article in the OSCAR and/or check the school’s website at glebe.ocdsb.ca  for updates.

Connie Boynton is a Glebe resident and member of Glebe parent council. She is the parent of a current Glebe student and a future Glebe student.

Originally published in the January 2020 OSCAR.

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