About Us

School Pic.

We would like to acknowledge that our schools are on unceded Algonquin Territory, and thank the Algonquin Nation for hosting us on their land.

Our School

Given Lisgar’s central location, we are ideally positioned to integrate our students’ learning with the resources available in the nation’s capital. Lisgar Collegiate Institute offers a variety of courses across a full range of programs at the university, college, academic, and applied levels. Consistent with Lisgar’s long tradition of excellence in academics, the arts, and athletics, students pursue their full potential as responsible individuals.

In 1874, the Ottawa Collegiate Institute, successor to the Dalhousie District Grammar School founded in 1843, moved to Lisgar Street. In 1928, the name Lisgar Collegiate Institute was adopted in honour of Sir John Young, Lord Lisgar. We are uniquely situated in the downtown community and welcome students from across the region. We thrive on the cultural diversity of our students and our international outlook.


We offer a variety of courses in all disciplines, including Classical Studies and International Languages, the International Advanced Placement Program and the Gifted Program. In 1957, the Gifted Program was established at LCI as the first program of its kind in Ontario. The International Advanced Placement Program is available to all Lisgar students who wish to take university-level courses and equivalent credits for first year university courses from universities in Canada, the United States and many other countries. We continue to develop innovative learning approaches to challenge students in a changing world.


In our Music Program, we offer both Band and String Music with opportunities for students to participate in numerous musical groups including Orchestra, Concert Band, Choir, Jazz Ensembles and various Chamber Ensembles. In addition, we have a vibrant Visual Arts and Drama Program. We offer a wide range of enriching opportunities for learning and enjoyment beyond the traditional classroom milieu with our participation in such things as the Kiwanis Music Festival and Improv Games.


Our Physical Education curriculum, Intra-mural and Inter-scholastic Programs, Outdoor Education and Exercise Science courses foster a balanced healthy lifestyle for our students.

Our Students

Every person at Lisgar contributes to our community and benefits from the synergy of the learning experience. Our student body of 1060 reflects a wide mix of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. ​

Our Staff

Our teachers bring perse backgrounds, scholarship, excellent subject knowledge and positive expectations to their classes. Our mandate is to help each student achieve his or her potential. Many of our staff, recognized for their teaching expertise, are called upon to serve as members of provincial and board curricula writing teams and to present at national and international conference. ​

Our Community

Our parents and alumni regularly volunteer their help in all areas of our school life. Last year, Lisgar students profited from the hard work of more than 45 volunteers as part of the “Volunteers in Education” program. Our School Council meets monthly on the first Tuesday of the month, at 7:00 p.m. in the library. All parents are welcome to attend and participate in the evening’s discussions. ​

Mission Statement

We at Lisgar Collegiate Institute are committed to providing learning and working environments where all inpiduals feel safe, valued, respected, and welcome.

School motto: Alere flammam - To nourish the flame

School colours: Blue and Silver

Team name: Lords

Programs and Services

Academic Programs

  • Specialized Gifted classes in Grades 9 -12
  • Extended French program package in Grades 9-12
  • International Advanced Placement Program in Calculus AB, European History, French Language, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Latin, Spanish, Music Theory and Statistics allow students to earn university equivalency credits
  • Third Languages: Spanish, Latin
  • Music (Strings, Band, Vocal),Visual Arts, Drama
  • Co-operative Education and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program
  • Outdoor Education

Classroom Organization

Lisgar Collegiate Institute operates on a semestered basis with a two-day rotating timetable. The daily schedule consists of four 75-minute classes each day. Our Band and Outdoor Education programs operate outside the regular day schedule and run all year long.

Special Education and ESL Programs

Our Special Education Teachers offer:

  • Remedial help in our Student Support Room as well as monitoring and educational support for students with inpidual education plans
  • Assessments for students with learning exceptionalities
  • Specialized Dual Support class
  • Field trips to many nearby facilities such as Parliament, National Gallery, National Arts Centre, Museums

Clubs and Activities

  • The intramural athletics program offers a wide variety of activities for students of all ages and abilities during the lunch hour
  • Numerous music ensembles from Classical to Jazz frequently perform in the school, at elementary schools and in the community
  • Space Simulation Club running annual missions to the far reaches of the galaxy and providing elementary schools with an introduction to space science
  • A Student Council which provides leadership camps, supports the community with fundraisers such as the annual United Way Pancake Breakfast and Canned Food Drive
  • Annual international trips during the March Break
  • A wide range of clubs and activities to meet all interests and to complement our curriculum, e.g. Anime club, Debating club, the Lisgarwrite school newspaper, Key Club
  • Vox Lycei (the school yearbook, dating back to 1886)
  • The Lisgar Environmental Action Force (LEAF) operates in conjunction with EarthCARE

Safe Schools Initiatives

  • Safe School Information Assemblies at the beginning of each school year
  • Self-defense training in junior Physical Education classes
  • Provincial and School Codes of Behaviour clearly outlined in the student agenda
  • Anti-Harassment Awareness Program
  • Gay-Straight Alliance Club
  • Link Crew program to support grade nine transition
  • Fire and lock-down drills throughout the year
  • Close contact with our School Resource Police Officer, our OCDSB Multicultural Liaison Officer and our Rideauwood Counsellor
  • Nurse Practitioner from Centretown Community Centre at Lisgar on alternate Monday afternoons

Facilities and Resources

  • Five computer labs, six science labs and six mathematics classrooms with SmartBoards
  • Two music rooms with inpidual practice rooms, vocal and ensemble rehearsal space, digital recording facilities, drama and visual arts studios
  • Double gymnasium with balconies and weight room
  • Alumni Auditorium with 670 seats
  • Library with seating capacity for 75 students and access to 23 computers

Achievement and SIP

Measures of Student Achievement and Success

Our school follows the guidelines set out in the OCDSB Policy and Procedures for Student Evaluation, available on the Board’s website.

In 2011-2012, we had 257 graduates. 179 were Ontario Scholars (70%) and 96 were Silver Medal Winners (37%). Lisgar's results in the provincial Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test are consistently amongst the best in the city with a 93% pass rate for students writing the test for the first time. Every year, Lisgar students excel in a wide variety of national and international science competitions. We never fail to have several students place in the top 5th percentile in each of the Avogadro and Chem 13 News Chemistry Contests, the University of Toronto National Biology Exam, and the OAPT and Sir Isaac Newton Physics Contests. In recent years, Lisgar teams have placed first in Canada in the Biology and Sir Isaac Newton Contests and inpiduals often place in the top five in the country. Lisgar students have represented Canada at both the International Chemistry and Physics Olympiads. About one-fifth of Lisgar students participate in eleven different math contests each year. Our school score on the monthly CNML Contest is regularly in the top 25 in Canada. Our teams consistently place in the top three in our zone in the Waterloo, Pascal, Euclid, Cayley, and Fermat Contests. More than three- quarters who write the Pascal, Cayley, and Fermat Contests rank in the top 25% in Canada, along with a third of our Euclid contestants and a third of who write the COMC. Based on their strong performance in the AMC 12, many Lisgar students are invited to write the American Invitational Mathematics Examination. In the Fryer, Galois, and Hypatia Contests, Lisgar students distinguish themselves every year by being awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze Certificates. Lisgar students continue to achieve success in Advanced Placement courses and exams. Our School Grade Average is a notable core of 4.51!

Our ten performing ensembles participated very successfully at the Ottawa Kiwanis Music Festival and the Ontario Provincial Music Festival. The Senior Orchestra, Intermediate Orchestra, String Ensemble and Senior Jazz Ensemble were invited to participate at the Ontario Provincial Music Festival with the Senior Jazz Ensemble and Senior Orchestra placing second in their class and the Intermediate Orchestra placed third. The String Ensemble received an honourable mention. For the eleventh consecutive year the Senior Jazz Band was featured at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival as part of their Youth Series in June. The Improv Team continuously reaches the Nationals and the Music Department maintains its tradition to travel abroad having returned from a tour in England and the year previous staging “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” combining William Shakespeare’s play and Felix Mendelssohn’s Music. The Visual Art Shows in January and June are always very well attended and extremely well received. Due to our location we can easily access trips to the NAC and the National Gallery.

Lisgar students are consistently provincial finalists in the "Canadian Geography Challenge", and last year we took 4th place in the National Finals. Students take part in the annual Begbie History contest. We have a highly successful "Reach for the Top" team, which has been regional champion for the last five years, a provincial finalist for the last eleven years, and was national champion in 2008. The team is the current Canadian and International champion on WPBS's "Whiz Quiz". Lisgar is the current regional and provincial champion for the American "National Academic Quiz Tournament", and is the only Canadian team to attend both the U.S. NAQT and P.A.C.E. (Partnership for Academic Competitive Excellence) national finals, qualifying for the last 6 years.

In 2012, one of Lisgar’s grade eleven core French students won the first prize of the Concours de Français d'Ottawa- Carleton and most grade twelve students in both the core and extended French courses participate in the OCDSB’s pilot program for the Diplôme d'études en langue française (DELF), a certification of French-language abilities for non-native speakers of French, administered by the International Centre for French Studies for France's Ministry of Education.

We have 24 interscholastic teams that compete in the National Capital Athletic Association. Lisgar is consistently represented at the Ontario Championships in Cross Country, Nordic Skiing and Track & Field.

School Improvement Plans and Initiatives

Our English department has an English skills continuum for Grades 9-12 Academic and Gifted classes, and this information is available in the "Academics" area on the school website. The continuum identifies the various forms of writing, reading, grammar, and presentation skills required in each grade. It also includes the texts studied, the exam and summative requirements, and the central thematic focus of each course. The Applied and College continuum is currently under revision. Lisgar students continue to achieve excellent results on the ENG4U District-wide English Exam as well as on the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), which is a mandatory provincial evaluation that tests both reading and writing skills up to the end of Grade 9. Lisgar has a cross-curricular approach to the preparation of our students in Grades 9 and 10 for the kind of content and skills required for the OSSLT. All students in a Grade 10 English classes will experience an intensive three-day OSSLT preparation session, and students have access to further preparation resources at http://eqao.com. Staff are working with students who were previously unsuccessful on the Literacy Test as well as with students in Grades 11 or 12 who did not yet write the test, in order to help them to prepare and improve skills. In addition, we continue to identify and work with Grade 9 students who are experiencing literacy challenges.

The members of the Mathematics department have established remedial procedures necessary to improve student achievement during a the formative junior years by establishing an extra-help room run by both teachers and senior student volunteers, as well as implementing new diagnostic and intervention materials being made available by both the board and the ministry.

To improve student learning and use available technology to greater advantage, the Mathematics department is continuing to use SmartBoards in their classrooms. This technology, combined with dynamic mathematics software and hand held graphing technology, allows for a greater range in the presentation and understanding of the curriculum. This year, LCI is continuing to encourage the use of student devices, and is facilitating this through its integration with the wireless board-wide internet and the use of a class set of iPod touches. All of this allows for students to uncover the mathematics and reach a higher level of understanding.

Leadership Recognition


All stakeholders in the school community have identified eight qualities as the focus for character development at Lisgar: Respect, Integrity, Perseverance, Acceptance, Responsibility, Optimism, Honesty, and Community. Lisgar’s Environmental Action Force (LEAF) members spread their positive environmental message to LCI students.


Our staff members have a wealth of professional qualifications including Bachelor, Master and Ph. D. degrees in Arts, English, Law, Fine Arts, French, Physical Education, Mathematics and Sciences, as well as additional qualifications in Special Education, Music, Visual Arts, Technology, Outdoor Education, Guidance, and Computers in Education. They have actively participated in numerous Board-wide professional development activities in literacy and numeracy, technology, Assessment & Evaluation and we recognize their initiative by providing and supporting opportunities for further professional growth. Of interest, our French Department is helping to spearhead the DELF program (Diplôme d’études en langue française).


Lisgar's commitment to utilizing OVIN's "Ottawa Volunteers in Education" program resulted in the placement of 45 volunteers--mostly university students-- as teachers' aides in the 2011-2012 school year. Teachers' aides make a major contribution to our school by helping students with their homework in class or by working with students as tutors at lunch or after school. Lisgar's proximity to the University of Ottawa makes it quite handy for students to volunteer before or after or between classes. Many of our university volunteers return to Lisgar to assist teachers for multiple years while they are completing their degree.


Elementary Education Programs (EEPs) are half-day workshops where an elementary school class visits the Space Sim facilities at 440 Albert Street and participates in activities covering a variety of space-related science subjects, such as: astronomy, life in space, Newton's laws of motion, rocketry, electrostatics, satellite design and space flight using shuttle simulators and tours of the mission facilities. Each activity is taught by two Lisgar Space Sim club members. The elementary class is broken into groups. These groups rotate through each of the stations in turn. Stations consist mostly of demonstrations and hands-on activities for the elementary students, such as simulating asteroid impacts and using tools while on a hovercraft. The workshop ends with a planetarium presentation to the whole class. Lisgar Space Sim student members prepare the presentations and materials, give the presentations, and handle the bookings.

Lisgar students and staff are extremely fortunate to have an Alumni Association which is involved in the school on an ongoing basis. Former students of Lisgar have donated money to purchase multimedia projectors, computers and renovations for our fifth computer lab and most recently, the renovation and painting of our auditorium and Student Services office. As a result of their efforts, the resources for our students’ learning have been enhanced and our environment has been improved.

Other donations by the Alumni include bicycle racks, cross-country skis, media carts, projectors and an interactive whiteboard.

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