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Vaughan Road Academy
Vaughan road academy mon.jpeg
In Medium Quaesita Reponunt
(They lay up in store for common use whatever they have gained)
529 Vaughan Road
Toronto, Ontario, M6C 2P7
Coordinates 43°41′27″N 79°26′12″W / 43.690786°N 79.436678°W / 43.690786; -79.436678Coordinates: 43°41′27″N 79°26′12″W / 43.690786°N 79.436678°W / 43.690786; -79.436678
School type High school
Founded 1927
School board Toronto District School Board
Grades 9-12
Language English
Colour(s) Blue, Red, and Gold             
Mascot Viper
Team name Vaughan Road Vipers

Vaughan Road Academy (VRA) is a Toronto District School Board International Baccalaureate high school. It is located in the Oakwood–Vaughan neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in the York district. The school is situated at the Vaughan Road and Winona Drive intersection, close to Oakwood Avenue. It works in partnership with the J.R. Wilcox and Cedarvale Community Schools, and also offers the IB Diploma Programme for students in grades 11 and 12. In addition to the International Baccalaureate, it also has Cooperative Education and INTERACT programs.

The school principal is Cynthia ("Cindy") Zwicker-Reston, and the vice principal is Janet Allen. The IB coordinator is Paul Corner and the INTERACT coordinator is Michael Alex.



Vaughan Road Collegiate Institute (VRCI) was the first high school built in York Township, the forerunner of the Borough of York. Construction of VRCI began in July 1926 and the cornerstone was laid by Lieutenant-Governor Henry Cockshutt in September 1926. George Evans, the first principal, served from 1926 to 1957. In April 1927, the students moved into the school from temporary quarters in portables at Rawlinson Public School.

School programs[edit]

International Baccalaureate[edit]

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program was adopted by Vaughan Road Academy in July 1998.[1] When earning the IB Diploma, students also earn the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (O.S.S.D.) which increases a student's chance of acceptance into universities worldwide greatly.


The INTERACT program is for students in the school who are heavily involved in the arts or athletics program outside of school. These students are located in the West end of the school in a privatized area. The students in the program are required to wear the school uniform shirt, but in recent years, they have been able to wear custom sweaters from the INTERACT program. Other students in less privileged programs are not restricted in these areas, but seldom interact with INTERACT students due to conflicting schedules. Interact enables students to have flexible schedules to accommodate their auditions, rehearsals, performances, competitions, etc. The program is mostly done in small group settings and whenever possible, the teachers can design assignments that incorporate the student's interest in it as well (such as a history assignment researching on the music of a certain historical era when the student is interested in music). Notable alumni of the INTERACT program include Drake, Ellen Page, Alison Pill and Mark Rendall.

Co-operative education[edit]

Co-operative education or Co-op is a structured method of combining academic education with practical work experience. It is a four credit semester program[2] and at Vaughan Road, it is offered in: World of Work (3) and Business English (1). The program is open to all students who are 16 years old and have completed sixteen credits.[2] This program offers youth a chance to "try out" a career while they can still afford the chance to explore, gain and develop good work habits and experience for the future, and test their skills and knowledge learnt at school in the work place.[3]

Empowered Student Partnership[edit]

Empowered Student Partnership or ESP was launched in October 2002. Since then 110 greater Toronto area high schools have joined, including Vaughan Road Academy. It challenges schools citywide to make a difference in their community and tackles issues through student-driven initiatives.[4]

Being in ESP means that students along with the Toronto Police Service, the Canadian Safe School Network, ProAction, the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board, the Toronto Catholic District School Board, Conseil scolaire de district du Centre-Sud-Ouest, and Conseil scolaire de district Catholique Centre-Sud work together to execute a safe schools initiative in their local schools and communities. Students take the steps to solve problems specific to their school with the option of utilizing programs or guest speakers, available to them through the Police Coordinator at Community Programs, Youth Services. It has made Vaughan Road Academy less susceptible to violence and encouraged students to promote safety within their school and community at large.


Vaughan Road Academy has interscholastic and intramural teams for badminton, ball hockey, baseball, basketball, cricket, cross country running, flag football, hockey, soccer, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field and volleyball and knuckeballs.[3][5]

Vaughan Road competes in TDSSAA and Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) as the Vaughan Road Vipers, which is not to be confused with a similarly named junior hockey team in Vaughan, Ontario.[citation needed]

In 2012, the Vaughan Road Vipers basketball team won the OFSAA 'AA' Provincial Championships. In 2004, the Vipers came second in the OFSAA 'AA' Provincial Championships.

Vaughan Vox[edit]

Vaughan Road Academy has a school newspaper known as the "Vaughan Vox", sometimes simply called the "Vox". Typically released twice a year, it is usually eight pages long and covers a range of school activities and issues.

Queer-Straight Alliance[edit]

Vaughan Road Academy has a large and active Queer-Straight Alliance. Founded first in 2006 as a Gay-Straight Alliance by a small group of grade 12 students, it reemerged in 2010 and has been very active in combatting homophobia in the school and creating a safe safe for Queer students and allies. They have hosted guest speakers such as Farrah Khan and Rev. Brent Hawkes. In 2013 the group changed its name to the Queer-Straight Alliance.

Recognition for other activities[edit]

Vaughan Road students have participated in competitions such as the annual Sears Ontario Drama Festival, where several of the top awards for 2006 went to VRA students,[6] and the International Olympiad in Informatics, where a VRA student received a gold medal in 2005 and silver medals in 2004 and 2006.[7] In 2013, the short film "Homecoming," produced by grade twelve students in the Vaughan Road Academy film program, was shown in the TIFF Bell Lightbox "Jump Cuts" film festival. The following year, in 2014, Vaughan film students had another film in the "Jump Cuts" festival, "Nightlight."

School motto[edit]

The school motto is a quote from the fourth book of Vergil's Georgics which describes the behavior and society of bees: In Medium Quaesita Reponunt, which means "They lay up in store for common use whatever they have gained".

The motto suggests Vaughan Road students are in the school for the purpose of searching for and acquiring the knowledge and skills which may be used for the benefit of the community at large. The word "Quaesita" suggests effort sustained over a long period of time and also the application of the mind towards the attainment of a purpose. The words "In Medium" show that the purpose is not a selfish one, that students are aiming to prepare themselves for service to society.

School song[edit]

Colours red and blue and gold
Vaughan Road Academy we hail
For your honour we uphold
The torch and we'll never fail
Raise your glorious banners high
And forever let them fly
Cheer, cheer all cheer
Shout for all your might V.R.A.!

(Originally, the words Vaughan Road Academy and V.R.A. were Vaughan Road C.I. and V.R.C.I., respectively. In 1960-1963, the words in the song were Vaughan Collegiate and V.C.I. respectively)

School architecture[edit]

VRA, or Vaughan as it is affectionately known, from above appears as a near-isosceles right angle triangle with enclosed courtyard (in which a daycare for Vaughan students' children operates) of the same shape; the overall aerial view's reminiscence of The Pentagon lending the building the moniker "The Triagon". While the school letter is predictably "V" as chosen from the Latin alphabet, the lesser-known Greek school letter, Delta, is derived from the building's shape; as in the sciences Delta denotes change.

The first wing of the school was built in 1926, the second in 1931, and the third, which closed the "L" and turned it into a triangle, in 1967.

Notable alumni[edit]

The famous Canadian musician, Aubrey "Drake" Graham (known as Drake) attended Vaughan Road Academy but dropped out of school to pursue an acting role in the tv series Degrassi: The Next Generation.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vaughan Road Academy, International Baccalaureate Organization. Accessed August 7, 2007.
  2. ^ a b VRA Co-Operative Education
  3. ^ a b Student Planner, Vaughan Road Academy. Accessed August 8, 2007.
  4. ^ 2webbers. "ESP Online". Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Vaughan Road Academy Sports
  6. ^ Sears Ontario Drama Festival, 2006 Showcase Awards
  7. ^ Canada at the International Olympiad in Informatics
  8. ^ a b c Vaughan Road Academy Hall of Fame, Vaughan Road Academy. Accessed August 7, 2007.
  9. ^ a b c Hutt, William (1920-2007), Canadian Communications Foundation. Accessed August 7, 2007. "Born in Toronto on May 2nd 1920, William Hutt was educated at Vaughan Road Collegiate - whose other alumni included Al Waxman and Don Harron - and obtained his B.A. from Trinity College at U. of T. in 1948."
  10. ^ Ouzounian, Richard. "William Hutt, 87: Renowned stage actor", Toronto Star, June 27, 2007. Accessed August 7, 2007. "Hutt was born in Toronto in 1920 and took part in amateur theatrics during his time at Vaughan Road and North Toronto Collegiates, but then served with distinction with the Canadian ambulance corps on the European front during World War II, being decorated for bravery in combat."
  11. ^ "Tony Kosinec". IMDb. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Yourhome is no longer available". thestar.com. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  13. ^ Arthur L. Schawlow: The Nobel Prize in Physics 1981, Nobelprize.org. Accessed August 7, 2007. "I attended public schools there, Winchester elementary school, the Normal Model School attached to the teacher's college, and Vaughan Road Collegiate Institute (high school)."
  14. ^ Rita Zekas (2008-09-05). "At 13, Samantha Weinstein already a TIFF veteran". thestar.com. Retrieved 2014-12-12. 
  15. ^ "Drake: ‘I got my high school diploma’". The Washingtion Times. Retrieved 2015-10-25. 

External links[edit]

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