How to find the best school catchment in Greater Toronto Area?

How to find the best school catchment in Greater Toronto Area?

Monday Jul 25th, 2022


When many people purchase a property in the Greater Toronto Area, they pay great attention to the school catchment. A house or apartment located in a good school district not only allows the buyer's children to enroll in excellent primary and secondary schools, but also becomes an investment and bring good returns for the buyer to resell in the future. So, how do you quickly research good schools and good school districts when buying a new home?


We will only be looking at public schools in this blog, as as private schools will allow student admission when tuition is paid, regardless of the areas the students live in. Fraser Institute is a third-party think tank that releases an annual report that ranks all the schools across Canada. The report is a fantastic tool to quickly locate all the good schools across the GTA. If one spends time to research further, a pattern emerges that the good schools are often in regions where many Chinese families live. Many immigrant from China may know that Chinese education system often has key universities and high schools, that is recognized as prestigious and received a high level of support from the central government with the best teachers and high graduation rate.  In contrast, in the Canadian education system, all school are provided with the same resources, so the quality of the student population really matters.

Many Chinese and Asian parents invest tremendous amounts of money, effort, and time into their children’s overall development. Not just in academics, but also arts, music, sports and other interests. So overall, Chinese students have a tendency to outperform their classmates from other ethnic groups academically. Chinese parents also tend to care about their children’s grade whereas non-Chinese parents generally take a more relaxed approach. Some of my clients may wonder why they immigrate all the way from China if their children’s classmates are mostly Chinese. The truth is, if they care about their children being in a good academic environment, it may be difficult to avoid growing up with other Chinese families.This is also the reason why most good school regions are populated by Chinese families.


By looking at the map, one will notice in the York region, there are Markham, Richmond Hill, as well as Oakville and Mississauga. Now how do you determine a good school? 

Step 1: To to the York Region District School Board Website
When you research York Region District School Board, their website is click on Schools and Programs pull down tab, then click on Find My School. On that page, it has a tool called school locator tool, which is very friendly and easy to use. 

Step 2: Using the Find My School Tool
You could see a map, and enter a random school address such as 131 Orchid Hill Boulevard, several cities may show up such as Markham or Aurora. So, pick the right city Markham and click submit.

You will find Castlemore elementary, Victoria Square Elementary which is a French immersion elementary school,, and Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School in the result. So when you’re researching for your next home, you can use this tool to see the nearby schools and their ranking in the Fraser Institute. 

Step 3: Cross-Check the School Ranking With Fraser Institute

You could also double check with the school board and compare the schools. In the website provided by the Fraser Institute, , we found out that Castlemore Elementary School ranking is a 8, ranked #301 out of 3037 elementary schools, which is excellent. Checking Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School within Fraser Institute, you will find a 8.8 result, which is #9 out of 737 high schools in the province of Ontario.


Step 4: Finding the School Boundary

If you have a desired school, how do you find the school district attached to it?

1:Visit and click on “Schools& Programs”, then “School Boundaries”.



Click on “Find Your Secondary School Boundaries” .


Then you can find the corresponding school catchment boundary.  For Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School, you can see that the boundary to the West is Woodbine, north to Elgin Mills, east to the McCowin, and South to 16th street.




2. In the School locator tool page, you can click on Boundary Map and view the map.


I hope what I shared today will be helpful in your search for the perfect school for your children.


Buying and Selling Toronto Real Estate

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