About Hawthorn

Hawthorn is the only independent, Catholic-inspired, all-girl school in Toronto that provides character education, personal mentorship, and a classical liberal arts education that is university preparatory.

Integral Education

Cultural Literacy

Critical Thinking

Growth in Virtue

future stu

Our Mission

  • Work closely with parents in shaping the leaders of tomorrow.
  • Provide a unique, well-rounded education that develops both character and intelligence, so that our students become confident women of integrity and faith committed to the betterment of society.

Classical Liberal Arts

Foundational to a Hawthorn School education is a solid grounding in the classical liberal arts. Throughout all grades, we provide training in the timeless wisdom and virtues of how to be a human being who can think, communicate, and act well. Meaning, purpose, and value are intrinsic to our curriculum in all courses, including the quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy) and the trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric). Why? Because they help to understand how all different disciplines relate to each other. Because they speak of the highest truths. Because they form flourishing, humane, whole people. Because without them, we can be surrounded by the gadgets we produce, but devoid of a ‘raison d’être’. To this day, all Western nations share in the central assumptions of classical Greek, Roman, and Hebrew cultures and civilizations, and a melding of these universal beliefs applies to all people everywhere. We aim to educate well-rounded individuals with broad vision and wide exposure to general, diverse skills and knowledge. By doing so, we believe that our graduates are not only valuable bridge builders in any field that they choose to pursue, but also young women who can go forward with strength and intelligence, outward and inward order, and faith in and dedication to the higher good.

Character Education

‘Character is destiny.’  Heraclitus, ~500 BCE
One of the pillars of a Hawthorn School education is the intentional accent on character education. How can students develop their unique potential so that they can not only endure, but triumph, even in the midst of hardships? How can they find meaning in their lives through their relationships, their work, their service, and their challenges? How can they know, love, and freely choose to do the right thing? By building a solid foundation in character education, Hawthorn aims to prepare students for what life brings them, and to help them to remain focused on what is most worthwhile for themselves and others. Such timeless ideals as wisdom, justice, self-mastery, and courage come alongside to invite students to be self-aware, flourishing people of integrity, and to nurture in their hearts and minds the seeds of good character. Ultimately, with support, example, encouragement, and inspiration, alongside the joint responsibility of the school and parent Hawthorn community, students are guided to become the sculptors of their own best possible selves, for the benefit of their own and our collective well-being.

One Hawthorn School for Girls student speaks at the microphone


One of the distinguishing marks of a Hawthorn School education is our mentoring program. From the beginning, we have recognized the centrality of truly personalizing individual student formation, guiding students with practical wisdom in what it means to live well, and coordinating the various parts of their schooling into a fuller portrait of a student’s life. We know that, with the involvement of parents, intentional mentoring can be an effective, lasting means of helping students thrive in all areas of life, and so we aim to establish throughout their years at Hawthorn a good relationship between each student and an older, more experienced person whom they trust and can go to for tailored guidance. With patient, careful nurturing of the conversations that grow from this soil, the mentor-mentee rapport can bear fruit today and tomorrow, providing long-lasting sustenance at school, in family life, and on the student’s path after Hawthorn.


In 1989, a group of parents and educators founded a school specifically for the purpose of educating the whole person. The founders dreamed of a school that would recognize parents as the first and most important educators in their children’s lives. They envisioned equal priority being given to the pursuit of academic excellence and the development of character. Today, Hawthorn is part of an international network of similar schools, around the world, that provide an integral education.

Hawthorn is a proud member of...

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