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School History

The Giles School Building
Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal Harry Giles

Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal

Formerly known as The Markham School for Human Development, The Giles School was founded in 1989 with Mr. Harry Giles, CM, QC, at the helm as headmaster. Mr Giles also founded the Toronto French School in 1962 and was a pioneer in modern education. Regarded as an influential educator in Canada, he established prestigious pre-university competitions, Chemistry and Physics Olympiads, and started the first GCE Ordinary and Advanced Examination Center in Canada. He assisted in the creation of the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the first examination for the IB in Canada.  

Situated in the basement of an Anglican church, The Giles School started with a handful of students and was built upon the foundations of six philosophical pillars. These included early academic intervention, bilingualism, third languages, small classes, highest international standards and love. 

Originally the dual immersion school offered English and French language programs, with a third choice language of Mandarin or Japanese. The school continued to develop, and in 1994 a second branch was introduced for older students at Donway Covenant United Church. Due to popular demand, the following year a third language curriculum was introduced focusing on Mandarin language development. 

In 2008, the school relocated to North York and further progressed into a well-rounded multilingual and multicultural school. Over the next decade, the French Immersion Program was implemented from Pre-K onward, and the Giles Parents Association was founded.

Highlighting the school’s continued commitment to student leadership training, 2018 saw the establishment of the Giles Student Leadership program to equip students across Grades 4 to 8 with the relevant life skills to aid their holistic development through focused service learning projects. In 2019, our coding and robotic program was introduced to The Giles School and our community.  Bot Camp was also added as an extracurricular activity completing our STEAM offering.