The Dundas Central Public School is located at 73 Melville Street. The first section of the building (known then as the Dundas Union School) was constructed in 1857, one of the first school buildings constructed anywhere in Canada West (now Ontario). Originally the school had only six rooms, with two of the upstairs rooms being used for high-school classes.
The structure is a simple Classical Revival style with flat pilasters accenting doors and windows. The structure also had a painted wooden bell tower, but this was removed in the 1950s. By 1874, attendance had increased to such an extent that more space was necessary, so the School Board purchased the red brick building at the corner of Main and York streets. In 1909, overcrowding was dealt with through the construction of a building called the Annex, which housed the high school students until the opening of Dundas District High School in 1930.
Over the years, the school was praised for its outstanding achievements and personnel. In 1981, the teachers and parents of the students of Dundas Central Public School began to organize the biggest birthday party the school had ever seen. This marked the school’s 125th anniversary and commemorated 125 years of continuous service to the community despite World Wars, fires, and various expansions.
In 1987, the building was temporarily closed for renovations due to safety concerns, with the students taking classes in the previously closed building of the Dundas District High School. Following the upgrades and renovations, the school remains in operation as Dundas Central Elementary School, part of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.
The video below shows a photograph of the Dundas Central Public School grade 8 class of 1935-36. As the camera pans the photograph, the narrator reads the names of the students shown. Courtesy of the Jaffrey Archive.