Dundas District High School

In the early 1900s, Dundas had only a single high school, which was severely overcrowded.  As the population continued to increase, an additional school was founded in 1908. In 1927, it was decided the problem was still too pronounced, and a third school was needed. Dundas District High School was officially opened January 3, 1930.

The land that the school sits on at King Street West was donated by Robert and Frank Fisher, the owners of the famous Fisher Mill (previously called Gore Mills). Their plan was to build the parking lot and play area on one side of the street, and the school building itself on the other. When this school was erected, it was second to none, and maintained a great reputation for quality education and strong school spirit through the course of its existence.  In 1948, the administration made plans for expansion, including classrooms for home economics and shop classes, along with a principal’s office, new washrooms, and a coal storage.

In the 1960s, two additional schools were opened, Parkside High School (1960) and Highland Secondary School (1966) (in 2014, these two were amalgamated into Dundas Valley Secondary School). These schools would ultimately lead to the closing of District in 1982 when falling enrollment had become a serious issue in the school board. It was determined that one school had to be closed, and District was the obvious choice due to its age.  It did indeed close despite public outcry.

However, this was not quite the end for Dundas District High school. Another grade school was needed for grades six to eight, and in May of 1991, Dundas District High school became known as Dundas District Public School. It has since been permanently closed with the opening of the Sir William Osler Elementary School, and the building has been turned into condominiums known as the Dundas District Lofts – Valvasori Properties.  The owners advertise their property in part as a way of preserving the history of the institution.

Thanks to the students of McMaster University Department of History for their assistance with this project.

1 review

  1. FOREVER DUNDAS, Our Town, Our Home - Forever !

    District Lofts – above average condominium project nestled in the heart of the Dundas Escarpment just below the Dundas Peak. Very engaging residence and of prominence to the Dundas History. Some day, my Wife and Myself may be fortunate enough to call this magnificent building “Home”. I have a close association to the building, as my Grandfather’s Construction Company built the School and I attended High School there at one time. My Grandfather’s Company built a lot of Dundas in his working years. As Colonel of the local Regiment, he loved Dundas emmensly and through that love he extended his craft and skill to many homes in Town; along with the construction of the old Roxy/Majestic Theatre (Horn of Plenty), St. Pauls United Church, Original Dundas Valley Golf and Curling Club, the Original Cobblestone Bridge at Webster’s Falls, Grafton, Lenna
    rd, Biggs and Bertram Residences, Original Dundas Swimming Pool and the Dundas Market Street Arena (now J.L.Grightmire Arena, named after my Mother’s Uncle), and so on. We currently reside on South Street West in Dundas but as we are now aging, it may be time to consider downsizing and relocate… ? Mark Greenwood

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395 King Street West, Dundas
Hamilton L9H 1W9 ON CA
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