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Roselands – A History

Brief History of Roselands

At the western edge of the high ground known as Mount Dennis, at the far end of Lambton Avenue, an isolated plateau exists, cut off to the west and south by the Humber and Black Creek valleys and to the north by the rich bottomland known as the Eglinton Flats.  By 1919, a small but vibrant community had developed alongside this plateau, pleasantly surrounded by wooded valleys and overlooking the winding Humber River.  For many years this land and the bordering plateau was covered in wild red roses and to the locals, it was known as the ‘land of roses’ or ‘Roselands’.

By the autumn of 1917, Dennis Avenue School was so overcrowded that the small community of ‘Roselands’ began to clamour for a school of their own.  Despite a two-year fight over school location and financing, in 1921, the small Mount Dennis School Board succeeded in purchasing 14 acres – the entire Roselands peninsula, for a price of $20,000 from Mr. Dennis, the family for which Mt. Dennis is named.

Work on the new school was begun in July, 1921 and completed for opening on August 30th, 1922.  Roselands would see many changes in the ensuing years. The school population soared from 338 in the early years to a high of 867 students in 1963 when the school still had classes to grade 8. Many additions to the original school had to be made: two classrooms in 1930; two more in 1937; four in 1955 and finally,six more classrooms in 1955.

On the morning of July 29th, 1970, the entire original Roselands School burned to the ground!  In spite of this loss, Roselands managed to open that September, although business was definitely not ‘as usual’. Over the next two years, the school operated using the classroom additions of the thirties and fifties which had been saved from fire, and nine portable classrooms placed in the school yard.

In September, 1972, exactly fifty years after the original Roselands School opened its doors, the students of Roselands moved into the new building with a new library, office, staff room, gym, double kindergartens and four new classrooms. The fire destroyed the original building, but it didn’t destroy Roselands. A school is more than ‘bricks and mortar’ – a school is about memories, both keeping them and making them. A school is a community – children and parents and teachers. A school is about people!

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