Central Toronto Academy

Welcome to Central Toronto Academy!

CTA in the News. Premier Wynne visits!

CTA Culminating Activities & Exams

Choose Love!

We Take No Bull!

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Principal's Message

Welcome to Central Toronto Academy’s (CTA) new academic year 2016-17. The school has been undergoing an exciting process of change and renewal. Formerly known as Central Commerce Collegiate, (a place with an amazing history of over 100 years), our community believes that our new name, Central Toronto Academy, accurately reflects the new direction in which our school is moving. Choosing a school for your son/ daughter(s) is a very important decision. We hope that the information on our website will be helpful to you in determining whether CTA is the best fit for your family. Please review our mission, vision and collective commitments, as well as our entire website to help you make that decision. We also encourage you to contact our Guidance office and to schedule a visit to our school; we would love to meet you in person.

CTA is a special place – something you will feel as soon as you walk through the front door of our building where you see student artwork and other displays informing you about the many different accomplishments of our students.

The school has an intimate atmosphere where wonderful relationships develop across grade levels and amongst all members of our community. In the last academic year 2013/14 year, we became the home for the grade 7 and 8 Horizon Alternative program, of which I am also principal. Over the past year, we have worked very hard to bridge the two programs; as a result, we have created a close-knit community, made up of students (grades 7 – 12), parents, faculty, staff and alumni who share the same values and vision.

At CTA we are committed to developing 21st Century learners who contribute in a socially responsible and innovative way to the global community. Each student is encouraged and supported to achieve his/her highest individual potential – academically, personally and physically – and to develop confidence and leadership skills.

As you browse through our website, you will also discover our students experience a lot of fun and engaging activities, not only during class time, but also through numerous co-curricular activities! We offer many opportunities from sporting events, to theatre arts, to ‘block party’ events.

Above all, we encourage you to ask questions. Come by and visit us. We look forward to meeting you and welcoming your family to the Central Toronto Academy.

Warmest regards,

Iwona Kurman

CTA in the News

By Nicole Martin, Posted Nov 7, 2016 11:42 pm EST

“Education is not just about going to classes, it’s about human interaction, it’s about building your character, it’s about working together and it’s about having fun while you do it,” said Principal Kurman. “When students have a sense of ownership they feel it’s their place and I think that makes a huge difference in how they behave, how they learn, how they relate to each other, to the teachers, and to everybody.”

School Mission

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. -Aristotle

Our mission describes our school's purpose. Our vision depicts our desired future. The principles needed to achieve our mission and vision are articulated in our values. Finally, the actions we need to demonstrate to make our mission, vision and values a reality are described in our collective commitments. We have developed these statements in collaboration with our staff, students and families. They are part of our School Success Plan.


Central Toronto Academy (CTA) is committed to developing twenty-first century learners who contribute in a socially responsible and innovative way to the global community.


Our School

Central Toronto Academy (CTA) is a diverse learning community that promotes mutual respect among students and staff built on empathy and equity. Our vision is to empower students to reach their full potential through a supportive and caring environment, enriched programming and excellence in academics. We are a culturally responsive and environmentally aware school, embedding leadership in social justice, and global citizenship.

Our Core Values

Academic Excellence - Our students are prepared for post-secondary education and the world of work through enriched programming based on high expectations and a foundation in leadership. We focus on inquiry, creativity and student-centred learning.

Experiential Learning - Our students are engaged in learning experiences beyond the classroom, through partnerships with the local community and post-secondary institutions. This provides opportunities for community-building, volunteerism, independence and leadership.

Innovation and Creativity - Our students are encouraged to become independent thinkers who think critically about issues and are equipped with the technological skills that prepare them for the rapidly changing twenty-first century.

Respect and Responsibility – Our students learn in the greater context of developing strength of character, which fosters honesty, integrity and empathy.

Collective Commitments

Staff Commitments
  • to work collaboratively in teams to achieve student success at every level
  • to develop instructional strategies and assessment tasks that incorporate creative and critical thinking
  • to be positive, open and accessible to students and parents in resolving issues of concern about students' progress
  • to respect and respond to the individual needs and learning styles of students
  • to foster a healthy mind and body among students and staff
Student Commitments
  • attend and be on time for all scheduled classes
  • complete all course work as assigned by our teachers
  • treat staff and fellow students with respect
  • talk to our parents regularly about what we are learning at school
Parent/Guardian Commitments
  • provide quiet and properly equipped space at home for our children to do their homework *
  • communicate our questions and concerns to teachers
  • learn about what is expected in our children's classrooms
  • attend school information sessions and parent-teacher meetings
  • contribute expertise and knowledge
*Students with financial concerns or challenges related to their experiences at Central Toronto Academy are encouraged to communicate issues as they arise. Our staff is committed to working with families under strict confidentiality in order to ensure excellence, equity, diversity and human rights.

Prospective Students

Student Admissions

Please click here for information on student admissions at CTA.

CTA in the News

SHSM students design and sell shoes

SHSM leadership students and the HeArts department teamed up with Toronto fashion industry professionals through a unique mentorship programming where the students learned design, marketing and social entrepreneurship. The students created a unique sneaker design that they put into actual production. These limited edition sneakers will be sold in Toronto to the general public by GotSytle clothing store. In keeping with CTA's Non-Profit SHSM the goal of this program is to reinvest back into CTA to help build diversity awareness and empathy.

The Premier visits CTA!

Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister Sandals visited CTA to make an announcement about a new pilot program designed to help young people identify and work towards their future goals.

University of Waterloo Euclid Mathematics Contest

The annual University of Waterloo Euclid Mathematics Contest is a challenging and highly regarded set of problems that seeks to challenge the most adept senior level mathematics students from around the world. Succeeding at even a handful of the problems in the 10 question contest is regarded as a significant accomplishment.

This year over 18,000 students wrote the Euclid contest, and as an indicator of the Euclid Contest's difficulty level, not one contestant was able to answer all of the problems correctly.

Central Toronto Academy had a core group of mathemagicians attempt the Euclid Contest this year, and all of them were successful in solving at least several of the contest problems. Several students had much greater success and scored in the top half of all contestants worldwide.

However, one student achieved an exceptional result worthy of special mention. Darvy Yu scored in the top 5% of contestants worldwide and was offered a scholarship to the University of Waterloo as a result of this great achievement. As it happens, Darvy had already decided she would attend the University of Waterloo for Engineering, so this scholarship will be of great benefit for her studies. We're very proud of her and of all those challenging themselves with this contest. The following is a certificate of her achievement.

Below is a list of Euclid Contest Contestants at CTA:

  • Farhad Ahmadi
  • Rui Jie Chu
  • Alex Dai
  • Ayoub El Ouali
  • Isaac Hassen
  • Mei Qi He
  • Michael Hong
  • Icey Lang
  • Jason Li
  • Chaohe Li
  • Lubna Mosleh
  • Le Duy Nguyen
  • Tien Dat Nguyen
  • Robel Tadesse
  • Arnet Tran
  • Vesko Vujosevic
  • Ning Wei Yu (Darvy Yu)*
  • Qing Zhang
  • Hanqin Zhao

CTA Drama Club's recent success at the Sears Drama Festival

CTA has received an Outstanding Production Award at the recent Toronto South District Awards advancing us to the Toronto Regional Festival. In addition, CTA also received two additional awards: Award of Merit for the Best Costume Design and Award of Excellence for the Best Cast Team Work

Congratulations to the entire cast for their outstanding performance and Kevin Parkin for creating and directing this fabulous production. Geoffrey Armour, Toronto South Adjudicator commented that we were the only performance to receive a standing ovation.

We are moving on to perform at the Toronto Regional Festival that will take place on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. at Hart House at U of T.

Way to go CTA Arts Department!

Iwona Kurman

News Hour - Profiling an inspiring young person presented with the Lincoln Alexander Award

My CTA is...

School History

Past, Present, Future

Commercial education in Toronto began in 1892 with a single classroom taught by Mr. R.H. Eldon. In 1902 commercial classes at Harbord, Jarvis and Parkdale Collegiate were transferred to the Technical High School at 149 College Street. In 1911, The High School of Commerce and Finance was transferred to larger quarters at King Edward School. Clinton Street School provided even larger quarters for increased enrolment in 1913. The present building opened in September, 1916 with 548 students. The north wing was completed in 1922 A series of building expansions and improvements occurred in the sixties, as well as the next several decades.

In 1925 the school was renamed Central High School of Commerce. A Grade 12 Commercial course was offered in 1931 and General Grade 13 courses were offered in 1951.

In 1987, the school’s grounds were landscaped to include its first ever playing field.

In September 1991, the name of the school was again changed to Central Commerce Collegiate after a vote by staff and students. In May 2012, a gala reunion of former teachers and students celebrated its centenary. We could proudly look back on one hundred years of change and growth.

Over the past five years, we have evolved into a vibrant school offering a diverse selection of curricula and extracurricular activities. Thus, in June 2014, staff, students, parents and TDSB trustees voted for the name to be changed to Central Toronto Academy. This name retains some history, while reflecting the new direction of our school.

Today, Central Toronto Academy is a small school with an enrolment of approximately 450 students ranging from grade 9 to 12. With one of the most multicultural, inclusive and diverse student bodies in the city, and proudly boasting the largest population of international students in the TDSB, our students bring to the school different strengths and interests. CTA is a place where everyone knows each other. This intimate and friendly environment is what makes CTA feel like home.

Principals have been Mr. Eldon, appointed 1902; Mr. Ward, 1927; Dr. Edwards, 1936; Mr. Aitchison, 1944; Mr. Waugh, 1960; Mr. Ryerson, 1967; Miss Smibert, 1970; Mr. Harvey, 1979; Mr. Wright, 1988; Mr. Fraser, 1995; Ms. Aitchison, 2000; Mr. Campbell, 2004; Mr. Buhler 2006, and currently Ms. Kurman.

School Calendar

Check out the CTA Calendar for the 2016-17 academic year.

Culminating Activities & Exams

Dear Parent/Guardian(s):

As we begin our final term we would like to remind you of the following information. The Ministry of Education requires that all courses have a 30% exam and/or culminating activity towards the end of the course. Your son or daughter has received or will receive an outline of the 30% summative evaluation for each course shortly. We have posted it here on the school website for easy reference.

If your son or daughter is required to do a culminating activity for a course, all of the work for this 30% evaluation must be done during class time under teacher supervision. Therefore, attendance is critical for each and every day of class from now until the end of the school year. Some of the final assessments will be in-class tests. Those dates will be provided to students shortly.

The culminating activity and exam schedule has been posted on the website for your convenience. All absences from culminating activities and exams require a medical note. This note must specifically state that your son or daughter was too ill to be at school on the required day. We appreciate your support in ensuring that your son or daughter remains in full time attendance during this important evaluation period.


Iwona Kurman

Culminating Activities

Please click HERE for the CTA Culminating Activities.

Exam Schedule

Please click HERE for the CTA Exam Schedule.