Top High Schools in York Region

Top High Schools in York Region

York Region, often cited as one of the most livable regions in the GTA, is made up of 9 cities and towns: Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Markham, Newmarket, Georgina, Whitchurch-Stouffville, East Gwillimbury, and King. School rankings by the Fraser Institute, an independent non-partisan research and educational organization based in Canada, indicate that a lot of high schools in this region routinely score highly in terms of students’ academic performance. The rankings are done based on assessments of over 740 public, Catholic, and some private secondary schools. The assessments use 7 academic indicators from the annual province-wide tests of literacy and math managed by Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). Below are the top high schools in York Region:


1) Unionville High School in Markham

Unionville High School scores 9.5 out of 10 using the Fraser Institute rating. It is located next to the Markham Civic Centre and Markham Theatre. The school is most well known for its enriched arts program called “Arts Unionville” (formerly known as “Arts York”). It has enriched arts facilities for visual arts, music, dance, and drama. Entry into the arts program requires grade 8 to 9 students to audition.

Students at Unionville High School has in recent years performed very well in academics, whether it be in compulsory provincial testing, or in extra-curricular academic competitions. In the academic rankings, Unionville High School routinely beats hundreds of other secondary schools in the region and province, consistently placing in the top 10.

It also offers a wide variety of extra-curricular activities ranging from sports (curling, basketball, soccer) to clubs (chess, debate, eco-action, math, United Nations). The York Region District School Board (YRDSB) International Languages Program holds Cantonese, Greek, Japanese, and Mandarin classes for Senior Kindergarten (SK) to Grade 8 on various days of the week at Unionville High School.


2) Bayview Secondary School in Richmond Hill

Bayview Secondary School is a 2-semester secondary school for grades 9 to 12, operated by the York Region District School Board. It is located in the northeast corner of Bayview Avenue and Major Mackenzie Drive in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Bayview Secondary School’s student makeup is very diverse, both culturally and linguistically.

Students routinely rank high in various academic competitions such as the Euclid Mathematics Contest for grade 12 students (held by the University of Waterloo) and Computer Programming Competitions such as the CCC and ECOO.

Although the school does not have an Advanced Placement (AP) program, it has an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma program. This competitive entry program accepts approximately 110 students per grade living in York Region. As of 2018, the school no longer accepts students into the IB Diploma Program if they do not live within the school boundary. Want to see which houses are currently on sale, that are within the boundary of Bayview Secondary School? Click here.

Entry to the IB program is based on collaborative intake assessment / examination, grade 7 final report card performance, and reference letter from a teacher. The entrance exam is written in the November of the students’ grade 8 year, and the candidates are picked by the IB coordinators and school administration by January. Students would first enter pre-IB and if they so choose, may take the IB Diploma Programme in their Grade 11 and 12 years. Virtually 100% of graduating students from the IB programme follow on with a university education. Many IB graduates go on to University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, Queen’s University, and elite American universities, such as the Ivy League schools.


3) St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School in Richmond Hill

St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School is ranked 10th overall in the province, out of over 700 secondary schools. The school opened its doors in 2002, with the first graduating class in 2005. It offers the AP (Advanced Placement) and pre-AP program for students. AP program enables students to take differentiated courses in English, Science, Social Sciences, and Mathematics – some of which count as post-secondary level credits.

Extra-curricular activities offered include Yearbook Committee, Student Government, Environmental Council, Computer Club, and various varsity and intramural sports ranging from Ultimate frisbee, track & field, and cross-country to swimming and rugby.


4) Pierre Elliot Trudeau High School in Markham

If your kids are musically inclined (or you would like them to be), or if you would like to enroll them in French Immersion, Pierre Elliot Trudeau High School is a notable choice in York Region. Pierre Elliot Trudeau High School scores an impressive 9.1 out of 10 in the Fraser Institute rating. It is a public, bilingual English and French Immersion secondary school in Markham, Ontario (between Major Mackenzie Drive and 16th Avenue). Pierre Elliot Trudeau High School serves students who reside in norther Unionville, including the communities of Cachet, Angus Glen, and Berczy Village. For the French Immersion program, it accepts students in Stouffville and most of Markham.

On the academic front, Pierre Elliot Trudeau High School offers a Specialist High Skills Major in business, arts & culture, and health & wellness. The Advanced Placement (AP) program is slowly being phased out. Students have excelled at the McMaster University Engineering Olympics (winning in multiple events), York Region Science Olympics (ranked in the top 7), and University of Toronto Biology Contest (placed in the top third of all international schools participating).

On the music front, the school’s music department (called “Trudeau Music”) is well known in the region, and has won a number of major awards and recognition. Currently, approximately 700 students are enrolled in the music department. Courses offered include: Instrumental Band & Repertoire, Vocals & Repertoire, Strings & Repertoire, Guitar (grade 11 only), Musical Theatre (grades 10-12). Trudeau Music has travelled to New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. to perform. It is the first department in Canadian history to win 6 Gold Awards at the National finals for the Concert Band Division of MusicFest Canada in 2015, with 8 Gold Awards overall. It has also won numerous Gold ratings and awards for outstanding achievement in performance by the Ontario Band Association (Concert Band Festival). In addition, Trudeau Music’s Grade 10 Symphonic Band achieved 1st place in the province at the Kiwanis Music Festival.


5) Richmond Hill High School in Richmond Hill

Richmond Hill High School was established in the mid-19th century, making it the second oldest high school in York Region. It offers Advanced Placement (AP) program, Alternative Education program, Cooperative Education program, Developmentally Delayed program, and an Orthopedic program. In terms of facilities, the school has two gymnasiums, a fitness and weight training room, a cafeteria with stage, library, communications technology room with green and blue screens, two visual art studios, and computer lab. Student performance rankings consistently rank favourably among other secondary schools in the region.


Have younger kids? Check out the Top Elementary Schools in York Region.


A large concentration of these top schools is located in Markham and Richmond Hill. Brewing Brokers offers numerous listings of residential properties in these areas. Feel free to browse properties for sale on our website, and contact us to book a showing.