Bell High School (Ottawa)

Bell High School is a high school located in the Bells Corners neighborhood of Ottawa, Ontario.

Bell High School
40 Cassidy Road

, ,
Coordinates45°19′33″N 75°48′35″W
MottoVitam Impendere Vero
(Seek truth in life)
School boardOttawa Carleton District School Board
PrincipalJon Harris
Enrollment1128 (2011-2012)
LanguageEnglish, French
AreaNepean, Ottawa
Colour(s)Red, black and white             
Team nameBell Bruins
NewspaperThe Bell Roar
Communities servedNepean, Rest of Ottawa for Gifted education
Public transit accessOC Transpo: Chartered 658,660,661,665,669,681 or 152 (morning, noon, afternoon), 88 (Special) and 97/256 (Robertson Road 5 minutes away)


In 1962, the school was established by the Carleton Board of Education (now Ottawa-Carleton District School Board) as a public high school for grades 9-12. In 1977, Bell High School concert and stage bands produced an album "From Canada's Capital... Bell Bands in Concert". As D.Aubrey.Moodie Intermediate School (grades 6-8) closed down as of June 2017, Bell High School became a 7-12 school.


It currently offers a Gifted Program[1], a comprehensive French Immersion and an ESL program in addition to the normal academic program.[2] In 2014, Bell High School was recognized as the primary secondary school to service Ottawa West. Its students refer to themselves as Bruins.


The school consists of roughly 50% students from local districts as well as another 50% from other districts who transfer in order to attend its Gifted Program, French Immersion Program or ESL program.

Academically, Bell has one of the highest university placement rates in Ottawa. Virtually all students of its gifted program and a plurality in the academic program enter university programs in Canada or internationally. Students often go to the local Carleton University and University of Ottawa, with others going to Queen's University, McGill University, McMaster University University of Waterloo or University of British Columbia in Canada. Some graduates go to the United States; in the past, students have gone to Cornell University, Yale University and Harvard University.

Bell High School also offers comprehensive French Immersion studies for students wishing to pursue accreditation and fluency in French as well as a full range of Advance Placement courses and examinations for those whom wish to attain university credits during high school. AP Courses offered include:[3] Physics B, Calculus, English Literature, French, Macroeconomics and Studio Arts.

Beyond its special academic curriculum, Bell High School offers a diverse and extensive range of academic studies. Reinforced by its excellent educational infrastructure and exceptional staff to student ratio of 13.3 (~1000 students to ~80 staff), Bell High School students almost always perform exceptionally in national mathematics, biology and business competitions. In the University of Waterloo Math Competitions, Bell has consistently ranked within the top 50 schools in the nation.[4]

Bell's reputation for academics is such that Bell students are welcomed at various institutions for enrichment studies. Some examples include the Canadian Light Source synchrotron (a particle accelerator) in Saskatchewan,[5] Huntsman Marine Science Center,[6] the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo,[7] McGill University and the University of Toronto for its Model United Nations conferences.[8] Many of Bell's students have been selected to attend the prestigious Shad Valley summer enrichment program for excellence in science, math, business and engineering.[9]

Bell also has an international travel program which sends students across the world in order to broaden their horizon. Destinations have included Continental Europe, Asia, Japan and the Galapagos Islands.

Facilities and infrastructure

Bell High School is located on a spacious 10 hectare (25 acre) campus. The school building itself is in the shape of the letter "E" and divided into several wings. Each wing contains a different educational discipline, one each for science, mathematics, English, and social studies. The school also has an art studio and a cafeteria. Bell High School also actively integrates technology into the classroom, including projectors, four modern computer labs, and SmartBoards. In 2018, additional construction began in order to enlarge the school and better accommodate the newly integrated Intermediate (Grades 7 and 8 ) students from the former D. A. Moodie Intermediate School.

The school also has a two-story library with computer access, a student services office, two music rooms, an art studio with kiln, a drama studio, an extensive costume storage room, a dance studio, a drafting studio, 2 full-sized gym with bleachers, a greenhouse, an automotive garage, two construction workshops and indoor weight training and exercise facilities.

Because of the size of its campus, Bell High School offers a full range of sports amenities and well as a large degree of recreational green space. The school has or is adjacent to two baseball diamonds, two full-sized soccer fields (one doubles as a football field, with bleachers), an all season indoor hockey arena (Bell Centennial Arena) and a 400 m gravel track. Many of these facilities are owned by the City of Ottawa.

Due to a large number of students attending Bell High School from other neighborhoods, four "600" series buses (658 serving Bayshore and Crystal Beach, 660 and 665 serving Kanata and Barrhaven, and 69 serving Bayshore), as well as a special 88 route (to Bell H.S. only) have been arranged with OC Transpo in order to transport students.[10]

Student activities

Bell High School has an extremely active student population which hosts a huge variety of activities ranging from a leadership camp that involves 30% of the school population for three days to games and other fun events. An elected Students' Council holds the leadership camp, run by leadership heads who are elected at the end of each school year by the upcoming co-presidents (head boy and head girl), as well as World Vision's 30 Hour Famine, and other events for charity and awareness.

Beyond activities, Bell also engages extensively in fundraising efforts. Through these efforts, Bell has contributed significantly to the local community and even managed to construct a sister school in Kenya[11] which it maintains as an ongoing humanitarian project. Other than its fundraisers and humanitarian projects, Bell High School also hosts a plethora of events to actively promote arts and culture, though performances, banquets, and shows.

The students of Bell also run a diverse list of clubs from philanthropic organizations to academic groups. Among the list are Anime Club, A/V (Audio/Visual) Crew, BISA (Bell Islamic Students' Association), Breakfast Club (Bell's Christian group), Chess Club, Community Science Club, Debate Club, the Bell Roar Newspaper, Rainbow Alliance (Supporting the LGBTQ Community), Interact Club (Part of Rotary International), Key Club, OSAID (Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving), Reach for the Top (placing first nationally in 1993-94), the University Math Club,Model United Nations Club Pokémon Club, Robotics Club and a host of others.[12]

Bell is also known for its excellent drama program, consistently earning recognition at the annual Sears Ontario Drama Festival. The 2008 production, "Whitechapel," was published in "Festival Voices," an anthology of plays written by students and teachers for the Festival. Bell also produces an annual musical which has been regarded by local media as having outstanding production values.[13] It is also consistently recognized by "The Cappies" for its excellence in the field.

Clubs at Bell High School

  • Art Club - Meets at lunch and after school to work on art projects and learn new trills
  • BARC - Bell Animal Rights Club
  • Bell Roar Newspaper
  • Biochemistry Club
  • BISA - Bell Islamic Students Association
  • Black History Club - Hosts Black History Month Film Festival at Bell
  • Bridge Club
  • Bruin Brawls - plays Super Smash Bros
  • Chess Club
  • Christian Club
  • Community Council - Hosts a variety of charity events for the community (New 2019/2020 school year)
  • DECA
  • Eco Team - raises awareness for ecological issues and promotes eco-friendly habits, takes care of the school's green bins
  • ESL Helper Club - Provides academic help to ESL (English Second Language) students
  • GloBell Action Club - takes on projects to tackle world issues, such as funding education in developing countries
  • Key Club
  • Man Up - Advocates for men to stand up against violence towards women
  • Manufacturing/Technology Club - Encourages technological innovation and initiative by providing students with guidance, learning opportunities, competitions, and workshop/design materials.
  • Math Club -A club in which members study math
  • Media Club
  • Model United Nations
  • Music Council - Oversees the operations of Bell High School's music program
  • Operation Smile - A club for Operation Smile Canada
  • Photography Club
  • Potluck Club - Hosts themed pot lucks once a month
  • Programming Club
  • Quizbowl
  • Rainbow Alliance - Promotes acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community at Bell and fundraises for local flarities
  • Robotics Club
  • Tea Club - Members enjoy drinking tea together


Bell High School Robotics is a student-run club started in 2016. The team participates in competitions around the nation and has an ultimate goal of making Vex Worlds, one of the world's greatest robotics competitions for high school students held in Louisville, Kentucky. The team hopes to expand the club and allow more students to experience STEM related fields.

The aims of the team are to foster interest in robotics through competition, to cultivate a relationship with the surrounding Ottawa community, and much closer to home, to create a core community at Bell High School via the "Team First, Robotics Second" philosophy, which prioritizes team bonding and growth along with engineering accomplishment.[14]


Bell High School has a large roster of sports teams which in many sports under the Bell Bruins name (the mascot of the school, a bear). Among its teams, Bell particularly excels at basketball, soccer, and rugby.[15] badminton, wrestling and track and field, frequently qualifying for nationals and Pan-American level competitions.

The teams offered by Bell High School (all teams have male and female divisions) include: tennis, soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, badminton, field hockey, rugby, cross country running, Nordic skiing, Alpine skiing, hockey, track and field, curling, baseball, wrestling and swimming. In 2010, badminton players from Bell earned two OFSAA provincial gold titles and a silver title in an unprecedented performance by one school.[16]

Notable alumni

See also


  1. "Bell High School - The Gifted Program". Archived from the original on 21 February 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  2. "Bell High School - School Profile". Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  3. "Bell High School - School Profile". Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  4. "Bell High School - Success Stories". Archived from the original on 11 March 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  5. "Bell's synchrotron team". Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  6. "Huntsman Marine Center". Archived from the original on 2 July 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2019. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  7. "ISSYP participation list". Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  8. "SSUNs Conference". Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  9. "Bell High School - Success Stories". Archived from the original on 11 March 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  10. "OC Tranpso - High Schools and Middle Schools". OC OC Transpo. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  11. "Bell Raises money for school in Kenya". Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  12. "Bell High School - About". Archived from the original on 26 November 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  13. "Sears Drama Festival: Ottawa-Carleton Awards 2009". Archived from the original on 4 March 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  14. "About Us | Bell High School Robotics". Retrieved 2017-10-06.
  15. "Bell Basketball Champions". Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  16. "National Capital athletes give record-breaking performances at OFSAA badminton championships". Archived from the original on 13 July 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
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