Dante Alighieri Academy

Dante Alighieri Academy (Dante Aligheri, DAA, or Dante; Official name: Dante Alighieri Catholic Academy) also known as Dante Alighieri Academy Catholic Secondary School is a Toronto Catholic District School Board-based high school serving Glen Park in the North York district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada serving 926 students from grades 9-12 as of 2018-19. It was founded in 1974 by the Sisters of St. John the Baptist, and is named after Dante Alighieri, a major Italian poet of the Middle Ages in the 13th century.

Dante Alighieri Academy
60 Playfair Avenue

, ,
M6B 2P9

Coordinates43.7104°N 79.4581°W / 43.7104; -79.4581
School typeCatholic High school
MottoCharacter and Charity, Scholarship and Service
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
(Sisters of St. John the Baptist)
School boardToronto Catholic District School Board
SuperintendentMichael Caccamo
Area 3
Area trusteeMaria Rizzo
Ward 5
School number522 / 702935
PrincipalAnthony Bellisario
Vice PrincipalsAda Melino
Jessica Ugliano
Enrollment926 (2018–19)
Colour(s)Red, White, and Yellow             
Team nameDante Monarchs
Public transit accessTTC:
North/South: 29 Dufferin
West/East: 52 Lawrence West, 59 Maple Leaf
Rapid Transit: Lawrence West
ParishSt. Charles Borromeo
Specialist High Skills MajorHealth and Wellness


Program FocusBroadbased Technology
Elite Athletes/Arts


The school was founded in September 1974 in cooperation with the Sisters of St. John the Baptist, St Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church and the Metropolitan Separate School Board (now known as the Toronto Catholic District School Board) to serve the predominantly Italian-Canadian community in the Dufferin-Lawrence neighborhood with 180 students and nine teachers inside two portables and one portapak.[1] The permanent three-storey building was erected in 1976 and the first addition was built in 1979. In 2005, the school constructed a 10,000 sq. ft. auditorium designed by Global Architects Inc.[2]

Today the school serves over 1000 students serving the Lawrence Heights neighbourhood. The population is diverse and student body consists of Italians, Portuguese, Filipinos, White, Hispanic, Eastern Asians, Jews, and many others.

Due to overpopulation of the school, with the school building being medium sized and students teaching classes in 20 portables, the school's grade 9 students were relocated to the former Bathurst Heights Secondary School in 2006 until 2011 when the school moved to the old Sir Sanford Fleming Academy as the students of that school was renamed to John Polanyi Collegiate Institute in the old Bathurst building. The campus became known as Beatrice Campus, named after Beatrice Portinari.

In 2011, the Toronto Catholic District Board received provincial funding to reconstruct Dante Aligheri Academy's outdated facilities.[3] This culminated when Villa Charities, the owner of the Columbus Centre and the TCDSB announced a joint venture in December 2012 to build a new joint-use 400,000 sq. ft. school building expected to open in 2019.[4] The announcement has met with controversy and opposition within the community protesting against the proposed demolition of the 1980s apartment building being redeveloped.[5] As a result, the province rejected the proposed plan and the TCDSB severed ties with Villa Charities.[6]

However, the replacement Dante school is expected to be built on the nearby Regina Mundi property with the existing Dante building converted into an elementary school.[7]

Academics and programs

Dante Aligheri is home to the board's Deaf And Hard Of Hearing program consisting of 30 students. The school also offers various programs such as arts, technological studies, English, Mathematics, science and guidance.

Notable alumni

See also


  1. Toronto Catholic District School Board. "Dante Alighieri Academy Catholic Secondary School -- School History And Tradition". www.tcdsb.org. Retrieved 2019-06-09.
  2. "Dante Alighieri Academy (Addition)". Global Architect Inc. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  3. "Dante students on mission to find new school". Toronto.com. 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  4. Sunshine, Fannie (2012-12-20). "Columbus Centre and Dante Alighieri Academy will unite under one roof". Toronto.com. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  5. Nanowski, Natalie (September 27, 2017). "Residents protest redevelopment of iconic Italian centre". CBC/Radio-Canada. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  6. Boisvert, Nick (February 23, 2018). "Ontario, TCDSB reject controversial Columbus Centre redevelopment". CBC/Radio-Canada. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  7. "TIMELINE: Dante Alighieri Academy and Regina Mundi redevelopment". Toronto.com. 2019-01-30. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
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