A Road-map to the International Baccalaureate in Ottawa!

Now that the school year has ended I wanted to compile a list of the schools in Ottawa that offer this program and the neighborhoods that house them to create a road-map to academic success in Ottawa!

The International Baccalaureate is recognized around the world and offered at more than 3000 schools internationally, the IBDP has at its core the education of the whole student, challenging them to expand their horizons in the classroom, in their community, and the world. Noted Harvard University professor of educational psychology, Howard Gardner, has said that the IBDP curriculum allows students to “think critically, synthesize knowledge, reflect on their own thought processes and get their feet wet in interdisciplinary thinking.”In recognition of the level of study demanded by the IBDP and the quality of the graduates that it turns out, universities will often grant advanced standing or university credit to students who have achieved the IB Diploma.

Colonel By: http://www.ibcb.ca/
Location: Beacon Hill North
2381 Ogilvie Rd, Gloucester, ON K1J 7N4

Colonel By has been a part of Ottawa since 1970, being inaugurated in 1972, with notable alumni like professional basketball player Ryan Bell, Canadian television personality Amber MacArthur, and singer Bryan Adams. Their IB Diploma is offered over a two-year period from grade 11 to 12 with preparation for the challenge beginning in grade 9-10 with an education enrichment program.

Rated first in Ottawa by the Fraser Institute, which ranks the academic performance of schools across Canada based on standardized tests, Colonel By has a history of strong education in mathematics. Students have performed well on national math contests administered by the University of Waterloo and other contests across Canada. The school also takes a large focus on Music and Arts with a vocal jazz ensemble that has been invited to play at Carnegie Hall and many students have taken part in Canada’s Capital Cappies, a theatrical club where students put together plays that are evaluated by several judges across Ottawa.

The Rothwell Heights/ Beacon Hill North area is a beautiful location that sits right along the Ottawa River in Ottawa’s East End. This is an affluent area filled with unique luxury homes showing a wealth of character in the architecture. The benefits of this area is its proximity to the Queensway and the business core of Ottawa which is only 10 minutes away. Other benefits include the amount of green space, trees line the streets and many bike paths run through the district. A short 5 minute walk to the Parkway opens up the whole riverfront bike path where a safe hour bike ride leads to the bustling downtown centre. Development of the LRT will not hit this area for a while but the proximity to the Queensway and downtown area make up for this fact. For recreation there are numerous tennis courts for the Summer and 4 outdoor skating rinks to be set up in the Winter. Events are aplenty with the Redbull Motorcross being a huge family hit and for culture lovers the Concert for World Music with Django Libre is a repeating staple of the community.

The most common style of home in this area is a single detached followed by a less common row housing unit. Very few apartment complexes mar the outskirts allowing this area to retain its open skyline. The range of properties in this area range greatly. Along Rothwell Drive homes can range from $1.2Million to $2.8Million. At the top of the price range homes along David can go for upwards of $4Million. Along the eastern side of the district Single Family bungalows bounce around the $425-535k mark. Each home comes with a distinct style and uniqueness not found in other areas of Ottawa. For a safe neighborhood close to Colonel By, Rothwell Heights/Beacon Hill North is a spectacular location to live in luxury.

Ashbury College: https://www.ashbury.ca/ib
Location: Rockcliffe Park
362 Mariposa Ave, Rockcliffe Park, ON K1M 0T3

Established in 1891 Ashbury College is one of the most renowned private schools in Ottawa. It is located in the upscale region of Ottawa, Rockliffe Park. With a large campus and boarding houses for students Ashbury also boasts a large population of international students that makes up 20% of the student body. The school has undertook recent renovations to promote a greener learning space for students and is one of the first schools in Ottawa to adhere to a LEED certification. Notable alumni include Canadian Prime Minister John Turner, LT. Gen. Guy Simons who served as army commander of the II Canadian Corps during World War II, world renowned composer Donald Steven, and actor Mathew Perry.

Ashbury College accepts students from grades 4-8, in their junior school, and 9-12 for their senior student program. The college offers both the IB Diploma and the Bilingual Diploma for students to succeed in their mother tongue. Where the average rate of success for students in IB is 73% Ashbury has a 100% success rate for all students in their International Baccalaureate program. Students are divided into 4 houses which frequently challenge one another in sporting events and school rallies. Athletics is prominent with Ashbury fielding teams from Badminton to Downhill Skiing. Tuition is required to enroll in the school and fees in 2015-2016 were $22,440 for day students and $55,300 for boarding.

Rockcliffe Park, for which this region takes its name, hugs the top peak of this neighborhood creating a lush green space between the tall homes and the Ottawa River. Countless bike paths and walkways run through this safe region of Ottawa providing excellent leisure activities. Secluded in this beautiful region is McKay Lake which is maintained through the months of June to September for swimmers to enjoy a quick dip. Rockcliffe Park is roughly located 6km from many hospitals like the Ottawa General and CHEO. A short drive to the west will bring you to the downtown core and the Queensway is located just 5 minutes from most homes. The safe neighborhood coupled with low travel times to the downtown core and business centres of Ottawa make this area a premier living space for any family looking to live in high class and luxury.

With more single family detached and row houses the housing makeup is unique. Those single homes typically come with a well sized lot anywhere from 7,500 sqft. to 20,000 sqft. giving each residence a private aura not found in other regions of Ottawa. The price varies greatly with homes starting at $1,000,000 closer to the south end and shooting up to $3.6 million for the regions near the enchanting Rockcliffe Park and along Lake McKay. The low amount of crime and ideal location of this region coupled with premier schools make Rockcliffe the go to area for a family wanting to make a statement in Ottawa.

Elmwood School: https://www.elmwood.ca/the-elmwood-difference/#
Location: Rockcliffe Park
261 Buena Vista Rd, Rockcliffe Park, ON K1M 0V9

Elmwood School is a premier girls only institution that has a long and remarkable history in Ottawa. Founded in 1915 this school provides education to 400 students aged 4 to 18. Classes are small with an average class size of 12. Tuition fees are approximately $23,640. Some notable alumni are Canada’s first female Senator Cairine Wilson. Others include poet Elizabeth Smart, and children’s television writer, Mary MacKay-Smith. The school separates their student body into 4 houses each named after a prominent woman in history: Elizabeth Fry, Helen Keller, Florence Nightingale and Cairine Wilson. The houses choose a program of social service each year and are responsible for designing and carrying out fundraising activities.

The IB program at Elmwood boasts a very high amount of graduates who attain scholarships upon graduating and pursuing further education. 80% achieve some form of a scholarship at university. With many students coming from an international background this school offers a diverse environment. A notable feature of the school program is the Duke of Edinburgh Award which is a university recognized award considered one of the best programs for personal development of young people. Elmwood has the highest number of Gold Award recipients per capita in Ontario. The IB Diploma program that takes part in grades 11-12 is supplemented with enriched education programs in earlier grades to gives students the best chance to graduate with the IB diploma. A significant focus is put on math and sciences and students also have the chance to try their hand at over 15 different sports.


Franco-ouest: http://franco-ouest.ecolecatholique.ca/fr/Ib–Informations-Generales_90
Location: Bells Corner West
411 Seyton Dr, Nepean, ON K2H 8X1

Located in the beautiful area of Bells Corners, College Catholique Franco-ouest first opened its doors in 1991. The school has expanded over the years and since 2005 has built a new gym, atrium and chapel that is now used as a music room. Accepting students from grades 7-12 Franco-ouest promotes a strong student government that has elected officials that closely resemble Canadian politics. The Student government consists of a Prime Minister along with a deputy PM, Secretary, Treasurer, Minister of Culture and Minister of Sports and regularly meets with class representatives to discuss upcoming events.

The IB Diploma at Franco-ouest is offered in two levels. The first is from grades 7-10 and is an advanced enrichment course to help them succeed in taking the IB course load from grades 11-12. The program strives to push learners to become principled thinkers that inquire and make connections with the world around them.

Bells Corners is a more mature area catering to older families and new families. The area is wealthy with parks like Westcliffe and Florizel and since the area sits right beside the Greenbelt there are many pathways for recreation. The area is welcome to two active community centres and many outdoor recreation centres like open soccer fields, baseball diamonds and tennis courts. The beautiful Andrew Hayden Park is a 5 minute drive from the area where you can test the waters for a swim or paddle down the Ottawa River. Access to the Queensway is a 5 minute drive and the downtown core is within 30 minutes during rush hour.

The average type of home in Bells Corners is a row house with a lower average of single detached homes. Apartment buildings are sprinkled throughout the area but it does not feel clustered in this high density district. The average home price is between $165k and $200k along Westcliffe Road. On the eastern side single detached town homes go anywhere from $400k to $520k in the premier area of Lynwood Village. The benefit of this neighborhood is that the homes are in good quality with older residents that have cared for the homes well. These homes are excellent investment opportunities for single or double child families looking to rent close to an IB School.

Gisele-Lalonde: http://gisele-lalonde.cepeo.on.ca/programmes/baccalaureat-international/
Location: Orleans, beside Notting Hill and Springridge
500 Millennium Blvd, Orléans, ON K4A 4X3

Located in rural Navan and Carlsbad Springs area between Cumberland and Orleans Avalon, Gisele- Lalonde provides education in the east end of Ottawa. Gisele-Lalonde is a french school accepting ages 3 – 19 that offers the IB Diploma at three levels. The first level is for students from 3-12 and focuses on the development of the child with class goals and a focus on the world at large. The second level is the Intermediate Education Program that prepares students for the Diploma Program with situations they will face in everyday life. The final phase is the Diploma Program where students strive to earn their IB Diploma which allows the opportunity of receiving education at some of the most prestigious universities in the the world. Gisele-Lalonde has been very innovative with their launch of the Karyne Project in pursuit of finding renewable sources of energy around the school grounds.

The Avalon-Notting GateFallingbrook-Gardenway South neighbourhoods of Orléans are located just south of St. Joseph Boulevard, with Navan Road as the southern boundary, Trim Road to the east, and Mer Bleue to the west.

Orléans in general has seen steady growth since the 1970s. Similar to other neighbourhoods in the National Capital Region’s east end, Orléans has historically consisted of a significant francophone population. The area is relatively safe and has a higher amount of older families than other districts in Ottawa. Orleans is abundant with recreation areas showcasing 9 sports fields, 3 outdoor rinks, and a huge cycling network along with tennis courts and over 61 play structures. The commute to downtown is higher than average and will normally take 25 to 45 minutes. This area is picturesque with parks and fields aplenty as it is close to the rural eastern districts of Ottawa.

The typical home found in this area is a single detached family home hovering from $400k-$550k. The houses are large on average having 3-4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Orleans’ market has seen a slight decline with DnD moving to the West end of Ottawa so buying into this neighborhood is more affordable. The average home in this district was built between 1990 and 2011 as such the homes typically do not require major renovations. For a large home in a beautiful community look no further than the Orleans area!

Le Sommet: http://lesommet.cepeo.on.ca/programmes/ecole-candidate-au-baccalaureat-international-ib/
Location: Billings Bridge Alta Vista
894 Cecile Blvd, Hawkesbury, ON K6A 3R5

Le Sommet Secondary School is a unique french school catering to students in grades 7-12 which offers the IB Diploma in Ottawa. Opening its doors in 2004 this school is located just off of Bank and Heron , two main arteries in Ottawa. Le Sommet promotes a strong education in french where students acquire their bilingual degree upon graduating. It is notable that Le Sommet offers students who are in high intensity sports and arts studies to work with certified coaches and former professional athletes to excel in their disciplines as well as giving more time and hands on teaching to these students. Le Sommet also promotes their International Hockey Academy which is an intense 36 week program that combines hockey and education to allow players to master the game and ensure a smooth transition to university. The team consists of elite players at the international, national and local level.

Billings Bridge-Alta Vista is bounded by Smyth to the north, Heron and Walkley to the south, just west of Featherston Drive and Lynda Lane, and the Rideau River and Bronson to the west. This neighbourhood is one of the oldest communities in Ottawa. The area was originally a village that was named after Bradish Billing, who settled in the area in 1812. The bridge “Billings Bridge” was built in 1830, and later remodeled in 1916 to the structure that exists today. The neighborhood also includes Alta Vista, which was named for the elevation in the neighborhood that sits on the rise above the Rideau River valley.

The Billings Bridge- Alta Vista area is a bustling sector of Ottawa close to an extravagant nightlife along Bank Street. The Rideau River splits the area East and West. Many business and restaurants of all classes decorate this area as well allowing residents to travel close to home for all their needs. Carleton University resides close by along Bronson and with many bus routes students who live with parents in this neighborhood have a short commute. Billings Bridge- Alta vista has a higher density than other districts and is predominantly English with a large ethnic population. Brewer Park and Grasshopper Hill are two exceptional parks that call this area home allowing residents a peaceful area to walk the dogs or take a family cycling trip. Discover the Billings Museum for a weekend day trip or join the Pride and Prejudice Garden Party which is a staple of the community.

The typical living space is a unique single detached style home. A home on the West side of Billings can go from $900k to $2.5 million on average the price is $1.2 million for a single family home with a decent sized lot. The homes are older in this neighborhood and have a much more rustic old time feel. East of the Rideau homes vary in price; as you move south homes bounce from $500k to $750k and as you move North to Alta Vista homes average to $1.35 million. For a beautiful home close to the action of Ottawa Billings Bridge- Alta Vista is an exceptional area.

Deslauriers: http://omer-deslauriers.cepeo.on.ca/programmes/baccalaureat-internationale-ib/
Location: Fisher Glen, just up from Nepean near Skyline & Fisher Heights
159 Chesterton Dr, Nepean, ON K2E 7E6

Founded in 1992 Deslauriers Secondary school, located in Fisher Glen, is a french public school that has roughly 600 students registered. It offers the IB program in two phases. The first taking place from grades 7-10 where the student must retain an average of 80% to enroll in the Diploma Program for grades 11-12. Deslauriers has a strong athletic program that frequently sends teams across sports like basketball and soccer to provincial championships across Ontario. The school strives for students in the IB program consist of the following ideals:

  • allowing the acquisition of a general culture of mutual respect, intercultural sensitivity and an open mind;
  • giving students a solid grasp of intellectual tools they need, regardless of the intended career or accused university course;
  • developing in students a high degree of autonomy and initiative in the acquisition of knowledge and skills, while encouraging analysis and critical thinking;
  • deepening the skills, competencies and skills described in the IB learner profile;
  • demonstrating hard work, resourcefulness and a sense of the exceptional organization;
  • encouraging and rewarding intellectual integrity , sustained efforts and maintaining superior academic achievement in all subjects taught.

The Fisher Glen/Heights area is located in the Southern end of Ottawa. Close to the Rideau River, for easy access to kayaking and canoeing recreation, this area is beautiful with the stunning Nepean Creek Park that runs on the southern border. Fisher Glen/Heights is mostly english with a low amount of french residents. The benefits of this area is its ideal location in Ottawa. Right around the corner from Algonquin and it also boasts access to downtown Ottawa without having to use the Queensway. The Dragon Boat festival, where live music and exciting competition combine every summer, is a must see event. City View and Parkwood Hills border this neighborhood and provide access to Deslauriers as well.

The average home in this neighborhood is a row house with many higher end condos to claim as you get close to the river. The average condo price in Fisher Glen and Parkwood Hills fluctuates between $175k and $220k. A smaller single family detached runs around $350k and as you move closer to the river homes can go for $900k to $1.5 million sitting right on the luxurious Rideau River.

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