"We encourage you to check this site often. New information will be added monthly"

Current News

Welcome to our website!

news The Friends of the Schoolhouse web site will keep you informed about The Old Britannia Schoolhouse and the activities and events planned by the Friends' organization. We encourage you to check this site often. New information will be added monthly.

Lemonade on the Lawn
A special event for Board Office staff and members of
Friends of the Schoolhouse

Tuesday July 17 Bring your brown bag lunch and enjoy and old-fashioned Victorian "dinner" on the schoolhouse lawn
.The friends of the Schoolhouse will provide the lemonade and cookies.
It's our way of saying "thank you" for your support.
Visit the schoolhouse and wander through the gardens.

Everyone welcome. No charge.

Lemonade being served on a table with cookies

Another successful Strawberry Social

The annual feast of strawberry shortcake was enjoyed again this year in the atrium of the Peel District School Board office. Strawberries from Leamington were served over biscuits from Kate's Bakery in Streetsville and topped with whipped cream. Tea was served in china cups. Some visitors were winners of lucky draws. The usual Friends of the Schoolhouse wares were on sale. It was a welcome to summer event enjoyed by all.

Bowl of strawberries with a serving spoon

It's Summer! School's Out!

Well, not so fast. School might not be out for all the children of Britannia in the late 1800s. It was sometimes difficult for the youngest children to get to school in the winter. The older boys often didn't attend in spring and fall when they were needed on the farm to help with planting and harvesting. In many rural schools the younger children attended when the weather was good in the late spring, summer and early fall while the older ones came in the winter. This is why there are often twice as many pupils listed on the register as there were seats in the classroom.
Rural children who lived on farms always had chores to do. There were animals to look after, eggs to collect, gardens to weed and vegetables and fruit to harvest. Summer was not considered holiday season as it is today. However, summer was a time for some fun. Ball games were popular though not organized as they are today. A "pick up game" of baseball or football might be organized after chores were done in the evening. Often a leather ball was homemade. Community events were organized to celebrate occasions like Queen Victoria's birthday or a barn raising. Quieter games like playing with dolls or playing a game of marbles were enjoyed too.
One thing is certain. Rural children in Victorian times didn't complain about having nothing to do in the summer.

Drawing of child with a baseball bat Drawing of a child eating strawberries out of a metal pail.

Time to Renew Your Membership

Our membership year runs from January to December. Membership forms for renewal or new membership are on this website. Click here to get the form.

Echoes of the Past

This book, written and published by Friends of the Schoolhouse, documents the history of all of the rural one room schools that existed in Peel County.
Full colour, 208 pages, $30
It is available at all our events or from any member of the Friends of the Schoolhouse Executive.
There is a $10 charge for mailing.

Book Talks

Since the book, Echoes of The Past, was published in May 2016, the writers have been giving illustrated talks to historical societies and other interested groups. We talk about the book and tailor each presentation to suit the audience and the one room schools that were in their local area.
If your group would be interested in having a presentation, please contact Jean (905 826 3475) jkrob@rogers.com for further information.

Membership Drive

If you haven't already renewed your membership in the Friends of the Schoolhouse, it's time to do so. Our membership year runs from January to December. We welcome new members. Membership forms can be downloaded and printed using this link. Members play a vital part in preserving the schoolhouse and maintaining and expanding the programs for children who spend a day experiencing school life of long ago. Members receive four newsletters a year, additional notices of events, and are invited to an appreciation "Lemonade on the Lawn" event in July. In addition there are opportunities to volunteer on committees and at events.

Come and Join Us

If you have a couple of hours a month or only a few hours once or twice a year you could help us support the schoolhouse and its programs. The executive committee meets on the second Tuesday of the month from September to June to conduct the business of the Friends of the Schoolhouse and to plan programs and events. Our meetings are from 4 to 6 in the afternoon at the schoolhouse. Volunteers help on an occasional basis with our events and in the gardens. Not only do we support a worthwhile cause, we have a lot of fun doing it. Email our Executive Director Shirley Hoad at shoad@bell.net, if you have a few hours to spare and an interest in helping preserve a community treasure for future generations of children.

Open Sundays 2017-2018
1 to 4 pm - Something new every month from September to June with light refreshments.

For more information about our Open Sunday programs go to the Events page.

Mark Your Calendar

To see a list of our year's events go to the Events page.

Researching our Roots

There is still much more to discover about the Old Britannia Schoolhouse and other early one room schools. Read below for a wish list of "Wanted" items that will help us learn more about our historic schoolhouse.


For use in a book on one-room schools in Peel County:
  • Minute Books
  • Cash Books
  • Class Photos
  • Report Cards
  • Prize Ribbons
  • Medals
  • Certificates
  • Shields
  • Contracts
  • Trustee Memorabilia
  • Teacher Memorabilia
  • Newspaper Clippings
  • School Registers

Your contribution will be acknowledged. Materials supplied will either be returned to you or donated to the Peel County Archives on your behalf.


SLATE stands for So Let's All Talk Education (in a one room school), or as one witty person suggested, being truly Canadian, So Let's All Talk Eh! Each year for a day in the spring people involved in working or volunteering in living history one room schoolhouses get together to exchange ideas and learn from each other. We meet at a different schoolhouse location each year which gives everyone the opportunity to experience how living history is presented in a setting different from their own.

If you are a staff member or volunteer in a living history one room schoolhouse and would like more information about SLATE, contact:

Christine Chapel
The Old Britannia Schoolhouse
5576 Hurontario Street
Mississauga, ON
L5R 1B3
905-890-1010 ext 2911