"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.

A Long Time End of Summer Tradition- the CNE

August is a month of anticipation. Summer begins to wind down and the stores are well into advertising back to school merchandise. Another end of summer event that many look forward to is the Canadian National Exhibition. The CNE has drawn people from Toronto, other parts of Ontario and the United States for many years. It is likely that some families from the Britannia community spent a day at “the fair”. It would have been a long trek to the CNE in those early days before cars and public transportation. By 1892 there was one possible option if fair-goers could get from Britannia to the Lakeshore Road. On July 16, 1892, the Toronto and Mimico Electric Railway and Light Company began initial service between Sunnyside and the Humber River and eventually linked to the Port Credit radial railway.

The Canadian National Exhibition, originally known as the Toronto Industrial Exhibition, was founded in 1879 for the purpose of fostering the development of agriculture, industry and the arts. The name changed in 1912. As Canada moved from an agriculture based society in the late 1800s to a growing industrial one, the CNE featured the latest innovations in both agriculture and technology. Since Britannia was an agricultural community, families would have been interested in the latest in farming equipment. Here are some of the inventions that were featured during the years the Old Britannia Schoolhouse was in operation.

The Arts and Sports were also featured. There was an art gallery with displays of the work of local and international artists. In 1879, the CNE hosted the Caledonian Games and Bicycle Races.

One of the main attractions was the Midway, although that term did not come into use until the early 1900s. From the very beginning there were rides, games and side shows. Another attraction was the grand stand show with a cast of thousands and well known performers.

The CNE has continued to evolve over the past 140 years but it remains an end of summer treat for hundreds of people.

Radial railway transport to the CNE

Rides, Games and Side Shows

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 2018-2019
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