"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.

Merry Christmas from your Schoolhouse Friends

Christmas in a One Room Schoolhouse

Every December we try to recreate the atmosphere of a classroom at Christmas time in the Victorian era. In the late 1800s in Ontario there were many rural one room schools that, along with the churches, were the heart of the community. Every school would have some celebration, usually a Christmas concert, and everyone in the village would attend. Children would perform with songs and recitations. Parents would supply refreshments. The competency of the teacher was often measured by how well the Christmas concert was organized and performed.

At the Old Britannia Schoolhouse we don't have a Christmas concert but the Friends of the Schoolhouse do decorate the schoolroom in traditional Victorian style. A fir tree is placed in the front corner and decorated with old fashioned handmade ornaments. There are no strings of lights on the tree. Instead candles in tiny holders are clipped to the branches. The candles are never lit, but children learn what was used to light the tree and the dangers of using candles. Crepe paper streamers are placed at the windows and boughs of evergreens tied with bows adorn the blackboard. A wreath is hung on the door. Children who visit in December enjoy seeing the transformation and learning about early Yuletide traditions.

Make a Drum Ornament

It's easy to make the Little Drummer Boy a drum to hang on the tree. Here's what you'll need.



Cut a piece from the end of the cardboard tube so you have a smaller tube in the shape of a drum.
Cover the drum completely with foil. Put a little glue on the cardboard to hold the foil in place.
Glue the cord in a "V" pattern around the side of the drum. (See photo)
Glue ribbon around the top and bottom edges of the drum to hide where the cord is attached.
Glue a loop of cord or ribbon to the top edge of the drum.
Hang on the tree.

Final Celebrations for Canada 150

Our 150th birthday party will soon be over. Here are some things you can do in December.

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