"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.

COVID 19 Information

All Friends of the Schoolhouse activities are cancelled until further notice. There will be no Open Sundays until September. Watch the Current News page for information in the coming months. The Friends wish everyone good health in these difficult days and weeks We look forward to seeing you at the schoolhouse in the future.

Looking Back at Summers Past at the Schoolhouse

Again this summer, life at the schoolhouse will be different. Although the classroom is always quiet in July and August, there has always been activity on the grounds and in the building. Often there are gardeners working on pulling weeds, trimming rose bushes and watering the plants. The schoolhouse gets a good cleaning and some years the floors are refinished too. The vegetable garden planted for, and sometimes by, the students is tended to by the schoolmistresses and other staff. Board staff and Friends of the Schoolhouse members gather to enjoy a lunchtime treat of lemonade and cookies on the schoolhouse lawn in July. Here is a look back at some of these activities and a reminder of what waits for us when COVID is over.

Our summers have always started in the first week of July with an Annual Planning Meeting. We review the year past and plan activities for the coming year.

In mid July we hold our annual Lemonade on the Lawn. Board staff and Friends members gather for a picnic lunch with lemonade and cookies supplied by Friends of the Schoolhouse.

For several years we held a Family Picnic event.

Our heritage gardens have always been an enjoyable part of summer at the schoolhouse. Here are some pictures to remind us of what we can expect when we are able to return.

Make a Hollyhock Doll

Hollyhocks are a common plant in many gardens. They were found around the homes and barns of many farmsteads in Victorian Britannia and still bloom beside the schoolhouse. If you are lucky enough to grow them in your garden, or can find a friend who has some, here is a simple craft to keep anyone busy for a few minutes.

You need:

What to do:

  1. Carefully cut the stems from the two blooms and from the bud
  2. Carefully peel all the green leaves from the bud
  3. The bloom forms the skirt and the bud is the head. Join them together by pushing the pin or toothpick through the centre of the bloom into the bud.
  4. Use the partially opened bloom for a hat. Turn the bloom upside down and pin it through the middle to the bud.

Here’s what it should look like when you’re done.

Coming Events

No events are planned during the COVID 19 pandemic.

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. Please note that because of the COVID19 pandemic, we are suspending the payment of membership fees for 2021. Our newsletters and website will continue to be available to members. Donations to support the schoolhouse and its programs are always welcome and appreciated.

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 2020-2021
Something new every month from September to June.

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.

WANTED

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 Group

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