"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.

A Quiet Fall

Unfortunately, this September is much like September 2020. In a normal year children would be at the schoolhouse every day, excited to experience a class in a schoolroom of long ago. Children in Peel are back in school but there are no field trips. Again his year the door is closed and the schoolhouse empty as it has been for over a year thanks to COVID 19. There are no pumpkins decorating the front steps. The children aren’t harvesting the vegetables in the schoolhouse garden to show at the Brampton Fair. Britannia always wins a few prizes each year. The Brampton Fair is cancelled along with so many other events.

The Friends of the Schoolhouse will continue to provide information through our newsletter and website. We are all looking forward to the time when the schoolhouse comes alive again with the laughter of children.

A Bumper Crop

Even though there was no one at the schoolhouse to look after the gardens and orchards this year, the apple and pear trees thrived on their own. Here is just part of the harvest. Unfortunately there were no students to enjoy it and no Brampton Fair to show off the produce. Much of the fruit was donated to local food banks.

Resident Ghosts

The celebration of Hallowe’en makes us think of ghosts and haunted places. Most towns and cities have buildings or places that are said to be haunted. Often they are locations that we visit frequently. Although there are no stories of haunting in the village of Britannia or at the schoolhouse, Mississauga has five locations that are rumoured to be haunted.

The Glen Erin Inn on The Collegeway was built by Mr. Watson in the early 1900s. Shortly after it was completed he died and is buried on the grounds of the inn. People have seen a man tending the fireplace, apparently a ghost.

Cherry Hill House, now located at the corner of Silvercreek Blvd and Lolita Gardens, was built by Joseph Silverthorn in 1822 at the corner of Dundas and Cawthra Road across from the Dixie Union Chapel which still remains. When road widening threatened the historic building, it was moved north to its present location. It was after the move that people began reporting paranormal events. They often saw a girl looking out one of the windows. Other strange occurrences were workers tools being moved overnight and a security guard being chased by a ghostly figure in white. When the Cherry Hill house opened as a restaurant the haunting continued with lights going on and off, objects being moved around and doors opening and closing. The son of Joseph Silverthorn, George, mysteriously disappeared from the house on his wedding day and people suspect the ghost is his wife who was left behind.

Franklin House is located on Queen Street in Streetsville. A female ghost name Jessie has a habit of arranging beer bottles on the pool table and turning lights on and off.

Cuchulainn’s Irish Pub Located on Queen Street in Streetsville, this is the home of a young female ghost. In the early 1900s a young, disabled girl lived in the house. Whenever visitors came she was locked in the basement. Today rattling sounds can sometimes be heard from the basement of the pub as if someone is trying to open the door. It’s thought this could be the ghost of the girl who is trying to escape.

The Old Barber House is located on Mississauga Rd and Barberton Road at the south end of Streetsville. It was constructed by William Barber in 1860 and designated an historic site by the city of Mississauga. Over the years there were tales of a three-year-old girl haunting the house. Recently the property was sold to a developer who will preserve the house among new town houses. One wonders what the ghost thinks of all this.

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