"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.

Spring Newsletter

Our latest newsletter is now available on the Newsletter page.Click here to fine it. Read about the event we hosted for the Trustees and Senior Administration in June. It was an opportunity for visitors to see the schoolhouse since a number of them had never been there. If you like gardening, Lisa has written about the age old practice of companion planting for which we can thank indigenous peoples. Two articles on ice cream will make you hungry. Happy reading and enjoy some homemade ice cream this summer.

Cooling Off!

Summer days in Britannia were sometimes hot and uncomfortable. With no air conditioning it was necessary to find other ways to stay cool. A breeze was welcome and windows were opened to take advantage of a waft of air blowing through the house. Houses were surrounded by trees offering welcome shade. If you visit an old barn, you will notice that the boards on the walls are not placed tightly together. This allows air flow into the barn. After long hours working on the farm, the favourite spot was the "swimming hole', a spot in the river, lake or pond where one could cool off.

Here is an old barn with lots of ventilation.

A bowl of ice cream also helped. Lisa Cafaro has an interesting article in the Spring Newsletter about the origins of ice cream. Margaret Storey tells about the invention of the ice cream cone. Until the early years of the 20th century children would have their ice cream in a bowl and very likely it was home made. Getting an ice cream cone from the local general store would not be common until after 1904 when the ice cream cone was introduced at the St. Louis, Missouri World's Fair.

Making ice cream at home involved mixing ingredients like cream, sugar and flavourings, putting this mixture into a metal container and then placing that container into a churn filled with ice and salt. It was necessary to keep churning continuously until the mixture froze. Here is Lisa's recipe for making ice cream. It's a little easier than the old churning method.

  • 9 oz. (250g) cottage cheese (5%-15%)
  • 3.5 oz. (100g) blueberries
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup or sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Add the cottage cheese, blueberries, maple syrup or sugar to a bowl. Blend with a hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth
  2. Transfer the mixture to a freezer safe container and freeze for 2-3 hours.
  3. Note-if frozen for more than 5 hours it may harden and need some time to soften out of the freezer.

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.

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 Daryl Cook dlcook@rogers.com for further information.

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.

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