Campus Life FAQs

List of 10 items.

  • Q. Are we allowed to stay at school during breaks?

    A. All boarding students are expected to leave campus during all major school breaks and long weekends (i.e. midterm breaks and major holidays). Various options are available for students who cannot return home during these breaks, including but not limited to a home stay with a local family (arranged by the school), optional school trips, and/or organized stays with other Ridley students (with parent permission). These options may involve an additional cost to the student. The school’s policy requires students to have adult supervision during the breaks for liability reasons.
  • Q. Can I use a cell phone in Canada? What is the best system to use? Where would I purchase this type of cell phone?

    A. There are several cell phone packages that students can choose from (such as Bell, Rogers, Fido, etc.). It is recommended that students purchase a Canadian cell phone and a long distance calling card, or opt for a “pay as you go” plan. Calling cards can be purchased at our school store, Hank’s.

    Cell phones and calling cards can be purchased locally (retailers include Best Buy, Super Centre, and Pen Centre Shopping Mall).
  • Q. How do I select my academic courses?

    A. Each year, compulsory and elective courses are available. In coordination with the academic office and guidance department, courses are chosen prior to the start of the school year.
  • Q. How does 5-night boarding work?

    A. For families who live within a reasonable distance from the school, there is an option of 5-night boarding with students leaving the school on the weekends. Contact the admissions department for further information and related fees.
  • Q. How much allowance should I give my son/daughter?

    A. This can vary significantly by family. Upon arrival, we recommend that families set up an account at a local bank.

    Many families set up on-line bank accounts in order to transfer funds to their child’s account with ease. During registration, a representative from the TD Bank visits campus to help students set up a bank account. Other banks that are within walking distance included PC Financial, CIBC and the Royal Bank.

    Many on-campus expenses (e.g. school concerts and plays, purchases at Hank’s) can be charged to the student’s account.

    Ridley also has an on-site debit machine to make withdrawals.
  • Q. How often will I hear from my Child's Advisor? Housemaster?

    A. Parents will hear from the Advisor at the start of every year and after each reporting period, and more often if there are social and or academic issues. Both the Head of HouseHouse and Advisor are always available by phone or email and regularly meet with students to discuss progress. In addition, the Advisor spends one evening per week in the dormitory as a Master on Duty.
  • Q. How will I be placed in a house? When will I hear about my house placement?

    A. Both the Upper School boarding and day students are directly associated with a House. There are four female houses, Gooderham East, Gooderham West, Mandeville and Leonard House, and five male houses, Merritt South, Merritt North, Arthur Bishop West, Arthur Bishop East and Dean’s House. The houses at Ridley are very unique but all are run by highly motivated and dedicated Head of House. Faculty members are associated with a specific house and complete night duty on a rotation within the houses. This provides an opportunity for you to interact with the faculty outside of the classroom, another unique feature of the school that students appreciate.

    International students are spread out amongst the houses, so that they can make the most of their Canadian experience. Another goal is for equal representation of students from each grade in each house. All students attend classes together, play sports together and socialize together. 

    In early May, the initial house placement is completed for all new students that have been confirmed by this date. At that time, you can expect a formal letter from your new Head of House or house representative, to officially welcome you to the house. This is an exciting time and you will enjoy the communication that develops as a result of this initial contact. 

    A second house placement will take place in late June for those students confirmed between early May and late June. The final house placement will take place in late August for those students confirmed over the summer months. As above, you can expect a formal letter to officially welcome you to your new house.
  • Q. What happens when my son/daughter is sick?

    A. We have a Health Centre on site, which is staffed from 7:00am until 10:00pm from Monday through to Saturday and between 11:00am and 10:00pm on Sunday. 

    The Schmon Health Centre is dedicated to the promotion of health and the total well-being of the Ridley community, to the prevention of disease and injury, and to the care and treatment of those in our charge so that they may attain and maintain their highest level of wellness: physically, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically.

    The Health Centre is located behind Upper School and the Athletic Therapy Clinic is located in the Fieldhouse. 

    During hours of operation, a Registered Practical Nurse and/or a Registered Nurse are on duty. A nurse is available for emergencies during the sleeping hours. A physician is also on campus four days a week, and is available by phone 24 hours a day for emergencies. The Athletic Therapy Clinic is open Monday through Saturday in the mid afternoon. The St. Catharines General Hospital is located about two kilometres from the campus should a student require additional medical evaluation and/or treatment.

    The Schmon Health Centre can be contacted at 905-684-1889 ext. 2318 or by fax at 905-682-7762.

    If a student becomes sick during the night, their Head of House can phone an on-call nurse if necessary, who can arrive within 15 minutes.
  • Q. What support is there to instruct my son/daughter on modern teen pressures?

    A. Ridley College has a structured Residential Life Curriculum with the goal of educating the whole person, both in and outside the classroom, and achieving “wellness for life” in our teens. Above and beyond the structured support from Head of House, Advisors, and the Residential Life sessions in the dormitory, students can seek advice and support from the Health Centre and the School Chaplain. Additionally, informal advice can be sought out from senior students, peer listeners, and coaches.
  • Q. Will it be difficult for me to fit in?

    A. Most students experience some trepidation when starting at a new school. The school year starts with a short camp experience in northern Ontario. Friendships are made during this camp that will last the entire year and beyond. Head of House, Assistant Head of House, Resident Dons and faculty members participate during the camp as leaders, to provide guidance and support when necessary. Additionally, each student has a dedicated Advisor who provides ongoing support. The senior students in each house also help to involve new students in the dormitory life.
P.O. Box 3013, 2 Ridley Road St. Catharines, Ontario L2R 7C3 Canada 905 684 1889
With more than 700 students from over 50 countries, the largest boarding programme in Ontario and the third largest in Canada, Ridley College is a truly international, co-educational, day and boarding school of the world that prepares students for the world. It has provided enriching learning and life-shaping experiences focused on the arts, academics, and athletics since 1889. Ridley’s Lower School offers JK-Grade 8, its Upper School consists of Grade 9-PG, and Ridley graduates attend some of the top universities and colleges around the world. Ridley is the only co-ed independent boarding school in Canada and one of only three in North America authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum programme.