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UCC wins its 10th CAIS Senior Boys’ Soccer Tournament

Upper Canada College captured its second Canadian Association of Independent Schools Senior Boys’ Soccer Tournament title in three years over the weekend.

The team members and coaches Premek Hamr and Rich Turner travelled to Vancouver, where the tournament was hosted by St. George’s School, and had time to visit the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia (UBC), take a rain forest hike and get in a practice before play got underway on Oct. 12.

The Blues’ first game was played in cool, wet conditions at UBC against the host school’s second team, which was a late addition after another team dropped out. UCC emerged with a 6-0 win. The skies cleared later in the day as the Blues played a tougher opponent, Lower Canada College, and came away with a 1-0 victory.

UCC’s final round robin game was on Thursday morning, and it turned into a one-sided 10-0 rout of The York School. After going undefeated in pool play, the Blues were matched against The Crescent School in the Gold Division quarter-final. UCC won 3-1, putting it in the Saturday semi-final against the host school’s first team.

It was a tight match and things weren’t made easier after a UCC player was ejected after being shown two yellow cards, so the team had to play with 10 athletes compared to their opponent’s 11 for three quarters of the game after taking an early 2-1 lead. The Blues played a more defensive game in the second half and were still on the positive end of the 2-1 score when the final whistle blew.

Oscar Brown

Tournament final most valuable player Oscar Brown.

Appleby College was the opponent in the final that afternoon after it defeated St. Andrew’s College in its semi-final match. After Appleby hit two goal posts, the Blues were the first to put a ball behind a goalkeeper in the 31st minute. UCC added two more goals in the second half and won the game, and its 10th national championship, by a score of 3-0.

UCC’s Oscar Brown scored nine goals in the tournament and was voted the most valuable player of the final by the coaches of all the competing teams. Team awards were also given out, and the defensive players of the tournament were Mark Yatchew and Jeremy Zhang. Sean Langlois was the offensive player and most valuable player of the tournament after scoring seven goals, including five in the knockout rounds.

A more detailed account of the tournament, written by coaches Hamr and Turner, can be found here.

Athletics News

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Get your tickets for Battle of the Blues

The Battle of the Blues is back and let’s make Friday, Oct. 13 a very lucky day for the Blues! Last year, our UCC Blues squared off against the St. Michael’s College School Kerry Blues at the University of Toronto’s Varsity Stadium in the second annual varsity football showdown, and each team came away with a win.

This year, we will once again take on rivals St. Mike’s in a fierce but friendly football event. A cheering crowd can make all the difference so come out and support your teams — Go Blues Go!

Event Details:
Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 4:30 p.m.
University of Toronto Varsity Centre
Junior Varsity game 4:30 p.m.
Senior Varsity game 7:00 p.m.

Buy tickets online at the Varsity Stadium ticket site. You will need to Register or Login using the buttons in the top-right hand of the screen before you can purchase tickets.

You can see highlights from last year’s event including a news story and video recap of the game below.

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The sun smiles down on Association Day

ADAY_2017-03This past Saturday was Upper Canada College’s 38th Association Day, and it certainly had the highest temperatures and brightest sun of any in recent memory.

Parents of new students got to meet and mingle to kick off the day at an early morning breakfast in Weston Hall, after which they could go outside and watch Prep boys parade up the avenue to the front steps of the Upper School for opening ceremonies.

>After the boys dispersed to take part in the Prep Soccerfest, the avenue soon became alive again as a variety of booths opened. Visitors could buy a variety of goods from the Jon Wookey ’08 Organic Farmers Market and other vendors. A few student clubs, Arts Booster Club, Blues Booster Club, the Norval Outdoor School and Prep Parents’ Organization were in attendance, and a myriad of things were up for bidding at the silent auction tent.

In addition to those selling foodstuffs to take home, there was also a large barbecue area, a snack shack and a Kernels tent offering popcorn and ice cream. There was no reason anyone should have left hungry.

You just had to be careful not to get your goodies splashed on if you came too close to the ever-popular dunk tank, where students paid a few dollars and were invited to fire balls at a target. Those who hit it caused several teachers, who graciously volunteered, to be dropped into the water. On a steamy day like this, it was probably quite refreshing.


Last year was Principal Sam McKinney’s first Association Day, but those who hadn’t yet met him or his family had an opportunity to do so at the “Meet the McKinneys” tent. The principal later opened up the garden to his Grant House residence for a reception for past parents.

Community members who may not have been back to UCC for a while and hadn’t seen some of its recent renovations were offered tours of the campus.

Music was provided by staff, faculty and student musicians for A-Tunes @ A-Day, but that wasn’t enough to drown out the excited shrieks of young children bouncing around on large inflatables just to the west in the “Kidzone.”

Sports always play a huge role at Association Day, and older students and even older Old Boys had their time in the spotlight in a variety of games after the Prep Soccerfest.


The white and blue teams played to a 7-7 draw in the Allan Harris Old Boys Soccer Tournament, while the brother pairing of Dan McConville ’99 and Rory McConville ’03 won a hotly contested final to capture the title at the Michael Evan Jurist ’03 Memorial Tennis Tournament.

Conference of Independent Schools Athletics Association soccer, volleyball and football games took part throughout the day, with UCC teams combining for a 10-win and six-loss record against squads from St.. Michael’s College School, Lakefield College School, The York School and Toronto French School.

The final one was a varsity football game in which St. Mike’s pulled off a 21-13 come-from-behind victory over the home team in front of a healthy-sized crowd, including those enjoying beer and wine on the William P. Wilder ’40 Arena & Sports Complex’s terrace.



ADAY_2017-04Association Day is also a focal point for reunion weekend, and this year graduating classes with years ending in ‘2’ and ‘7’ were invited back to campus for an evening reception and dinner. The 1967 and 1992 leaving classes were also feted with special tie presentations at lunches to mark their respective milestone 50th and 25th anniversaries.


Next year’s Association Day will take place on Sept. 29. Save the date and plan to be there.

UCC News

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UCC and TCS celebrate 150 years of cricket competition

Upper Canada College and Trinity College School played their first cricket match against each other on June 25, 1867.

That rivalry was renewed on Sept. 16 with two matches, followed by a reception and dinner at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of competition between the two historic schools.

“Back in the day, cricket was the bastion of independent schools,” says Rodger Wright ’70, a UCC Old Boy and faculty member before moving on to TCS as headmaster for 21 years. He returned to UCC a year ago in a part-time role as special adviser to the vice-principal of advancement and strategy.

“There’s been a relationship between the Cricket Club and independent schools, particularly TCS and UCC, for many, many moons,” adds Wright.

The driving force behind this sesquicentennial cricket celebration was Ed Bracht ’55, the captain of the first post-war Canadian junior cricket team to visit the United Kingdom. He went on become the treasurer and chair of the Canadian Cricket Association when his playing days were over.

One Old Boy whose playing days apparently aren’t over was John Harvey ’67. He competed in the 100th anniversary match between UCC and TCS while he was a student and returned to take part in the 150th.

150th Anniversary Cricket Photo

UCC’s current players were dressed in their best when not playing.

Two matches, both comprised of current and former players, were played on Sept. 16. UCC, which had a larger contingent of current players since many of the players from last season had graduated from TCS, won both of them.

About 50 people, in addition to the players, attended the Bracht-hosted dinner afterwards. TCS Headmaster Stuart Grainger spoke and issued a challenge to UCC Principal Sam McKinney, which was accepted when the latter addressed the audience. The head of the losing school must wear the colours of the winning team of a Conference of Independent Schools Athletics Association match next spring.

UCC head cricket coach Mark Baxter wrote an article about the history of cricket at the College, including the rivalry with TCS. Read it here.

Athletics News

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Adam Sellan studying and playing basketball at Dalhousie

Adam Sellan, Upper Canada College’s 2016-17 athlete of the year, will play basketball at Halifax’s Dalhousie University this season.

The 6’3” Sellan was the captain and most valuable player of UCC’s varsity basketball team last season and was also a member of the varsity football team. He was also a versatile member of the track and field team, taking part in the high jump, triple jump, four-by-100-metre relay and four-by-400-metre relay. He qualified for the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations championship in the high jump.

Sellan maintained an academic average of more than 90 per cent and was the head of McHugh’s House in his final year at UCC. He’s enrolled in Dalhousie’s bachelor of management program.

“I am honoured to be studying at Dalhousie and playing for the Tigers,” says Sellan on the Dalhousie sports website. “I look forward to being a part of the Dalhousie basketball culture and playing under the guidance of such a well-respected coach. I’m excited to help further the success of the team that Coach Plato and his staff have created at Dalhousie.”

The Tigers had their best-ever season in 2016-17. After finishing atop the regular season standings, they won their third consecutive Atlantic University Sport championship before earning a bronze medal at the U SPORTS championship in Halifax.

Sellan’s playing university basketball places him in the footsteps of recent UCC grads including Mattia Colangelo ’16 at The University of Chicago and Chris Tugman ’11 at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.

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Perren, Peters and Boyden win national lacrosse title

Perren, Peters and Boyden

Coach Max Perren is flanked by Team Ontario and UCC lacrosse players Dom Peters and Jack Boyden.

Upper Canada College teacher Max Perren coached Ontario’s U18 lacrosse team to a national championship for the second year in a row, and this time he had two UCC students on his squad.

Grade 12 students Dom Peters and Jack Boyden both made their debuts in the tournament, which was held in Saskatoon, Sask. from Sept. 1 to 4. Boyden was an attackman and Peters was a defender who played so well that he was named a first team all-Canadian for the tournament.

Team Ontario went undefeated in pool play and then vanquished Team British Columbia in the final on Sunday by a score of 17-13 to capture the First Nations Trophy.

Peters and Boyden will play for Team Ontario again in December when they compete for the North American championship and the Brogden Cup in Jacksonville, Fla.

UCC student and lacrosse player Elliot Fish joined Perren in capturing the Canadian title last year.

Perren, who teaches English and history at the Prep, is also the head coach of UCC’s varsity lacrosse team and the head of its Prep hockey program.

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Top 15 Ways UCC Rocked in 2016-17

To our UCC community,

From start to finish, the UCC news desk runneth over with amazing stories this year. And, once again, it’s time to take stock of all the excellence, fun and community building.

This year-end “highlights reel” is brought to you annually, BuzzFeed style, anchored by all the top news, videos and images we’ve shared on Facebook and our news feed over the year.

NOTE: If you’re not familiar with BuzzFeed, you need to click on any blue text to read the full story from our 2016-17 archive.

Best wishes from UCC. Have a great summer.

15 Reasons UCC Ruled in 2016-17

15. You’re the best bunch of “consultants” a school could wish for.

Close to 1,000 UCC community members volunteered their wisdom, #UCCgoals and constructive feedback as we crafted our new strategic directions in 2016–17. Kicked off by the first-ever Old Boy Summit in October, Principal Sam McKinney and the senior leadership team consulted widely with parents, staff, faculty and students, to create a preferred future that hits the right mark.

14. Norval knows innovative stuff happens when boys get to “take it outside.”

Bees aren’t doing so well, maybe you’ve heard. After Norval installed a new hive with plexiglass windows, Grade 7 student Tushar Arora was inspired to set up a fund to stop “colony collapse.” And art also gets pretty inspired outdoors—like our Grade 8s’ “land art” — best viewed by drone. There’s a saying: “The more separated people are from nature the more comfortable they are destroying it.” So, way to go Norval.

13. Want to live forever? Our guys are working on it.

We already host Canada’s oldest annual, student-run world affairs conference. And we want to keep that title going. Enter this year’s World Affairs Conference keynote, by radical life-extension expert Aubrey deGrey. Does he hold the secret to eternal youth? Get back to us in 2117.

12. Principal Sam McKinney’s officially not the “new guy” anymore.

One thing’s clear. Sam McKinney is a people person with lots of heart and big plans for helping boys become their “best selves.” His installation ceremony in November made it official. Our Canadian-via-Australia principal is now a fully repatriated Canuck. (He’s also a new “UCC past-parent”; eldest son Jack is Class of 2017.)

11. Fake news? No way. Our debaters are the real deal.


These politically informed, linguistically gifted students make us proud—and could teach a certain world leader a thing or two about oration. They placed second at the National Oxford Cup Debate Tournament in November, second at the Ontario Student Debating Union Provincial Championships in February; and second at the National Debating Championships in April. Remarkable.

10. Our Model UN brings its A-Game—four years running.

model UN

Our mighty Model United Nations earns “best delegation” at the Secondary Schools MUN Symposium for the fourth year; “Best International Delegation” at the Harvard MUN; and a “Best Club” award at the Berkeley MUN. Gentlemen, you’re quite a team.

9. Goodbye Cookie. Hello Ice!

Ice Mascot

Our beloved mascot almost made it into the storied Quarter Century Club. Alas, after two decades of spirit-raising, his plushness just wasn’t what it was. After student voting — sorry to contenders “Blue Army Man,” “Mooster Blue” and “Brix the Bull” — Ice debuted at Winterfest.

8. Our boys know it’s ok to not feel ok.

zach address

As our new strategic plan gears up for an amplified focus on boys’ well-being, our health centre scheduled special wellness events with stress-busting activities in 2016-17. And Old Boy Zach Schwartz ’05 addressed Upper School assembly for Mental Health Awareness Week with an urgent message — that’s it’s ok to feel not ok.

7. Our teachers have hidden talents and big ideas.

faculty update

Did you know Julian Bauld is UCC’s official poet laureate? (See him read his special Leaving Class poem in the above video or read it here). Or that Rachel Metalin leads the only non-denominational Holocaust education trip in Canada? Or that Allison Macrae made headlines for publicizing the danger of cars speeding on residential streets? Or that Catherine Erb brought Latin to life by having students create and bury artifacts as part of a real-life dig?

6. We live for the applause …


Silver and gold for Prep concert and jazz ensembles. Stand-up hilarity at our third mother-son dinner theatre. A sparkling Nuit Bleue. Insanely professional-calibre theatrical productions. The boys couldn’t do it without our committed Arts Booster Club and our incredibly passionate theatre faculty.

5. We know how to roll out the red carpet

red carpet

It was a day of pomp — and special security — when Governor General David Johnston presented the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Gold Award to 60 deserving young Canadians in Laidlaw Hall. Adair Simpson ’16 was one. (A shout out to the Prep choir for a great job of “O’ Canada.”)

4. Canada-wide Science Fair medalist? Check.

science fair

It was the top Prep-student news of 2016-17. Grade 7 student Kevin Lui earned bronze at the Canada-wide Science Fair for his work on pollution levels in river systems after placing first at the Toronto regionals. His wisdom? “If one has an idea, no matter how seemingly ridiculous, one should nurture and develop that idea.”

3. We’re gearing up for new Middle Years Program.

MYP Update

It’s the last piece of the International Baccalaureate puzzle. When we’re authorized to deliver the MYP in 2019, we’ll be the only boys’ school in North America to deliver all three IB programs. Its ethos, “learning to learn” is way more important than pure facts, and far more essential for tomorrow’s grads; they’ll be ready.

2. So much YES! Our teams keep bringing it.

Athletic roundup

Team work, persistence and gracefulness in defeat—these qualities stand hand in hand with victory — and you all deserve a big Blue Army cheer. Our recent spring sports successes include tennis, track and field, squash and rowing. And we celebrated an incredible year across the board at the recent spirit of athletics assembly. Thanks to the hard work of the Blues Booster Club and coaches for all they do. We only have room to list championship titles here, but a huge shout-out to every one of our athletes.

U11B/U12/U131D soccer, junior golf, U14D2 volleyball, U12 hockey, U13/boys overall swim, U12 softball, U11/U12/boys overall track and field

Upper School: varsity football, varsity soccer, midget cross country, U14 hockey, varsity squash, varsity swimming, U16 tennis, varsity cricket

OFSAA:varsity swimming junior team, men’s single tennis

Other: Stotesbury Cup rowing regatta; Gold Medal Junior Varsity Heavyweight Eight Crew (first since 1993)

1. Make us an offer: Flood of scholarships for Leaving Class.

Leaving Class Scholarships

It’s been an exceptional year for our graduating class—with six major entrance awards. (Typically the class will get one or two.) We’re super-proud. Plus, our Leaving Class parents are tops too—with a record-breaking participation rate for the Leaving Class gift — the highest in six years; we’re 60 per cent over target, with $120,000 raised.

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Save the date for Association Day

Mark your calendar, UCC families and friends — Association Day (A-Day) is September 23, 2017. A-Day is one of the biggest community events of the entire school year. Join Old Boys, students, parents, past parents and friends of the College for a wonderful day of friendship, fun and UCC spirit.

Here’s coverage from last year’s event.

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Keenan Conlon wins OFSAA tennis championship

Upper Canada College Grade 12 student Keenan Conlon improved upon his third place finish last year to capture the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations high school boys’ tennis championship.

Keenan Conlon tennis

Keenan Conlon on the court.

“I felt I had put in the necessary hours throughout the tennis season to prepare myself for the moment,” says Conlon. “Over three days, I had some tough matches, but I felt like I raised my level at key points during my five matches.”

Conlon was the top seed and went undefeated through the tournament, including 8-3 wins in the semi-finals and final.

“Winning gold was an unforgettable experience, made that much sweeter given that I knew that moment would be the last time that I would don the UCC crest,” says Conlon. “Furthermore, my family has a long history of OFSAA tennis success, including my brothers Alex and PJ, who won a bronze and a silver medal respectively, so to be able to complete the family trophy case is an incredible feeling.”

“Keenan was a terrific ambassador for UCC, showed excellent sportsmanship, and made us and his teammates very proud,” says varsity tennis assistant coach Derek Poon. “He played very well, problem-solving each opponent along the way, battling through all the challenges he faced.”

Vlad Kotov also took part in the singles competition for UCC, while two doubles teams qualified for the tournament.

Kevin Berghuis and Gijs Noteboom won a bronze medal in the open boys’ doubles event while Alex Osipov and Charlie Dunbar had to withdraw from the high school boys’ draw to an ankle injury suffered by Osipov.

Athletics News

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Great results for Prep track and field athletes

Upper Canada College’s U11 and U12 track and field teams both placed first in their divisions to give the school the overall title at the Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario Athletic Association (CISAA) championships for their age group.

The U10 team also took part in the May 23 meet at York University.

Brodey Bitove finished first in the U12 80-metre hurdles and set a new city record in high jump for his age group. Davey Seeman set a CISAA record in the U12 800 metres.

Spencer MacInnis set a CISAA record in the U11 javelin event and just missed one in the 200-metre race.

CISAA Prep Track

Action on the track.

JP Mahony set the CISAA record in the U10 200-metre race, while setting a UCC record in the 100 metres. Mahony, Gordon Wu, Cameron Samek and Henry Metcalfe combined to win the U10 four by 100-metre relay. Hunter Vilanez just missed a CISAA record in establishing a school best time in the U10 400 metres. Jonah Dale set a school record in the U10 discus.

UCC’s U13 and U14 teams also competed in a CISAA championship meet at York and had some strong performances.

Ethan Mistry set three UCC records in the U14 400-metre, 800-metre and 1,500-metre races. Colin O’Dwyer set a school record in the U14 shot put.

Jamie Selfe set a school record in the U13 javelin.

Athletics News

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