Best Private Schools in Ottawa

The 6 Best Private Schools in Ottawa

As a parent, we all want what’s best for our kids and education is one of the top things on our list. Here are the top private schools in Ottawa that provide high quality education!

But before we get on with our list, we’ll be talking about how to choose a private school, the average tuition fees, and answers to some FAQs by the end, so stick around till then!

What to Know Before Choosing A School

Here are things that you should consider when choosing a school.

1. Are they looking for a specific kind of student?

Many schools target certain types of students with specific strengths such as in the sciences, arts, sports, and more. This is an important question to ensure that the school you’re considering is a good fit for your child.

2. What are their class sizes?

The smaller the class size, the higher quality of learning your child could have. This is because teachers can give a lot more attention and focus to each individual student in a class size of 10 compared to a class size of 25.

This has also been proven in multiple studies, so try to make class sizes one of the higher priorities!

3. What is included in the yearly tuition?

Other than the tuition fees themselves, you ought to know what is included in what you’re paying for. Books, food, uniforms, and other activities are sometimes not included in the fees and could run you up a much higher cost in the end.

In addition to this, knowing exactly what you’re paying for shows that the school is trustworthy and transparent. These are the schools you most likely want to stick with.

4. What sort of qualifications do the teachers have?

Naturally, one can’t teach what one doesn’t understand. While one can’t become a teacher without going through higher education, it pays to look into what their specific credentials are.

In addition to that, many private schools invest in their teachers’ professional development and support their growth as professionals. If the school you’re considering does this, you might just have yourself a keeper!

5. What grading system do they employ?

Schools have different ways of grading their students. Some are more progressive while others are more traditional.

Ask how often you get updates on their progress, if there are self-evaluations on the part of the students, and if they often give out exams and assignments.

How Much Does Private School Tuition Cost in Ottawa

Listed below are the average cost of private school tuition fees in Ottawa. Please note that the actual tuition fees vary from school to school!

LevelsAverage Annual Tuition
Elementary School$10,000
High School$14,000

Top Private Schools in Ottawa

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get to what you came here for!

1.   Ashbury College

Ashbury College's Homepage
BEST FOR   Boarding school
GRADES4-12
WEBSITEwww.ashbury.ca
ADDRESS362 Mariposa Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1M 0T3
CONTACT DETAILS(613) 749-5954
[email protected]

Ashbury College has been around 1891 and is now one of the leading private co-ed schools in Ottawa. They have students from over 60 countries and are an IB World School with a 100% placement rate for universities.

They have 17 students on average in a class and offer over 70 extracurricular activities for them to enjoy, make connections with other students, and develop their skills outside academic requirements.

They are a rigorous school that places high value on academic performance, awarding over $3 million dollars annually in university scholarships.

Pros

  • Bilingual educational program
  • Strong scholarship program
  • 100% placement rate for university

Cons

  • Expensive tuition
  • No support for special needs students

Testimonials

Check out these testimonials from students and parents that praise Ashbury College.

“The entire experience! It was a great place to go to school, very thankful for the opportunity my parents gave me.”  -Darcy

“What a amazing educational  institution for developing young future leaders while sculpting  them and bringing out their full potential that is hidden inside every person that exits their doors, while reviving a world class education. I would like to thank all the Faculty and students that made our son feel so welcomed.”  -Basil

2.   Elmwood School

Elmwood School's Homepage
BEST FOR   All-girls school
GRADESPre-kindergarten – 12
WEBSITEwww.elmwood.ca
ADDRESS261 Buena Vista Rd, Rockcliffe Park, ON K1M 0V9, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS(613) 749-6761

Established in 1915, Elmwood School ranks as one of the top 25 private schools in the country.  They’re a recipient of the Round Square as well as Apple Distinguished School designation and are the only one offering 3 levels of IB program (PYP, MYP, DP).

The total population of students doesn’t exceed 400, with an average class size of 15. They are student-centered and place a high value on not only the academic side of learning, but also the arts and extracurricular.

They offer both merit and need-based scholarships to their students. According to testimonials by students and parents alike, they have staff and faculty that are highly dedicated to student learning and wellbeing.

Pros

  • Award-winning private school
  • Small class size
  • Variety of scholarships available

Cons

  • Expensive tuition
  • No boarding option

Testimonials

As one of the top schools in Canada, Elmwood School is the choice of many parents. Their needs-based scholarships make it easier for lower income families to send their children here if they meet the standard qualifications. Check out these testimonials:

“The staff I remember was deeply committed towards every student. Diversity was valued and respected; integrity was the backbone of the school community. I have continued loving and missing Elmwood School for more than three decades.”  -Maria

“Elmwood school is truly exceptional – from the outstanding faculty and academic rigor, through to the many extra-curricular activities.Girls are provided with opportunities to become well-rounded, and to become future leaders.   There is a great sense of community, not only among the students, but with parents, staff and alumni.  Great school!”  -John

3.   Lycée Claudel

Lycée Claudel's Homepage
BEST FOR   French immersion
GRADESPreschool – 12
WEBSITEwww.claudel.org/en/
ADDRESS1635 Lycée Place, Ottawa, ON K1G 0E5, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS(613) 733-8522

Lycée Claudel, formerly known as Cours Claudel in 1962, was a school that was made to cater to the needs of those who wanted their children educated in French language and literature. It is now accredited by the French Ministry of Education and is one of the 4 schools in Canada that are certified by AEFE.

They have a 100% acceptance rate for universities, represent over 52 nationalities, and have a wide variety of extracurricular activities for their students to enjoy. They continue to employ the French curriculum as they have from the start, which is why they’re one of the top choices for French nationals in Canada.

The school is academic-oriented and has been described as rigorous, students who are gifted in the academic aspect may find themselves a good fit for this institution.

Pros

  • Diverse student body
  • AEFE certified French curriculum

Cons

  • Expensive tuition
  • French proficiency is required for admission

Testimonials

With a rich history and multiple accreditations, Lycée Claudel has been at the top of Canadian private school rankings for years. Here are testimonials from an alumni and a parent:

“During this difficult time of closed school, high school stands out for great adaptation and flexibility. The teachers have all been amazing at offering online classes from day of lockdown and offering any kind of support, activities… and even sports via zoom. Congratulations to all!”  -Sandy

“I have been a student here for ten years and my experience has been great. The teachers are very qualified and prepare you well for university. As hard as the courses are, it all becomes worth it when applying to universities due to the prestige of the school. Would recommend if you want your kids to grow up to become educated, respectful, and hard-working students.”  -Marina

4.   Academie St-Laurent Academy

Academie St-Laurent Academy's Homepage
BEST FOR   Progressive education
GRADESNursery – 12
WEBSITEwww.st-laurentacademy.com
ADDRESS641 Sladen Ave, Ottawa, ON K1K 2S8, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS(613) 842-8047

St-Laurent Academy offers progressive education for all grade levels, from Nursery to 12th grade. It was formed through a partnership between parents and educators and now boasts multiple awards for its academic programs and is Ministry Inspected as well.

The institution currently has 300 students enrolled, with a class size of anywhere between 10-15 individuals. The teachers approach education with a progressive mindset, providing science programs that are application-based, specialty programs for children who want to branch out and explore possibilities (music, dance, robotics, arts, etc.), comprehensive physical education, and more.

If your child is more exploratory, has an inclination to the arts or technology, St-Lauren Academy might be right for them. Students here are highly encouraged to try new things and discover their passions.

Pros

  • Bilingual educational program
  • Affordable tuition
  • Ministry Inspected

Cons

  • Limited admission slots

Testimonials

With small class sizes, affordability, and quality education on its side, this young school has quickly risen in the ranking of highly regarded private schools in Ottawa. Check out these testimonials:

“Small class sizes and flexibility to meet particular needs (and adapt to the pandemic with a quick change to virtual learning) has made this a great learning experience so far.”  -Lorraine

“We’re extremely pleased with St-Laurent Academy.  The individualized attention, the positive collaborative classroom environment(s), and strong culture of student inclusion have made for a really amazing school-student (or even school-family) experience.  As parents we have constant and easy access to teachers and administrators and are kept up to date with activities, trips, school events and student needs, and enjoy proactive communication in general.  For families leading busy, active lives and often moving in multiple simultaneous directions, this is a wonderful thing.  Our son is very happy and thriving here, and we’re happy that he’s happy and thriving.  Highly recommend.”  -Ben

5.   OMS Montessori

OMS Montessori's Homepage
BEST FOR   Montessori curriculum
GRADENursery – 12
WEBSITEwww.omsmontessori.com
ADDRESS335 Lindsay St, Ottawa, ON K1G 0L6, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS(613) 521-5185

OMS Montessori was founded in 1966 and is a not-for-profit private school, and is one 3 schools in the province with an accreditation by the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators

There are 300 students enrolled with a 12:1 ratio per class, with both Francophone and English programs. The first campus offers nursery to grade 6 while The Element High School hosts the high school years (7-12).

While the campuses are separate, they offer the same quality and level of academic excellence. The school places a lot of importance on student development and individuality outside of academics, and is progressive in their approach to education.

Pros

  • Bilingual educational program
  • Co-ed
  • CCMA accredited
  • Small class sizes

Cons

  • Limited admission slots

Testimonials

Thanks to their progressive approach to education, students have flourished in OMS Montessori throughout the years. Here are some testimonials:

“My daughter has been with the school since she was 21 months old (a little Chickadee) and over the years, I’ve seen her flourish intellectually, socially and emotionally. My daughter loves going to school and views it as her second home. OMS is a lovely community of caring people and we’re very fortunate that we’re part of this community.”  -AJ

“Our family has had a great experience at OMS Montessori.  Our daughter developed tremendously in the 3-year Lower Elementary Program with devoted teachers and a positive classroom.  In the Upper Elementary Program, she has learned to become an active learner, not because she is being taught but because she wants to learn.  We’ve been pleased with the organization and management of the school, the exceptional playground, the gym and sports, and the level of care given each child.  OMS addresses any social concerns in the most constructive way that I’ve observed within my experience as a mom of 4.  For example, in the context of a few children being unpleasant, they organized an activity every Friday for a small group where they had to work together in a fun setting.  This helped resolve conflict constructively instead of being reprimanded. Only good things to say about OMS.”  -Kathryn

6) Heritage Academy

BEST FORSimultaneous Multisensory Teaching method (SMT)
GRADE1st Grade to 12th Grade
WEBSITEhttps://www.heritage-academy.com
ADDRESS207 Bayswater Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
K1Y 2G5
CONTACT DETAILSTel: 613-722-0133
Email: [email protected]

Louise Brazeau, the founder of Heritage Academy, established the insitution in 1989 after failing to find classes that cater to her child’s learning needs.

Her extensive research and study of dyslexia has led to the development of the Simultaneous Multisensory Teaching method (SMT), a unique learning system available in both English and French. Since its introduction, teachers, students, and parents alike have found this system to be a highly effective way of improving and enhancing reading, writing, and spelling skills in dyslexic students.

Despite Louise’s retirement, Heritage Academy remains true to its roots and is still integrating SMT to classes in the 1st grade all the way to the 12th grade. Not only that, but they cater also to students with other language-based learning exceptionalities.

It’s also worth noting that Heritage Academy only has small class sizes, making it possible for students to get the right amount of attention they need from the teachers in order to prosper and develop properly.

Pros

  • Specialises in students with learning disabilities
  • Small class sizes
  • Holistic teaching

Cons

  • No classes for preschool aged students

FAQs About Private Schools


That concludes our list of the best private schools in Ottawa! Whatever private school you choose from our list, you are sure to get quality education for your child.

Did we forget to include another great private school in our list? Send us a message and we’ll look over your recommendations ASAP.

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