A Field Trip to the Top 5 Schools in Ottawa to Send Your Child To
We extensively test and research all services we review. Here's why you can trust us.

A Field Trip to the Top 5 Schools in Ottawa to Send Your Child To

Reputation - Any reputable school should already have a good reputation within the local community. This shows that parents, guardians, and the children themselves trust its ability to teach and support its students.
Track Record - The best schools should have a proven track record of excellence, including high test scores and graduation rates. Having a strong academic program will only benefit your child’s growth.
Environment - A good school should have a warm, welcoming, and inclusive environment that caters to children from all kinds of backgrounds. Having a place where they can be themselves without fear will only benefit your child.
Accessibility - Schools should be at strategic locations that are easy for any child to get to. Additionally, we considered factors like class sizes, teacher-student ratios, and resources available to support student learning and development.

Did you know that Ottawa is home to more than a hundred public schools and more than 40 private schools? It sounds like an absolute nightmare for any busy parent looking to just enroll their kids! 

You’ll have to look at the programs they’re offering, what grade levels they cater to, their academic track record, and even how accessible these schools are. 

If you want to skip all that boring stuff, you’re in luck because we laid out all the top schools in Ottawa right here!

When it comes to choosing the best schools for your children, it’s not just about academics – it’s about providing them with a nurturing environment to grow and thrive. 

That’s why we made sure to use the following criteria to pinpoint the top schools in Ottawa:

1. Heritage Academy

Heritage Academy
SPECIALIZATIONSimultaneous Multisensory Teaching Method (SMT)

Dyslexia & other language-based exceptionalities



Attention-based exceptionalities

GRADE1st - 12th Grade
ADDRESS207 Bayswater Avenue
CONTACT DETAILS+1 613-722-0133
Reputation★★★★★ (5/5)
Track Record★★★★★ (5/5)
Environment★★★★★ (5/5)
Accessibility★★★★☆ (4/5)

Heritage Academy has been teaching Ottawa’s young population since 1989 and has built itself a reputation for being the right school for differently-abled students. 

Here, children with Dyslexia and other language-based exceptionalities have found a place that isn’t just willing to accept them, but also bring out their academic potential.

In fact, what sets Heritage Academy apart is its commitment to personalized education. With smaller class sizes and a holistic teaching style, we appreciated how it created an environment where every student has the opportunity to thrive. 

Whether it’s Dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, or attention-based exceptionalities, Heritage Academy provides the tailored support needed for academic success.

Another thing that makes the school unique is its pioneering use of the Simultaneous Multisensory Teaching (S.M.T.) method. Developed by founder Louise Brazeau, this innovative approach has revolutionized how dyslexic students learn. 

Even now, the school continues to embrace S.M.T., ensuring that students from 1st-12th grade receive the support they need to excel. 

It’s this personalized approach that sets Heritage Academy apart as a top private school in Ottawa, recognized for its excellence in education year after year.

The only downside to it is that it only accepts students from 1st-12th grade, and doesn’t currently accept preschool or younger students.


  • Smaller class sizes
  • Specializes in teaching differently-abled students
  • Follows a holistic teaching style


  • Doesn’t offer classes for preschool and below


Worth every cent we pay

“Hertiage Academy has changed our son’s life.  We are thankful for this school. In the public school system, he was getting lost, and not learning anything. Our worst fear was that he would not graduate. All that changed when we enrolled our son at the school. Our son is learning, enjoying going to school and flourishing. We look toward to his high school graduation and to celebrate the great student that the school has helped him become. The motto of changing the environment where your kids learn so they can bloom is part of everything the school  does. They take your child, figure out what kind of flower they are, what environment they need to learn, grow in and provide any supports so your child becomes successful. The  teachers, and staff at the school are fabulous and really care about our son. Ms. Cheryl is exceptional as the principal, professional and so good with our son and all the kids. At the end of the day, Heritage Academy is worth every cent we pay to send our son there.” — Nancy Schruder

A safe place

“This is my daughter’s second year at Heritage Academy. Without going into detail about her experiences in the public system and what brought her to the school, I can honestly say that the school was a safe place to land following some hard days. She doesn’t have any learning exceptionalities but needs accommodations for other reasons. Everyone has been amazing, and she feels supported and believed in. She loves it.” — Dana Pement

2. Elmwood School

Elmwood School
GRADEPre-kindergarten - 12th Grade
ADDRESS261 Buena Vista Rd, Rockcliffe Park
CONTACT DETAILS+1 613-749-6761
Reputation★★★★★ (5/5)
Track Record★★★★★ (5/5)
Environment★★★★★ (5/5)
Accessibility★★★★☆ (4/5)

Elmwood School is another top dog that’s been serving Ottawa even longer than our first entry, having been established in 1915. With a rich history spanning over a century, it certainly carved its name among the elite and even won awards in education.

Aside from its numerous accolades, the school’s dedication to nurturing the next generation of female leaders is what makes it unique. 

As a girls-only institution, it has provided and still provides a supportive and empowering environment where young women can thrive academically, socially, and personally. However, this also means that your boys can’t be enrolled in this prestigious institution.

Elmwood’s academic excellence is also reflected in its diverse curriculum offerings, including the coveted International Baccalaureate (IB) program. It offers three levels of IB – PYP, MYP, and DP, ensuring that students receive a holistic education.

One thing we couldn’t help but appreciate about Elmwood is that it values the individuality and potential of each student. 

With smaller class sizes and a student-centered approach, it fosters a culture of collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking.

Our favorite thing about Elmwood is that despite having a hefty tuition fee, it thankfully offers various scholarship options. Whether based on merit or need, these scholarships open doors for students from diverse backgrounds.


  • Won multiple awards
  • Scholarship options available
  • Smaller class sizes


  • Girl’s-only school


Academically very advanced

“Great effort is put into forming all round students. Academically very advanced and rated in the top 3% of school in North America. Our daughter has been thriving at Elmwood.” — Julie Dumas

Absolutely incredible school

“Absolutely incredible school ensuring that each student reaches their full potential in all aspects.” — Claire V-N

3. Académie St-Laurent Academy

Académie St-Laurent Academy
SPECIALIZATIONProgressive Education
GRADEDaycare - 12th Grade
ADDRESS641 Sladen Ave
CONTACT DETAILS+1 613-842-8047
Reputation★★★★★ (5/5)
Track Record★★★★★ (5/5)
Environment★★★★★ (5/5)
Accessibility★★★★☆ (4/5)

The first thing that sets apart Académie St-Laurent Academy from most other schools on this list is its bilingual education offerings. It educates students as young as preschool up until high school.

Académie St-Laurent Academy is a younger school that was founded in 2005 through a partnership between parents and educators. Despite its age, it has earned several awards for its innovative programs and dedication to student success. 

The academy is also ministry-inspected, which goes to show just how high the standards of education are upheld within its halls. With class sizes averaging between 10-15 students, teachers approach education with a progressive mindset. 

We loved how St. Laurent offers a diverse range of programs from science to the arts, encouraging students to explore their passions and discover their potential! 

For parents looking for a preschool that values early education and physical activity, the academy is a top choice. With lessons conducted in both French and English, your little rascal will find themselves sufficiently challenged and encouraged here.

The school also offers both in-person and online classrooms, so that every student, regardless of location or circumstance, has access to education tailored to their needs. While its tuition fees are pleasantly affordable, admission is limited.


  • Bilingual program
  • Ministry-Inspected
  • Affordable tuition fees


  • Limited admission


Attentive to needs of each student

“We are very pleased with the school. Teachers are attentive to needs of each student.  Administration are skilled and responsive.  Class sizes are small and lots of activities.” — Laura Oleson

Only positive things to say

“Such a lovely school! Great programs, awesome field trips and WONDERFUL staff. Both our girls have had multiple teachers throughout the year (subject teachers) – all great. We are entering our 2nd year at St.Laurent Academy. Only positive things to say. Small class sizes for academics is amazing, but they still get lots of opportunities to make more friends when they have recess/gym and field trips with the same age group. (example 4A &4B ) Ms.Long is the BEST, & their admin Ms. Crupi is so lovely. Highly recommend.” — Kamila Sleiman

4. Lycée Claudel

Lycée Claudel
GRADEPreschool - 12th Grade
ADDRESS1635 Lycée Place
CONTACT DETAILS+1 613-733-8522
Reputation★★★★☆ (4/5)
Track Record★★★★★ (5/5)
Environment★★★★★ (5/5)
Accessibility★★★★☆ (4/5)

If you’re a parent who wants to give your child or children a comprehensive French education, Lycée Claudel is the best place to go. Established in 1962 as Cours Claudel, it’s become a renowned center of academic excellence and cultural immersion. 

In fact, it’s even accredited by the French Ministry of Education and certified by AEFE, so families seeking a French-centric educational experience can rest easy here.

At the heart of Lycée Claudel’s philosophy is a dedication to fostering individuality and independence in every student. From preschool to Grade 12, the curriculum is designed to cultivate critical thinking, cultural curiosity, and linguistic proficiency. 

We can’t help but love how diverse the student body here is, representing over 52 nationalities, which makes it a real melting pot of cultures and ideas!

While the emphasis on French language and literature is undeniable, Lycée Claudel goes beyond the textbooks to offer a well-rounded education. From film and audiovisuals to technology and robotics, students are exposed to many disciplines.

Lycée Claudel is committed to giving your kids the best start on their education, with the preschool curriculum, though rigorous, lays a strong foundation for academic success. 

However, it’s important to note that the school has tuition fees on the higher end, which may not be accessible to all families. Additionally, proficiency in French is a prerequisite, making it less suitable for those without prior French language skills.


  • Diverse environment
  • AEFE-certified French curriculum
  • Emphasis on culture & arts education


  • Pricey tuition fees
  • Requires proficiency in French


The best in town

“On the academic side, the school is about the best in town. Kids graduated with the bonus of being fully fluent in both official languages. In addition, credits can be brought to university, whilst also being exposure to both European and Canadian history. 

Children are taught how to study and are well equipped for university studies. 

On the topic of after school activities, the school still has a lot space to improve.” — L. Lu

Commitment to inspire excellence

“A French language private collegiate with excellent teachers and a commitment to inspire excellence, and due diligence.” — Francesco D’Alessio

5. Westboro Academy

Westboro Academy
SPECIALIZATIONBilingual Education
GRADEKindergarten - 8th Grade
ADDRESS1000 Brookfield Rd E
CONTACT DETAILS+1 613-737-9543
Reputation★★★★★ (5/5)
Track Record★★★★★ (5/5)
Environment★★★★★ (5/5)
Accessibility★★★★☆ (4/5)

If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you let parents build a school and decide what to teach their children, then look no further than Westboro Academy! This co-ed elementary school was established in 1993 by a group of forward-thinking parents.

From its humble beginnings with just seven students in Grade 1, it has grown and flourished thanks to its commitment to excellence and integrity. 

What we can’t appreciate enough about Westboro Academy is its philosophy and dedication to providing a truly bilingual and exceptional education. It actually blends the Ontario English curriculum with the French first language curriculum from Québec! 

But Westboro Academy is more than just academics, nurturing independence, critical thinking, and character development as well. With small class sizes and a back-to-basics approach, this ensures students receive personalized support. 

Speaking of support, it even offers specialist courses in Music, Art, Science, and Health and Physical Education led by dedicated and trained specialist teachers!

As a non-profit, registered charity governed by an elected Board of Directors, Westboro Academy values parental involvement and community engagement. This is why every parent is encouraged to take a leadership role in school governance.

Just like its founders, you can also have a say in the way your child and hundreds of other kids can learn!

However, it’s important to note that Westboro Academy focuses exclusively on elementary education, with classes ranging from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8. This may be a drawback for some families seeking a high school option.


  • Bilingual curriculum
  • Small class sizes
  • Back-to-basics approach


  • Doesn’t accept high school students


Highly recommend

“We have been extremely happy with our children’s experience at Westboro Academy. Teachers are innovative, fun, warm, and deeply committed. Administration is approachable, responsive, and open to feedback. The small class size and bilingual environment is a huge plus, as is the dedicated instructors for specialty subjects. Highly recommend!” — Vanessa MacDonnell

A wonderful experience

“My family has been at Westboro Academy for the past 12 years and it has been a wonderful experience. The school’s commitment to bilingualism, the community feel and the quality of the staff are above and beyond other private schools in Ottawa.” — Honorata Bittner

It’s not easy finding the best place to send our kids to school, but it’s something we have to do for their sake. If you’re a parent who wants to give their children the best possible education money can buy, take a look at our list of the best private schools in Ottawa.