Hamilton, Ontario – Educational Facilities

The facilities for acquiring an education in the City of Hamilton ranks high. There are about thirteen schools, all built of brick or stone, and almost as many smaller schools in outlying sections. There are about 7,500 children in attendance, under the instruction of about two hundred teachers, and the whole system being under the supervision of a Public School Inspector. The public school education extends over seven years, from the kindergarten to the Collegiate Institute. In each of the six districts there is a class set aside which teaches all the subjects necessary for commercial life, bookkeeping, shorthand and typewriting, commercial law, etc. To show the excellence of these classes it needs only to be noted that the shorthand speed is required to be one hundred words per minute. Every room is provided with a library of about fifty books, science, history and geography for supplementary reading by the teachers and pupils, and these libraries are so generally used that many of the books have to be replaced every two or three years. The teachers of the public school receive special training. A candidate must first attend the Model School for a year and then afterwards is placed upon the substituting list for six months. How the public schools stand in the city is shown by the fact that it was particularly the Hamilton exhibit at the World’s Fair which called forth special praise by the British educational representative. Sir Richard Webster. For the higher education provision is made in the Collegiate Institute, where facilities are provided for those who wish to go further than the public schools, or who will prepare for matriculation into the universities or professions. Many of the students, how ever, attend solely for the advantages of a broader education. The staff is confined to seventeen teachers, most of whom are specialists in their departments ; the average attendance being about 250. The new building is the finest of its kind in Canada ; there may be larger, but there are none better equipped in America. It is fitted with all modern appliances ; the chemical and physical laboratories are especially well provided for experiments and other individual work. The Assembly Hall on the third storey has a seating capacity for 1,200. The Ontario Normal College, the government training school for first-class provincial teachers and high school assistants, is housed under the same roof, and the students in attendance number about 250, are instructed in psychology, the science of history and education by the Principal, Dr. McLellan, whose fame as an educationalist is not confined to Canada alone. Mention must also be made of the first-class work that is being done by the Separate School Board, along the same lines as above, w ho have seven schools in various parts of the city.

The city also possesses a fine Public Library, centrally located, and free to a citizens of Hamilton. The total number of volumes in circulation is about 30,000, and new books are continually being added. The library is divided into four compartments, the circulating department, the general reading room, the ladies reading room, which contains about 200 monthly, weekly and semi-monthly periodicals. The cost of maintaining it Is about $15,000 per annum. Under the same roof is conducted the Art School, in which is taught painting, drawing, the rudiments of mechanical drawing, etc, the pupils of which have been very successful in competing with the other Art Schools of the country.