1827 – John Galt opened the first school in a rude shed.
1829 – It was succeeded by a small, one-room stone building, 16 x 30 called the “Stone School” (Galt’s Academy). It was capable of accommodating forty pupils, and was built on the lot afterwards purchased by the Bell Organ Co., south of the C.N.R. tracks and just west of the railway bridge. It was a district school, but the children paid 25 cents per month. In 1827, there was no compulsory education.
1840 – Wellington District Grammar School was on Waterloo Rd. The school originally consisted of a classroom, a lunchroom and a Headmaster’s residence. The Headmaster: Arthur Cole Verner, 1841 – 1847 – first classical teacher.
1850 – Wellington County Grammar School
1854 – Guelph County Grammar School — After the Guelph Trunk Railway was constructed, the school was too close to the railway tracks and this building of massive grey limestone blocks in typical English Public School style was constructed on a piece of empty property on Paisley St between Arnold St and Yorkshire St. This property was located one quarter of a mile west of the town limits, The property has a stream running through it and was low and swampy near the Yorkshire corner. The Headmaster’s house was incorporated in the L-shaped building that consisted of two classrooms.
1866 – Girls were admitted to grammar school for the first time.
1871 – On the same site, it was renamed the Guelph County High School.
1874 – On the same site, again renamed the Guelph High School.
1879 – The school was enlarged by adding two classrooms, together with the large assembly hall upstairs over them. A tower and belfry were added. There was no plumbing and it was heated by fireplaces. A pump provided drinking water and a double row of outdoor privies were built. These were used until 1906.
1880 – Walter Clark joined the Collegiate in ca. 1880. He introduced physical training the school program, years before it was taught in any other centre. He was drill instructor for 30 years.
1886 – Construction happened again, and the named changed to Guelph Collegiate Institute. A gymnasium was built by Capt. Walter Clark, Drill Instructor, and students. The total cost was $1,212.09. It was constructed of wood with no heat or bleachers.
1889 – May 30, the Queen’s birthday celebrations were held at Exhibition Park. Capt. Clark headed the arrangement with his teams: the Daughters of the Regiment; the Girls Drill team; Guelph Amateur Athletic Association; the Highland Cadets.
In the 1890’s, the annual Commencement exercises were instituted. At first they were held in the gymnasium; in a few years, needing a larger place, the Board engaged the Royal Opera House for the occasion.
1890 – The Board is asked to consider extending the accommodations and increasing the staff at the Collegiate.
1891 – The Truancy or Compulsory Attendance Act was put in force.
1891 – Supplementary Reading in English Literature has been started.
1891 – School Inspector, Mr. Seath, reports that the Gymnasium is at present used as a church. After Christmas it will be used for school purposes only.
1891 – The first regular meeting of the G.C.I. Literacy Society was held in the gymnasium, Friday evening, February 6. The President, Mr. Dunbar, gave an address on the aims of the society. A recitation was given by Miss Hartley and a reading by Mrs. McCrae.
1892 – William Tytler relinquishes his duties as Headmaster for a position as Public School Inspector.