About Us

Bienvenue à l’École Edward Johnson School! Our Kindergarten to Grade 6 school has been a French Immersion Centre since 2008. The school was built in 1955 and has a long tradition of serving the East Guelph community. Edward Johnson is a place where our students love to learn, enjoy new experiences and make friends.

With our bilingual program, at Edward Johnson we strive to provide rich learning opportunities for our students. Edward Johnson is a community of learners – students, staff members, parents and community helpers – working together to achieve our goals and to build a successful learning experience. We continue to offer a variety of extra-curricular activities and love to have parent volunteers involved in our school. There are many ways to become involved: in classrooms, on the yard, helping with homework and joining school council. We welcome your support and your ideas.

Our motto is “Learning for life / Apprendre pour la vie“. Our mascot, Eddie the Eagle, encourages us to be positive role models and responsible citizens

Edward Johnson 1878-1959

Our school is named in honour of Edward Johnson, opera star, manager of the New York Metropolitan Opera Company (1935-1950) and patron of the arts. He was born August 22, 1878 in Guelph and died here April 20, 1959.

In 1899, Edward Johnson left his hometown of Guelph and moved to New York to study music. His first break came in 1908, when he was cast in the operetta, A Waltz Dream. The following year, he moved to Florence, Italy to study with Vincenzo Lombardi and he made his operatic debut in 1912 in Andrea Chenier, billed as Edoardo di Giovanni. In 1914, he made his first appearance at La Scala and a few years later, Johnson sang in the premieres of Puccini’s Il tabarro and Gianni Schicchi.

Johnson moved back to the United States in 1919 and was the leading tenor at the Chicago Opera until 1922. He was unhappy there and when New York’s Metropolitan Opera came calling, he gladly left. By the early 1930s, the Met was in financial trouble and Johnson became not only the leading tenor, but also the star fundraiser. He became assistant general manager in 1934 and general manager a year later.

Edward Johnson left the Met and moved back to Guelph in 1950. He was the first chairman of the Toronto Conservatory of Music and continued to promote Canadian composers worldwide and music education locally. He generously contributed to the growth of musical education in the public schools and always demonstrated a keen interest in the cause of education in his home city

He died of a heart attack upon arrival at a ballet recital at the Guelph arena in 1959

Additional Information

Edward Johnson’s daughter married George Drew who was the Premier of Ontario from 1943-1948 and later, leader of the federal Conservative party. The Edward Johnson Building at the University of Toronto houses the university’s Faculty of Music and the Opera School. The Edward Johnson Music Foundation in Guelph promotes an awareness of and appreciation for music and the arts in the community.