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Moving to Cottage Country: Choosing a School in Grey and Bruce

Moving to Cottage Country: Choosing a School in Grey and Bruce

Moving your family from Toronto, Hamilton or elsewhere in Southwestern Ontario to Grey and Bruce counties cottage country? You may have questions about the public and private schools available to your family in Owen Sound and the surrounding areas.

The good news is that you have a variety of options to suit your child’s educational needs and often, schools are smaller and more community-based than big-city institutions.

In this post, you’ll find links and information to help you explore schools in Owen Sound, Saugeen Shores, the Bruce Peninsula and more. First, it’s important to recognize that there are four public systems plus private options available in this region.

Four School Boards Operating in Grey and Bruce Cottage Country

There are 76 school boards across the Province of Ontario and four main school systems:

  • Public secular English
  • Public secular French
  • Public separate (Catholic) English
  • Public separate (Catholic) French

Three of the four are available to residents of Grey and Bruce. Currently, there is no public secular French school for this region. However, there is a public Catholic French school in Owen Sound with students from Saugeen Shores, Hanover, and the surrounding areas. École catholique Saint-Dominique-Savio is a JK to Grade 12 school and you can reach administration by emailing

If you are looking for French Immersion, it is offered at select public English and Catholic English schools in the Grey and Bruce region. 

Find a French school in Grey and Bruce

The best way to find a French-language program for your child is to use the Ontario government search engine here (pictured above). You can search for core French or French Immersion programs.

Find an Elementary School in Cottage Country

Our region has a great selection of elementary schools of varying sizes, each offering high-quality public education for your child. Use the Ministry’s Elementary School Finder to search for public schools in the different areas in which you’re considering purchasing a home.

If you already have a specific property in mind, you can search by postal code to see what schools include that address in their catchment area. Or, search by town or municipality to explore your options.

Find a Secondary School in Cottage Country

Find a High School in Grey and Bruce

Use the Ministry’s Secondary School Finder to explore your options within a specific distance of the property you’re considering buying.

Once you’ve determined which schools are available, you can connect with each one to arrange a time to meet the school’s administration, view the property, and learn more about their program

Alternative & Private School Options in Grey and Bruce

If you’re looking for a private school or even forest school, you’ll find it here in cottage country. Here are a few options to check out:

  • The Headwaters Academy – Outdoor, environmental and entrepreneurial education using an authentic project-based curriculum, located on 160 acres of forest, streams, ponds, and fields at the tip of the Georgian Triangle in Markdale.
  • Riverforest Montessori School – Owen Sound’s first Montessori School has been serving children from 18 months to 12 years old across the Grey Bruce community since 1974.
  • At Last Forest Schools – with locations in Owen Sound, Saugeen Shores, Saugeen Valley, Kincardine, Goderich, and Orangeville.
  • Timothy Christian School – founded in 1976 by parents that wanted to incorporate their family’s Christian values into their children’s education.
Grey Bruce Communities

Want to learn more about relocating to Owen Sound, Bruce Peninsula or elsewhere in Grey and Bruce counties?

If you’re ready to make the move and bring your family north, get in touch with Bill and let’s explore your options together.