How the LEAP Club is “Making FHCI Green Again”

By Julia Funk, Aribah Khan and Eriselda Lleshi

This year LEAP club has been focusing a lot on waste. You may have noticed our posters on the wall during Canada’s Waste Reduction Week, or even bought a yummy grilled cheese sandwich for our fundraiser. Waste comes in all shapes and forms. What we need from you, is to become more aware of it. Keep reading to find out more about three very big forms of waste; food, textile, and electronic waste.

Food waste is becoming an increasingly big problem.  There is over $680 billion in food wasted every year but even so, there are 795 million undernourished people worldwide… less than one-quarter of all wasted food is enough to feed them ALL. Not to mention that food waste is also water waste (due to growing, production etc.) and with water pollution rapidly depleting our oceans, we don’t need to waste a single drop more. The only way things will get better is if we each do our part. You can start off by making sure you only buy what you need and checking your fridge every few days to make sure nothing is going bad before you get to eat it. A handy tip is to keep a “Eat First” Bin in your fridge. Even if something does go bad, don’t throw it out. I repeat do not throw it out! There are thousands of decomposers drooling over those scraps –so be a good citizen and feed some of your local earth worms. In return, we get fresh compost which can be used to grow more food. For more information and live counts on food waste check out :

Textile waste is one of the least spoken about forms of waste, yet it has an immense impact on our environment. Textile waste is a material that is deemed unusable for its original purpose by the owner. In North America, over 9.5 million tons of clothing are sent to landfills every year even though 95% of these clothes could be reused or recycled. In Canada alone, we produce enough textile waste a year to make a mountain three times the size of the Rogers Centre! In today’s consumerist society we do not realize that we have increased our clothing consumption from 50 billion new garments in 2000, to over 100 billion in 2017. This huge production of clothes is using 1/3 of the world’s fresh water resources. So what can you do to help reduce the impact of your clothes? The options are endless; reuse them, give to homeless shelters, donate them to second hand stores like the Value Village, or even give them to big retail stores who recycle them! Visit to check out more on what to do with your unwanted clothes.

E-waste is an informal term to describe the consumer and business electronics which are nearing or at the end of their useful life. This applies to any electronics such as your cellphones, laptops, tablets, and etc. A staggering 20 to 50 million metric tons of electronic waste is generated worldwide every year, but only 11.4% of it is recycled. When electronics end up in landfills the toxins they contain such as mercury, lead, and cadmium contaminate our soil and water. Recycling these electronics instead will allow valuable resources to be reused as well as decrease their harmful effects on the environment. The amount of E- waste can be minimized through the mantra of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Firstly, reducing the e-waste can be done through good maintenance of your electronics and careful decision making when first buying the electronics. Our functioning electronics can also be reused by donating them or selling them. Also, even if a product cannot be repaired, it can be recycled. There are many organizations that manage e-waste recycling such as EMCO disposal services, Recycling council of Ontario, and Greentronics computer recycling. You can make a difference and make our world a greener place by decreasing the use of these hazardous e-waste products. If you believe that your electronic is “trash,” do not throw it in in the trash! Bring it to any home hardware store, a drop-off Depot or even our schools very own Electronic Waste Bin found in the main office. Click the following link to find out more locations and more facts about our electronic waste:

These are only three forms of waste but there are many more. We hope you will all become more mindful of your consumption and the impact of the waste you create. There is always a right way to dispose of items and we hope that you will choose the greener option. Your contributions to making the world a greener place are more significant than you think. As we work towards our goals one step at a time, keep in mind, it all starts with YOU!

Look forward to more articles by the LEAP Club to help “Make Forest Hill GREEN Again”

Humans of FHCI: Beza Tadesse

By Hermela Berhane

If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?

“I would tell them to always trust their judgment and never let others persuade their thoughts. You have to be a very strong-minded person and you must strive to be anything you want to be regardless of what others try to tell you otherwise.”

Who is your role model? Why?

My mother because she came to this country in order to provide more opportunities for me and my sisters. She is a very hardworking woman who puts others before herself and she has shaped me into the strong woman I am today.”

What Type of Student Are You?

By Andi Mayer-Goodman, Ellie Haar, and Ashley Katz

Can we guess if you are a slacker, cheater, hard-worker or just naturally smart from a few questions?

Day in the Life of Mike S.

Imagine working two jobs and going to school at the same time. Imagine getting no Netflix time. It is all worth it for Mike S. Mike is the epitome of what hardworking is and should be. Despite all the long hours and rude customers, he consistently remains positive, upbeat and friendly. Here is a snapshot of what a day in his life looks like…

4:30 AM — Mike wakes up for work at Starbucks.

“This has to be the worst part of my day. Every time my alarm rings, I always have the urge to hit the snooze button. I don’t, but sometimes I wish I should.”  – MS

5:30 AM – 10:00 AM — Shift at Starbucks

Mike takes the morning shift because he loves seeing the same customers each morning and giving them their booster for the day. He also likes the morning shift because he loves his fellow employees. He says they are a fantastic team. Most importantly, Mike’s favourite drinks are the Strawberry Refresher and Peach Tea. He usually has one of them in the morning.


Some may say that working at Starbucks in the morning is the worst because it is SO busy and that they would get tired of Frappuccinos and Lattes. However, Mike sees the positive side of it, as he thrives under pressure and feels like the busier it is, the faster the time goes. Not to mention that he loves making different drinks for customers.

Mike enjoying gelato

10:00 AM – 10:26 AM — Run to FHCI

“I have to eat my breakfast while I literally run to school. I know it sounds crazy, but I do.” – MS

10:26 AM – 11:42 AM — Film with Mr. Lee

“First off, can we talk about these times; like why is it 10:26 and not 10:30? Why is it 11:42 and not 11:45? Very odd.” – MS

Mike has 29 credits, so he only needs 1 more to graduate. For his last high school course he chose Film. Mike has a burning passion for photography and film and is always eager to learn more. He is an incredible photographer, as shown on his Instagram page (@msivolap).

11:42 AM – 3:00 PM — Lunch and Homework and maybe Sleep.

After class Mike goes home for lunch and does homework. His favourite food is Borscht. He says his mom makes the best because she has been making it for years. For homework, Mike is usually creating interesting and thought-provoking films and taking new and exciting city photos. If he has spare time, he takes a quick nap to refresh.

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM — Travel to Banana Republic

“I know, I know. 1 hour seems long to go to work, but it wouldn’t be if the TTC weren’t so bad. Anyways, that’s a topic for another day.” – MS

4:00 PM – 10:00 PM — Work at Banana Republic

“Round Two. This job is totally different from Starbucks. Here, I stock shelves and help customers find their style. I am usually successful in giving people outfit makeovers. It is a really fun job.” – MS

Mike brings his infectious smile and outgoing personality to Banana Republic. You would think that he would be tired after a busy day, but he isn’t because he loves what he does. He is always recognized as being the most helpful employee and the employee that others look up to.

10:30 PM – 4:30 AM — Sleep! Finally!


“This is where I can finally sleep and chill. I deserve it right; after this busy day?” – MS

Productive Procrastination: Banana Bread Recipe

By Sophie Gold

If you are avoiding your homework, and have a bunch of over-ripe and spotty bananas staring at you, I have a productive way for you to procrastinate that will make you and your family happy.

My Favourite Banana Bread Recipe


5 overripe bananas, roasted and cooled

¼ cup of melted coconut oil

2 eggs

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 cups of whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon (but probably more) cinnamon

2/3 cup of chopped walnuts (optional and omit if allergic)


As strange as it may sound, you are going to have to roast the bananas before you start. Otherwise, this recipe does not work and the bread tastes, as my brother says, “wooden”.  I promise you that roasting the bananas separately before you bake the bread makes all the difference.  Roast the bananas at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes. They will release some liquid and start to turn dark brownish black but do not fear: they are supposed to. The bananas may also have a very strong smell that can only be defined as banana-ish. This smell will go away over time and most likely be soon overpowered by the amazing smell of your baking banana bread. After their time in the oven, remove the bananas from the baking tray and move them into another bowl. Make sure that you preserve the liquid released from roasting, and let the bananas cool completely before mixing them into your batter.

After the bananas are sufficiently cool, preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if your oven is possessed and does not work, like mine, you may want to start preheating while the bananas are still cooling just to be safe. Use an 8 by 4-inch bread pan, lightly grease it with olive oil, coconut oil, butter or some other fat, and then set it aside.

Next, find a medium-sized bowl big enough to hold all of the ingredients and accommodate vigorous banana mushing without spilling. Into this bowl, dump the roasted and cooled bananas along with their liquids and mush, mush, MUSH. Mush all of your aggression away until all of the large clumps are gone. Once the bananas are mushed to your satisfaction, and your frustration is gone, pour in the melted coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla.  Note: Melted coconut oil looks identical to water and is extremely slippery, so proceed with caution. Sometimes, it can be helpful to crack the eggs in a separate bowl as opposed to cracking them right into the batter. This way, if you are anything like me, you won’t have to pick out eggshells from your batter, which is no fun. Whisk the wet ingredient mixture together until it is uniform.

Once your wet ingredients are adequately whisked, it is sifting time. Personally, I hate sifting. It’s time-consuming, often unnecessary and emotionally draining, especially if you have to sift large quantities. However, much like the roasting of the bananas, it is necessary for the success of your bread (or so I’ve heard). To sift, I dump the dry ingredients into a strainer (yes, the type that you use to drain pasta) and push it through the holes with a large spoon. You should sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into the wet ingredients. Since the flour is the largest quantity, sifting it will take the longest. Additionally, once most of the flour has been sifted, there will most likely remain pieces of flour that do not want to be sifted; don’t force it because it’s pointless and frustrating. At this point, I usually just dump the rest in, but if you have the willpower to keep sifting, good for you. As for the cinnamon, the original recipe does not call for any. For reasons unknown, my family and I love cinnamon more than the average person, so I dumped in over a tablespoon. I believe that there is no such thing as too much cinnamon, as long as you are not eating it on its own (if you do you will throw up I am told), so feel free to use as much or as little as you like.

After all of the dry ingredients are sifted, trade in your whisk for a large spoon and mix the batter until it is just combined. Ensure that there are no unmixed chunks of flour or dry ingredients sitting at the bottom of your bowl. Once your batter looks like a batter, mix in the chopped walnuts. However, if you have an allergy or just do not like nuts, please do not. I presume that you can substitute other mix-ins for the walnuts, including chocolate chips, dried fruit, other nuts or anything else you have on hand. Whatever you choose to add, gently fold it into the rest of your batter.

At this point, your batter is ready for the bread pan and oven. Pour or spoon the batter into your bread pan as evenly as you can. I suggest pouring it out and then using a spoon to distribute the batter evenly throughout the pan. This is so that one half isn’t taller than the other. If this happens and your bread is uneven, don’t worry because it still tastes the same.  Pop it into the oven for 55-60 minutes or until you can stick a toothpick through and it comes out clean. During baking, the heavenly aroma of banana bread will fill your kitchen, as it does mine and, for the moment, all is good in the world.

After the bread is baked through, take it out of the oven and let cool (if you are able to control yourself) before slicing. According to my grandmother, the resident banana bread connoisseur in my family, your freshly baked loaf should last about three days on the countertop and one week in the fridge before it goes bad. If you make too much and are unable to finish it before this time, you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or tinfoil, place it inside a Ziploc bag and store in your freezer for a couple of months.

I promise you won’t be disappointed.  To my mind, there’s no such thing as bad banana bread, but this one is special, and not only because there’s no sugar added.  I may have redeemed my status as a baker with this one.  Enjoy and bring me a piece of yours!

Image Source: WordPress Free Photo Library – Photos Provided by Pexels

Humans of Toronto — missing Chicago, loving T.O.

By Eloise Greenfield

“I went to George Washington for university. I wanted to be in the capital of the country, I always liked the city. Originally, I wanted to get a Master’s in writing, and then teach it. When I finished school I took a year off and spent that year working in Chicago. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do anymore. Eventually I took the entrance exams and went to Northwestern University, where I met my wife. I became a lawyer like my father.

We moved to Toronto near the end of 2002, I wish that we had been closer to my family, but I am happy living in Toronto. Just recently, I got my Canadian citizenship which was a big deal for me. In Toronto, we live very close to where my wife, Julie’s, parents live. We’re very close with them and we see them multiple times a week. Family is very important to her and it’s a big part of why we moved here. We spend every holiday together; Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and all of winter break. If we still lived in Chicago we wouldn’t be as close with most of our relatives. We visit my parents once or twice a year.

I miss Chicago because it’s where I grew up, but I love being here. It’s a great city. They’re similar cities. Except I’m raising my family in Toronto, and not Chicago. What has always mattered to me is having my own family, and my family is here in Toronto. It’s a great place to raise them and I wouldn’t change it at all.”


A Review of Marvel’s Black Panther

By Amanda R.

Black Panther has already broken many records and milestones as it nears $900M worldwide. It is praised for being a revolutionary step forward for black superheroes, and also for showcasing interesting, empowering female characters. But one thing that is not often mentioned is how the movie managed to fix many of Marvel’s common mistakes.

Flaws like unmemorable soundtracks, generic villains, ugly colour grading, and mediocre fight scenes were nowhere to be found in Black Panther.

“Ryan Coogler has set the bar high for the many movies to come.”

In keeping with the spirit of black talent, Coogler called rapper Kendrick Lamar for the Black Panther soundtrack. Just knowing this, we knew the soundtrack would going be good, but it exceeded expectations and became one of the most exciting releases of the year. The album features some of the biggest names in music right now, SZA, The Weeknd, Khalid, and many more. The songs complemented many of the scenes and helped make the movie memorable.

Another big issue of Marvel is their inability to make compelling villains. The closest they have gotten is Loki who showed complexity and development throughout the films. Having a well-written villain highly impacts the quality of the story, and once again, Black Panther knocked it out of the park with Erik Killmonger.

“The arc of Killmonger’s story is not villainous, on the contrary, Killmonger often made me question whose side I was on.”

His actions went beyond your typical revenge plot as he wanted Wakanda to use their resources to help others in need. He is wrong in his means but his point of view was completely justifiable. Similar to Loki, he also had great potential to develop as a character. Marvel should really consider bringing him back in future movies.
The cinematography of this movie is very underrated. Dull colour grading is yet another problem in many Marvel films, but this movie was colourful and unique in every aspect.

“Not only was the storyline beautiful, but each scene was visually appealing.”

The fights were also captivating, especially the “Warrior Falls” scene. They were different from anything I have ever seen in an action movie, mainly due to their setting and engaging choreography. I did not get lost in the action as I tend to do with many action movies, I was hooked from beginning to end. The unpredictability of these scenes had everyone at the edge of their seats.
All of these things have attributed to Black Panther’s success and helped make it such a culturally significant movie. There was a lot of hype surrounding this movie, and now that it has been released we can all agree that Ryan Coogler took this material very seriously. It is quite evident in the final product. What seems like just another superhero movie is actually something much bigger.


Dance of the Mechanical Marionettes

By Krystael Castro

“Await no more a word or sign from me.

Your will is straightened, free, and whole — and not

To act upon its promptings would be wrong.”

I. Authenticity

She felt such hatred for herself and for this world

and has, therefore, committed suicide and a massacre;

for when one hates, one kills.

It was an attempted escape—or a conditioned excuse, perhaps—

To not love thy neighbour or even the God in the heavens

enough to follow His teachings,

As scripture would hold it,

For that Love is what keeps us sane and righteous.

But the vision was to break free from from this


Uneigentlichkeit erfülltes leben, dass von diesem kam geworfenheit.

(This might include religion, but that was not for her to decide as a truth for all, should she believe it to be).

And so she is trapped in a battle with “fate” as she tries to grasp a life of



Our hearts will forever yearn for it

Until it is finally achieved.

II. The Struggle

She sank slowly into a dream

It accepted her wholly as she faced to embrace it.

She arrived at an infinitely dark room;

Its walls you could not see,

But one made of frosted glass

Made visible by a warm glow that existed beyond it.

All that she ever wanted was gathered there

(though what she saw was uncertain).

Her body moved towards the glass,

Her hands clenching a hammer,

She attempted to shatter it;

Not a single crack did appear.

She gave up and she stared

Into that glass of haze,

An indiscernible, filled space and

She knew.

She saw it and she knew.

Unclear through her eyes,

But clear in what she felt,

A happiness completely her own.

III. Danse pour moi

Chains, shackles, heavy, cold metal

On their hands and feet—

And even as they may not take notice to them—

There are shackles on their heads;

the holy temple of all that is perceived,

They take a firm hold of their bodies,

securing them on this ground

Limiting the boundaries where none should be

(Except in a place where love for one another is not fostered,

Which is a hatred allowed to run loosely in this world—with insufficient penalty).

We move just as the slaves we are

Of Time, of Times, des temps, et les circonstances—

the circumstances of the world

in which we were birthed.

“Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay

To change your day of youth to sullied night.”

Bright days of adolescence have been darkened quickly with

The masses of screens and expectations built by generations past

Turning all people of flesh and bones into

cold mechanical robots with eyes transfixed

Lifelessly, submissively; they are

Everyday robots in control; mechanical puppets

in the process of being sold.

Bones and bodies

meant to be built for strength, creativity, and

The self-governed pursuit of authentic happiness and fulfilment—autonomy—

They exist here,

Only to give in quickly to the strings of society’s puppeteering.

Cold hands and sinister smiles look down on them,

“Danse pour moi, mes petites marionnettes!”

Lifelessly, submissively,

they dance.

“Danse pour moi, mes petites marionnettes!”

IV. Surfacing

She was sinking back into the dream,

But she felt awake;

She was in control.

The dark room felt cold,

But the light on the frosted glass drew her in;

She walked forward.

She touched the glass and immediately felt

Its warmth that spread—not only to her hands—

But filling her head and her chest and she felt

An enlightenment;

The glass shattered,

she danced, she danced

She walked through it,

she danced, she danced

and she smiled

she danced, she danced.

Imposter Syndrome

By Tatiana Bogdanov

There’s something strangely dehumanizing about staring at a beige locker, ass aching as you sit on a cold, waxed tile floor.

Your bag sits beside you, dirty from all the bus floors and classroom floors, heavy from the textbooks.

All you can do is sit and stare.

What’s the point of it all?

At the same time, it’s like you’re all too cold and all too hot, the sleeves of your sweater don’t reach far enough to cover your hands.

A science textbook lays strewn on the floor, a clutter of information that’ll make its way to your brain only for you to forget, and relearn it all when you need it the second time.

People mill around.

People talk, they laugh, they work and work all around you and seem to be unbothered by thoughts and feelings.

Other people sit on the floor beside you, and they’re intensely focused on their phones. They’re alone, but they’re not alone.

Mouth agape, you don’t notice;

you don’t feel exactly free, you’re bound by deadlines and friends and perhaps boyfriends or girlfriends;

obligations to talk and fill up empty space, and feel the anxiety bubble up when they don’t do the same.

Are you too taxing on other people?

Underneath your feet, the ground is ungrounding.

You wear fashionable shoes, yet they feel unnatural.

Something plays over the announcements,

but the din of the crowd lulls you into a sense of somewhat security, so you ignore it.

There’s at least one notification on your phone where somebody left you on read.

You yourself have left at least five notifications on read.

The anxiety still stirs somewhere within you, “what did I do wrong? Do you not want this relationship anymore? Is this it?”

Thoughts play on a film reel in your brain, the same pictures you’ve seen thousands of times in a variety of different places.

Nerves feel quite frayed, to be quite honest.

Who has time for all of these feelings? All these emotions that make life just that much more complicated; what if you could just detach?

Without anything to distract you, without anything to numb the pain of apprehension, it’s all maybe a little too much.

Never enough to tell a person, to seek out a helping hand, a friendly face, a hug. Oh no, that would never happen.

But it’s always just a little too much too handle.

Perhaps it’s the dissociation from what’s a paranoid idea, a good thought, and a nightmare-fueled jolt in bed.

Maybe it’s the way you forget the meetings, the events, the things you have to do, in favour of not having to think about them right then.  

Possibly, it’s the way you can sleep for twelve hours and wake up exhausted;

or maybe it’s the countless nights you can barely sleep at all.

And if you’re being really honest, you’ve stopped caring about taking care of yourself. You load your backpack with the world,

and carry it on your shoulders even though that’s a one-way ticket to back problems.

You have chips and ice cream for dinner,

not particularly caring about the calorie count or the sodium or the sugar.

You stray away from food for days,

stomach too full with something indescribable.

You were once good.

You were once a force.

The golden kid, with the bright future, the passionate voice, the eyes full of hope and dreams.

You were someone.

You loved the little things.

The excited tingle in your fingertips when you saw your ferns on your desk.

The smile of someone that wasn’t too bad themselves.

The deep seated satisfaction of doing well on that really hard project.

The shiver when that good chord hits.

Now you’re a shell.

Now you’re unrecognizable to yourself.

The drive has driven away.

What is this?

Who are you?

Who are you really?

A fraud?

An imposter?

You say you’re good at things, but are you?

Oh, you’ve lost your touch.

Where is the golden kid hiding?

The Ultimate Guide to University

The following article is Guidance Counsellor Approved!

Applying to University is one of the most stressful and overwhelming situations in High School. Many students are unsure what they are passionate about, and some are unsure if University is for them.

Most Canadian Universities base their admission decisions on marks, however, some programs take a look at you more holistically. This means they care about your extracurricular involvement, leadership potential, character, communication and writing skills and more. Many art-based programs also require you submit a portfolio, so keep that in mind when you are choosing your programs.

Getting Started

You need to learn about yourself when you are applying to University. What your short-term and long-term goals are, how you are academically, what motivates you and more. You should understand what you want to do for the next 3-5 years, and possibly more. Do you like science, math, geography, history? You need to explore your passions and learn what University is right for you. If you have a specific occupation in mind, which program(s) will get you there? If you are unsure what you want to be, which program(s) will help you decide? These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself before you begin this process. Don’t just apply to a program because you heard it is good. Research!

You should be thinking about…

  • College or University?
  • How much money do I have access to? How much does this program cost? Scholarships or bursaries?
  • What do I want to study for the next 5 years?
  • Where do I see myself in the next 10 years?
  • What factors are important to me in a University?
  • What subject(s) do I like in high school, what careers are there in those subjects?
  • Do I think I can achieve the academics in the programs I am considering?

Universities in Ontario and Canada

If you are planning on applying to an Ontario university, you will use OUAC to submit your application. If you are applying to a university outside of Ontario (McGill, UBC, etc.) then you will use their own system to apply. Research the deadlines for applications outside of Ontario on their specific website to ensure you don’t miss the due date.

What is OUAC?

The Ontario Universities’ Application Centre is a non-profit organization based in Guelph that processes online applications for admission to universities in Ontario, Canada.


Marks… and More

The minimum entrance grade for Universities varies depending on the type of programs you are applying to. In general, business and engineering programs require more competitive averages than science and arts. Several undergraduate business programs require more than just marks to get in. For example, U of T Rotman Commerce, Queens Commerce, York Schulich and others require a supplementary application to be completed. These additional applications are sometimes time-consuming and stressful. Make sure you research which programs you apply to have additional applications so that you are ahead of the game.

“We’re seeing an emerging trend to use this type of application in place of traditional essays,” – Robert Astroff of Toronto-based Astroff Consultants

Many students think that if they have a very high average they are guaranteed into the most competitive programs and they do not try very hard on the additional applications. One of the biggest mistake recruitment/admission officers say is that students with exceptionally high marks do not try as hard on their supplementary application because they think they can get in due to their marks. McMaster’s Health Science program is one of the most challenging programs to be accepted to. Many students with 98 and 99 percent are denied because their supplementary applications were not good enough.

University Min. Grade in Arts* Min. Grade in Science* Min. Grade in Commerce* Min. Grade in Engineering*
Algoma 65% 65% 65% 65%
Brock 70% 70% 84%
Carleton 78% 78-80% 80% 76-86%
Guelph 78-84% 80-85% 78-84% 83-85%
Lakehead 70% 70% 70% 70%
Laurentian 72% 72% 72% 72-80%
McMaster 75% 85-90% 82.5% 89%
Nipissing 70% 70% 70%
OCAD U 70%, plus portfolio  –  –  –
UOIT 70-75% 70-80% 75-80% 80-85%
Ottawa 73-78% 75-84% 75-85% 80-85%
Queen’s 80% 84% 87% 90%
RMC 75% 75% 75% 75%
Ryerson 73-88% 72-90% 72-85% 88-90%
Toronto 75-84% 75-91% 83-88% 85-93%
Trent 70% 70% 70%
Waterloo 80% 80% 80-92% 88%
Western 83.5% 83.5% 87.5% 87%
Wilfrid Laurier 70-86% 74-91% 89-93.5%
Windsor 70-80% 70% 73-78% 74%
York 75% 80% 90% 80%
 * provided by eInfo

Do Marks Matter?

Marks are a very important factor for almost all programs in Canada. Many schools have very competetive averages in order to get in. You should try to achieve at least 5 percent over mark-based programs in order to have a good chance of getting in. 

Average Acceptance Average By University

Waterloo 90.4
McGill 90.3
Western 90.0
Manitoba 89.2
Queen’s 89.0
UBC 88.6
Montréal 88.1
Acadia 87.9
Saskatchewan 87.9
Dalhousie 87.6
McMaster 87.6
Simon Fraser 87.5
Alberta 87.4
UPEI 86.9
Toronto 86.5
St. Francis Xavier 86.4
Cape Breton 86.3
Victoria 86.3
UQAM 86.2
UNBC 86.1
Sherbrooke 86.0
Mount Allison 85.9
New Brunswick 85.9
Calgary 85.7
Regina 85.4
Laval 85.3
St. Thomas 84.8
Moncton 84.7
Mount Saint Vincent 84.7
Ottawa 84.7
Ryerson 84.4
Guelph 83.8
Wilfrid Laurier 83.8
Brock 83.3
Carleton 83.2
Concordia 83.2
Brandon 83.1
Bishop’s 82.6
Laurentian 82.5
Nipissing 82.5
Memorial 82.4
Saint Mary’s 81.8
Winnipeg 81.8
York 81.7
Trent 81.4
Windsor 81.4
Lethbridge 81.2
Lakehead 80.1
UOIT 80.0

A big misconception among high school students is that you need to go to the best program and University in order to succeed in life. However, every student works best at different Universities. Just because you heard that Queens is the best for science does not mean it will lead to you being the most successful student or individual. You should always research which program aligns with your goals and skills.

If you are the type of student who likes academic reputation and research, then you should consider the Universities reputation. Although it is not the most important factor, if you plan on pursuing graduate school in another country, it may be important.

University Rankings by National Reputation

  1. Toronto
  2. Waterloo
  3. UBC
  4. McGill
  5. Alberta
  6. McMaster
  7. Western
  8. Queen’s
  9. Simon Fraser
  10. Calgary
  11. Guelph
  12. Montréal
  13. Ryerson
  14. Dalhousie
  15. Concordia
  16. Ottawa
  17. Victoria

Data provided by Macleans

Keep in mind that this is a general overview of the reputation of the universities, and rankings by program differ.

Hardest Programs in Canada to Get Into

According to Yahoo

5. Mechanical Engineering, McGill University

4. Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) | Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia

3. Engineering Science, University of Toronto

2. Software Engineering, University of Waterloo

1. Bachelor of Health Sciences, McMaster University

General Types of Programs

  1. Engineering
  2. Science
  3. Architecture
  4. Business
  5. Arts

Programs With a Supplementary Application

Many programs require more than just marks. U of T Engineering, Queens Commerce and McMaster Engineering are just a few of the many programs that make students complete a mandatory application with various components to get in. For arts programs like journalism and visual arts, you are generally required to submit a portfolio of your work.

Let’s take a look at what U of T Engineering requires on top of marks…
  1. A full list of extracurricular activities and description
  2. Video interview
  3. Academic portfolio
What is this video interview?

The video interview is used to allow the admission committee to get to know you. For U of T, they ask two short video responses and one 250 word written component. Each of the questions is timed and there is no one on the other end (it is not live). You are only allowed to do the interview once. Check out their website for more details.

Universities want to see that you are more than just marks. They want to admit students who have experience with leadership and know how to take initiative. Many programs will state what characteristics and students they are looking for. When you are completing your additional applications, make sure to check out the program’s website so you can get a glimpse of what makes a student successful in their programs. This will increase your chances of getting in.

Early Acceptance

Another myth is that you can apply for early acceptance at universities. Early acceptance is simply just a term that describes getting into University early. You do not have to submit another application or apply for early acceptance. If you apply early, you can get accepted early if your marks are quite competitive. Early acceptance is generally based on grade 11 marks. Some schools base their decision on grade 11 marks and can accept you as early as December or January. However, many programs do not offer acceptance in those months and have set times when they give out their acceptances. Just because you did not get accepted in the very early months does not mean you are not as good as the other applicants, but rather they are waiting for other information from you. McMaster University states they start giving out acceptances in March (or mid-late February), as opposed to Queen’s University which can send out acceptances as early as December. Some programs like McMaster’s Health Science program does not give out acceptances until May. Generally, programs that have supplementary applications take longer.

Need help deciding on a program? Take the quiz below:


Do Grade 11 Marks Matter?

Yes, and no. Universities do see your grade 11 final marks. They do not see your grade 12 final and midterm semester 1 marks until early February. This means all admission decisions before February will be based on your grade 11 marks. Grade 12 marks are more important than grade 11 marks. When a grade 12 prerequisite mark is not available (you haven’t finished it yet), then Universities will look at your corresponding grade 11 mark as a prediction of what you will get in grade 12. I would say it is a good idea to get your marks as high as possible in grade 11. It won’t hurt.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many universities and programs can I choose to apply to on my application?

You may apply to as many Ontario universities/programs as you wish; however, you are limited to a maximum of 3 program choices at any 1 university (including affiliates).

Some universities may further limit the number of programs you may apply to. Make sure that you carefully read the details and instructions offered by each institution.

I am taking a summer school course. How will the universities get my marks?

Grades from summer school courses are submitted to the OUAC by the summer school or the district school board. Verify with your summer school that either the summer school or the district school board will be sending the marks directly to the OUAC on your behalf. If this is not the case, you must arrange for original, official final grades to be sent to the OUAC and for photocopies of these grades to be sent to each of the universities to which you have applied, if required. Indicate on the photocopies that the original was sent to the OUAC.

Extracurriculars, do they matter?

For most programs in Canada, marks are the primary method of acceptance. Some more competitive programs will also analyze your extracurricular involvement inside and outside of school. It is important you understand what extracurricular activities they are looking for. Students think if they write their name down for various clubs they are set. Universities care more about what you learned from your activities rather than how many activities you are on. If you signed up for a club and only attended one meeting, you should definitely not write that on your application. Universities know when a student actually contributes to that club/organization. 

Leadership roles are important… but aren’t as important as you may think

Yes, it is amazing that you are president of a club, but you can also get just as much out of the club if you contribute enough. Universities want to see you taking initiative and working towards change. If you changed the focus of the club, amazing! If you got new members, even better! If you started a new initiative or fundraised for a good cause, wow! If the university you are applying to asks for a description of the activity, talk about your role and responsibilities, but also talk about what you learned and how you grew as an individual. Nothing is better than acknowledging your growth from a school activity.


Activities that Universities care about are generally ones where you show dedication, initiative and leadership. Activities that you have been involved in for a longer period of time are better than ones that you just joined.

I would say that you should care about the quality of your activities more than the quantity of them.

Top Schools With the Highest Graduation Rates (%)

The graduation rate tracks undergraduate students to determine if they received a degree within seven years. Below are the percentage of full-time, first-year students in fall 2007 who graduated by 2014. (Not part of ranking calculations.) – Macleans

Queen’s 89.5
Western 86.6
McGill 85.0
Laval 83.7
Sherbrooke 82.7
Montréal 81.3
Waterloo 79.6
Lakehead 79.5
Toronto 79.4
McMaster 79.3
Alberta 79.2
Guelph 78.6
Calgary 78.4
New Brunswick 78.0
Wilfrid Laurier 77.7
Ottawa 76.8
St. Francis Xavier 76.6

The Takeaway

Yes, this process is not the most fun, but it is not as bad as you might think. Apply to programs that you love and just work your hardest this year. Don’t stress too much and you will do just fine.


Humans of FHCI – Dani Leite

Who is your favourite teacher and why?

“I’m new to FHCI so I don’t know many teachers, but I really like Mr. Lee and Ms. Roca and Ms Neumann and Ms. Ibe and I guess I like all of the teachers I have this semester because they’ve all helped me when I needed it and most of them are funny. Oh, also I really like Mr. Naylor even though he isn’t my teacher. He is really [restrict]funny!”

Do you have any goals (short or long-term)?

“Honestly, my long and short-term goals are to just be happy and to make others happy and have fun because I obviously don’t want just temporary happiness; I also want that as my long-term goal, as well as my short-term goal because I also wanna enjoy being in high school as much as I can.”

What are your favourite extra-curricular activities?

“Dance is by far my favourite extra-curricular. Partying doesn’t count as an extra-curricular, right? But yeah, dance and sports in general are my favourite thing to do and I really enjoyed rugby this year! Shout-out to Mr. Naylor!”

Do you have a motto that you live by?

“‘Be classy, never trashy and just a little bit nasty’ or ‘everyone is facing their own fight’. Those are two really different ones but I guess they’re the two quotes I always refer back to when I’m making decisions.”

What advice would you give to your grade 9 self?

“Don’t transfer to FHCI!”

Do you have any March break plans?

“I think I might be volunteering at a day camp like I did last summer but I’m not one hundred percent sure. If not, then I’m gonna be working and hanging out with friends.”

What is one fun fact about yourself?

“Hmm… I can’t really think of a single fun fact because all of the facts are fun haha, jokes! I don’t know, probably that I can get along with literally anyone to an extent, which I guess is kinda cool because nowadays everyone says that they hate people and I’m a people person; I love people.

Humans of FHCI is a popular column of The Golden Falcon Newspaper. Explore more student and teacher interviews here.[/restrict]