Message from the Principal

Tollgate Technological Skills Center is a secondary school that primarily serves students who wish to enter apprenticeships or the workforce directly upon completion of their secondary graduation diploma. Students who attend this school have access to programs and facilities that don’t exist at any other secondary school in the Grand Erie District School Board. Along with all of the academic programs that are necessary for graduation, you will find programs such as Hairdressing and Cosmetology, Professional Cooking and Restaurant Management, Stone and Brick Masonry, Small Engines Repair, Professional Baking, Health Care, Auto Body Repair and Horticulture, as well as many of the other more traditional technology programs.

There is a great sense of community at Tollgate. Students feel comfortable attending this school as there is an atmosphere of acceptance and support. There are many experiential learning opportunities, giving students a chance to spend part of the school day in the workplace. This provides them with valuable experience about the working world while they continue to earn school credits at the same time.

The unique facilities at Tollgate can also be accessed by students who are attending the Public and Catholic secondary schools in their neighborhood. The Tollgate Magnet Program provides busing to and from Tollgate for students to take a 2 credit, half day program in many of our specialty areas. About one quarter of our school population is composed of students who are taking advantage of this program.

The unique program and facilities at Tollgate are available to all families that live anywhere in Brant County. Tours are available for students who would like to see first hand what this school has to offer.

Tollgate Technological Skills Center. We put students to work!


The History Of Tollgate

Tollgate Technological Skills Centre (TTSC), originally known as Herman E. Fawcett Secondary School (HEFSS), is located at 112 Tollgate Road, in Brantford. The school, opened on January 3, 1967, was named after Herman Fawcett, a former city educator. The school was officially opened by Minister of Education Bill Davis in May, 1967.

The late 1950s saw a significant change in education in Ontario and across Canada. Profound social and economic changes had accelerated rapidly, requiring equally profound changes in educational policies. Consequently, the federal government of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker passed the Technical and Vocational Training Assistance Act (TVTA) in December, 1960. Under this act, significant federal funding was made available for training and employment related programs. An initial $90,000,000 in funding was directed to increasing the numbers of secondary school technical-vocational programs across the country. Ontario then signed a contract with the federal government, making available federal funds to local school boards to begin building new, and expanding existing, secondary schools. In those new schools, 50% of the curriculum had to be comprised of technical, commercial and other vocational subjects or courses designed to prepare students for entry into employment. The Minister of Education of Ontario, John Robarts, then ordered a total revision of the province's secondary school course structure, called "The Robarts Plan," to allow for the streaming of students into vocational programs. In Ontario, 335 entirely new secondary schools were constructed, along with significant additions to 83 existing schools, all devoted partially or totally to vocational education. At that same time, Superintendent Pew of the Brantford Board noted a real increase in the number of students who desired or required occupational training. One of these new schools with a specific focus on vocational and occupational education, therefore, became Herman E. Fawcett Secondary School.

Construction of the school was approved by The Brantford Board of Education on October 14, 1964. The school was designed to accommodate 600 students in a three year occupational program. These students, 15 years old by September 1, would be those who had been unsuccessful in elementary school and experienced difficulties academically. The planned completion date was September, 1966. Unfortunately, the school was not ready by that date. Nevertheless, HEFSS did begin its life by offering classes temporarily at three other Brantford Board secondary schools-NPCVS, BCIVS and PJCVS. Students began classes in their own new HEFSS on January 3, 1967 under the direction of Glen Wier, our first Principal.

When the school first opened, students enrolled in a three year non-credit Occupational Program. Students started in a Pre-Oc year, designed to compensate for an unsuccessful year in grade 8. There followed Oc1 and Oc2. That program was a 50-50 blend of core academic subjects and vocational, technical subjects. After successful completion of the program, students graduated and received a Certificate of Training from the Ontario Ministry of Education

In 1976, HEFSS underwent its first significant change. The non-credit courses called Pre-OC, Oc1 and Oc2 were dropped. Classes were now designated grades 9 and 10. A third year, grade 11 was added, followed the next year by grade 12. Students were now referred to as Junior, Intermediate and Senior. Students enrolled in credit courses at the Modified and Basic levels of difficulty, with a continuing emphasis on vocational training and education. Classes at the General level of difficulty were gradually added to accommodate students who desired the unique technical/vocational courses offered by the school, but who also intended applying to a Community College. That school structure and course offerings continued into the 1990's until the New Curriculum mandated by the Harris government loomed on the horizon.

The mandates of the New Curriculum led to a second significant change in the school. Grade nine was discontinued; that meant that there would be no grade 9 intake of students in subsequent years. To replace these students, a plan was designed to turn HEFSS into a Magnet School to attract students from other secondary schools, as well as offering programs in Adult Education to adults who wished to upgrade their education. Though Adult Education never came to fruition, double credit, half day Magnet Programs did begin in earnest. That represented a whole new beginning, but necessitated a whole new name for the school to emphasize the change in direction. In September, 1995, HEFSS was reborn as Tollgate Technological Skills Centre.

Today, TTSC is a true community school that offers a unique blend of academic, technological, personal service and entrepreneurial skills programs, from grade 9 to grade 12. The school attracts students from across the Grand Erie District School Board, especially to its Magnet Programs. Students who successfully complete a four year program of studies receive a Secondary School Graduation Diploma, and either enter into employment, continue their training in apprenticeships or continue their education at a Community College.


Is Tollgate the right choice for you?

Here’s what students think about TTSC:

“Every day I look forward to going to Tollgate, there seems to be something different at this school. Whether it is the warm welcoming atmosphere, the respect you get there from the teachers or the enthusiasm of the students as they are there because they want to learn their trade. Tollgate offers programs and trades that suit individuals needs and desires while still giving them the academic skills that they require.”

Students find success at Tollgate because of the practical, hands-on nature of our program that prepares a student for the world of work. Almost every student who starts at TTSC will graduate with either a secondary school certificate or diploma. Many have gone on to post secondary studies and apprenticeships.

Along with providing students with the required skills for the workplace in the core academic areas of the curriculum, Tollgate offers specialized programs in:

  • Hairdressing and Cosmetology
  • Cooking and Event Planning
  • Baking
  • Stone and Brick Masonry
  • Small Engine Repair
  • Green Industries Horticulture and Landscaping
  • Construction and Carpentry
  • Auto Body Repair
  • Health Care Aide
  • Outdoor Education/Forestry

Who can attend Tollgate Technological Skills Centre?

Any student who graduates from Grade 8 can attend Tollgate. There is no minimum or maximum educational level at which the student must be functioning. However, there are limits to the size at which our classes can operate. In order to assure a place at Tollgate for September, students must have their registration form in to us before the end of February. Many students who come to us after an unsuccessful experience at other secondary schools tell us that they wish that Tollgate had been their choice right out of Grade 8 so that they could have experienced success at secondary school sooner.

Will a tour of our facilities help you make the best choice for your student?

We offer small-group tours of the various programs offered at Tollgate. To arrange for an opportunity to see the benefits of being a Tollgate student first-hand, call us at (519) 759-3691.

Tollgate … we put students to work!

Important Links for Students

Click the following links to visit or download important student resources.

Tollgate Student Handbook 2016-2017

Tollgate Program of Study 2015-2016

Acceptable Use of Computers and Internet Policy

High School Registration Form

School Cash Online Form

Community Service Hours Form

Allowed Community Involvement Brochure

Student Departure Form


Additional Resources

Citation Machine: for making bibliographies and proper citations.

EQAO: Educational Quality and Accountability Office, for information on the grade 10 literacy test and grade 9 mathematics assessment

WordQ Software: have articles or your own work read to you. Excellent for both comprehension and proofreading. This link allows you to download a free 30 day trial. The license is free to students - license number available in the CSS library.

Restore Default Settings in MS Word: having trouble with your word settings? Use the microsoft fix it tool to reset your default settings.