On May 6th and 7th, 2019 York Memorial Collegiate was tragically destroyed by a fire that broke out in the school auditorium.
York Memorial Collegiate was first built in 1929 as a memorial to the youth killed in World War 1. It officially opened on January 30th, 1930. The building is embedded with rich history and memorials towards our fallen soldiers. Examples include, the 11 terraced steps at the entrance of the building to represent November 11, 1918 at 11 am; a mural was painted outside the auditorium by John Hall in 1949 dedicated as a World War II memorial; there are six stained glass windows created by Will Meike and installed by Robert McCausland. The meaning behind these windows places great significance to this community and city; four windows were created to represent industrial heritage of York, while the other two represented two famous battles, The battle of Ypres in 1915 during WWI and the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in Quebec in 1759. Panels around the windows contain mottoes and the Provincial Coat of Arms. These are to just name a few. In 1985 because of the deep rooted history York Memorial was designated as a heritage building by the former York City Council.
The school Motto has been "Macte Nova Virture" (Go Forth With New Strength). With the strength of our community, city, and our York Memorial Alumni we want to preserve the heritage of the school that was built in honour of the soldiers who lost their lives fighting for our country. Whatever the "new" York Memorial may look like we want to raise funds to persevere, restore or recreate the history in these significant works of art.