London Waldorf School began as the vision of a small group formed in 1976 to study Waldorf education. This group was led by Donna Huston, whose grandmother Elsa Andress was instrumental in the founding of the Toronto Waldorf School in 1968. Supported and inspired by that school and by the Waldorf School Association of Ontario, we opened with a kindergarten and Grade One on September 2, 1980, in a rented 100-year-old farmhouse at 303 Commissioners Road West.
When the building was outgrown in 1984 and scheduled to be torn down, a small school building at 1697 Trafalgar Street, owned by the Optimist Club of East London, became our second home. There we stayed for 12 years, adding a grade each year until yearly Grade Eight graduations became the norm. During this time, a satellite kindergarten at Jermiah’s Field in Hyde Park augmented the grade school base and generated much enthusiasm with its country setting.
Still a larger and permanent home was needed, and this was found in the purchase of the old London Tennis and Badminton Club at 7 Beaufort Street. Having moved from West to East to North Central London, we were now settled into a 5-acre space that could be landscaped into a beautiful naturalized adventure playground, with a view of the Thames River and footbridge access to Gibbons Park. Starting with portable classrooms, we found a project manager who could recycle these and add an imposing Great Hall for our permanent building, dedicated in the fall of 2004.
The school has grown to 150 students, has cultivated a stable faculty and atmosphere of consensus-building, has added a Parent and Child, Nursery, Aftercare and Homeschooled Visitor programs, and has become a fully accredited member of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America as well as the National Council for Private School Accreditation.
We are immensely grateful to the countless individuals and groups who have sacrificed and contributed to the well-being of our school community and its bright hopes for the future.