Our Story

Our History

The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board traces its roots to 1852, when the Sisters of St. Joseph were asked by the vicar of St. Mary’s parish to establish education programs for Catholic children in the city. This was, in part, a response to a large influx of Catholic families from Ireland in the mid-1840’s.

The Hamilton Separate School Board was formally established in 1855. Over the next 114 years, other Catholic school districts and boards were established in Wentworth County and by 1969 there were seven Catholic boards. These amalgamated into the single regional structure in 1969. In 1998, the Hamilton-Wentworth Roman Catholic Separate School Board became The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board.

Resilient Roots - A Short History of Catholic Education

The History of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board



Our Logo

HWCDSB LogoRich in symbolism, this logo reflects the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board’s enduring commitment to “Believing, Achieving, Serving”. The two principal elements of the design – students and the cross – together create a beautiful image that suggests a flower in bloom. The students, like the seeds of a flower, are carefully nurtured so that they may blossom and bloom to their full potential. The upward thrust of the logo signifies a culture of growth, of reaching upwards and striving for excellence.

The image of students arranged in tiers suggests the continuum of learning: elementary, secondary, and adult/continuing education. The different colours depict the complementary nature of male and female: they are equal but different. Each side of the logo is a triad, stressing the importance of the partnership of home, parish and school as well as the communion of persons within the Holy Trinity, and hinting at 50-year time blocks in the history of Catholic education in Hamilton-Wentworth.

At the core of the logo is the Cross, the Tree of Life, to symbolize the centrality of Jesus Christ in Catholic Education, and to remind us of the bond with Christ, with one another, and with the earth: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself.” (John 12:32)

HWCDSB Logo Guidelines - Updated Oct 2022



School Profile Reports

Cross FullEach month, one school in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District Board is highlighted at the Committee of the Whole Meeting as part of a school profile program to celebrate school excellence.

The school profile program, which launched on January 15 2019, provides a brief history of the profiled school, along with contact information, enrolment, a photo and Family of Schools.

Commenting on the Ontario Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Letter for Catholic Education, “Renewing the Promise,” Chairperson Patrick Daly indicated that the Board of Trustees’ new term of office is a good opportunity to renew the promise by “continuing to strengthen our Catholic schools as communities that exemplify the Good News of Jesus in word and deed” (Renewing the Promise).

“For more than 160 years, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board has been built on a rich tradition of excellence. Our story in Hamilton has been enriched by the contributions of our schools, each of which has helped to shape the faith formation and academic and co-curricular achievements of our students.” said Daly. “It is here that faith and excellence are nurtured, and our mission is realized.”

He added that the school profile is a way to acknowledge the important role that each school has played in the board’s success.

“While each has its history and culture, our schools are united in the shared mission of Catholic education.”

Currently, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board operates 49 elementary and 7 secondary schools.

Bishop Ryan CSS-May 2 2023

Bishop Tonnos CSS- Feb 5 2019

Canadian Martyrs CES-Feb 5 2020

Cathedral HS-March 3 2020

Holy Name of Jesus CES-Apr 2 2019

Immaculate Conception CES-Jan 21 2020

Our Lady of the Assumption CES-Jan 15 2019

St Bernadette CES-Mar 5 2019

St Clare of Assisi CES-June 4 2019

St David CES-Mar 7 2023

St Gabriel CES-May 7 2019

St Jean de Brebeuf CSS-Oct 1 2019

St John Baptist CES-Aug 27 2019

St Lawrence CES-Feb 7 2023

St Marguerite d'Youville CES-Nov 5 2019

St Mary CSS-June 20 2023

St Matthew CES-June 6 2023

St Therese of Lisieux CES-Apr 11 2023