Toronto, Ontario, Canada

No non-Thorntoner ever believes us when we tell them of Thornton Hall and the inimitable Miss Greig, Mr. Mackey, Igor the Skeleton et. al. Here's proof it was all true!


Thornton Hall: 241 Poplar Plains Rd.We at Toronto's Thornton Hall Private School didn't have team sports, yearbooks or a prom. Instead, we had fencing, surreal productions of "Murder in the Cathedral," shaded B-eggs and the occasional tango lesson with the consistently cravatted Mr. Mackey. Your average alma mater boasts adorably anthropomorphized animals as mascots; ours was Igor the Skeleton. And while other schools' students were left to their own devices regarding note-taking methodology, Thorntoners were expected -- nay, impelled -- to equip themselves with mylar-reinforced paper, rulers for vertical single- and double-lining and, of course, a rainbow of Pentel pens for Miss Greig's inscrutably intricate color-coding system. So certain was Miss Greig that these components were inexorably vital to success that, upon noticing me scribbling notes the first week of school with a lowly Bic, she stopped the class to demand if that was indeed the brand of stylus with which I was daring to write. Off my look of incredulity, she thundered, "I'll tell you, Jill, you'll have those Pentel pens tomorrow or it's curtains for you!". Only Miss Greig could say "It's curtains for you" and incite stomach-churning malaise rather than jeering titters. More than a little stunned, I nevertheless somehow managed to maneuver myself to Grand and Toy that very evening to acquire my Pentels, though I admit that at the time I still didn't perceive the grand scheme of how black, blue, red and green asterisks and tildes were going to transform me into a pillar of society.

Mr. Mackey and Miss Greig, June 1987It proved true that divinity is in the details. (Of course, the saying also goes "the devil is in the details," but I'll conveniently ignore that.) Miss Greig's demanding and exacting teaching technique (which, of course, went far beyond designer school supplies) wrenched astounding artistic and intellectual capabilities from the reluctant clutches of stagnant teen psyches more inclined toward watching "Toronto Rocks" than analyzing Jungian archetypes. I don't know if I'd currently be able to recreate Michaelangelo's masterworks or recite "The Canterbury Tales" in its original dialect upon demand, but if I imagine Miss Greig arching her eyebrow purposefully in my direction, I can only believe my personal muses wouldn't dare disobey.

This is not to say that I have completely rose-tinted my recollections of Thornton Hall. In fact, my reproduction of an ancient map of the New World bears a rather nasty epithet written into the coastline expressing my sentiments concerning an infuriating incident that I believe involved Miss Greig catching me chewing gum. (Subsequently realizing that it was not at all improbable she would take a loupe and actually read each of the hundreds of miniscule town names, I took the precaution of adding a long, Latin-sounding suffix to throw her off.)

But in hindsight, Thornton, like the Peace Corps, Army or a World War, built a caliber of character in its students it would take a lifetime or more to come by independently.



Recent Updates:

School Ties: Thornton Alumni List (UPDATED 7/27/07)


Site Highlights:

Candid Camera: Snapshots of Thornton's Model Students

Dramatic Recreation of a Thornton Art History Exam

Greigorian Chats: Memorable Accounts of Angela

Lord of the Rings: Thornton Ring Available Through Birks

One Brief Shining Moment: The End of an Era

School Ties: Thornton Alumni List

Take Note: The Method to Our Madness

Thornton Hall 2001 Reunion

Yearbook: Photos and Memorabilia

Please e-mail LuminousRabbit@aol.com with your name, years of attendance, current information,
then-and-now photos, Thornton remembrances and/or any other reflections/memorabilia.

This page was created in May 2000.