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Why CAIS Boarding?

Canadian Accredited Independent Boarding Schools offer fun, dynamic and safe environments where students can grow, learn and thrive. Students develop life-long relationships with friends from all over the world while being given the confidence to figure out who they are and where they want to go during their experience at a CAIS Boarding School.

At CAIS Boarding Schools, class sizes and teacher to student ratios are small, to ensure an optimal learning environment. Many schools offer learning support and ESL programs for students whose first language is not English. 

CAIS Boarding Schools are committed to experiential learning. With exceptional, state of the art facilities, each student is provided with the opportunity to participate in a large variety of activities beyond the traditional classroom setting.  

In addition to world-class academics, co-curriculars and facilities, schools offer robust community service programs through which students contribute to their surrounding communities or through service trips worldwide.

All CAIS Boarding Schools provide students with an elementary and secondary school education that is recognized for its superior quality by the best colleges and universities around the globe. 


Here are some examples of where recent CAIS grads are going:

Upper Canada College Swimming

CAIS Boarding Schools

Browse the 29 schools to learn more about the best boarding schools in Canada and to explore their diverse and extensive list of offerings. Discover which dynamic school is the perfect fit for you.

Find a School

University of Toronto

Top 5 Canadian Destinations

  • University of Toronto
  • Queen's University
  • Western University
  • McGill University
  • University of British Columbia
New York University

Top 5 U.S. Destinations

  • New York University
  • Barnard College
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • University of Michigan
University College London

Top 5 International Destinations

  • University College London
  • King's College London
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
Ashbury College Boys Residence
Benefits of Boarding

Ashbury College, Ottawa, Ontario

Ashbury’s boarding program fosters individual character development and nurtures personal growth, all within a safe and supportive environment. Ashbury’s boarders form a small family within the school that serves as a centre of social connection, service, athletics, and learning for all students.

Brentwood College Students
Benefits of Boarding

Brentwood College School, Mill Bay, British Columbia

Brentwood is a boarding school, not simply a school with boarding. Boarding is not an afterthought on our campus; it is the very heart of this school. Our community is special, defined by a culture of inclusion and empowerment. Students learn to become young adults in a contemporary setting, surrounded by caring friends and mentors, in relationships that last well beyond their years at Brentwood.

Pickering College Classroom
Benefits of Boarding

Pickering College, Newmarket, Ontario

In boarding, students are supported and challenged to follow their dreams - It’s a place where they can grow and develop into compassionate leaders who have a strong sense of social justice, ethics, environmental consciousness and a determination to make the world a better place.

Ridley College Theatre
Benefits of Boarding

Ridley College, St. Catharines, Ontario

Boarding school will exceed your expectations! The unique benefits — what we like to call the ‘ex-factors’ of boarding — collectively create an extraordinary experience. These differentiators will propel you to reach your fullest potential, while forming lasting memories and friendships in the process. Discover the nine ex-factors of boarding life below.

Rothesay Netherwood School Outdoor Class
Benefits of Boarding

Rothesay Netherwood School, Rothesay, New Brunswick

The experience of living in residence prepares students for university life by helping them to become more independent and organized. Students learn to live with others and they learn how to manage their time in order to lead a balanced life. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, students form very close friendships with their housemates and roommates, and these relationships last a lifetime.

Differences between Private Schools and Independent Schools

The main differences between Canadian Private Schools and Independent Schools are management of school and management of finances.

Private Schools are understood to be for-profit organizations. Private Schools are owned and managed by an owner(s) or a corporation. It is that owner or corporation that decides on where funding goes and/or is used.

Independent Schools are understood to be not-for-profit organizations. Independent Schools are lead by a Head of School and overseen by a Board of Directors. School tuition fees are required for the daily operations of the school.

In Canada, depending on the province in which an independent school is located, they may receive some funding from their provincial government. Oftentimes they are also affiliated with an accrediting body.

95 Independent Schools in Canada are members of Canadian Accredited Independent Schools.

Both Canadian Private Schools and Independent Schools are alternatives to Public Schools.

St John's Ravenscourt School Residence

You’ll have fun! Living on a campus with your best friends, trying new things, and being exposed to different cultures, activities, and people is a blast. CAIS boarding school students say that the most valuable part of their boarding school experience is the memories they make with their friends, coaches, and teachers.

Shawnigan Lake School Class

At Canadian Boarding Schools, it’s cool to be smart. School will be challenging – but in a good way. CAIS boarding schools offer academic programs that are designed to challenge students, so that they are ready for the next step in their education. But don’t worry, you’ll have help every step of the way, thanks to smaller class sizes, passionate faculty, and extensive resources.

Appleby College Virtual Reality

You’ll be ahead of the game for university! Becoming responsible for yourself is a skill that is learned and cultivated in a boarding school environment. By the time you arrive at the university of your choice, you will therefore be ready to tackle the challenges and will have a leg up on other students in first year.