What is ATI?


Virtual School



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Academy of Thought and Industry Toronto

Discover your individual path to excellence

We are a modern Montessori-inspired middle school, located at 1767 Queen Street East, next to beautiful Woodbine Park and Ashbridge's Bay Park. ATI delivers a powerful education for independence, and develops curious, self-motivated adolescents who thrive in school and in life. Address: 1767 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L 3Z2, Canada. Phone: 416-703-2582. E-mail: toronto-admissions@thoughtandindustry.com

two ati toronto students looking through microscopes

Welcome to the future of middle school education!

Students at ATI Toronto develop foundational skills in a way that opens up an increasing number of opportunities. Our students don't just memorize knowledge — they understand, apply, and integrate it.

ati toronto students doing an activity outside

What kind of student is a good fit for ATI Toronto?

  • Ambitious teens looking to follow their passions with support and guidance
  • High-achieving students who are looking for an intellectually challenging school where they can take on more freedom and responsibility
  • Students looking for a small, supportive community and a more personalized learning path
  • Elementary Montessori students who want to continue thriving in this model of education
  • Anyone who wants to think and do in a place that encourages you to actualize your full potential in school and beyond

Why Choose ATI Toronto?

Academic Rigor at ATI Toronto - student doing a math problem

Academic Rigor for the Real World

ATI students receive a rigorous education that meets or exceeds the Ontario curriculum -- and then are supported and challenged to extend their learning into the creation of new and original application work.

  • Students do real work in the world
  • They serve as a productive members of the community
  • They realize their natural desire for independence
View Student OutcomesDownload the Program Guide

We foster a love of learning

Learning is a lifelong pursuit. We help students discover their own love of learning, and watch as it motivates them to expand their knowledge. Students are challenged to engage with life's big questions and look at both sides of every issue; we teach them how to think, not what to think.

Explore AcademicsRead Parent Testimonials
two ati toronto students sitting at a table testing technology

Intentionally Small Classes

AT ATI Toronto, we choose to have small class sizes because we believe that is the best way to give students the personalized attention that they need to grow and explore.

In a small school community, our students learn and practice self-governance, interdependence, and conflict resolution, gaining a sense of ownership and pride for the community around them.

Explore our Campus and Student Life
two ati toronto students working on a physics problem

Learn by doing, not by lecturing

Our Montessori-inspired learning pairs learning academic foundations with real life skill building. Dr. Montessori emphasized that teens should do real work: not just in school, but fully in the world. At ATI Toronto, we remove the artificial barrier between the vocational and the avocational; what's required for class, and what's chosen for life.

View our Curriculum for Middle SchoolLearn more about Montessori Education
ati coach and student looking at photos on a camera

One-on-One Coaching

Every ATI Toronto student is paired with a coach, who meets one-on-one to help define the student's values, set goals, take risks, and chart their own path. The coaching curriculum has been built by educational experts and psychologists to support the process of self-creation that is so fundamental to adolescence. The coaching process emphasizes:

  • Self-worth
  • Self-efficacy
  • Self-creation
Learn more about Coaching

Small school communities, globally connected

ATI Toronto is a tight-knit community that is also connected to a global network, allowing students to learn from industry experts, take part in unique electives, find mentors in their field, and connect with peers around the country and world.

All ATI Schools
Accreditation by Cognia and WASC

The Academy of Thought and Industry Toronto has received accreditation by Cognia™ and WASC, the Accrediting Commission for Schools Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Earning accreditation from the Cognia Global Accreditation Commission means that the system and all of its domestic and international schools are accredited, and that ATI is recognized across the nation as meeting the Cognia Standards of Quality. ACS WASC accredits elementary and secondary schools; non-degree granting adult schools; and supplementary education programs.

What Parents are Saying

Science Experiment at Balsam Lake

"Very favorably impressed by ATI Toronto and will definitely be back for 2023-24 as the Toronto location enters its second year. We were looking for a new school for our daughter after her previously solid public school ended up with some huge class sizes and weird split-grade configurations. So our initial attraction to ATI was mainly about the student-teacher ratio and a fresh start. That ATI has delivered on in spades but what has really impressed is the dedication of the "guides", as teachers are called at ATI and a curriculum that keeps our daughter attentive, happy and highly motivated. The combination of strong, supportive in-school guides for humanities and STEM subjects and some ATI-wide enrichment classes is a good one and the school (and students themselves through their posted self-assessments) are very accountable and engaged with parents. We had some pre-SK experience with a Montessori setting many years ago, so that seemed a good fit at the outset but I don't think that it matters at all if you have or haven't gone the Montessori route previously. Overall, a really great setting for a creative tween/teen, whether or not he or she was thriving in other settings. An added bonus is that the small class size brings kids together in a cohesive, supportive and friendly social group."

Karl L.

ATI Toronto Parent

Engineering Challenge

"Our son loves learning again! After many years of an 'in-the-box' approach, ATI has altered the way he thinks about school. The staff is professional, kind, and open-minded. He learns the essentials (math, science) while also having the opportunity to explore and dig deeper into his areas of passion. ATI understands that he's unique and they adapt to meet his learning style, rather than him having to change to conform to convention. It's been so refreshing!"

Rob F.

ATI Toronto Parent

ATI Toronto students playing chess
ATI Toronto students playing chess

"My son has thoroughly enjoyed his first year at ATI Toronto. He would say that his favorite parts of the school are the Beaches location (proximity and accessibility by public transit gives him freedom - and the ability to sleep in a little), his friends (including a few local kids that he shares interests with outside of school), his guides (including the personalized attention) and the specialty programming (especially digital art and physical education). As a parent, I am most happy seeing him develop into an independent, confident teenager. From finding his way to school each day to mastering projects in art, to the ease with which he communicates on serious subjects (The Socratic method was taught early in the year), to his critical thinking skills, he has developed quickly this year. I know that he is challenged in choosing a capstone Grade 7 project, but I'm sure his guides and friends will help nudge him along."

Jonathan M.

ATI Toronto Parent

ATI Toronto students at Gym with Marcus from Bob Acton Sports

"We have been fortunate to enrol two of our children at ATI since they opened in Toronto. The combination of a nurturing environment, truly engaging curriculum and guides who go above and beyond to connect to the students has made for a school that seems tailor made to meet my children's needs. At ATI, making learning meaningful to the students seems to be a priority, and because of this, the work is interesting and even exciting. More than anything else, the guides at ATI have helped my children to renew their interest in learning and feel like they are part of a classroom community. The guides are committed to knowing the students as individuals and to creating a community of students that consciously work to learn together. I have no hesitation in recommending ATI to any family that is looking for an engaging, supportive and challenging school for their children."


ATI Toronto Parent

Frequently Asked Questions

We charge tuition on a monthly basis during the 10 months the school year is in session. You can find the monthly price displayed on the tuition rate sheet.

Learn More about Admissions, Tuition and Financial Aid
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Student Outcomes

ATI Toronto’s ultimate goal is to create students who thrive: living happy, fulfilled, and productive lives. We work with each student to identify their own values, set specific goals, and learn how to achieve them. This process gives them a sense of accomplishment, and prepares them for a variety of paths in life.

Many of our students choose to pursue higher education, and to date we have a 100% placement rate for college-bound seniors. In addition to their coach and guides, students work with a full-time, licensed college counselor.

Here is where you will find some of our recent ATI graduates:

Meet ATI Toronto's School Leaders and Guides

A Montessori teacher, or Guide, is a facilitator who journeys alongside students in the process of learning and self-construction and guides them toward their innate human potential.

Our Team


Laura McCarthy


Laura is a 2004 graduate of Ryerson University who went on to a successful career in the apparel industry as a buyer. Since shifting focus to raising her 3 boys, she has immersed herself in parenting and education theory. Committing to finding the best education possible, she began a lengthy search for a middle school that would be true to Montessori principles. After disappointment with various alternatives, both progressive and traditional, she found ATI. The key elements that sold her on ATI’s approach are in its very name — “Thought and Industry.” Thought, in the sense that ATI focuses on nurturing each student’s intellectual independence — and thereby build confidence in their ability to make sense of whatever they may encounter in life. And industry, in the sense of an education where students can “play the whole game at a junior level,” in other words, do meaningful, satisfying real-world work while still in school. Laura is now determined to help develop ATI Toronto into a thriving community. In her free time, Laura is obsessed with all things related to interior design, and is also learning to play the guitar, with the aim of becoming a cottage campfire virtuoso.

Middle School Lead Guide

Hugh Merson

Middle School Lead Guide

Hugh is a passionate and thoughtful educator with deep Montessori roots. He has taught for 14 years at levels ranging from the early years through to adulthood and believes that, at every age, education should be about discovery – that the meeting of effort and curiosity are what propel both academic understanding and personal growth. Hugh’s approach is bolstered by training in facilitation methods, process design and the neuroscience of stress and development. Hugh grew up in the East end of Toronto where he attended a Casa Montessori program from the age of three to six. He reconnected with the Montessori method in early adulthood and has been working as an educator and teacher trainer ever since. When not in the classroom, Hugh enjoys all things basketball, growing bonsai trees in his backyard and adventures - near, far, and imagined - with his wife and daughter.

STEM Guide

Karen Goos

STEM Guide

Karen is a native New Yorker who earned her B.A. in Philosophy from Union College. Later she went on to get teaching degrees in Special Education and Mathematics Leadership from NYU and Bank Street College of Education. Karen worked teaching Math and Science in New York City and Toronto for 8 years and another 5 years in a part time capacity. Now that her three children are getting older, she is delighted to be back in the classroom. In her spare time Karen enjoys books, travel with her family and taking care of her dog, Sunny.

Substitute Guide

Alissa Crean

Substitute Guide

Alissa has been an Ontario Certified Teacher since 2004. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, a Master of Science in Education, as well as Guidance and Career Education qualifications. Alissa assisted with the development of the high school program at Country Garden Montessori Academy School in Newmarket, Ontario, where she worked for over ten years as a teacher and a Vice-Principal. She has spent the past few years helping foster the love of learning in her three young children.

Literacy Specialist

Christina Whipple

Literacy Specialist

Chris earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Mary Washington and an M.Ed. from George Mason University. She holds an NC "highly qualified" teaching certificate in English Language Arts, ELL, and K-12 Learning Disabilities. Chris has over 17 years of teaching experience in grades K-12, and she has worked as a freelance writer. She has worked in a variety of settings including middle and high school Language Arts, and remediation in special education and MTSS. Chris is excited to support students and staff across the Higher Ground Education network. She loves traveling with her family, writing, and being outdoors. Chris has traveled extensively, and she looks forward to sharing her experience with students!

Physical Education

Marcus Minichiello

Physical Education

Marcus facilitates ATI's physical education program, and is also the Program Director for Bob Acton Sports and BEAST Athletics. Marcus studied in the honours sports business program at the University of Waterloo. He is also a professional athlete, currently playing in the National Lacrosse League for the Buffalo Bandits. Marcus aims to create a space in which leadership and teamwork can be fostered during his sessions with ATI students. He believes that physical activity is vital for proper development – not just physical development, but emotional, cognitive, and social development as well. Most importantly, he make sure that sport is FUN!

Start your journey with us


Learn about ATI by attending one or more of our upcoming events and virtual info sessions


Consider attending a shadow day on campus to experience a day in the life of ATI


Submit your student application to ATI, which includes financial aid if necessary.


Work with admissions to prepare for your first day of school! We can't wait to have you join our community.
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Take a school tour

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Experience school on your terms

Join a school community designed to support your education with coaching, small classes, and a commitment to our core values. Engage in deep study and personal exploration as a student at ATI.

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Visit Higher Ground Education to learn more about our mission to make learner-centered education the mainstream.

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