Foundations Trip to Lake Superior

There is an exciting opportunity for students this June: a three night trip to a lighthouse on Lake Superior, as part of a culminating experience for our Foundation Year students.

We will fly to Thunder Bay, a two hour flight from Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport, departing mid-morning on Monday, June 26. (find attached link to an article by AdeP on the city here) and spend the afternoon and evening at Fort William, one of the best restored forts in North America. Here, students will immerse themselves in the history of the Canadian fur trade, meet First Nations Elders, and after a dinner in the Great Hall of the North West Company, take in the night skies through the 20 inch/half-metre telescope of the David Thompson Observatory. Time permitting we may also arrange a tour of one of the freighters and the grain elevators in the port of Thunder Bay.

sleeping giant provincial park

The next day we will travel to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park where students will spend a few hours hiking and exploring in some of Canada’s most spectacular scenery, including interpretive study of the flora, fauna, and history. On the way we will make a stop and visit the Terry Fox Monument. Which celebrates this great Canadian who stopped his Marathon of Hope cross country run in Thunder Bay in 1980.

That afternoon, we will board a boat and make the 15 km trip from Silver Islet, a former Silver mining town on the tip of the Sleeping Giant to Porphyry Point Lighthouse, a voyage of roughly 45 minutes. The Lighthouse is under the control of the Canadian Coast Guard and Canadian Lighthouses of Lake Superior. The Managing Director of CLLS, Paul Morralee will be our host and guide during our two night stay on the island, where there are separate sleeping accommodations in two small houses for boys and girls.

The island is a treasure trove teeming with natural life in a brilliant maritime setting.  The teachers will have multiple activities planned for the students, including hiking, photography, leadership workshops, and in the evening the  brilliant night skies which have virtually no ambient light (yes, we will have a telescope with us) Coinciding near the Summer Equinox,  we will have light until almost 11 o’clock at night.

Please enjoy the Dropbox of photographs taken by Thunder Bay photographer Lois Nuttall, who has kindly allowed our families private use of her exemplary work; I met Lois last summer when she was photographer in residence and I was writer in residence at Porphyry Point respectively.

We look to return to Toronto by late afternoon of Thursday, June 29.

The proposed cost of the trip is $840.00 which includes airfare, the three nights’ accommodation, meals, and travel to and from the Lighthouse and our stay at Fort William.

We will host an information session on Thursday, February 16 beginning at 6pm.

In the meantime however don’t hesitate to contact Adam de Pencier for details. He can be reached at, or by telephone at 647-347-0958.

lake superior coast line at sunset

Though our physical doors remain temporarily closed, the minds of our students stay open. Summer classes are continuing to meet on their regular daily schedules, in virtual classrooms with face-to-face instruction and peer interaction.  The Blyth Academy model of small class sizes, flexible scheduling and individualized approach have enabled us to remain faithful to our standards. Our commitment to ongoing and meaningful communication between school, teachers, students and families has been critical to this effort.

Although our students have transitioned into summer mode and COVID-19 restrictions have begun to loosen, we are looking ahead to what September will hold for our campuses and families.
We want to be clear - our preference and our priority is to get students back to our campuses, but we must ensure this is done in a safe and effective way. While we await official guidance from Public Health and the Ministry of Education, a "return to school" task force has been hard at work putting concrete operational plans in place for all likely scenarios. This includes a full return to campus with safeguards, a blended model of virtual and in-campus learning and the continuation of fully virtual classrooms. All scenarios will provide robust learning and live, daily instruction and interaction with teachers and peers. 
With ten campuses across Ontario, we realize that each one of our schools is a unique space and community. We will be implementing across-the-board policies on hand washing, facility cleaning and social distancing measures. Each school is also prepared to pivot individually based on the guidance of local health authorities and to best serve students and families. 
Our recent survey showed that over 80 per cent of Blyth Academy families are eager to return to campuses, and we are hard at work to prepare for this day. As September's scenario becomes clearer and more information becomes available, we will continue to communicate. 

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