The present school began as two distinct high schools in the Islington-City Centre West neighbourhood (better known as Six Points) of Kipling, Dundas and Bloor. The Sisters of St. Joseph opened St. Joseph's Islington, an all-girls high school named after the patron of Canada himself, Saint Joseph, located on 3700 Bloor Street West near Islington Avenue in 1949 with a population of 150 girls.
Eight years later in 1957, the Basilian Fathers started Michael Power High School, an all-boys high school on 5055 Dundas Street West behind a farmhouse, in an orchard and next to an Esso station, named after the first Catholic bishop of Toronto. Initially, it was to be named after one of their patrons, St. Francis. It was over James Charles McGuigan in 1957 changed the name to Bishop Power and later to Michael Power. Before the school opened it had three different letterheads.
Six Basilian Fathers were appointed to run the school the first year, there were 160 students and tuition was $150. The orchard was cut down the summer before the school opened to begin work on a playing field that would take over two years to complete. An additional wing was added to Michael Power in 1960.
By 1961, Power students were taking biology classes at St. Joseph's and St. Joseph's students were at Power to take physics, Latin and a few other subjects. The first graduates emerged that same year. In 1967, while Michael Power's 10th anniversary coincided with the country's 100th birthday, the schools entered an agreement with the Metropolitan Separate School Board (now the Toronto Catholic District School Board), whereby Grade 9 and 10 students would be under the publicly funded separate school system, while grades 11-13 continued to be taught by the Basilian Fathers and the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Into the 1970s, the new classrooms and a gym arrived with the centre portable, south portable and gym C in 1971. Michael Power became a co-educational school (with the girls being admitted into the institution) in 1973, it saw the introduction of the semester system being from nine 1/2 hour classes to four 70 minute classes despite the girls continued to attend St. Joseph's Islington. In terms of athletics, Power dominate nearly every team and individual sport in the TDCAA (and also Ontario) as far as track and field was concerned. The Junior Trojans football team won all ten league and exhibition games on their way to the championship as well as never being scored against in 1975. With a shining success of the union of Michael Power and St. Joseph's High School was the day Father Malone, the principal showed up wearing a blazer made of St. Joseph's Islington kilt plaid in a foreshadowing move. The graduating class of 1978 from Michael Power and St. Joseph's held the graduation ceremony at St. Michael's Cathedral. It was moved to the Etobicoke Olympium (now the ceremonies are held since then at Mississauga Convention Centre).
The two schools were officially unified under one name - Michael Power - St. Joseph in September 1982 on the same locations at 3700 Bloor Street West and 5055 Dundas Street West. The designated principal was a Basilian Father while the vice-principal was a Sister of St. Joseph. By 1984, however, the Ontario Government began funding Catholic high schools beyond Grade 10. As the Basilian Fathers continued to lead Michael Power/St. Joseph until the retirement of Fr. Paul James and the withdrawal of the Basilian Fathers and the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1987, Michael Power-St. Joseph was ceased as a private school, although it maintained the tradition characterized the coexistence of these two separate school communities throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The operations, curriculum, funding, and maintenance of Michael Power -St. Joseph was passed on to the MSSB.
The southern campus of Michael Power-St. Joseph that established in spring of 1985 that was evolved into today's Father John Redmond. As a result of overcrowding at the main campus during the 1980s, the south campus of Michael Power/St. Joseph with 17 staff and 300 students under vice-principal Jack Smith was established on the former Alderwood Collegiate Institute in spring 1985 with the Basilian tradition: "Teach me goodness, discipline, and knowledge". The campus itself became a standalone high school and was named after Father John Redmond, a former principal and teacher at Michael Power/St. Joseph as well as a Basilian priest, educator and prominent national track and field coach: Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School was established on September 2, 1986.
In September 1993, after reorganization by the Etobicoke Board of Education, the school moved to its present location on 105 Eringate Drive, the former home of Vincent Massey Collegiate Institute, which was closed in 1985 due to low enrollment and the property was transferred to the MSSB by July 1, 1990. However, that site was served as an adult learning centre and the campus for Mississauga's Philip Pocock Catholic Secondary School for grades 11-13 from 1987-1992.
At one point, the old buildings on Dundas and Bloor served as the new campus for Monsignor Fraser College from 1994 until it moved to Thistletown Blvd (later Plunkett Blvd. and now presently on Norfinch Drive) when the schools were demolished in the late 1990s and was sold to the condo developer, Pemberton Group to make way for the condos that were built on the old campuses in 2003 and a park built as well.
What the old school grounds look like now.
Michael Power Place (Condos) Site Plan
Current Michael Power St. Joseph's High School
Father John Redmond Secondary Schoool
Gone but not forgotten, see the High School Photos page for pictures of our old school(s).