Albert Street School was a two storey red and white brick building, located on Albert Street, north of Wilkinson Avenue. Albert Street School experienced many changes throughout the years and was demolished in 1974.
Albert Street School and it sister school, Mary Street School, were built to help alleviate overcrowding at the Centre Street School. They were constructed in 1877 using the same plans, drawn up by architect, Mr. Mowat. Plans for the schools indicate that the two storey building consisted of four rooms each – 26 square feet in size, with an entryway measuring 16 feet by 26 feet. The schools were both completed for just under $5000, each.
The first principal of Albert Street School in 1877 was Mr. Bush, although his short tenure only lasted a few weeks, and he was replaced by Mr. Black who took over for the remainder of the first year.
In the 1880s, the principal was Mr. Oliver Hezzlewood, and he created a scholarship for students getting the highest marks at the entrance examination in Oshawa. The prize consisted of $15, and as long as the student stayed in school, they would have been paid it yearly. Hezzlewood was much loved even after he retired in January 1886.
Miss. A. Scales became the first women to be a principal at Albert Street School in the fall of 1896, and she remained in the position for just about a decade. In 1907, Miss. Annie Scales resigned due to her health and the school board transferred Miss Annie Ellis from Mary Street School to take over. One of the most noted female principals of Albert Street was Fanny Hislop. She began at this school around 1878 and was appointed principal in 1911, a post she held for thirteen years.
In 1902 the school underwent some much-needed repairs such as new flooring, new chimneys and new ceilings. It underwent an addition which was completed in 1909. In 1911 a fever epidemic stuck this side of the town, and, sadly, some of the classes saw their numbers reduced by as much as 50%. During the Second World War, Albert St. School was closed for two years due to shortage of electricity and fuel. The students attended King Street, Centre Street, or South Simcoe Schools.
Albert Street School served many students and teachers through the years until it was turned into offices and storage space in the summer of 1967. In the later months of 1974, the old building was demolished.
With information from:
J Douglas Ross, Education in Oshawa: From Settlement to City (1970).
Olive French, Education in Oshawa (unpublished manuscript), (1967), accessed via: https://olivefrench.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/the-ward-schools-albert-street-and-mary-street-1877/