At the start of the school year, York House launched its new House names. The Houses are named for four of the tree-named streets in our neighbourhood: Arbutus (blue), Cypress (yellow), Maple (red), and Pine (green).
These new House names are the culmination of a naming process that engaged the entire York House community during the 2020-21 school year. Last spring, the York House community of students, alumna, families, staff and faculty engaged in a process to generate new House names and shared their name submissions and feedback. Over 150 name ideas were submitted by Yorkies of all generations, ranging from current Junior Kindergarten students to alumnae from the grad class of 1965.
With these 150 names in mind, members of the YHS community engaged in focus groups, responded to surveys, and wrote emails offering their feedback on the names. After several rounds of feedback, a short-list of names was shared with the YHS community for even more feedback, which ultimately led to the adoption of the new House names: Arbutus, Cypress, Maple and Pine.
The YHS community wanted the House names to achieve four main things. Firstly, it was important that the House names have a meaningful and tangible connection to York House School. Secondly, there was an overwhelming desire for the House names to reflect nature and our local environment. Thirdly, there was a desire to select names that are unique to York House, amongst other schools in our community. And finally, YHS community members wanted names that would stand the test of time.
Our new House names reference York House’s location, where we have existed since 1932, in this distinctive neighbourhood full of massive trees – which are echoed in its streets’ names. These tree-named streets connect our two campuses; as students journey from the Little School to the Junior and Senior Schools, these streets and the tree canopy overhead guide their paths. These names reflect the YHS community’s clear desire that the House names have a tangible connection to York House School.
Like trees and like the students who will bear them proudly in House events and competitions, these House names will grow over time and their meanings will deepen as generations of Yorkies adopt them and make them their own.
Visit www.yorkhouse.ca/housenames to learn more about the process.