Western Canada’s all-girls day and boarding school

Boarding at St. Margaret’s School provides a unique opportunity to live and study in an urban-rural setting. Located on 22 beautiful acres, our campus is in a safe residential neighbourhood at the border of a rural greenbelt with access to walking and cycling trails. The school is also just minutes from the downtown of Victoria, Canada’s most beautiful city and the vibrant capital of British Columbia.

Questions? We’re here to help. Connect with Admissions.

SMS Boarding Highlights

  • Welcome Home: Families love our secure, and natural environment, and girls thrive in our nurturing community surrounded by motivated peers, and experienced staff all day and night.
  • One of the Family: Our residence model is designed to create a welcoming home-away-from-home. Livein House Moms also teach or work in other areas of the school, which provides a 360-degree perspective to supporting each girl’s learning goals.
  • Sisterhood: Multiple opportunities exist to build connections with Canadian day students, including being a mentor or “big sister” to younger students in our JK–12 school.
  • Health and Wellness: Boarding students have access to onsite medical care and counselling, as well as a range of wellness activities including: tennis, cycling, yoga, personal training, and more.
  • Beyond Academics: Our robust activities program gets girls out being active and discovering new interests.
  • Personal Growth: Students develop independence, resilience, and accountability while living in residence.
  • Adventures Abroad: Weekend field trips and adventurous excursions are offered as part of life in residence, taking advantage of the natural wonders of the West Coast.

Why Boarding?

Modern boarding schools offer students opportunities to stretch themselves personally and academically, and gain valuable life experiences that prepare them for the post-secondary environment and life beyond.

  • You will be immersed in learning: boarding schools offer a balanced program where school is much more than academics with clubs, athletics and other extracurricular opportunities at your doorstep.
  • You will have an adventure: studying in another part of the country or the world offers a chance to explore and step outside your comfort zone. After-school and weekend activities provide diverse experiences and memorable adventures.
  • You will form friendships that span the globe: the closeknit community of residential life offers a unique global perspective. You will have the chance to learn with peers from all over the world, be exposed to different cultures, and understand each other’s differences.
  • You will be prepared for the future: life in residence closely resembles a post-secondary environment, making your transition to university an easy one. You will learn to manage your time and balance school life, free time, and studies.

Life In Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and one of the most beautiful cities in Canada. It is a small city, well known for its cultural attractions, recreational opportunities, temperate climate, and natural surroundings. Our campus is located in a quiet neighbourhood minutes from downtown Victoria. It is less than 30 minutes from Victoria International Airport and the BC Ferries terminal, making our school easily accessible to families visiting from out of town.


Beyond Boarding Blog

Lifer in Residence

I grew up in Sooke, BC, and came to SMS in 2014, beginning my high school journey and moving into my new home in Grade 9. I remember touring the…

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Life-hers: Celebrating our Residence Lifers

Written by Annie Maki, Residence House Parent & Communications Assistant Anyone familiar with boarding school life will venture that many of the…

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Dear Pre-Boarding School Me

Choosing to attend a boarding school is a big decision - but one we feel you won't regret. Boarding is filled with opportunities that make living in…

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Life in Residence

The SMS residence community is a nurturing environment that empowers young women to develop academically, socially, and morally, preparing them for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

  • Residence houses: all four houses (Barton, Fenwick, French, and Pearce) are not typical dormitories and are nestled in a quiet corner of our campus.
  • Residence facilities: Houses have 18 modern rooms, each room features a private bathroom and accommodates two girls. Residence houses offer convenient access to school athletic and academic facilities including the tennis courts, gyms, fitness centre, dance/yoga studio, computer and language labs, and music rooms.
  • Resident parents: our residence houses are staffed by a dedicated team four live-in parents, one in each residence house, and dedicated staff provide support in each house during the day, after school, and throughout the night. Our house moms also teach or work in other areas of the school, which offers them more opportunity to really get to know their charges, understand each girl’s learning goals, and provide support throughout the day.
  • Residence Activities: one of the benefits of living on campus is the accessibility of extracurricular clubs and activities such as: concerts, plays, movies, hockey games; local markets, museums and galleries, bowling, skating, swimming, hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, paddle boarding, and whale watching, surf trips to Tofino, ski and snowboard trips to Whistler, trips to Vancouver and Seattle (USA). Boarding students may also participate in travel abroad by participating in cultural exchanges, service trips, or annual European tour over Spring Break.

Residence Services

  • Dining: Residence students are served three healthy meals and snacks in Alexis Hall.
  • Laundry: Students can choose to do their laundry bin their houses for $1, or have it done on laundry day.
  • Cleaning: Students are responsible for keeping their residence room and common room clean to foster good personal care habits. Residence houses are also cleaned professionally.
  • Campus Health Clinic: open from Monday to Friday and is staffed with nurses, physician, and counsellors. Staff help students make any appointments off campus to urgent medical care if needed or any paramedical services not delivered on site (dental, massage, physiotherapy).
  • Counselling services: available during and after school hours, with a dedicated residence counsellor on staff in the evenings to offer advice, help boarding students through homesickness and culture shock, and resolve interpersonal conflicts with roommates.
  • Transportation: our school transport team provides regular service to downtown Victoria, the BC Ferries terminal, and Victoria International Airport. Our bus service to downtown Victoria is available weekends at 5:30 p.m. with pickup at 9:30 and 10:30 p.m. Taxis and public transit are another option and the cost of taxi rides can be charged directly to the girl’s account.
  • Homestays: SMS can arrange local accommodation with a Canadian family for any boarding students not planning to travel home over school holidays.
  • Security: Our campus is patrolled by security guards in the evenings and weekends, and house parents are on staff at all times.

“The unique residence environment at St. Margaret’s School empowers each girl to reach her full potential. We are a caring and passionate team dedicated to providing opportunities for growth that both challenge and inspire. Our girls become confident, well-rounded, and independent young women. St. Margaret’s boarders develop awareness of and respect for others within our nurturing and supportive community.”

Residence Mission Statement

The Residence Curriculum

The residence curriculum is a framework of intentional opportunities for girls to gain the experiences that their parents would typically give them at home. It is designed to develop girls’ social, emotional, and life skills through conversation and activities – both individual and group. Girls also gain perspective from their House Moms, a diverse group of nurturing women.

  • Community Building and Social Opportunities: examples include – house contests, movie nights, laser tag, sports matches, theatre performances, clubs either residencespecific (knitting, cooking, scrapbooking, etc.) or school clubs and teams.
  • Creative Endeavours: examples include – art club, music lessons, bands, various forms of dance (hip hop, ballet, and Bollywood), glee club, school play, talent show, performing at international dinners.
  • Active Pursuits: examples include: golf club, intramurals, wellness club, horseback riding, squash, rock climbing, tennis, rowing, yoga, bellyfit, personal training, kickboxing, paddle boarding, Tofino surfing trip, aquatics, cross-country, basketball, rowing, soccer, volleyball.
  • Service: examples include – outreach club, green/ environmental club, peer tutors, and volunteer opportunities at the local hospital, library, animal shelter, and retirement homes.
  • Goal Setting and Life Skills: examples include: Budgeting, bike repair, cooking, university guidance, driver’s education, volunteering, personal training, leadership, and more – these are all opportunities available to our students in boarding school.