Brentwood College School Logo
The original Brentwood Chapel in 1924 with students working in the rafters


Brentwood College School was founded in 1923 by a board of governors led by Cuthbert Holmes and its first Headmaster, H.P. Hope. The School was originally located in Brentwood Bay, near Saanich, on Vancouver Island—from where its name derived. Starting with an initial enrolment of fifty boys and a faculty of four, the School gained an enviable reputation through outstanding academic and athletic results. Brentonians remember with pride the achievements of our founding students including Brentwood's first Olympian Ned Pratt (Class of 1930), and former Federal Cabinet Minister Alastair Gillespie (Class of 1941).

In 1947, the Brentwood Bay campus was destroyed by a fire, leaving only the chapel intact. Despite this, Old Brentonians remained loyal to the spirit of their alma mater and dreamed of rebuilding their school. In September 1961, a board of dedicated alumni, inspired by the enthusiasm of newly hired Headmaster David Mackenzie, re-established the School on the shores of Mill Bay—directly across the inlet from the original site.

In 1972, Brentwood College School became the first all-boys boarding school in Canada to become co-educational, enrolling around twenty brave Grade 12 female students for the fall session. In 1976, BC-born William T. Ross was appointed as Headmaster, remaining at the helm until 2000. He was succeeded by Andrea Pennells, who served as our Head of School until 2012 and who was also the first female Head of School among co-ed boarding schools in Canada at the time.

From its early days, this school has flourished through the continual rebuilding of the campus; the development of Brentwood’s unique Tripartite Program of academics, athletics, and arts; and its strong tradition of leadership and service.

Queen Alexandra Solarium in Mill Bay, BC, in the 1940s