Former Whitevale School: July 2021

On a dead end lane off a dead end country road near Whitevale in Pickering

I was surprised to find a very large former school. The building is in reasonable shape and the large grounds are well kept. There is no identification sign for the building except for the original marking:

Perhaps it was a private residence for a time but appears uninhabited now.

Here is a reference I found on-line:

In 1865, the Whitevale School was built.  The old James White homestead located on the corner of Lot 28, Con. 5 was selected as the site for the new school and cost $150. The school was built by Whitevale resident T. P. White for a cost of $1,900. Other members of the community contributed to the school; the brick was brought from Hubbard’s Kiln on Brock Road and the windows and doors were made in Whitevale.

There is another unoccupied property nearby:


I will identify it at the end of the post.

Some botany:

Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Creeping Bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides)
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis)
Red Soldier Beetles on White Sweet-clover
St. John’s-wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
Orange Day-lily (Hemerocallis fulva)
Bee on Bull Thistle
White Sweet-clover (Melilotus alba)
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Acadian Hairstreak on Valerian
False Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
Common Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Goat’s-beard (Tragopogon)
Milkweed Bug on Goldenrod
Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Alternate-leaved Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)
Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia)
Common Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)


The black central breast spot identifies a Song Sparrow.

Song Sparrow


Thanks to Heather Pantrey for these remarkable photos.

Hi Miles,

I loved your Barn Swallow pictures.  I have tried without success to get shots of the feeding process this year.  However, yesterday, in the windows of the factory near Sam Smith Park, I caught these Cliff Swallow pictures.  It was great to see the birds returning to their old haunt.


Cool in the very furnace of July
The water-meadows lie;
The green stalks of their grasses and their flowers
They still refresh at fountains never dry.                       – John Drinkwater (1882–1937)

Miles Hearn

1 thought on “Former Whitevale School: July 2021

  1. Lisa Volkov

    I love these old brick buildings. Are these just being abandoned to rot? It seems like a shame, architecturally speaking. Thanks for finding and sharing them, along with the history of the school.
    Beautiful botany, butterfly and bugs!
    And yes, I got the “mystery bird”! (Thanks for making some of them easier. I should start calling the ones I get “mastery birds”!)
    And additional thanks to Heather for sharing her remarkable pictures of Barn Swallows!
    Thanks, Miles!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *