Day 102 of a 365-Day Portrait of Canada: An Inspiring Teacher / Canada Flags!

Tim and I first met Marsha Lecour by happenstance at a Toronto pizza place called “the Mystic Oven.” During our lovely conversation, we found out that Marsha Lecour is related to someone very special in Canadian history. We arranged to meet up with Marsha at the school where she teaches the next time we came through town. 

Marsha works at the Notre Dame High School in the Beaches area of Toronto. It is a lovely old building situated about half a mile north of Lake Ontario. She been teaching there since 1981 – and even though this is her year to retire, (after 28 years), she is enjoying herself so much that she is going to keep teaching. When asked how long she might continue she says, “I don’t know. I don’t want to put a time limit on it, I still love what I do.”

Since 1990, Marsha has been teaching senior girls in grade 11 and 12 in a course called “Co-op” where students go out into the community to work for part of the school day.  She finds it very rewarding as a lot of “at risk” students who do not always like to be in school flourish in this course. 

“You put them (the students) in the workplace, in an area that they thrive in, and they do a 360; they turn around dramatically. It is so satisfying to see that.. As long as I can keep doing that, I will stay here.” 

Students are placed in all sorts of jobs, from daycare centers to retail, hospitality, high-end restaurants, schools, massage therapist’s, doctor’s offices and veteraniarn clinics. The students come up with a list of five possible placements, and then Mrs. Lecour helps them to follow up. 

During our conversation with this inspiring teacher, we also discovered that Marsha is related to a key figure and past teacher: Marguerite Bourgeoys. She calls the circumstances “serendipity.” Marguerite Bourgeoys is in the family tree as a distant aunt. 

“I started teaching here in 1981, at a school (Notre Dame as I pointed out), and this school was founded by the Congregation of Notre Dame, which was founded by Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys.  I didn’t know the connection at all. Until after my Grandmother kept saying to me, you know Marsha, Marguerite Bourgeoys is in the family tree. And I would just say politely, yes Grandma. Then  I saw it in the family tree which my uncle passed on to me.“

“When you really get know Marguerite Bourgeoys and what she is, she really is a hero, for anybody. She is someone that you can aspire to be. She started the first school in Canada, and she is very highly respected in education in Canada.“

 We are posting this on story on Marguerite Bourgeoys’ feast day, January 12th in appreciation for what Saint Marguerite did and in thanks for dedicated teachers like Marsha Lecour who make a difference in many lives everyday.  



Throughout our cross-Canada trip we have been gathering a number of Canadian flag photos from all sorts of interesting places.  In some ways it is like a study; observing the variety of ways that the flag is displayed. Many flags are tattered and torn or twisted around a pole, barely recognizeable from a distance. Some are at half-mast in rememberance of individuals no longer with us. Others are so brand-new the fold lines are still apparent. This iconic symbol of Canada patriotism comes in all sizes and shades of red (fire engine brilliant or faded nearly to a translucent orange). The Canadian flag fluttering in the wind unites us all.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here are a few sample shots (we plan on having hundreds by the end of our journey).












Environment Canada Flag


1 Response to “Day 102 of a 365-Day Portrait of Canada: An Inspiring Teacher / Canada Flags!”

  1. January 25, 2009 at 2:28 am

    Saw you in Picton today and overheard your explanation of what you were doing, then I saw your van with the website in the firehall parking lot. Fantastic project and great website. I am going to pass it on to others I know who will be interested. Happy trails.


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