YMCI Remembers After the Fire

YMCI Remembers


York Memorial CI - 1994



I was a young kid when I started at Memo, 23 years old, I was so excited entering such a vibrant and exciting school that was to be my home for the next almost 30 years. Sometimes I really can’t believe all that time passed, I walked through those halls, and taught in almost every single room in one course or another. There are so many memories for me, too many to count, it really was my home, there were good times and some challenging ones, and I was always happy to go to school each day,

The day it burnt down, I could not stop crying, I had never experienced such a feeling of loss, other than when my my Dad passed away, it was like watching your home, your memories, a place you cherished and was always there for you, gone.

I find solace in the saying don’t be sad it’s over be happy it happened and I am so very happy, that I grew up in a wonderful school and that I am a part of the Memo history, and hopefully carry the honour of Memo into the future.

Julie Fortuna


York Memorial was my first full time teaching position. I will never forget walking into her gorgeous auditorium that would become my classroom for many years. I had never seen anything quite like it especially in a high school. My mentor Doug Norris, introduced me to this room and referred to it as “The heart of Memo” and it certainly was! The countless plays, dance shows, ceremonies, and events I would partake in on that very stage was incredible. She really was my second home and her beauty was never lost on me. I still can’t believe a fire would take her but nothing can extinguish my memory of the magic that was created there, and the wonderful people I encountered during that time. In the words of Doctor Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened!”

Renata Arquilla






One of my favourite things about coaching is the fact that students from all grades, academic ability, and backgrounds can come together with one common interest. When you choose to spend dozens, if not hundreds of hours a year working together on something you are passionate about, these teammates become more than just fellow students, they become family. After the fire, decades of cheerleaders shared their pictures, videos and memories of how sport and their experiences inside 2690 changed their life for the better. This is not just the story of cheer....this is the story of sport in general, music, drama, yearbook, you name the extra-curricular. This is what makes school fun and what makes students see their teachers as fellow humans. What they don't realize is that they had just as much of a positive influence on our lives, as we may have had on theirs.

With pleasure,

Christina Ostermann




As former students of York Memorial watched their beloved alma mater engulfed in flames, many shared fond memories of the school and what it meant to them online.




Student Quote1




YMCI  former student Josue Flamenco and Principal Donna Drummond comment on the impact of the YMCI fire.



York Memorial CI video,  #foreveramustang,  produced by Amaal Hassan



York Memorial CI Fire, The Aftermath (documentary), produced by Savannah Wood in her film class.


York Memo

Vern Nicholson's beautiful tribute to York Memorial CI's students, staff and alumni , "Go Forth with New Strength." Please click on this hyperlink to listen to this song.: https://soundcloud.com/verntunes/go-forth-with-new-strength-demo…. #MemoStrong 


Principal Quote


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