Mary Ward’s history begins with the school first being two campuses. The first was known as the “Tin Can” and the second, a taken-down relocatable. Overcrowding at both Francis Libermann and Senator O’Conner Catholic High Schools caused the creation of the school. The campus was founded on January 23rd, 1985, the date of Mary Ward’s 400th birthday under the leadership of Mary Anne O'Leary with a small 200 students first attending. The North Campus, containing the relocatables was placed on 25 Canongate Trail on Birchmount and Steeles while the South Campus was located on 36 Greenfield Avenue near the Sheppard and Yonge intersection. Two years later, in 1987, a new campus was built on the current site of the school, at 3200 Kennedy Road at Kennedy Rd and McNicoll Ave, with the complete building being finished by September, 1991. The self-directed learning program was later implemented in the year of 1992 and by 1995 the school had become a founding member of the CCSDL or Canadian Coalition of Self-Directed Learning Schools. Since then, notable graduates of the school have been Craig Kielburger, Co-Founder of Free the Children, and Brittney Habbib,a gymnast that participated in the 2006 Commonwealth Games.