Welcome to Gary Allan Learning Centres

Gary Allan Learning Centres offer courses and programs for participants of all ages throughout the Halton Region.

Welcome to Gary Allan Learning Centres

Gary Allan Learning Centres are a place of opportunity and experiential learning as students work towards achieving their educational goals.  We are a school that oversees a wide range of Adult, Alternative and Continuing Education programs and courses, within the Halton District School Board.  Each year, such learning opportunities serve over 13,000 students, between the ages of 4 – 90+ years old,  across Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Georgetown and Acton.

Our free Adult Education programs serve students who are over the age of 18 years old, allowing them various methods of working towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or return to upgrade and/or take courses to assist in switching career paths. Course options include The Bridges to Success (BTS) program–online courses tailored to 18 to 21 year olds,  Adult Class Credit Courses — teacher-directed courses in an in-class environment for students who are 21 years of age and older, and Adult eCredit courses — fully online courses for students who are 21 years of age and older.

Whatever the reason for attending Gary Allan Learning Centre, our learners will have the opportunity to attend one of our Adult Learning Commons in Burlington, Oakville, Milton or Georgetown to work 1:1 with a qualified teacher, or to work fully online.   Adult Cooperative Education opportunities are also available.

We also have classes for teens! S.T.E.P. stands for Secondary Teen Education Program where students enrolled in our Alternative Education classes will be experiencing, engaging and expanding their learning within smaller, well supported classroom environments.  We deliver S.T.E.P classes at our four campus locations, Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Georgetown. At the Burlington campus only, the T.R.E.X (Trades Exploration Program) class is offered for those students interested in the carpentry and woodworking trades. Alternative Education also offers Cooperative Education opportunities for real-life work experience, as students work towards completing their OSSD.

Finally, Gary Allan Learning Centre delivers a number of Continuing Education programs and courses that run all year long.  The following is a list of current offerings:


Together, we will do whatever it takes to inspire, empower and support a student’s journey to success.




Together, we will do whatever it takes to inspire, empower and support your journey to success.


At Gary Allan Learning Centres we see:

  • students feeling safe, valued and proud
  • learning that is engaging, progressive, relevant and meaningful
  • our diverse student population driving learning opportunities that extend to multiple pathways
  • learning powered by innovative technology
  • the greater community respecting students and their contributions


At Gary Allan Learning Centres we value:

  • each student’s unique voice, challenges, strengths and story
  • an authentic learning experience that is engaging and goal-driven
  • a safe and respectful community, nurturing relationships to empower and foster success
  • resilient life-long learners who develop meaning and purpose
    collaboration with our greater community to ensure success for our diverse student population

Gary Allan: 1946 – 2001

Gary Allan photoA graduate of Nelson High School, Gary Allan was an incredible teacher who had a lifelong passion for learning. Gary began his career path as a chef and then entered the teaching profession in 1969, first in Hamilton and then at General Brock High School in Burlington in 1976, becoming the first Technical Director at E.C. Drury High School in Milton.

In 1983, Gary was appointed first Head of the Self-Reliant Learning Program, an innovation designed for students who were having difficulty in school, with programs where learning was tailored to the individual’s needs. Flexible timetabling provided opportunities to take classes during the daytime, as well as evenings and weekends. Under Gary’s leadership the program grew and the Milton site was soon added.

Gary understood that students entered the programs for a variety of reasons and with diverse needs. If they needed something that was not offered, he was determined to find a way to help them and thus Gary and the staff committed to do “whatever it takes” to encourage their students. Adults and adolescents alike responded to the opportunity to return to school and an extraordinary learning environment was nurtured.

In 1990, the Self-Reliant sites combined with the Adult Learner Program to form the Adult High School. In an effort to provide service to a greater spectrum of learners, Gary shepherded the expansion of programs into all regions of Halton, including Acton, Burlington, Georgetown, Milton, and Oakville, introducing programs for Teen Moms and the forerunner to STEP – Futures. As an entrepreneur, he developed partnerships with Human Resources Development Canada to provide training programs for displaced workers. In co-operation with Halton Region, the On Track program was started for social assistance recipients.

Today, the majority of our programs can be traced to Gary’s innovative and determined spirit. With the addition of programs such as Online courses, Night School, Summer School, International and Indigenous Languages Program (Elementary), and Literacy & Numeracy Remediation, we continue to strive to reach out to learners across the school district.

By 1998, failing health forced Gary to take a leave from his position as Program Manager of the Adult High School, but his wise counsel and philosophy continued to guide much of the work of the school. He often remarked that it wasn’t what you taught, or how you taught it, but to whom you taught it, that was most important. He believed that if it was educationally sound, it was administratively possible.

Sadly, Gary passed away in December of 2001. His work to encourage lifelong learning, through providing accessible & innovative programs across the school district, continues to enhance educational opportunities in Halton.

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