Trades & Technology

Welcome to Technology Studies and Computer Science at OTSS.  We have a dynamic department that offers the largest variety of Trades and Technology courses in the OCDSB. 

We offer an activity-based, project-driven approach to learning that will provide students with knowledge, skills, and experiences to succeed. We provide all of our students with a broad range of hands-on learning opportunities that students will be able to apply to their life, career, and educational paths. We look forward to welcoming you in one, or many, of our; shops, computer labs and studios!

Transportation - Small Engines - Auto Body

Automotive Transportation

As a student in this program, you’ll utilize a full range of knowledge and skills to perform preventative maintenance, diagnose problems, and repair vehicle systems on cars and light trucks.  Auto body courses are also available.

Some areas of focus include:

  1. General shop practice and automotive fundamentals on how to operate necessary test equipment.
  2. Gain familiarity working with engines, running gear, electrical systems, transmissions, steering systems, and braking mechanisms.
  3. Solve automotive mathematics and apply safety practices in the shop
  4. Associate environmental and social impacts on modern transportation technology

Auto Body

Auto body repair training is an excellent option for those interested in mechanics who want to get into the working world quickly or those who wish to pursue an auto body apprenticeship. The auto body repair program at OTSS teaches practical skills that can lead to many auto body and auto parts industry careers, from mechanical work to service and support.

If you’re interested in learning about auto body repair training and the opportunities it can open for you, here’s what you need to know.

Auto Body Repair Courses

The OTSS Auto body repair program is designed for people with an interest in repairing structural issues with motor vehicles (dents, auto body part replacement). A portion of the curriculum is dedicated to learning about mechanical systems, automobile parts and functions, and workplace safety. A large portion of class time is also spent in hands-on training

Some areas of focus include:

  1. General shop practice and autobody repair fundamentals on how to operate necessary equipment.
  2. Gain familiarity working with refinishing procedures, prepping for paint, body and frame repair, and welding
  3. Solve automotive mathematics and apply safety practices in the shop
  4. Associate environmental and social impacts on modern transportation technology

Green Industries/Horticulture

Horticulture is the study of vegetables, fruits, herbs, ornamental plants, and flowers. This explosive growth industry encompasses everyone from the backyard grower to large commercial operations.

Occupational or career areas include greenhouses, orchards, vegetable farms, seedling nurseries, garden centers, golf courses, city and provincial parks, landscaping, and landscape maintenance firms.

Students enrolled in this exciting course will be provided with many opportunities to learn about and experience possible career pathways. If you are interested in working in or learning more about the horticulture industry or having an interest in plants and enjoying the aspect of hands-on work, this course is right for you.

Some areas of focus include:

  1. Apply safe cooking and baking skills and knowledge using modern equipment
  2. Recognize career opportunities in the hospitality and tourism industry
  3. Design significant marketing initiatives to promote local industry
  4. Prepare and present food products in a variety of ways using classical and modern technique
  5. Use numeracy skills to calculate food costs and understand inventory systems
  6. Explore environmental and social considerations to Travel and Tourism and Hospitality Services  

Manufacturing Technology/Welding

A welder is a person who has training in and is capable of welding metals, on both plate and pipe, using manual or semi-automatic welding equipment. OTSS is proud to have the support and expertise of CWB (Canadian Welding Bureau) through our school/industry partnership.

OTSS students use flame-cutting, brazing, and air-arcing equipment. Additionally, they use machines such as brakes, shears, and other metal straightening and bending machines to manufacture authentic products. Learners interpret work from drawings or by analyzing the manufacturing job to determine the materials required.

Students may use CNC machines, 3D Printers, Laser Cutters, and Computers during the prototyping phase. 

Some areas of focus include:

  1. Skill and knowledge building using a wide variety of hand and computer-aided tools
  2. Developing critical decision making and project management skills
  3. Creating real-world finished projects using appropriate tools and techniques, using safe working practices
  4. Checking product specifications using precision measuring instruments and assist in maintaining equipment when appropriate
  5. Discovering environmental and social considerations related to Manufacturing and Welding    

Masonry/OYAP Level 1 Masonry

This OTSS introductory program prepares learners for entry-level positions as apprentice masons in the construction and heritage restoration part of the economy. Learners engage in a variety of classroom and shop activities. In the classroom, they learn theoretical principles of masonry, while shop sessions provide the hands-on opportunity to understand processes as they begin to master practical masonry skills.

Some areas of focus include:

  1. Learn to use hand tools, power tools, and other specialty equipment used by in the masonry trade
  2. Gain familiarity working with masonry building materials like concrete and hardware.
  3. Learn to build numerous projects   


This OTSS program provides learners with the opportunity to use the design process to build meaningful projects. Learners will gain insight into the processes necessary to create in-house carpentry products, repair residential, commercial and industrial buildings, all following local building codes. Students will work with various construction materials, including wood, concrete, fasteners, and engineered products, and use a wide array of hand and power tools.

Some areas of focus include:

  1. Learn to use hand tools, power tools, and other specialty equipment used by carpenters.
  2. Gain familiarity working with carpentry building materials like lumber, panel products, concrete, roofing, fasteners, and hardware.
  3. Learn to build numerous projects, including sheds, picnic tables, stairs, and framing for floors, walls, and roofs.   

Cosmetology/Hair Styling/Esthetics 

At OTSS we pride ourselves on the success of our students, by providing interactive teaching methods in a fully equipped salon environment. Learners are provided with hands-on opportunities in draping to protect clients, basic haircuts, braids, updos, shampoo procedures, blow-drying and various hot tool techniques (curling iron and flat iron), makeup applications, manicures and facials. All skills are supported by theory from the Standardized Milady textbook.

Some areas of focus include:

  1. Hygiene and grooming
  2. Health and safety protocol, sterilization and sanitation
  3. Precision hair cutting techniques
  4. Creative up-dos, braids and iron and blow-dry techniques
  5. Discovering environmental and social considerations related to Hairstyling and Cosmetology     

Tech Design

In this NEW OTSS program, learners will learn the design technologies that are literally changing our communities and world.  Hands-on activities using CNC, 3D Printers, Mig Welders, Table Saws, Planners, etc. will engage you as you apply the process of design (Ideate, Prototype, Test, Define, and Empathize)

Learners will discover how technological design is influenced by environmental, social, financial, and material requirements and will create electronic and working drawings to communicate solutions for design problems. In this process, students will collaborate with other OTSS programs, contribute to authentic school and community projects, and express their understanding of project initiatives while considering societal and environme
ntal issues.

Some areas of focus include:

  1. Hands-on application of the design process
  2. Assess test models and prototypes
  3. Manipulate a variety of tools, materials, and equipment in the completion of projects
  4. Apply design technology-specific math skills to find solutions while building products
  5. Explore the interconnection between design technology and other broad-based technologies
  6. Demonstrate safe working practices while creating products 

Communication Technology/Graphic Design & Print Media

NEW SHSM Fall 2021

Graphic Design, Digital Photography, and Social Media program

This OTSS will engage your love of creating while building skills and knowledge in a rewarding environment.  Engaging in hands-on projects will help develop your creative talents on your journey to becoming an excellent visual communicator.

You will use current industry software (Adobe) and modern computers and large colour accurate monitors in our graphic design lab. You will learn how to create digital images and typography while building skills in colour and design principles to take your work from concept to finished product. Projects provide you with practical experience in social media campaigns, advertising campaigns, and local business branding.

Communication Technology

This OTSS program allows learners to explore a wide range of visual communication tools and techniques.  Video production and editing, Animation, Graphics Illustrations, Comic book production, Digital Photography, and Audio processing are all part of this exciting course.

Learners spend their time creating hands-on content, putting theory into practice daily.  Our links with the community, the school board, and the local industry provide students with authentic opportunities to build confidence and showcase their abilities all within a caring environment.

Some areas of focus include:

  1. Composing and processing digital photography images
  2. Designing content for online and print environment
  3. Exploring design choices and best practices
  4. Preparing and post processing  videos 
  5. Creating short animations
  6. Discovering environmental and social considerations related to Communication Technology   

Women in Trades and Technology

OTSS is an advocate supporting Women in Trades, and we strive to provide all learners with industry role models, conferences, and unique opportunities to support our learners. OTSS is a proud host of Women In Trades OCDSB events, where young women are inspired by female industry leaders in Trades and Technology.

Young women interested in rewarding careers in the trades will receive hands-on training to prepare them for an in-demand and rewarding career. An example of this is our paid Masonry Level 1 program. 

Get more out of your education at OTSS, where we leverage the OCDSB’s industry connections and collaborative projects to discover a professional network in your chosen trade.

  1. At OTSS, our goal is to promote and encourage the number of young women taking advantage of apprenticeship opportunities currently in Ontario; they are underrepresented in proportion to the total number of skilled trades individuals in the workplace.
  2. OTSS has created a respectful and welcoming educational environment for young women interested in the trades. We provide work experience and Co-op opportunities that can lead to OYAP opportunities in safe, healthy, inclusive, and equitable, free of harassment, bullying, and discrimination.        

Specialist High Skills Major

A Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows grade 11 and 12 students to focus on a specific sector while meeting graduation requirements. It also assists OTSS students in their transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university, or the workplace.

Key benefits of SHSM:

Pursuing an SHSM enables students to:

  • Customize their secondary school education to suit their interests, talents and develop specialized knowledge and skills
  • Earn credits that postsecondary educational institutions and the sector recognize
  • Gain sector-recognized certification and career-relevant training
  • Develop essential skills and work habits, identify, explore and refine career goals and make informed decisions about their future
  • Remain flexible, with the option to shift between pathways, should their goals and plans change

Students who successfully complete an SHSM receive:

  1. An Ontario Secondary School Diploma with an embossed red seal
  2. A SHSM Record documenting his/her achievement
  3. Formal recognition on his/her Ontario Student Transcript   


The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is a School to Work program for grade 11 or 12 students that opens the door for students to explore and experience apprenticeship skilled trade career opportunities through the OTSS Cooperative Education program.

The OTSS Goals of OYAP:

  1. Provide students with the opportunity to start training in a skilled trade while completing the requirements for an OSSD
  2. Enable students to make the school work transition by direct entry into apprenticeship training
  3. Provide a viable solution to address the problem of skilled tradespeople shortages in general, specifically the lack of young people entering the trades.

OTSS College Delivered Dual Credit Program

Dual Credits allow students in secondary school to take college or apprenticeship courses that count towards both the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and a post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree, or an apprenticeship certification.

With the Dual Credit Program, you can:

  1. Experience college while still in high school at no cost to you
  2. Earn high school credits and college credits at the same time in the same course
  3. Learn in state-of-the-art facilities
  4. Explore different pathway options
  5. Explore life as a college student while still in secondary school
  6. Earn extra credits towards graduation
  7. Fast track your college diploma/certificate/degree
  8. Transition from secondary school to post-secondary education, while examining different pathway options
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