Gardens Commercial High School is a fine mixture of the old and the new. The five original houses which still form parts of the school buildings were built in 1882 and were used as U.C.T. residences during the 1920’s. Since then they have housed a private hotel, the offices of the Provincial Administration (1939 – 1944) and the offices of the Department of Inland Revenue and the Rent Control Board (1944 – 1967).

In 1967 the demolition of Avenue Terrace – as the buildings were then known – was planned. In its stead a new school would be built to house the pupils from the Day School of Commerce (est. 1961) which, until then, had been a department of the Cape Technical College. These plans, however, were shelved and the original buildings were adapted for use as a school.

In 1968 the school came under the jurisdiction of the Cape Education Department and a year later it was renamed Gardens Commercial High School. The Avenue Terrace buildings survived intact, a second time, when demolition plans were again mooted.

When Louis Karol Architects were commissioned in 1976 to build the new school, their decision to incorporate Avenue Terrace finally guaranteed the survival of these buildings. The intriguing blend of old and new in this design earned the architects an Award of Merit from the Institute of South African Architects.

In 1984 – two years before the school’s silver anniversary – the Twistniet Sports Complex was opened in Upper Orange Street. It offers facilities for hockey, tennis, basketball, netball and athletics.

We are proud of our fine school and its historic links with the city of Cape Town. In 1993 the old School buildings, the wall and the ground were declared a National Monument. The original deeds of transfer of the ground, are part of the Uitvlugt, date to 1732.

In 2006 Gardens become a WCED FOCUS SCHOOLS



In an innovative, forward-thinking project, the Western Cape Education Department has nominated twenty-seven secondary schools, to be converted into focus schools. Gardens Commercial High School is one of them, with a focus on Business, Commerce & Management.


  • Increase access to and quality in subjects previously not available to all learners

  • Increase the participation and success rate of learners, especially previously disadvantaged learners, in the Further Education and Training (FET) band

  • Empower people by equipping them with scarce skills needed in the marketplace

What are focus schools?  These schools are expected to:

  • Have the highest concentration of quality human resources and equipment in a particular field

  • Nurture and offer comprehensive training to learners with exceptional talent, aptitude or interest

  • Be schools of excellence

  • Serve as lead institutions in their fields

  • Benefit the learners, the education system and ultimately the economy

As part of this initiative, learners have access to:

  • a fully equipped Resource Centre

  • two computer labs

  • the internet and wifi

  • a computer and data projector in each classroom

About Us

Gardens Commercial is a coeducational inner city school with learners aged 12 – 18 years.



Address: Paddock Avenue, Gardens
Telephone: +27 21 465 1236
Facsimile: +27 21 465 1448
Email: admin@garcom.co.za