TASSS is named after Thomas Alexander Stewart (1786-1847). Thomas and his wife, Frances Browne Stewart (1794-1872), emigrated to Canada with their children and Thomas' brother-inlaw and former business partner, Robert Reid, and his family. The party of 27 set sail from Belfast Lough on June 1, 1822. Seven weeks were spent on the ship before reaching Quebec. From Quebec they travelled to Kingston, and then on to York, where Stewart and Reid were each granted 1,200 acres (4.9 km2), provided they settled in an township. Douro Township in Peterborough County was suggested as a promising region. On September 9, 1822, Stewart and Reid travelled to the area with surveyor Richard Birdsall, and each chose land on the Otonabee River. Thomas and Frances developed their home, "Auburn," on Lot 2, Concession XII, raising a family of 10 children to adulthood and assisting other settlers. Thomas Stewart became a prominent and influential citizen in the area until his death in 1847 from typhoid fever.
The school opened in 1967 as Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School and Auburn Vocational School. The vocational school later closed. The office for Auburn became the guidance office, cafeteria became a dance studio, and the library became the head office for the Peterborough Regional Integrated Arts Program (PRIA). The integrated arts program moved to TAS in 2012 after the closing of PCVS. Campus and facilities. The school is located on 29 acres (120,000 m2) bordering on the Otonabee River. TASS is a 219,238 sq. ft. building containing 59 classrooms. The auditorium can hold 800 students. It was designed by architects Craig, Zeidler and Strong to house between 1200 and 1400 students comfortably, but has held in excess of 1600 students during the early 1980s.