Choosing your university is hard, and there are many factors that come into play. Where your parents/older siblings is a huge indicator of where you will go, as are the programs of your interest. Still, when it's time to decide, you ask yourself a bunch of questions; do I want to live in a shit hole or a civilized city? Do I want to be close to Mom and Dad, or as far as possible? Am I serious about my studies, or do I just want to get high and get by? Do I look good in blue & gold, or does it wash me out?
Here's a list of 13 Canadian Universities and what made you choose them:
1. Where you went: University of Toronto
Why you went there: UofT has a lot of prestige. It's named after the city for one, and it's ranked best Canadian school in McLean's Magazine. The campus is absolutely beautiful; each building is more historic than the next. It really does feel like you go to Harvard or Hogwartz or some other Hollywood campus, but with the best shopping. You didn't choose UofT, UofT chose YOU. With your career ambitions (or your parents' career ambitions for you), no other school was good enough. You got in, you got in with a scholarship, and you were prepared to spend the next 4 years of your life in Robarts. Luckily, UofT isn't known for its bustling party life outside the Annex frat houses, so you knew you would have minimal distractions. The closest thing to socialization you had here was your brief stint in the
cult sorority you joined. But hey, on the bright side-- you're probably already more successful than all your friends. Congrats!
Notable alumni: Bruce Lee, Margaret Atwood, Lorne Michaels, Lester B. Pearson
2. Where you went: Western U
Why you went there: You enjoy partying, often suffer from serious FOMO, and you knew you would look good in purple. A good 70% of your high school was going here, so you knew you'd never feel alone. No "fresh start" for you, but you didn't need one anyways. Too much change at once doesn't appeal to you, and London isn't too far from home. If on the odd chance London is VERY far from your home, you heard Playboy ranked Western a top 10 party school and that was the end of that. You join the ranks of a Dragon, acclaimed actors, a Nobel Prize winning author, amongst others.
Notable alumni: Kelly Rowan, Kevin O'Leary, Alice Munro, Christopher Plummer
3. Where you went: Ryerson University
Why you went there: If you're from the city, the idea of small town living makes you claustrophobic and you know Toronto's a great city that only gets better after the legal age. If you're from a small town, it would be stupid not to experience life in the best city Ontario has to offer. Either way, you're very social, laid-back, and modern, so the smaller classes and newly designed buildings appealed to you. Ryerson is a melting pot of great programs; from its Ted Rogers School of Business to the top film program in the country, there's something for everyone...even if you haven't declared a major yet. You join the ranks of a wide variety of people from new anchors and CEO's to sports coaches and actors.
Notable alumni: Nina Dobrev, Shay Mitchell, Eric McCormack, Nia Vardalos
4. Where you went: OCAD
Why you went there: You wanted to sculpt something with your bare hands in a studio with Sigur Rós playing in the background. You wanted to be an artist extraordinaire. You wanted to dabble in 'performance art' and make a mural out the hair of your scorned lovers. Bullshit! I went to OCAD for graphic design! They have a good program! Maybe, but you still listen to Sigur Rós. You join the ranks of some wicked artists, including the man behind the flying birds in the Eaton Centre.
Notable alumni: Michael Snow, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Maya Kulenovic, Olivia Chow
5. Where you went: Wilfrid Laurier
Why you went there: You don't consider yourself a crowd follower but wanted a standard Canadian university experience but in a nicer town and with less familiar faces than Western, and a little closer to home sweet home. Let's face it, you didn't come here to lock down that 4.0 GPA (that's what University of Waterloo is for). If you're a guy, you heard about the 7:1 female to male ratio. Regardless, your older brothers probably went here and it was just in the cards for you by default. You join the ranks of a ton of pro athletes, a Dragon businessman, and a rapper.
Notable alumni: David Chilton, Shad, Corey Grant, Alyssa Lagonia
6. Where you went: Concordia
Why you went there: You didn't bother applying to McGill because they probably wouldn't take you and even if they did, you didn't want that kind of pressure, lol. You're an artistic soul looking for some Montreal smoked meat and trendy hotspots to write your sociology paper at. You're taking it slowww, and likely taking a 5th year, but so what? You know how to enjoy life. You're cool, your apartment's cool, and your hairless cat named Harry is cool. You join the ranks of great musicians, actor/comedians, and notable writers.
Notable alumni: Will Arnett, Emily Haines (Metric), Rufus Wainwright, Mordecai Richler
7. Where you went: McGill
Why you went there: You're smart. You chose a top Canadian school (#3 in McLean's rankings) in a beautiful fun city with incredible bagel status. If you're from Quebec or one of your parents is, then this school was probably always on the horizon for you, especially since you won't have to pay those out-of-province fees. Hold up though, don't think we don't see you eyein' da clubs. We know you like to work hard, and play hard. You join the ranks of famous doctors, politicians, the man who wrote the song 'Hallelujah', a freakin' astronaut, etc...
Notable alumni: Leonard Cohen, William Shatner, Jack Layton, Robert Thirsk
8. Where you went: Queen's U
Why you went there: You are a pretty balanced person who wants to have your cake and eat it too, which is why you chose Queen's. You're social and you like to party, but school is still a priority for you, and you figured at Queen's that most people are on the same page. You wanted to get away from home to focus on having a great experience with your tight-knit group of friends that are all in the same field. Halfway between Montreal and Toronto, you nestled yourself perfectly between some close-by friends to visit if you ever wanted to. You join the ranks of powerful journalists, bank presidents, economists, and more.
Notable alumni: Ali Velshi, Gordon Dixon, Rachel Blanchard, Ashleigh Banfield
9. Where you went: Dalhousie
Why you went there: You're the kind of person who isn't afraid to venture out into the unknown, and Halifax sounded like the perfect destination. FAR from Mom and Dad, beautiful town that's just the right size, partying for dayz, but the selling feature? THE ATLANTIC OCEAN. You probably shared a house with some new people who became your best friends, and you had a family dog. You went here for the picturesque landscape that fits your active, outdoorsy lifestyle. Studying? If there's time. You join the ranks of former Prime Ministers, athletes, a NASA astronauts, amongst others.
Notable alumni: Brian Mulroney, Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ellie Black, Joe Clark
10. Where you went: UBC
Why you went there: You are really into skiing/snowboarding so you needed to be in close proximities to Whistler. Maybe you also surf and like the ocean, another huge bonus of the West Coast. If this doesn't describe you, then you went to UBC to go as far away as possible, have a fresh start, and immerse yourself in the glorified vegan hippie culture beautiful BC and all it's nature has to offer. Like all city universities, they have a huge commuter population, which especially makes sense for this stunning campus...why go somewhere else if you're already close by? You join the ranks of famous actors, politicians, a Nobel Prize winner, and a female Prime Minister.
Notable alumni: Kim Campbell, Evangeline Lilly, Robert Mundell, Rick Hansen
11. Where you went: Ottawa U / Carleton
Why you went there: You thought Ottawa being the capital city of Canada would mean something; sadly, it does not. However, it has some cute neighbourhoods and a nice canal to skate on in the winter.
Notable alumni: Aliya-Jasmine Sovani, Roch Voisine, Alex Trebek (Ottawa U) and Dan Akroyd, Doug Ford (Carlton).
12. Where you went: Brock University
Why you went there: Sports and/or because Ryan Gosling's mom got her degree there and he came to watch her receive her diploma. But probably sports.
Notable alumni: Rick Campanelli, Sean Pierson, Tonya Verbeek
13. Where you went: Guelph
Why you went there: We all heard the rumours in high school-- Guelph has the best food. Although that's a huge deciding factor, you probably went here on a whim; small but pretty green town, very very close to home, a couple people's friends are also going and it seems like a chill atmosphere. Why not? You enjoy being low-key, smoking weed, eatin', drinkin', and maybe going to class if you feel like it. So Guelph just had that kinda vibe. You join the ranks of a bunch of athletes, and television personalities, and yet another astronaut!
Notable alumni: Roberta Bondar, Scott McGillvray
14. Where you went: York U
Why you went there: York gets a bad rap. Its location is the worst in the city for a campus; basically Jane & Finch, in the middle of nowhere, a long commute from your home. The school has been the target of several strikes which have delayed graduation for many students. So why did you go there? If you're a smartie, you went there on a calculated basis. They offered you a better entrance scholarship than UofT, and you knew maintaining a good GPA would be easier there than anywhere else. It would be the wisest move for you since you're planning on going to grad school somewhere else and York would be a piece of cake. No? Then you went their for their theatre program, because Rachel McAdams went there too. No? Still not you? Then you went there
because you can hold a fork for sociology/psycology/social work. You join the ranks of great actors, a beloved mayor, and Tyra Banks' right hand man.
Notable alumni: Rachel McAdams, Dan Levy, Malin Ackerman, Jack Layton, Jay Manuel, Trish Stratus