The question of which universities in Ontario are the best party schools is a long debated one. Academics should always come first, but for some people, a university's party scene is also an important factor when deciding on where to go to school. University is supposed to be fun and memorable - surely no one wants to end up spending four to five years at a school where there's never anything fun happening.
If you're still deciding where to go to university in September and partying is something you highly prioritize, here's a guide to the best party schools in Ontario:
The best of the best
These schools have built reputations as party schools thanks to their headline-grabbing parties and the raving testimonials of their students and non-students.
1. Western University
If there's any reliable authority on partying, it's Playboy magazine. So the fact that Western University made their list of Top 10 Party Schools says a lot about its student experience. And on that note, it's also been rated the best university for student experience 10 years in a row, so that's saying something. It helps that it is situated in London, Ontario, which has a vibrant nightlife community (Richmond Row) and is relatively far from Toronto (it's a no-parent zone). Some say the its party status has declined since JBR's closed down, but I mean, Frog is still bumpin', so it's not so bad.
2. Queen's University
The party scene at Queen's University is definitely top-tier. In fact, the school has been a common headliner in recent news articles that reported notorious parties which had to be shut down by the Kingston Police. The president of the university even threatened to cancel their homecoming (2015) if the students didn't behave. And he had good reason to do that - 153 Homecoming-related tickets were issued to students the year before, and 163 tickets were issued in 2013. But that doesn't stop Queen's students from living it up. From Stages to The Plaza, there's never a dull moment!
3. Wilfrid Laurier University
Laurier students are some of the friendliest people you'll ever meet. Sure, like at university, you're bound to run into a few unfriendlies; but for the most part, everybody just wants to have a good time. I mean, some Laurier students even helped police bust their own party once... If that isn't nice, I don't know what is. In the Kitchener-Waterloo region, Laurier is the place to go for parties - even UWaterloo students flock to Albert or Regina St to join in on the kegger fun. Laurier students could have midterms the next day but that doesn't stop them from heading over to dirty Phil's the night before to Live. It. Up.
4. University of Guelph
Don't let the manure smell fool you - Guelph university still has a decent party scene. It might not be as rowdy as Western or Queen's, but the students at Guelph still know how to have a good time. On top of their ability to balance their academic and social lives, Guelph students are also naturally friendly, so imagine how much fun you'd have with them if you add alcohol into the mix. Though the town of Guelph is relatively small, you'll find a good selection of bars along Wyndham St to have a good time at.
5. Brock University
If the Brock Harlem Shake video is any indication of the party scene at the school, then it must be a pretty fun place! Surely, the students are to thank for bringing more life into the St. Catharines area. One student even said: "If you're going all the way to Brock, you gotta do something to pass the time... I suggest you get drinkin bud!" Whether you're headed to a jam at the Tower or to some place in the Village, there's always something fun to do in the area. The university even offers a wine tasting course. Care to get daytime turnt in class?
6. Nipissing University
North Bay's Nipissing is pretty far out the city, so maybe that's why its party scene is often overlooked or underestimated. But Nipissing students know their school is far from boring. Nipissing students have some of the best school spirit in the province, which is probably why their parties are always so live. There are also some pretty awesome places to party in the area - for example, The Wall, which is the pub on campus, is known to be one of the best campus drinking holes in Canada.
What? UOIT? A party school?? Well, of course its party scene is nowhere close to Western or Queen's, but its campus is also a lot smaller, so it's kind of hard to compare. Oshawa is also not the most lively place to live; but that's probably why some UOIT students are pretty hard party-goers (it's their way of coping). According to Macleans, UOIT students spend an average of 4.1 hours partying per week, which is only a little bit less than Guelph students... So yes, they definitely deserve some credit as a party school!
Although McMaster isn't necessarily known to be a party school, it still deserves some credit to the status. Contrary to popular belief, its party scene isn't that bad - they've got Hess Village, which is the place to be in Hamilton, and they also throw pretty incredible yearly Welcome Weeks and themed events (like Great Gatsby and Harry Potter parties). The students may have a reputation for being more school-focused than party-goers, but they are such a diverse group that the campus experience is always an interesting one.
9. Trent University
At Trent University, parties happen any day of the week. Besides, they need to pump up the music if they ever want to drown out those annoying crickets. Even though Peterborough itself is a relatively small town, its downtown area is still lively, with students flocking to clubs like Sin City. There are also a few parties that are thrown at the campus residences (Champlain) that are a whole lot of fun.
10. University of Ottawa
Some people may not agree, but the University of Ottawa does have a pretty great party scene. It helps that Ottawa itself is somewhat of a party city, with EDM clubs and trendy bars in close proximity to each other. Quebec is also right around the corner, so 18 year olds can still live it up. Of course, it's not an excessive party school like the top 3 schools are, but the parties are still a lot of fun, whether you're at the Byward Market or 1848. Aside from the city nightlife, the residence parties at the university are also known to be pretty stellar.
Schools that didn't make the cut:
The students at these schools tend to spend more time with their heads in books than in party hats. This is not to say that they never party; it's just that they don't party to the same level and calibre as the students in the top 10 school do (sorry guys):
University of Toronto, York University, University of Waterloo, University of Windsor, Ryerson University, Lakehead University, Carleton University, Laurentian University
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