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College Road Trip to Southern Ontario

- Meghan

I have just returned from a week long university road trip through Southern Ontario. My mom, brother and I drove up to Canada to stay at my grandfather’s house while we did the tours. We did little day trips to the three universities that I was interested in seeing: Queens University, University of Ottawa and McMaster University.

The first university we visited was Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. Kingston is a small city located on Lake Ontario, nicknamed the “Limestone City” for the many historic building built of limestone. It’s is known as a university town so many of the shops cater to students and most of the employees are students. My family’s favorite restaurant, Woodenheads, is mostly staffed by Queens students. While looking at the universities I also wanted to get a feel for the city they are located in to see if it is a place I would be comfortable living in for 4 or more years. I didn’t have to do too much sightseeing in Kingston because my mom and sister both attended Queens so I’m fairly familiar with the area.

Our next stop was Canada’s capital, Ottawa. I wanted to take a look at the University of Ottawa. Driving in, I was very aware of the different type of city it was compared to Kingston. Kingston is much smaller and felt more student friendly than Ottawa did. The university buildings were a little too spread out for my taste and the atmosphere too “hurried.” I’m sure University of Ottawa is a good choice for other students, but I decided it wasn’t for me. After taking the tour, my mom and I headed downtown to find lunch. I had never been to Ottawa before this trip so when the Parliament Buildings came into view I was astounded. I’ve never seen such beautiful government buildings before, so obviously full of history. We didn’t have the time to take a tour of the buildings but free tours are offered to anyone who wants to take one. Next time I visit Ottawa I will be sure to plan in some more touristy activities.

Our last stop was McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Hamilton is about 30 minutes outside of Toronto. I was amazed at how beautiful the campus was. All of the buildings we were shown were either new, recently renovated or in the process of being renovated. They had 2 engineering buildings (the major I am interested in) and one in the process of being built. The campus is something like 30 acres and backs up to the royal botanical gardens. The university is the best of both worlds, it is located in a city but you can’t tell because of all of the grass and trees on the campus.

My university tour was very successful and I really enjoyed visiting two cities in Canada that I hadn’t visited before!

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