A Weekend of HIgher Education

/ Monday 25 October 2010 /
The last few days have been action-packed!  On the weekend just past, we indulged ourselves in an orgy of higher education!  You may know that my daughter is a senior in high school, and is therefore planning her university applications.  So this weekend, her two top choices both held their open houses.  On Saturday, we attended the open house for the University of Toronto.
University College, University of Toronto
Founded in 1827, U of T is Canada's largest university, with 55,000 undergraduates.  It is a beautiful campus, located right downtown.  The student body is wonderfully diverse.
University of Toronto
The Arts and Science Faculty follows the British model, and is composed of seven colleges within the FAculty, each with its own set of residences and particular character.  
Eve at Hart House, University of Toronto
We liked how this building was dressed up for Halloween.
University of Toronto dresses for Halloween
University College, University of Toronto
University College, U of Toronto
I did my PhD here, but as a married graduate student I was never really involved in student life activities.  It's certainly a different prospect when you are a parent with a university-age child!  We both liked what we heard and saw here.  Toronto is 250 km west of us, an easy 2.5 hour train ride.  I would be okay if she chose this university.  She loves life in a big city, drinking lattes and riding on the subway!
Caffe latte
King Tut and Eve
We scooted home on the train in time to make it to a friend's surprise fiftieth birthday party Saturday night, and before dawn on Sunday, all three of us were on the road to Montreal, to visit McGill University, our daughter's top choice.
McGill Open House
The Arts Building, the central focus of the campus, is currently having some restoration done, but you can still see how it dominates the campus.  You can also see Mount Royal in the background, dressed in  glorious autumn colours.
McGill University - Arts Bldg under repair
My husband and I are both alumni of McGill, and, in addition to our own individual fond feelings for the university, we share a soft spot for it because this is where we met.  I came here from Tennessee in 1983 to do my MA in linguistics.  My husband was working on campus at the time.  
James McGill on a windy day
Founded in 1821, McGill has 28,000 undergraduates.  Like U of T, McGill is also a downtown campus.  Some of the university residences are converted hotels. If you have ever been to Montreal, you know that there are few North American cities to equal its beauty, charm and joie de vivre.
Eve and Stuart on Sherbrooke St.
Montreal is 300 km east of where we live.  The train takes a little more than two and half hours and drops you right downtown.  We would be happy if she chose to go to McGill, as well.  My mother-in-law is there, so she would have somewhere to go for Friday night dinner.
It was after 8pm when we got home, and we were utterly exhausted from all the presentations and tours of campus buildings and residences.  It's a stressful but exciting time for our family!  University choice is a big decision, with so many factors to consider.  As parents of an only child, we are thrilled that her preferences are relatively close to home.  An empty nest is a bit more bearable if the chick isn't too far away!
P.S.  I also attended the Creativ Festival in Toronto on Friday, and I have another blog post coming about all my goodies, not to mention my giveaway - I promise you won't be disappointed!


{ Dee } on: 25 October 2010 at 10:33 said...

what beautiful campuses! wow! either one sounds so full of history for the country of Canada and your family!

when it came to universities for our oldest, he chose (we were pushing! LOL) the campus hubby and I met on and went to. he lives at home (no train rides) and shuttles back and forth to a campus less than a mile from us. since he's not a big city kinda boy, it's a perfect fit.

wishing you all the best in choosing which one!

{ felicity } on: 25 October 2010 at 12:43 said...

Oooh I am vicariously excited for your daughter! I vote for McGill. And I say that as a Toronto native! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Montreal. She's so smart to choose to live away from home for university. I didn't, and I regretted it (though I thoroughly remedied that by moving 3,000 km to Vancouver to do my MBA).

Funny fact - my undergrad is in (French) linguistics. I went to Glendon College at York. AND I was in their concurrent B.Ed. program until I realized teaching wasn't for me.

{ Sew Create It - Jane } on: 25 October 2010 at 16:53 said...

Having grown up in Montreal and also attended school in downtown Montreal I can honestly say it is an amazing city. It is so European in it's feel and has amazing culture...not to mention amazing restaurants! :o)

{ Jennifer } on: 25 October 2010 at 17:24 said...

both campuses are beautiful!

this post is making me nostalgic for that brand-new feeling i had when i was thinking about which college to go to .

also, what gorgeous foliage! we aren't that far along in the season just yet.

{ Kris } on: 26 October 2010 at 07:55 said...

What stunning pictures! Sounds like your daughter has some great choices close to home. :)

Anonymous on: 26 October 2010 at 13:52 said...

Ok, so you can't possibly be 250 km east of Toronto AND 300 km east of Montreal..... (sorry, I'm a little OCD and it jumped out at me....)LOL

{ Rene' } on: 28 October 2010 at 21:55 said...

Lesly, good luck with the college decision making process. How great that both your daughter's choices are close by. Beautiful campus photos.

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