Canada’s 8 most beautiful university campuses

August 7, 2020

Canada is home to some of the world’s most stunning scholarly institutions. Whether you’re a prospective student planning for the future or you just want to play tourist in your own hometown, university campuses are a picture-perfect day trip idea. Explore historic buildings, striking architecture and lush green spaces at these eight beautiful university campuses across the country.

Canada’s 8 most beautiful university campuses

Photo Credit: Kit Leong

University of Toronto

Located in the heart of the city centre, the University of Toronto’s St. George campus is renowned for its century-old architecture and inviting public courtyards. Historic buildings showcase a unique mix of architectural styles, including the Norman Romanesque University College and the Gothic-Revival Hart House. Running through the centre of campus, Philosopher’s Walk is a popular footpath that takes visitors past various points of interest alongside a natural ravine.

University of British Columbia

Surrounded by old-growth forests, manicured gardens, snow-capped mountains and the sparkling waters of the Burrard Inlet, the University of British Columbia (UBC) is a nature-lovers paradise. The sprawling campus is just 30-minutes from downtown Vancouver, but it feels a world away thanks to its scenic surroundings. In addition to academic buildings and student residences, UBC campus is also home to the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, the Museum of Anthropology and the Japanese-inspired Nitobe Memorial Garden.

Queen’s University

Older than Canada and founded by Queen Victoria herself, Queen's University dates back to 1841 and offers students Old-World charm and plenty of school spirit. The beautifully preserved university is located near Kingston along the shores of Lake Ontario and boasts a European feel thanks to its pale limestone buildings and ornate architectural features. In the fall, the leafy campus bursts with vibrant foliage making for a stunning back-to-school scene.

McGill University

You’ll understand why they call Quebec “la belle province” after a tour through the Gothic architecture and gorgeous grounds at McGill University. Situated at the foot of Mount Royal, the scenic downtown campus straddles the sloped walking trails of Montreal’s majestic namesake park and the city’s cosmopolitan boutiques, cafés and eateries.

Ontario College of Art and Design

Steps away from the Art Gallery of Ontario, the award-winning Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) is the alma mater of some of Canada’s most prominent artists and its Sharp Centre for Design has become an eye-catching Toronto landmark. Designed by acclaimed British architect Will Alsop, the whimsical building resembles a black-and-white checker board perched high above street level atop 12 multi-coloured steel stilts.

Acadia University

East Coast hospitality welcomes students at Acadia University, located an hour outside of Halifax. Situated in the quintessential college town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia, the intimate university stands out for its commitment to sustainability and preserving the natural environment. The Maritime campus has a student-run farm on site and is close to the vineyards of the Annapolis Valley and the Bay of Fundy, a coastal wonder renowned for its tides and marine life.

Mount Royal University

Park-like landscaping, shimmering ponds and fountains, and blooming gardens make Mount Royal University one of the greenest spaces in Alberta. Located just south of Calgary’s downtown, the lush university campus hosts events, performances and concerts throughout the year in its idyllic open-air amphitheatre, which features tiered grass seating for up to 500 visitors.

McMaster University

Old meets new at McMaster University where state-of-the-art modern facilities blend beautifully with ivy-covered buildings. The campus’ historic core features six brick-and-stone heritage structures designed in a Collegiate Gothic architectural style reminiscent of England’s Medieval colleges, with gorgeous stained-glass detailing and wood panelled interiors. While Hamilton may be known as Steeltown thanks to its industrial past, visitors can take advantage of the city’s vibrant art scene and explore nearby nature trails and waterfalls.

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