Unofficial school motto:
‘The hippie school’
Best place for a nap:
Bernice’s Reading Room in the library
Best cheap lunch:
Casa Burrito on Portage Avenue
Best hangover breakfast:
Stella’s Café and Bakery in the Buhler Centre
Favourite watering hole:
Garbonzo’s Pizza Pub in the University AnX Building; the Toad in the Hole on Osborne Street
Perks of living in this town:
It’s inexpensive, especially if you’re a student
Best place to study:
University library on the fourth floor of Centennial Hall; the Millennium Library on Donald Street
Every September, students race in teams to climb the Rock of Remembrance, a 25-tonne granite boulder on the university’s front lawn.
Best campus event:
Students’ Association orientation week in September and January
Puppy Days on the last Thursday of every month brings shelter dogs into the school for free hugs. Who doesn’t love that?
Best live music venue:
The Good Will Social Club on Portage Avenue
University Insider: Caitlyn Gowriluk, 19, Communications
It’s been said that you can understand a culture just by looking at its buildings. Unlike people, structures are built to last; they carry with them the impression of a time. When you get to the University of Winnipeg, your impression will depend on where you enter. On the front lawn stands Wesley Hall, a 120-year old historic building, often described as a castle. Next to it is the RecPlex, a brand-new sports facility, home to a FIFA-standard soccer field, which serves as a training space for university teams and as a recreational space for families in the inner city. Across Portage Avenue from the main campus is the more modern Buhler Centre, home to a café, a contemporary art institute and the faculty of business and economics. A few blocks over is the recently constructed Richardson College for the Environment.
From these you could make several assumptions: that Winnipeg is an institution immersed in history, involved in its community, grounded in the present while also looking toward the future. These judgments are all accurate, but to stop the assessment here would leave the image incomplete.
I’ve lived in Winnipeg my whole life. After graduating from high school, I was attracted to the U of W by everything I knew about it: its centralized downtown campus, its small class sizes, its well-rounded and multidisciplinary approach to learning. While I found all that here, it’s the parts I didn’t anticipate that have really made my university experience meaningful. From class discussions to community forums, to student-led events and movements, there’s a culture of community here.
The campus has everything from an art gallery to a bat lab to the Women-Trans Spectrum Centre; also a greenhouse, an LGBT* Centre, and a Bike Lab. In addition to tons of cool student groups, the campus media includes a radio station, a music magazine and a newspaper. In another exciting development, the University of Winnipeg Senate recently approved an Indigenous credit requirement for future undergrad students. As a school situated on Treaty 1 territory, it’s an important step in decolonizing and Indigenizing the campus learning environment.
Living in Winnipeg, you get used to stereotypes. In terms of metaphorical family members, I’ve heard the city likened to everything from a forgotten younger sibling to the wild child of Canada. While some of the things you’ve heard are more accurate than others (it’s cold—whatever), what makes it an exciting place to live, work and learn is the thriving arts and culture scene, not to mention the constant stream of new restaurants, shops and hangouts. Whether you’re here for Folklorama in the summer or Festival du Voyageur in the winter, there’s always something going on.
On Twitter: @theuwsa (students’s association), @TheUniter (school newspaper), @thatgoodwill (live music).