MacEwan University 411: Where to live, best cheap lunch, and more -

MacEwan University 411: Where to live, best cheap lunch, and more

MacEwan University insider’s perspective on campus life

MacEwan University student Anna McMillan. (Matthew Jacula)

MacEwan University student Anna McMillan. (Photograph by Matthew Jacula)

The 411

Best place for a nap: The couches on the third floor of Building 7 are comfy as heck

Best cheap lunch: Cheap food on campus? That’s hilarious.

Best hangover breakfast: Lucky for us, Denny’s is right across the street

Favourite campus food: The black bean burger at Towers is delicious, and the greens are grown on campus

Perks: There are tons of festivals, a scenic river valley, great coffee shops and bars and beautiful Legislature grounds. The Oilers love is strong, and they’re less bad than they used to be.

Where to live: Oliver is a safe and quiet neighbourhood for people who enjoy the downtown vibe. On the other side of the river, spots close to the LRT are your best bet, like McKernan/Belgravia.

Best place to study: For the limited time when there isn’t snow on the ground, the lawn in front of the clock tower provides a sunny spot where you can get some reading done while enjoying the fresh(ish) air

Best campus events: Fall Fest, Paws for a Study Break, Earth Hour Race

Unofficial school motto: “Hey, look! We’re a real university now!” or “Isn’t that a college?”

Best live music venue: The Starlite Room and the Needle Vinyl Tavern are fairly intimate venues

Most innovative initiative: From the urban beekeeping project to veggies grown on campus, there are plenty of opportunities for students to enjoy MacEwan-grown food

PROFILE: MacEwan University | Edmonton, Alta. | Founded 1971

University Insider: Anna McMillan, 20, Communications

MacEwan students often hear comments along the lines of: “Oh, you go to the other university in Edmonton.”

The school is sometimes referred to as the “little sibling” of the University of Alberta. But, like all younger siblings, MacEwan is easy to love.

Every year, at the start of classes, students are welcomed with open arms (and plenty of beer) to Fall Fest, a two-day concert held in front of MacEwan’s iconic clock tower. That feeling of being welcome never really goes away.

With a student population of 19,000 and a primary campus that spans only six blocks, the sense of community is strong. It’s a place that makes finding your niche easy, while also encouraging you to expand your horizons.

MacEwan was officially upgraded to a university in 2009, but it’s managed to hold on to its college atmosphere. For the most part, class sizes are small and the professors genuinely care about their students. It’s nearly impossible to walk through the halls without bumping into people you know from classes, clubs or extracurriculars.

While MacEwan might not boast the prestige associated with bigger, older universities, it creates an environment that’s conducive to student success. After all, isn’t that why people go to university?


While aiming for that 4.0 GPA is certainly admirable, students are also encouraged to find success outside of the classroom. Whether attendees want to focus on career development or just have fun, there are a variety of options to choose from.
Members of the MacEwan community are encouraged to start their own clubs and join intramurals (read: dodgeball!). For the chill-at-heart, there are several student clubs available, with focuses ranging from billiards to improv to video games. Those hoping to make a name for themselves on campus can try to snag a seat on student or executive council, or find a part-time job at the school.


Local Vibe
Sitting right in the middle of Edmonton, MacEwan University brings more life to the already-vibrant downtown core. With its four concrete towers watching over downtown, MacEwan makes itself known to the city.
Directly to the east sits the shiny and new Rogers Place, home to the Edmonton Oilers and host to numerous other events. In addition to the arena, a variety of new bars, shops and people have established themselves in the area.
Despite the gentrification (sorry, Edmonton, but that’s what it is), some of the character and history associated with Edmonton’s city centre remains. The stunning Legislature grounds is located a couple of minutes south of MacEwan, and neighbourhoods that host some of Edmonton’s heritage buildings surround the university.


The Skinny
MacEwan’s student magazine, the griff, publishes a variety of stories connected to student issues and the downtown core. The Edmonton subreddit is also a great resource for people on the lookout for local stories or fun things to do in the city.