University of Guelph: Student life on campus

Where to get a good nap, find the best cheap lunch and more

University of Guelph. (Jason Jones/University of Guelph)

Official school motto: ‘Rerum cognoscere causas’ (‘To learn the meaning of reality’)
Best place for a nap: One of the many mismatched couches in the University Centre’s Booster Juice/Williams Fresh Café
Best cheap lunch: Anything from the Bullring
Best hangover breakfast: Made-to-order omelettes with a side of home fries at LA Pit
Favourite watering hole: The Albion has great food with lots of vegan options. Funk night is especially fun.
Perks of living in this town: Everything is easily accessible by bus; Guelphites are the epitome of friendly
Best place to study: Fifth floor of the library; Tim Hortons above the bookstore in the MacNaughton Building; the new study space on the main floor of University Centre
Weirdest tradition: Students guarding and painting Old Jeremiah (the cannon) every night
Best campus event: Homecoming; open mic night every Wednesday at the Bullring
Best giveaway: Agendas, snacks from some of the random booths that pop up in the University Centre from time to time and free meals during Orientation Week
Best live music venue: eBar or DSTRCT

University Insider: Jennifer Albay, 22, Sociology

Established in 1964, the University of Guelph is a comprehensive public research institution and is considered one of Canada’s best schools. While the campus is not the largest, it features an aesthetically pleasing blend of historical and modern architecture and abundant swaths of nature, unlike universities located in big cities. One of the most notable green spaces is Johnston Green, which serves as the much-loved oversized front lawn for the iconic residence Johnston Hall. Other noteworthy green spaces are the various well-kept gardens and the famous arboretum, which spans over 165 hectares of land with more than nine kilometres of trails.

Apart from the beauty of the campus, the excellence of the academic experience and the superior quality of the food, one of Guelph’s most distinctive characteristics is how kind and welcoming students and staff alike tend to be. The university is home to a uniquely inclusive community, which makes the transition from high school to post-secondary effortless.

There is an unspoken but widely understood code of conduct at Guelph: stranger or acquaintance, friend or foe, Gryphons—as we Guelph students call ourselves—always treat each other (and everyone else we meet) with equality and respect. From the first moment you step foot on campus, there is an overwhelming sense of belonging.

Guelph has a lot to offer to people from all walks of life. There are more than 200 clubs and organizations, so it’s incredibly easy to get involved in campus life. The university boasts an impressive roster of varsity sports, as well as a series of both intramural and unconventional (but no less competitive) athletics.
The campus is always improving. The athletic centre has been renovated and expanded, and a recent addition is the enormous bronzed statue of a gryphon at the university’s main entrance at the corner of Stone Road and Gordon Street.

Local Vibe
The city of Guelph is a picturesque mix of the old and the new. By day, the streets exude all the charm of a (not-so-sleepy) small town; by night, Guelph is just as lively as one would expect of any university town. From the relaxing atmosphere of the many unique cafés downtown to the excitement of the Saturday morning farmers’ market or funk night at the Albion Hotel, there is never a dull moment. The fact that everything around town is easily accessible via bus sweetens the deal.

The Skinny is the Gryphon go-to site for housing, ride shares, textbooks, etc. Reading the student newspaper the Ontarion ( is the best way to know what’s happening at the university and off-campus.