Wilfrid Laurier University 411: Where to find the best watering hole and more - Macleans.ca

Wilfrid Laurier University 411: Where to find the best watering hole and more

A Wilfrid Laurier University insider’s perspective on campus life


Wilfrid Laurier University students

Unofficial school motto:

‘It’s great to be a Laurier Golden Hawk!’

Wilfrid Laurier University student Lena Yang

Best place for a nap:

The Solarium

Best cheap lunch:

Bao Sandwich Bar

Best hangover breakfast:

Mel’s Diner

Favourite watering hole:

Phil’s Grandson’s Place

Perks of living in this town:

The coffee and restaurant scene is really diverse, so it’s a great place for foodies to explore

Best place to study:

Veritas Café

Weirdest tradition:

No stepping on the Hawk in the Fred Nichols Campus Centre

Best campus event:

Trivia at Wilf’s Restaurant and Bar

Best giveaway:

Laurier’s Luckiest Student

Best live music venue:

Maxwell’s Concerts & Events

University Insider Report: Lena Yang, 23, English

Although Wilfrid Laurier University was established more than 100 years ago, the institution has just recently found its legs. With the largest business degree co-op program in Canada, it’s no wonder the campus is situated in Waterloo, the Silicon Valley of the north—a place that cultivates endless innovation and inspiration.

The university’s recent push to brand itself as “Canada’s best business school” may leave other faculties feeling a little trivialized, but that does not mean Laurier is lacking in professors who work hard to cultivate a sense of community within their own faculties.

PROFILE: Wilfrid Laurier University | Waterloo, Ont. | Founded 1911

Unlike other sprawling campuses that could rival cities, Laurier’s is cozy and efficient, albeit lacking any particular aesthetic flourishes. The walk across campus is a mere 10 minutes—slightly less if you happen to slip down the steep hill leading to Alumni Field during those bitter Waterloo winters. The upside to a small campus? You will always be able to cross paths with a familiar face, if not on the way to and from class, then at the usual campus haunts such as the infamous Starbucks line.


Despite the perpetual presence of angry Canadian geese, and the fact that campus sees more rain than sun, the school is nevertheless headed down a bright path.


After football season ends and the bleachers empty out, students disperse to the many clubs and associations on campus. From faculty-specific clubs like the Archaeology Society to more leisurely gatherings like Skiffy, which screens sci-fi and fantasy films every week, there is a community for everyone, especially those looking to find their niche outside of the most popular extracurriculars.

There are recreational classes offered at the Athletics Complex, as well as an on-campus art gallery and soup-and-frybread lunches offered by the Aboriginal Student Centre.

Local Vibe

With the University of Waterloo flanking one side of Laurier and Conestoga College on the other, Waterloo is very much a student city. The upside is most shops catering to students are available within a 15-minute walk of the three institutions. The downside is students often settle down in this bubble and never venture into the city despite the fact that uptown Waterloo is just a short bus ride away. There is a plethora of hip bars and cafés, along with a cozy theatre that screens indie flicks. No more than three blocks away from uptown is Waterloo Park, which boasts a modest farm trying to pass as a zoo.

The Skinny

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