There are many factors to remember when finding the right school. The school’s reputation, the crop of graduates it produces, and the quality of its teachers. However, there is one important but often ignored part, and that is the fun factor.
We all know college is one of the most demanding places in the world, and as a student, you will need plenty of ways to unwind whenever you have to. This is why you want to find a school that prioritizes work as much as fun, and that is really where party schools come into play.
To be clear, a party school is a college or university known for an active social life and a vibrant party culture.
In this article, we walk you through a list of the best party schools in Canada based on bar scenes, residence partying, and school events. Let’s go!
Best Party Schools in Canada
1. Bishop’s University (Sherbrooke, QC)
Bishop’s University is admired for the classic mix of rural and urban spaces afforded by its hometown of Sherbrooke and neighbouring Lenoxville. Between these places, Bishop’s students enjoy unending access to everything they need to have a great time.
The Uplands Cultural Center has its vibrant and historical eastern townships, with frequent art exhibitions and display of diverse artifacts.
To seal the fun, there is an English tea for you to enjoy, furnished with amazing treats. One of the most famous sites in this location is the Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook. There is always something exciting for you to engage in, whether camping, hiking, or spelunking. Scenes at the Parc include a hydroelectric power station, a covered bridge, and waterfalls.
Bishop’s organizes one of Canada’s biggest HOCO and St. Paddy Street parties on Reed Street. Besides their Homecoming street party, the yearly HOCO celebration at the Animal House is known for its loud backyard party. Furthermore, the Students’ Representative Council at Bishop’s organizes a yearly big Frost Apres Ski event known as the Winterfest.
At Winterfest, snowboarders show off their skills at the outdoor rail jam and enjoy the Apres Ski outdoor bar and concert before calling it a night. The legal drinking age in Quebec is 18, so whether or not you are a freshman, you can party all you want. The Gait and The Lion are two of the best bars at Bishop’s.
2. St. Francis Xavier University (Antigonish, NS)
Regarding the best party schools in Canada, St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, easily tops the list. Just a glance at the school’s countless features and anybody can see why. As a student at St. Francis Xavier, you have everything you need to blow off the heat of academics.
The People’s Place Library is one of the best places you can be. Beyond a regular collection of books, the award-winning library is an amazing cultural hub, housing everything from knitting circles to keynote lectures on the latest stimulating ideas.
Antigonish is home to two theatre groups and promises vibrant entertainment throughout the year. During the heat of summer, the Festival Antigonish Summer Theater introduces comedies, musicals, and record-breaking experimental works.
HOCO and ST Paddy’s Day are two events they don’t take lightly at St. Francis Xavier’s, featuring massive street parties at the “The Village ”. If you are the bar type, you can trust your needs always to get catered to either at The Inn on Wednesday night or the Piper’s Pub during weekends.
If you are a freshman waiting to hit 19, you can always hop on the fantastic dorm parties hosted at Maclsaac Hall, the freshman residence.
3. Acadia University (Wolfville, NS)
At Acadia University, students love to find the link between great times, intellectual pursuits, and cultural admiration. Many vibrant groups are on campus, and the Fundy Film Society is prominent. Founded in 2001 as a non-profit committed to aiding independent Canadian film, the Fundy Film Society has become one of Canada’s cultural headquarters.
Leveraging the AI Whittle Theater in Wolfsville, the Fundy Film Society organizes regular screenings and works hand-in-hand with the reputable Toronto International Film Festival.
Enactus Acadia is another global organization open to Acadia students. It connects students with business leaders to offer help to people in need. Projects like this inspire students to look beyond their immediate environment and find practical solutions to social issues.
The party life at Acadia is not beyond proportion, and their bar scene is small, with The Anvil and The Aze being the most preferred among students.
4. Queen’s University (Kingston, ON)
Crowned “the Limestone City,” Kingston, Ontario, has many academic and historical features for students to explore. At the Queen’s Observatory, the skies have been the object of study for roughly 200 years.
Members of the Queen’s University Astronomy Research Group and Queen’s students and astronomy faculty continue to run the observatory. As a student, you are free to visit and enjoy frequent tours or attend any of the events organized by the Observatory.
If you are a big fan of water, the Portsmouth Olympic Harbor is another interesting place you cannot wait to see. The harbour is Olympic-sized and includes a picnic park and different waterside walkways.
Queen’s hosts one of Canada’s best and biggest parties, and their St. Paddy’s Day is an all-time hit. For a night out at the bar/club, most students make do with either Stages or The Ale House, as Kingston is a relatively small university town.
There is no Greek life here, as sororities and fraternities have been prohibited since 1933.
5. Western University (London, ON)
Western University keeps students busy by combining nightlife with athletic events and cultural performances. One particularly famous place for students at Western University is Escapology.
Typically, Escapology has four to seven escape rooms running, each with different difficulty levels. For starters, the Antidote room is a good place wherein they play as biologists searching for a cure. On the other hand, those prepared for a challenge can play the submarine-based room Under Pressure.
If you are the die-hard party type, then the London Backyard Axe-Throwing League is something you want to participate in. Whether for competing against fellow axe-throwing experts or getting your friends together for an unforgettable party experience, the BATL has many rooms and safety equipment to ensure premium fun.
6. Mount Allison University (Sackville, NB)
While Sackville may not sound like the hottest town in the world, boredom is one thing you can never associate with students of Mount Allison University, big thanks to the university’s active social life.
One of the most fascinating events on campus is the Shinerama Campaign, which happens throughout the summer every year. This campaign is a fundraising event to gather funds for Cystic Fibrosis. The event precedes Shine Day, where 500 volunteers collect donations.
Winterfest is another event in which students of Mount Allison University can participate. Hosted around February of every year, Winterfest shines the spotlight on awesome outdoor activities.
In the moonlight, students and locals can take a snowshoe walk. They can visit the farmer’s market or join a city-wide hunting expedition.
7. Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, ON)
Besides the list of interesting events on campus, students at Wilfrid Laurier University also get to participate in the bustling life of neighbouring Waterloo.
The Sanderson Center around Bradford is a meeting point for keynote acts worldwide to play. Recent shows include tribute bands, legendary groups such as Queen and the Bee Gees, and fantastic ensembles.
Sanderson has enjoyed the stardom of comedians like Paul Reiser and continues to host different dance competitions. If you are a hockey and ice skating fan, Waterloo has many outdoor rinks to enjoy. At Wilfrid Laurier, there are at least twenty rinks, guaranteeing a soft place to stretch your legs and enjoy the cool breeze of winter.
8. McGill University (Montreal, QC)
McGill could accommodate Canada’s brightest students, but that doesn’t mean they do not have fun too.
Igloofest, a festival between late January and early February every year, hosts some prominent musical acts to play in the snow while helping participants make the most of Montreal’s chilly weather.
The festival also features a “one-piece” contest, where judges pick concert-goers with the best ski suit.
If you want something more tranquil, McGill has many parks,, including the Morgan Arboretum, a 245-hectare forest reserve at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Island. Depending on the time of the year, you can explore the Arboretum’s hiking trails or consider cross-country skiing.
Universities in Canada are known not only for providing outstanding education but also for offering active social experiences. These citadels of learning are unique due to their strategic environments and diverse communities.
They understand the balance between work and play, providing different opportunities for students to build lifetime relationships, try new things out, and make evergreen memories.
In this article, we have highlighted the best party schools in Canada, and we hope you make a pick that works the best for you.
Sam is a brilliant young Nigerian biochemistry student and an aspiring entrepreneur. Despite facing many challenges, he has never lost his passion for learning and drive to make a difference in the world. Read more about him here.