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  #21  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 2:44 AM
lio45 lio45 is offline
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Originally Posted by ue View Post
Yeah....no. It seems like people are looking at hard, arbitrary lines in the sand, with city propers, rather than looking at metro-wide numbers. Victoria isn't really 80,000 and Burnaby is really an extension of Vancouver. Universities are a perfect example of this. UVic and SFU would not have the population of students they do without the surrounding metropolitan area. It's very simplistic to assume all or even most UVic or SFU students live within the confines of the City of Victoria and City of Burnaby.
For an even more extreme example, from Laceoflight's post, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue (a West Island town with a quality college and also a McGill satellite campus) has more students than it has total citizens... so it's mathematically impossible to even consider assuming all students live within municipal limits.
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  #22  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 2:45 AM
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Originally Posted by 1overcosc View Post
I made this chart a while back. Uses CMA borders and university enrollment numbers. Not quiet scientific (little things like the enrollment data often being from 2012 whereas census is from 2011, etc.) but a guideline.

Total number of university students per 1,000 people in each CMA


Kingston & Guelph are both over 10% university students in their entire metros. Kitchener-Waterloo and Sherbrooke come very close.

Of the big six, Ottawa tops the list.
As per government data (see post #5 in the thread) Sherbrooke is actually at 167.0 per 1000, so it would slot between Guelph and Kingston.
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  #23  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 2:58 AM
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I think educational attainment figures for the 25+ population are helpful as well. How highly educated are the "townies"?

University degree:

Wolfville NS 50.5%
Antigonish NS 40.6%
Fredericton NB 40%
Victoria BC 38.3%
Guelph ON 32%
Kingston ON 31.8%
Sackville NB 29.2%
Sherbrooke QC 25.1%
Lethbridge AB 24.7%

Advanced degree:

Wolfville NS 29.4%
Antigonish NS 22.1%
Kingston ON 16%
Sackville NB 15%
Fredericton NB 14.8%
Victoria BC 14.1%
Guelph ON 13%
Sherbrooke QC 10.4%
Lethbridge AB 7.1%
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  #24  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 3:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
In BC, Victoria definitely qualifies (population 80,000; 21,000 students at UVic). Oddly Burnaby would qualify as well by a strict "10%" criteria (SFU has around 25,000 students) but few would argue it is a "university town."
UVic is in Saanich.
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  #25  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 3:09 AM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
As per government data (see post #5 in the thread) Sherbrooke is actually at 167.0 per 1000, so it would slot between Guelph and Kingston.
Two differences between that QC government data and my chart:
1) That data uses city proper borders, I used CMA borders
2) I used university enrollment only, whereas that gov't data used all post-secondary. Too complicated to try to figure out an apples-to-apples comparison of each province's college/vocational programs which are often vastly different from one another. In contrast to the concept of "university" which is fairly uniform across provincial and international borders.
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  #26  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 3:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Marshal View Post
UVic is in Saanich.
Well there you go. I've been on the UVic campus before and I didn't even realize I was in Saanich.
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  #27  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 3:22 AM
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It's interesting to note that BC's three major universities are all in suburban settings.
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  #28  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 3:37 AM
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The key word in the phrase university town is "town"

The larger the city, the less of an influence the university has on the overall character of the community.

Halifax for example has seven universities, and they contribute in a major way to the economy and the character of the city, but really, outside of the south end of the peninsula, the influence of the universities begins to wane fairly quickly. Halifax is defined by it's universities, but is also defined by the fact that it is the provincial capital, the business centre of NS, a military town and a major port. It's also hard to consider a city of 425,000 a university "town"

To me, a university town has to be small, it's economy has to revolve around the university, and the university has to be the cultural focus of the community. This is the way it is for the classical New England style university towns. In Canada, if you are looking for that type of vibe, it's hard to beat the small Maritime university towns of Wolfville NS, Antigonish NS and Sackville NB. All three towns are in the vicinity of 5,000 people and all three have highly regarded primarily undergraduate liberal arts universities that define the communities that they are located in.
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  #29  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 3:53 AM
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I do believe Prince George (72,000) would qualify with UNBC (4000) and college of New Caledonia (5000)
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  #30  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 3:59 AM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
The key word in the phrase university town is "town"

The larger the city, the less of an influence the university has on the overall character of the community.

Halifax for example has seven universities, and they contribute in a major way to the economy and the character of the city, but really, outside of the south end of the peninsula, the influence of the universities begins to wane fairly quickly. Halifax is defined by it's universities, but is also defined by the fact that it is the provincial capital, the business centre of NS, a military town and a major port. It's also hard to consider a city of 425,000 a university "town"

To me, a university town has to be small, it's economy has to revolve around the university, and the university has to be the cultural focus of the community. This is the way it is for the classical New England style university towns. In Canada, if you are looking for that type of vibe, it's hard to beat the small Maritime university towns of Wolfville NS, Antigonish NS and Sackville NB. All three towns are in the vicinity of 5,000 people and all three have highly regarded primarily undergraduate liberal arts universities that define the communities that they are located in.
I agree, though we really don't have university towns in Canada to the extent they exist in the US, and not just in New England. Obviously Guelph and Kingston are on a different scale than Wolfville and Antigonish, but they seem to dominate in a similar way that you don't get in even Halifax (which, along with Montreal, is probably the most university-dominated of the larger cities). There really aren't equivalents to Lawrence KS or Champaign IL or Corvallis OR west of the Maritimes, aside from maybe Guelph, Kingston, or Sherbrooke, even though they're a bit larger. The universities by and large went to the cities in Canada.
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  #31  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 4:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
Well there you go. I've been on the UVic campus before and I didn't even realize I was in Saanich.
In fact, you've been in Greater Saanich all the time, even though you didn't know it (and even while you were within Victoria city limits).
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  #32  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 4:49 AM
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Originally Posted by 1overcosc View Post
Two differences between that QC government data and my chart:
1) That data uses city proper borders, I used CMA borders
2) I used university enrollment only, whereas that gov't data used all post-secondary. Too complicated to try to figure out an apples-to-apples comparison of each province's college/vocational programs which are often vastly different from one another. In contrast to the concept of "university" which is fairly uniform across provincial and international borders.
Good point about CMAs, it's probably the only way to have something that's apples-to-apples (on the other hand, adding the periphery will greatly dilute the numbers of students, but since it's apples-to-apples, it's fine).

About your second point though, I think comparing postsecondary everywhere would be closer to being apples-to-apples. All the people who are in colleges in Quebec would be in "universities" in Ontario.
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  #33  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 4:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
The key word in the phrase university town is "town"

The larger the city, the less of an influence the university has on the overall character of the community.

Halifax for example has seven universities, and they contribute in a major way to the economy and the character of the city, but really, outside of the south end of the peninsula, the influence of the universities begins to wane fairly quickly. Halifax is defined by it's universities, but is also defined by the fact that it is the provincial capital, the business centre of NS, a military town and a major port. It's also hard to consider a city of 425,000 a university "town"

To me, a university town has to be small, it's economy has to revolve around the university, and the university has to be the cultural focus of the community. This is the way it is for the classical New England style university towns. In Canada, if you are looking for that type of vibe, it's hard to beat the small Maritime university towns of Wolfville NS, Antigonish NS and Sackville NB. All three towns are in the vicinity of 5,000 people and all three have highly regarded primarily undergraduate liberal arts universities that define the communities that they are located in.
I agree. To me, a university town is one where the university is likely more famous than the town itself and where the university absolutely dominates the town, not merely has a fairly high enrollment. I also think that to be a true university town, the town would absolutely collapse and be a typical rural village without the university. For this reason, I don't think we have all that many in Canada. Your examples of Wolfville, Antigonish and Sackville kinda work, and Kingston might be a stretch as well, but aside from that, I can't really think of anything. Our major universities all tend to be in our big cities.

Compare that to the US. Ithaca, Hanover, Princeton, State College, etc. We don't really have anything like them. Cities like London and Kingston may be dominated by their universities in the minds of many Canadians (outside Ontario maybe?), but they would certainly still be sizable communities without their schools. Not so true for American university towns.

In fact, I've always wondered why half the Ivy League schools were placed in the middle of nowhere. Same with Oxford and Cambridge. What was the rationale of putting your first universities far away from where anybody lived? To ensure elite membership?

Much of Canada and the American west may not have the romance of tiny little villages with prestigious universities, but I think our approach just makes a lot more sense logistically.
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  #34  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 5:09 AM
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Ridgetown Ontario is a town of 3,500 in Chatham/Kent with a U.Guelph campus with 500 students.
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  #35  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 5:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Marshal View Post
UVic is in Saanich.
Well, to be more accurate, UVic spans over both the District of Saanich and the city of Oak Bay. The Oak Bay border is colloquially known (locally) as the "Tweed Curtain"
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  #36  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 7:17 AM
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When I think of 'college towns' the first that come to mind are the following:

Wolfville, NS
Antigonish, NS
Sackville, NB
Lennoxville, QC

Guelph, Kingston, and Halifax are all a little too big to have that college town feel. There's lots of life beyond the campus in these places. By contrast, the 4 above are utterly dominated by their schools.
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  #37  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 12:41 PM
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IMO, a College Town would be defined by a Singular University/College making up the bulk of its reputation (and population).

So in that respect, Sackville, NB (Mount Allison University), Wolfville, NS (Acadia) and Antigonish (St FX) would all certainly qualify as university towns.

Fredericton doesn't make the cut both because it's got 2-3 unversities and colleges and also because it is a provincial capital, so it has multiple claims to fame.

By raw population, Waterloo might seem that way, and it was for a while IMO, even if it was almost evenly split between WLU and UW; but nowadays, both with its close times/fusion with Kitchener, and with all the businesses that spun out of the Universities, it has grown beyond being just a University Town (or even a University City).
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  #38  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 12:59 PM
Docere Docere is offline
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True, Canada has few "pure" college towns like Amherst, Massachusetts or Ithaca, New York.
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  #39  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 1:03 PM
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By raw population, Waterloo might seem that way, and it was for a while IMO, even if it was almost evenly split between WLU and UW; but nowadays, both with its close times/fusion with Kitchener, and with all the businesses that spun out of the Universities, it has grown beyond being just a University Town (or even a University City).
It's worth pointing out that Kitchener and Waterloo had grown into one another well before the universities were established. Since then, though, the universities have been a key distinguishing factor between them and largely continue to be. It's true that the universities have been spreading out more so that they have a presence in Kitchener as well, but the influence of the student population is still unmistakeable in Waterloo while it is largely unnoticed in Kitchener. ~50,000 students in a city just less than twice that size will do that. Interestingly, in some ways, the student population is becoming more noticeable and predominate now as the city moves to concentrate student-type housing into the Northdale neighbourhood. The population used to be far more dispersed throughout the city.

That said, I wouldn't characterize is as a university town/city per se. There is just too much other stuff happening on top of the academic presence.
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  #40  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 1:54 PM
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An interesting fact about the small town eastern Canadian universities is that they have recently banded together the form the "Maple League of Canadian Universities". http://mapleleague.ca/

The charter members are:
- Bishops (Lennoxville QC)
- Mount Allison (Sackville NB)
- Acadia (Wolfville NS)
- Saint FX (Antigonish NS)

They seem to be trying to define themselves within the Canadian university context, dominated as it is by large provincial universities based in the major Canadian cities. This is an interesting initiative, and it will be interesting to see if any other similar universities will try to join this group (Trent for example).

As for the culture of small university towns, the focus tends to be around the university, especially for sports, and it is interesting to note in these four particular cases just how important the university football teams are to their respective communities.

I can speak to Sackville since it is less than 50 km from Moncton, and I tend to go down to the football games whenever I can. It isn't just the student body who comes out to these games, it's the whole damned town. Everyone is wearing garnet & gold colours (usually a scarf), there is a pep band playing in the stands, everyone is standing around socializing and watching the game. It's like a scene out of the 1950's. The atmosphere is terrific!

It's interesting that this year Bishops is transferring from the Quebec Conference to the AUS, joining it's Maple League brethren and Saint Mary's University. It will be interesting to see how this pans out........
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