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  #41  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 2:57 PM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
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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Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
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.
I thought the consensus in here was that Sherbrooke was too big to qualify? Now yes, if you managed to move Lennoxville 50+ km away, then it would indeed become a quite archetypal New England style college town.

If Wolfville was less than 5 minutes away from the corner of Barrington and Sackville in downtown Halifax (or whichever intersection is defined as the center point of the city, if not that one), would it still be "a college town"?
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  #42  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 5:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ue View Post

The only place in Alberta that I feel sort-of qualifies is Camrose. It has the UofA's Augustana Campus, which has about 1,000 students for a city of 18,000. So more like 5% of the population. It's kind of like Kitchener-Waterloo, where the university is prominent and important, but not overbearingly predominant. Camrose is still primarily an agricultural and services centre.

You could make the argument for Lethbridge, with UofL, which has 8,000 students in a metro of 100,000. I'd still say that's pushing it as UofL doesn't feel like the centre of life in Lethbridge.
You're forgetting Lethbridge College, which is older than the U of L and has about 4000 students; that would give us about 12,000 students in a metro of just over 105,000. As a lifetime resident of Lethbridge (except for seven years in Calgary) I have to say that between them the Uni and the College, while not dominating the city, very much give the city a "college town" feel. The transit system is set up to serve the two institutions and little else, for instance. Perhaps the reason why they do not have even more of an influence is that they are both somewhat isolated and inward looking in their campuses away from residential areas in the city, although that description more fits the Uni than the College
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  #43  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 6:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Boris2k7 View Post
I went to a college campus in Lawrencetown, NS. The place is only a small village so the students made up around 50% of the population.
Ah, another COGS guy in here. Ltown was like being trapped in a prison it was so tiny. But the school was nice, filled with good people.

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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.
This chart doesn't cover the small university towns mentioned in other previous posts. Antigonish has a population of 4,500 but there are over 5,000 students at the school. You REALLY notice when the students leave for the summer; the number of tourists barely make up for the population loss.

However, Antigonish has a ridiculous population density due to it's tiny municipal borders. The town + the adjacent suburbs are probably over 6,000, and it's "CMA" outreach is probably closer to 10,000.
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  #44  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 6:53 PM
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Originally Posted by FFX-ME View Post
There is a list of Canadian College town on Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...owns_in_Canada

Antigonish
Fredericton
Guelph
Halifax
Kingston
Sackville
Sherbrooke
Squamish
Wolfville
Kelowna

To claim a large city is a college town is ridiculous. These are typically cities where not only student population is important but where the university is the main industry.

Most "real" college towns in Canada are east of Ontario and mainly in the maritimes.
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  #45  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 8:08 PM
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As a point of comparison, since people are complaining about some cities being too big to be college towns. Metro population stats for a few well-known college towns that first come to my mind with student population:

State College, PA - 158,742 (46,606)
Ann Arbor, MI - 344,791 (44,718)
College Station, TX - 236,819 (60,435)

There are a lot of Oberlin type situations in the US too, but just because it's a city, doesn't seem to preclude it from being a college town.
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  #46  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 8:11 PM
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  #47  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 8:29 PM
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As a resident of Fredericton, I would not classify it as a University town. Certainly, UNB/STU and NBCC are a major factor in the city's landscape. You can definitely feel the pulse of the city change when school is in session versus when its on break; labour day weekend when the students return, the mall feels like Christmas for example.

But the City itself does not move to the beat of the universities. Being the Provincial capital, the City moves to the beat of Government, with the universities providing a counterbeat that sometimes clashes and sometimes harmonizes. Even with how big and important UNB/STU is to the city, Government always trumps all. Our 'rush hour' is always right when government offices are starting up and shutting down for the day. Downtown is basically deserted after 5PM with almost no night life.
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  #48  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 9:50 PM
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A place like Kingston is a "university town" in the way Madison, Wisconsin or Burlington, Vermont is.
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  #49  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
A place like Kingston is a "university town" in the way Madison, Wisconsin or Burlington, Vermont is.
I was thinking as I was reading this thread that the lot of you need to take a road trip to Ithaca or to Madison (PhD UW-Madison here) to see what a "college town" feels like. I feel "college town" in Canada in Kingston for sure and around big universities- the Annex in Toronto feels a lot like State Street in Madison. So does the area around McGill and in Edmonton around U of A. One of the things I hate about teaching at the U of Calgary is that it's surrounded not by student apartments, big converted-mansion frat houses, and blocks of cafes, pubs, bookstores, and the like but by a freeway, another freeway, a research park, and a hospital.
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  #50  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by FFX-ME View Post
Antigonish
Fredericton
Guelph
Halifax
Kingston
Sackville
Sherbrooke
Squamish
Wolfville
Kelowna

To claim a large city is a college town is ridiculous. These are typically cities where not only student population is important but where the university is the main industry.

Most "real" college towns in Canada are east of Ontario and mainly in the maritimes.

Then, claiming to do a list of College Towns without including the actual colleges of Québec (the CÉGEPs - Collèges d'Enseignement Général et Professionnel) and omitting to put La Pocatière or Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue in a list is also ridiculous.
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  #51  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2017, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Laceoflight View Post
Then, claiming to do a list of College Towns without including the actual colleges of Québec (the CÉGEPs - Collèges d'Enseignement Général et Professionnel) and omitting to put La Pocatière or Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue in a list is also ridiculous.
So one thing I find very nerdy about this thread is that we've dug up student enrollment to population ratios but we haven't entered a discussion about the essence of what makes a certain town a "college town". I think that would be a far more interesting discussion.

Not to sound snooty, but most CEGEPs and most community colleges don't really add to the "college town" flavour of a place. That's not because CEGEP or community college students aren't smart enough, or "fun enough", or "active enough", or whatever. It's because CEGEPs and community colleges largely cater to existing students in the community that they grew up in. You finish high school and then you enroll in some courses in a college across town and come home on the bus. On the weekend you hang out with your old friends and you only come to campus - and the area surrounding the campus - to study or work on group assignments.

For me, the whole point of having a college town is to have a place where young people get a taste of living away from home for the first time. They come to a place not knowing a single other person and spend the next few years forging new friendships and exploring what independent life is like.
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  #52  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2017, 12:01 AM
Docere Docere is offline
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Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
So one thing I find very nerdy about this thread is that we've dug up student enrollment to population ratios but we haven't entered a discussion about the essence of what makes a certain town a "college town". I think that would be a far more interesting discussion.

Not to sound snooty, but most CEGEPs and most community colleges don't really add to the "college town" flavour of a place. That's not because CEGEP or community college students aren't smart enough, or "fun enough", or "active enough", or whatever. It's because CEGEPs and community colleges largely cater to existing students in the community that they grew up in. You finish high school and then you enroll in some courses in a college across town and come home on the bus. On the weekend you hang out with your old friends and you only come to campus - and the area surrounding the campus - to study or work on group assignments.

For me, the whole point of having a college town is to have a place where young people get a taste of living away from home for the first time. They come to a place not knowing a single other person and spend the next few years forging new friendships and exploring what independent life is like.
I agree and this isn't "snooty" at all. A student body that is not overwhelmingly local is crucial to get that "college town" or "university town" feel.
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  #53  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2017, 12:22 AM
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Not to sound like a Debbie Downer, but the Americans invented the concept of the college town.

Ithaca, Madison, Ann Arbor, Athens, Chapel Hill, Oberlin etc. Canada has nothing analogous to those places. No, I haven't been to Antigonish, but let's be real: Antigonish is nothing like Ann Arbor.

Though I would say that Montreal's concentration of students gives it something of the atmosphere of Boston, which is essentially the ultimate college town. Still not really the same, though.

There's a simple rule for this: if students where you live don't use the term "townie" to refer to the locals, then you don't live in a college town.

And the clue's in the name, anyway. "College" in the U.S. is essentially an indiscriminate byword for anything post-secondary-related, but in Canada a college is a byword for any post-secondary institution which is not a university and therefore does not offer undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the sciences and humanities.
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  #54  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2017, 12:47 AM
lio45 lio45 is offline
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Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
So one thing I find very nerdy about this thread is that we've dug up student enrollment to population ratios but we haven't entered a discussion about the essence of what makes a certain town a "college town". I think that would be a far more interesting discussion.

Not to sound snooty, but most CEGEPs and most community colleges don't really add to the "college town" flavour of a place. That's not because CEGEP or community college students aren't smart enough, or "fun enough", or "active enough", or whatever. It's because CEGEPs and community colleges largely cater to existing students in the community that they grew up in. You finish high school and then you enroll in some courses in a college across town and come home on the bus. On the weekend you hang out with your old friends and you only come to campus - and the area surrounding the campus - to study or work on group assignments.

For me, the whole point of having a college town is to have a place where young people get a taste of living away from home for the first time. They come to a place not knowing a single other person and spend the next few years forging new friendships and exploring what independent life is like.
Actually, La Pocatière is a great example of a college that draws people from far away - if you want to go into agricultural tech programs, it's your only choice. I have a friend from Sherbrooke who went there after high school for that (not like he could choose where to go for his study field...), and people like him are the textbook case of going away from home to go to college to a town where they didn't know anyone previously.
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  #55  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2017, 1:04 AM
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Actually, La Pocatière is a great example of a college that draws people from far away - if you want to go into agricultural tech programs, it's your only choice. I have a friend from Sherbrooke who went there after high school for that (not like he could choose where to go for his study field...), and people like him are the textbook case of going away from home to go to college to a town where they didn't know anyone previously.
Yeah, there are always exceptions and it's almost always program-based rather than school-based. When I was in high school, Sheridan College in Oakville was called the "Harvard of Animation" and it attracted very talented students from far away who dreamed of landing a job with Pixar or DreamWorks.

That said, the majority of CEGEP students or community college students are probably going to be commuters.
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  #56  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2017, 1:30 AM
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Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
Yeah, there are always exceptions and it's almost always program-based rather than school-based. When I was in high school, Sheridan College in Oakville was called the "Harvard of Animation" and it attracted very talented students from far away who dreamed of landing a job with Pixar or DreamWorks.

That said, the majority of CEGEP students or community college students are probably going to be commuters.
Sure, but my point is that Laceoflight's point was very valid - the two examples of college towns he gave are magnets for people who come from far away. So your objection doesn't apply.

La Pocatière is probably more of a college town than half that list he responded to (from FFX-ME).

P.S. if Oakville was very small and very isolated (like La Pocatière...) wouldn't that Sheridan College precisely make that tiny remote Oakville an archetypal college town?
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  #57  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2017, 2:51 AM
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Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
So one thing I find very nerdy about this thread is that we've dug up student enrollment to population ratios but we haven't entered a discussion about the essence of what makes a certain town a "college town". I think that would be a far more interesting discussion.

Not to sound snooty, but most CEGEPs and most community colleges don't really add to the "college town" flavour of a place. That's not because CEGEP or community college students aren't smart enough, or "fun enough", or "active enough", or whatever. It's because CEGEPs and community colleges largely cater to existing students in the community that they grew up in. You finish high school and then you enroll in some courses in a college across town and come home on the bus. On the weekend you hang out with your old friends and you only come to campus - and the area surrounding the campus - to study or work on group assignments.

For me, the whole point of having a college town is to have a place where young people get a taste of living away from home for the first time. They come to a place not knowing a single other person and spend the next few years forging new friendships and exploring what independent life is like.
Agreed. This is one of the reasons why Kingston's central core would qualify as a student town, IMO. 95% of all students at Queen's come from outside the Kingston region so they're living on their own for the first time. And what makes it interesting here is that the university for the most part only provides dorm rooms for first year undergrads. So upper year undergrads as well as grad students have to find their own living accommodations; the vast majority rent in the urban neighbourhoods nearby.

The most common living arrangement is for a group of 4-6 students to rent a house together in the surrounding residential neighbourhoods; the so called "student ghetto" where some 80-90% of the population are university undergrads. In these neighbourhoods, the built form is dense yet still low rise (Victorian-era rowhouses and semi-detached with small yards) so thousands of undergrads manage to fit into their own houses all within a close walking distance of each other and to the university. This allows for all kinds of things--like backyard parties and such--that creates the "college town" atmosphere. This is contrast to places like Waterloo where students are more likely to live in apartment towers that were built specifically for students, and they're more likely to live a bus ride away from campus instead of just a walk away. The reason why Kingston didn't end up like Waterloo in that regard is mostly due to the city council's traditional opposition to high rises in the inner city, and the fact that the transit system historically was very poor (both have changed, but only very recently). Which made both high rise student living, or living in areas away from the campus, very unattractive, forcing the students to congregate into their own little ghetto of converted rowhouses in the central city.

Students live in a bubble. Often literally called the "Queen's bubble" in the local media. They have their own neighbourhoods, their own hangouts in the downtown core, and their own social circles. There's actually very little interaction between students and permanent residents. So their own bubble is effectively a college town, even though it exists within a larger city.

Last edited by 1overcosc; Feb 9, 2017 at 3:26 AM.
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  #58  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2017, 5:04 AM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
I thought the consensus in here was that Sherbrooke was too big to qualify? Now yes, if you managed to move Lennoxville 50+ km away, then it would indeed become a quite archetypal New England style college town.

If Wolfville was less than 5 minutes away from the corner of Barrington and Sackville in downtown Halifax (or whichever intersection is defined as the center point of the city, if not that one), would it still be "a college town"?
I admit to not knowing all that much about Sherbrooke but was under the impression that Lennoxville was somewhat removed from Sherbrooke despite being part of the Sherbrooke CMA. Is this not correct?
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  #59  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2017, 5:13 AM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
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).
The Maple League aren't just small schools is small towns, they all have extremely high academic standards. Peterborough is a little bit too large and Trent's reputation would be lower. Same goes for Brandon, Lakehead, Lethbridge, etc. I'm not sure there's much point in the Maple League expanding just for the sake of expanding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
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........
What! Bishop's will be in AUS? What was the rationale for that?
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  #60  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2017, 7:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
Not to sound like a Debbie Downer, but the Americans invented the concept of the college town.
I'd agree that the contemporary pop culture version of the college town is an American invention, but what of Oxford, Cambridge, St. Andrews or Heidelberg? Cultural depictions of Oxbridge college-town life aren't exactly lacking however much the symbolic vocabulary differs.
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