Below are reviews for each individual residence (rez), written by McGill students who currently live or have recently lived in that residence. The overwhelming message that is common to all of them is that McGill Residences are an amazing community to be a part of, and it is important to note that no matter what residence you end up in you can have a great experience. If you are looking for photos of the residences you can find them here.
Note: Remember to keep an open mind about the residences you are reading about. Each year brings a new incoming class filled with different kinds of people and personalities so you may find that your experiences at Rez may vary widely from others'.
Carrefour Sherbrooke (C4)
Located on Sherbrooke Street West, its prime location makes it both close to main campus and to downtown Montreal. Originally a hotel, C4 as it is affectionately named, boasts large double rooms with en-suite bathroom to be shared between two roommates. Although most rooms host two students, there are a few single rooms as well. C4 has its very own cafeteria (including Quesada), as well as a common room on every other floor, a study room, a games room, a small gym and a Starbucks in the lobby that allows students to pay with their Meal Plan. A downside may be the fact that because of its hotel-style, it may be a bit trickier to establish closer relationships with other students on your floor. However, Floor Fellows quickly reduce this problem by implementing an ‘open door policy’ at the beginning of the year to help students get to know each other. C4 houses roughly 300 students, and is known for its friendly, enthusiastic and over-all chill student-body. Come C4 yourself!
Douglas was founded in 1937 and the stone exterior remains unchanged. More often referred to as Doug, it is one of McGill’s most desirable residences.
Doug is divided into 8 houses, which can be accessed from the courtyard or the underground “tunnel.” Most houses have a combination of single and double rooms, with a majority of single rooms overall. The average layout is about 5 rooms sharing a common living room, and about 7 people sharing a bathroom with 2 stalls, 2 showers, and 2 sinks. The common rooms are furnished with couches and tables.
Doug has its own cafeteria, which has been said to resemble the Hogwarts great hall. Residents can use home base dollars in Doug, BMH, and RVC. Doug also has a library and a piano room that is used for events and activities. In the tunnel, there is a common kitchen area, plus washing machines and dryers.
The best part about Doug is the unbelievable sense of community. The Douggies that live there will become your family. While it may be a bit less of a party scene than some of the other residences, there is certainly no lack of Doug spirit. Scholarship students take the majority of the spots, so it can be hard to get in if you don’t have a scholarship. Overall Doug is a really great place to make some amazing friends, live and love your home, and enjoy your year in Rez!
Gardner Hall (Upper Rez)
Imagine that the family oriented Brady Bunch had a child with the open-mindedness of LSD. Meanwhile, the raging partiers of Project X had a child with the intense study habits of the youngest ever Harvard graduate Norman Weiner. And then these two children grew to a socially acceptable age and conceived a child of their own, that child would be a typical Gardnerite.
What is Gardner?
It’s the most welcoming residence community you will ever encounter. With single bedrooms and co-ed bathrooms, there is an abundance of cuddle sessions and shower parties. Apart from all of the friendships and fun that come with Gardner, it is above all a place where students can be themselves and are accepted for who they are; it is a place where eccentric and weird are the most attractive qualities of the Gardner family
Who lives in Gardner?
The most non-stereotypical people you will meet. You’ll find athletes that write poetry, stoners that have the vocal chords of angels, hipsters that dance along to Taylor Swift and Beyonce, and on top of all of that these people are the best partiers, the most diligent students, and the most down-to-earth cool cats. A Gardnerite is truly a fine specimen of the first year kind at McGill University. We are awesome and we know it…but in the most modest way possible.
Why choose Gardner?
An inclusive atmosphere + creative people = many fun times. Gardner is the epitome of “Work hard, play hard”. There are some pretty fascinating individuals here who manage to keep a 4.0 GPA while going out four times week. This culture and lifestyle is what inspires events such as costume-themed pong tournaments and floor crawls. This culture and lifestyle is also what keeps the study room full of positive energy and what turns the common room into a magical study haven during finals season. Of course, none of us are perfect, so when the going gets tough, there isn’t a more loving and caring support system to be there for you when you feel like you’re falling. Sometimes, first year can feel pretty intimidating with the ever-escalating amounts of studying and partying, but here in Gardner not only can you successfully find a balance, but you will see that there is so much to be experienced in your first year. And that, my friends, is why you should choose Gardner.
As we often say, Gardner is the place to be. We’re so close we share disease. We’ve got rabies and scabies but that doesn’t stop our love, because holding hands can make a baby, so just maybe, wear a glove!
Greenbriar Apartments (Upper-Year)
Greenbriar Apartments is located just steps away from the downtown McGill campus, making it one of the most accessible and convenient residences. Previously an apartment building, the rooms are large and spacious, with full living facilities including a washroom and kitchen. Many of the apartments come with a balcony, some with a beautiful downtown view. Greenbriar is not your traditional dorm-style residence, and instead caters to students who want to live independently, but also want opportunities to meet new people and be a part of the residence community. If you are looking for an upbeat, party-style residence, then Greenbriar isn't for you. Greenbriar is really catered to the student who wants more privacy and is ready to cook for themselves. Given that the residence is apartment style, it is harder to meet people than the traditional dorm style or hotel style residences at McGill. However many students enjoy this, as they meet friends in a number of different residences and throughout the McGill community.
I know what you're thinking; it sounds like you're living in a castle. This is totally true. You are delivered from your home into a sparkling clean, completely new hotel equipped with flat screen TVs, abundant desk space, and private bathrooms. As for quality of living, there is no other residence that can outdo La Citadelle. On the top floor, you can recline and read while enjoying a panoramic view of the Montreal skyline, and at night you can enjoy the city lights while cooking in the fantastically large kitchen. This is the spacious life that many students have to sacrifice upon moving into most other residences. But there's one catch: the rent is pricy, especially for a single room. La Cit charges more single room rent than any other residence in all of Canada. Of course, if you can afford it it's well worth it. Waking up to the morning view of Montreal and watching movies on a massive wall-mounted flat screen TV are the sort of luxuries that come along with the pricey rent. It all depends on what kind of residence experience you are looking for, and how much you're able to dish out.
There is something very important to be said about residence community. In my experience, hotel-style residences don't have as much communal interaction as most other residences. You will find friends in whichever residence you choose, but it's a unique experience to be in a large, tightly knit community. With this said, Citadelle has proven to show more communal interaction than other hotel-style residences but has a lesser sense of community than upper residences. Just something to keep in mind when choosing a Hotel/Upper Rez hybrid such as La Citadelle!
McConnell Hall (Upper Rez)
I absolutely love McConnell Hall. Located in Upper rez beside Forbes Field, this is a place where I have met many great friends and have created memories to last a lifetime. After a long day of classes, I know that I can come home and be greeted with friendly faces. The staff is awesome and the floor fellows are amazing. They keep an open-door policy, so if you ever need to talk to them about certain issues or concerns you have about school or life in general, they are always willing to talk to you about it and help you out.
One thing that is really nice about living here is feeling that you’re not right downtown, even though you’re minutes away from the most happening streets in Montreal. Being beside Mount Royal, it’s perfect on those warm days (or even winter days) to go for a walk or jog up the hill and get a beautiful view of downtown. If you’re an athlete and are using the field or arena a lot, you are super conveniently located at McC, only steps away.
McConnell is a place where you can have a ton of fun. Yes, we are the only gender-segregated residence in upper rez by wing. Does this mean you won’t meet anyone of the opposite gender? Definitely not. It just means you won’t be sharing a bathroom with dudes if you are a lady. Every year, a council is voted and they are responsible for many cool events which are a great time to meet people. Coffee houses, themed parties, panner (4 hours of free pancakes on Sunday nights!), Thanksgiving dinners, movie nights... you name it! This year we even had our own Assassins tournament which kept everyone on their toes. Walking down a hallway, many people keep their doors open which makes it easy to socialize and meet very interesting people that you’ll share your first year with.
What I really noticed about living here is the good balance between partying and studying. If you want to party, you’ll always have a group that’s ready to go, no matter what day of the week! If you have an exam coming up and need to study, you can go to the study room where others will be in the same position as you. There’s also a TV room if you want to watch the hockey game and chill, a games room if you want to play some pool and if you get hungry at midnight, there are small kitchens on each floor.
Montreal is an amazingly dynamic and cultural city, you picked a great university to come to! You get out what you put into your first year, so get out there and explore, discover, learn and have a blast.
Molson Hall (Upper Rez)
Think Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets The Breakfast Club meets the party scene in Super Bad…and then unthink all of those things because Molson isn’t like that, it’s better. Welcome to the building that never sleeps which promises to sweep you away in an alcohol-fueled whirlwind of fast friendships and good times. Molson is a community of brothers and sisters around whom there is no such thing as sharing too much and where we live by a short, but effective mission statement: (1) Respect your fellow Molsonites and (2) nobody pukes alone.
This year, our slogan was somewhat jokingly: masters of moderation, but there is more truth in that statement than one might think. Molson brings about all kinds and demands a balance between studying and the inevitable fun that is to be had when living in the heart of Montreal. You’re as likely to find your friends making the trek home in the wee hours, as you are to find a group of them pulling an all night bonding session. At the top of University Street, Molson Hall can only be described as worth the trek and it’s single rooms and slight removal from the bustle of downtown contributes to the sense of community in Upper Rez. And if you need any further convincing, as the old adage goes, Molson Hall can cure what ales you.
Why MORE Houses?
1. We don't have a meal plan.
This possibly the best economic advantage, since I can almost guarantee you that your groceries will cost much less than buying cafeteria food. Less money on food means more money in your budget for other indulgences (you can guess what those end up being). For those of you rarely cook, don't stress! You will learn quickly enough, and you would have to learn in second year anyway when you move into your own apartment. Not to mention you can eat whatever you want (and are capable of cooking) at any time you want. This is especially helpful if you have particular dietary needs. Each house has a fully equipped kitchen and sufficient cupboard space. Just bring pots and cutlery and remember to always wash your dishes after use.
2. All MORE houses are minutes from campus.
My house, 505 Avenue des Pins, is the farthest (situated beside the Molson Stadium), yet it only takes me a few minutes to walk down the hill to school - and it's still a shorter walk than from Upper Rez. The closest, 3471 Peel, is just steps away from McTavish. The rest of the houses are scattered along Avenue des Pins and University Street.
3. Each house only holds between 15 and 30 students, with most around 20 students.
It is unavoidable that you will get to know all of your housemates by name as well as know their personalities. This is great if you are put with people you get along with really well, and even if you don't get along, you'll still likely hold a friendly conversation. You may end up befriending people that you would have never expected to. The only con is that if you want to meet even more people, you will have to put yourself out there, get involved, and go to parties and events since MORE houses don't have the benefit of around 200 students in the same building to immediately choose your friends from.
4. Some of the houses are aesthetically pleasing and have been recently renovated.
While I have visited all of the houses at least once, 505 des Pins is still my favourite with its hardwood floors, carved wooden fireplaces, giant spiraling staircase, high ceilings, and decorative moldings on the walls. However, there are others who no doubt prefer 3653's 30-student capacity, 522's pool table, or Peel's proximity to Gert's.
5. We have cheap rent.
Seriously, go look. A small double room in a MORE House is $620/month, and a small single is $822/month. The only residences that offer lower rent are a Greenbriar double at $614/month (also part of the MORE family, although not the same as a MORE house) and a Solin small double at $612/month (but they have to pay for a metro pass). The only problem is, like Greenbriar and Solin, we have our lease until July 31 - this is great if you are planning on staying in Montreal to do summer courses or just enjoy the city during its warmest season, but otherwise subletting can pose difficulties.
6. We have more independence than any other residence.
We have no security guards and no sign-ins. Even our floor fellows live in a separate building. They are still there when you have a problem or want to double-check about throwing a massive house party, but for the most part, you're free to do what you want.
All in all, MORE houses were my first choice and I am very satisfied with that decision. I feel completely ready to move into an apartment next year, but I still feel like I had a great residence experience. Every residence has its pros and cons - so just pick the one that suits you the most and cross your fingers that you get into one of your top picks. But even if you end up in your last choice, your first year will always be what you make of it.
New Residence Hall
New Residence is a fantastic place to live in your first year! It's the largest rez on campus, with about 750 people. Because there are so many people, there are a lot of diverse personalities. There's no "stereotype" for the type of person who's in New Rez; there are too many people for that. You're guaranteed to find someone you like. Do not be fooled by the Rez map on the McGill website! New Rez is fairly close to everything. It's about a 10-minute walk from campus, but there are some great things along the way, such as the McGill ghetto, Second Cup, a used bookstore, grocery stores, and more. It takes about the same amount of time to get from the Upper Rez's to campus as it does from New Rez.
Here are some advantages of New Rez:
1) We have a common room for every floor (great for parties, there's usually a floor party every night on the weekend. And if you're not into the noise of parties, the sound pretty much disappears when you shut the door.
2) We have THE BEST CAF (handmade sushi, steak, salad bar, grilled veggies, baked goods, case-croute, sandwich bar, custom wood-fire oven pizza, candy bar... the list goes on and on).
3) Private bathrooms. Need I say more?
4) Double/Queen sized beds
5) We're one block away from the gym (plus we have a gym underneath us as well, though it's tiny and twice as expensive as the McGill gym)
6) A mall in the basement, with an SAQ, Dollarama, pharmacy, drug store, Health food store and more)
7) The mall also has an Indie Cinema
8) Our elevators work!
9) There are always people in the lobby to hang out with.
10) It's safe (we have security)
11) The staff are pretty friendly as a whole
12) With all the healthy food options, proximity to the gym and walking, it's a great rez to be in if you want to stay fit.
The only disadvantage I can think of is that because the Rez is hotel-style, it makes it slightly harder to meet people. That is barely a problem though - there are plenty of events that the floor fellows plan. And if you keep your door open people will just walk in and say hello. Or you can take it to the next step and knock on people's doors (which is what I did). As a whole, everyone is pretty friendly! If you're outgoing, it shouldn't be an issue at all. I LOVE New Rez and don't think I could have been placed in a better residence.
Royal Victoria College (RVC)
The Royal Victoria College Residence is one of a kind, with a rich history and legacy. With the purpose of housing and teaching women, RVC was founded as an all-girls college in 1899 (women were not allowed to study at McGill at the time). Even though it is the oldest residence building at McGill, it was only in 2010 that RVC opened its doors to men. While the residence is now officially co-ed, RVC has maintained a part of its history. The Roscoe Wing (aka The Tower) is now co-ed (with males and females living on alternative floors), and the West Wing of the Residence has remained to house women only. For women living in the West Wing, most say that it gives them the best of both worlds (as the Wing and Tower are very friendly). For women ranking residences you have an option to pick RVC Co-Ed or RVC West-Wing. The residence is traditional dorm style with mostly single rooms and common floor bathrooms (gender specific). RVC gives residents the traditional college experience. However, it isn’t only its history that makes this residence special; it is also its location. RVC is located on the corner of University Street and Sherbrooke Street, right in the heart of Downtown Montreal. It is the closest residence to most of campus, and is connected to the Faculty of Music buildings. RVC is also located across the street from a 24/7 Tim Horton’s, a convenience store, banks, and a variety of restaurants. RVC is just a couple of blocks away from the Metro, the Montreal Eaton Centre, and the world-famous rue Ste-Catherine. While its location is unbeatable, the residence itself has a lot to offer. It is home to a recently renovated dining hall / cafeteria with the best food on campus. Because of its proximity to campus, most students will find themselves eating at the RVC Cafeteria very often if not at least once a day. With a TV room, a Wii, two grand pianos, a pool table and an aerobics room, there are a lot of things students can do, in residence. RVC also has a study room with computers and printing facilities for those who don’t want to study on campus (this comes in handy, especially in the winter). The M-SERT (First Aiders) office is also conveniently located in the residence.
Hey you first years! I know everyone hears that Solin is 4 metro stops away and groans but it’s not bad AT ALL! Solin is a beautiful building in a great little up and coming location called St Henri. The metro takes max 10 minutes, and by having your own opus card you always have free unlimited transportation thanks to 24 hour bussing. Solin is great if you want to be independent and still be apart of Residence Life. The apartments are beautiful (mine specifically has exposed wood beams), with 2-3 bedrooms, kitchen, living room and not one but two bathrooms and the best part is you have a DOOR TO CLOSE! No awkwardly sleeping (etc...) 4 meters away from your roommate. The ability to cook is also one of the greatest things here; it’s a lot cheaper, healthier and yummier than the caf food (I’ve visited the cafs on rez, I know what I’m saying here). The floor fellows here are great, and having an apartment makes life a lot easier. You don’t have to awkwardly sign anyone into res, or wait in line to eat, and you can have a bunch of people in your apartment at ease. This year Solin has thrown some great parties; the ENTIRE 6th floor has thrown 2 on its own. Don’t worry about meeting people as well; there are plenty of great Solin events, such as wine & cheese nights and many more (that’s FREE wine for everyone guys). FINALLY, Solin has a study room on each floor, a massive basement rec room with TV, pianos, foosball tables and its OWN bike co-op. Don’t write off Solin guys, it's an amazing place to live and an awesome McGill residence.
If any of the following describe you, you'd fit in perfectly at University Hall.
1. You don't want to have to go very far to get to class. No problem, University Hall is literally 30 seconds (we timed it) from the Milton Gates. This comes in especially handy when you have that dreaded 8:35 class (which a lot of Science & Engineering students have). No need to wake up early; roll out of bed at 8:30 and you'll get to that class in Leacock at 8:34. BAM.
2. You've always wanted to be a medieval knight or lady (Or wanted to live in a badass castle). University Hall has a grand archway, chapel, stain-glassed windows, and ornate woodwork. If we told you the bell tower you can see at the top was accessible, would you be even a little excited? Don't let this fool you into thinking we are a bunch of bookworms that never partied. That bell in the tower is rung many times by us drunkards coming in at 3 in the morning ;)
3. You want your room to feel like home. Each room has a gorgeous ornate window, hardwood floors, large wood desks to spread all of your shit on and PLENTY of closet space. No idea why those closets are so big. Some rooms have a view of Mont Royal and the lit up cross in one window and a view of McGill in the other.
4. You want to have a close-knit group of friends. Roughly 34 single rooms and 4 doubles in Dio. The fact this is a tiny rez of roughly 42 people doesn't mean we aren't cool, it just means by the end of your first year you've made 41 GREAT friends for the rest of your university career. Don't think you'll be able to do that in a 300-person rez.
5. You want the best of both worlds (a study rez and a party rez). Two floors, one kitchen on each floor, a common room with flat screen TV with cable, pool table and ping-pong table, and a study room. Even though the common and study rooms are in the basement (two fights of stairs down), it is still super convenient when there's a night where everyone else seems to want to party but you are not in the mood. You can safely go to sleep in your room without hearing anything at all. However, if you get there and you end up in the room by one of the kitchens, you might want to figure an agreement with your rez mates not to hang out there too late since sound does travel on each of the floors. We are talking an ancient church here after all.
6. You like to…keep good hygiene? Bathrooms: not the best part of University Hall, but it's definitely part of the experience. Each floor has a male and female bathroom. Each bathroom has roughly 2 showers, 2 toilets, and 2 sinks. I've never had to wait for someone to get out of the shower so I don't think it was that big of an issue.
7. You think you'd like to cook for yourself once at university, but we all know you're going to give up and just eat at the cafe. No problem, we've got you covered. As I mentioned before, Dio has a full kitchen on each of the two floors with two fridges in each of those kitchens. So you can be a master chef all you want. At the point where you give up on the cooking you CAN just pop on over to the cafe a block down the street. University Hall students get signed up for the rez meal plan and because you are such a badass you get to use your home base dollars at Royal Victoria Cafeteria plus Bishop Mountain Hall and Douglas Cafe up in Upper Rez.