Best architect undergrad programs in Canada?


The biggest question of all, where to apply? 

I've done lots of research and still can't decide where I should apply for my bachelors. I'm really wanting to do a Co-op, which schools are most recommended in Canada, unless Europe is cheaper....? 

Also, is it smarter to take a more general engineering degree such as civil and later go into architecture or to just dive right in?

Help is much needed and greatly appreciated!

Nov 12, 13 1:54 am
Non Sequitur

If you want architecture, dive into an architecture program. All accredited Canadian schools have the basic engineering courses as well as the technical ones. Learning how buildings survive and come-together while you're cutting cardboard and making massing models is better than trying to rational the design stage because you only know the real-world restrictions (ie. gravity). Some may disagree, butI've found architecture students with an existing p.eng degree to take far less out of the creative design studios.

As for schools, if Coop is your goal, you cannot beat Waterloo's program. Granted, you need to pass the portfolio and in-person interview just to make it into 1st year (I know... I used to do the interviews).

In the end, you'll need to go through a 2 to 3 year masters program before being able to apply for intern architect status (and start banking exp hours), so keep this in mind. It may be best to do a 4year architecture undergrad in whatever university is closest then move to another/better school for masters. Canada is pretty damn huge and there are only 11 schools (9 in English) that are accredited.

Nov 12, 13 11:48 am

Easy.  McGill:

- best Canadian university

- best Canadian city

- architecture school within engineering school, so not exactly fluffy.

Nov 12, 13 12:05 pm
Non Sequitur

Montreal -> best Canadian city

Quebec -> Worst Canadian Province.

Nov 12, 13 12:09 pm

^ ^ Winner winner, chicken dinner.

Nov 12, 13 12:46 pm

Montreal -> best Canadian city

Quebec -> Worst Canadian Province.

As for Quebec, it depends on your point of view.  If you like the almost European French-Canadian sensibilities, point of view, and way of living life, then it is the only province in Canada a person with those stipulations can live in.

I've been to Canada countless times, so it has become very palpable.

I wish you a lifetime of "joie de vivre."

Nov 12, 13 1:06 pm
Non Sequitur

Observant, your romantic view of the Quebec province is not the same I see on a day-to-day basis as a non-Quebec french speaking Canadian citizen. But, experiences differ and living in the city of Montreal is a different experience worth all the extra baggage Quebec likes to drag along.

If the OP lives in Quebec, then tuition is virtually free for her. Something to consider.

Nov 12, 13 1:26 pm

^  Yes, perhaps it is a little romanticized, but the attitude in QC is different, even in Trois-Rivieres, for example.

Now, I've heard that if you hit a logging town out beyond Chicoutimi or Jonquiere where people might look like jack-o-lanterns due to the lack of orthondontia, they can be somewhat "necky" and aloof to outsiders with whom they don't have much contact.  But, wait, aren't I the resident redneck on EC?

Back on topic, I do think McGill is the very best a-school in Canada, with a solid foundation in structures and construction, fully fleshed out by design, history, graphics, and theory courses, not to mention proximity to a vibrant design community.  Had I only known Americans could go there ... and had they only offered the 3 year M.Arch. ... and had I been able to get in (*laughing*).

Nov 12, 13 1:45 pm
chatter of clouds

but... the accent.

i've visited MGill. It doesn't offer an undergrad in architecture i think.

bit stuffy. its a small school. and its really quite american. the grades, the grades, the grades...

and the thinking, yes it was stuffy. but that was for postgrad (they share faculty...again, its quite a small school). to be fair, i didn't talk to the theory people (AP Gomez and the others in his program).  

their professional program looks like its packed around a solid core. but again, its not a large school. 

Montreal's (in)decent enough. good for students and strippers.  

Nov 12, 13 9:23 pm


They offer a 4 year Bachelor of Science, as no school in Canada offers a 5 year B.Arch.  It would then require a CACB accredited graduate degree to become an architect in the Maple Leaf Country.

In Montreal, they have Amir's, a chain of reasonably priced Lebanese restaurants that serve large portions, so don't complain.

Once the students get past a rigorous core in conjunction with the engineers, the architecture students stay in the architecture school.  What would make it less stuffy?  Students who are allowed to cantilever a skyscraper over a podium at a 3:1 ratio so that it looks daring?

McGill is internationally reputed.  That stays with you forever.  And it's public, so there's no private school price tag to boot.

Nov 12, 13 9:59 pm
chatter of clouds

i'm not complaining but....lebanese restaurant? cummon, that was a cheap shot.

they offer a BS? in Engineering you mean not arch?  didn't know that. I thought they only did an March. 

About being stuffy..i attended a class and looked around, spoke to hither and thither. I'm not specifically talking about the work, mr observant. 

Nov 12, 13 10:14 pm

No, not a cheap shot.  Amir's is almost as common as a Timmy's in Montreal.   Good and not expensive, either.  Follow link.

It's called the B. Sc. Arch.  It's thorough as hell and it looks heavy duty, so not too much time left over to enjoy Montreal, first sitting with the engineers and then moving over into architecture.  The credit hours are a little goofy because some students in Quebec come in from a CEGEP, a hybrid of a high school and preparatory community college, particular to that province and which I do not fully understand.  Scroll through the 4 sections for the B.Sc.

Nov 13, 13 12:03 am
chatter of clouds

oh yes, and there must be a Chilli's or a fuddrucker's around, so you will feel right at home!

yes its a a bit of a cheap shot. I am not a fucking shawarma, you don't have the right to assume i'd feel comfortable in a shawarma shack! whats with the ethnicization? what, do you think I fell off a village wagon and on the lookout for a taste of home? thank you redneck white man for showing me where i can get my version of fried chicken. woohoo

Nov 13, 13 12:30 am

Why are you all tied up in a knot?  I celebrate ethnicity, man.  I believe in the cultural mosaic, and not the melting pot.  Give it a rest. 

I love certain chain restaurants, but not those two.  I don't view it as a dereliction of duty to an architect's faux sophistication to eat in a chain restaurant.

So, now you can see what McGill looks like, on paper, t a m m u z, or anyone else interested in a Canadian styled architectural education, eh.

Nov 13, 13 12:49 am
chatter of clouds

don't get your redneck long johns in a knot, observant. it was half in jest . but its also serious in the way a woman telling you not to look at her breasts while talking to her is.

Nov 13, 13 1:04 am

Let's see t a m m u z.

If you are talking to a woman out in public or at work and staring at her breasts, that's rude.

If you are talking to a woman standing in front of you with her bra off and staring at her breasts, that's not rude.

If you are at a topless beach in Miami, and are talking to, or looking at, a German woman with her top off and staring at her breasts, that's a wild card - no one told her to be nude in America, yet this is considered very non-sexual for pale Germans who head to the Med in search of "sonnen," so it's a departure from UN-minded acceptable behavior.

But your point is taken, my friend.

My vote is for McGill, but then I'm stuffy and linear.

Nov 13, 13 11:36 am

The portfolios I've seen from Waterloo students coming out of the undergrad are seriously amazing. But it is possible I've only seen the best ones.

If you want to study architecture I would say go for the undergrad in Arch. It'll open up your choices for doing your Masters. You mentioned Europe- I can't think of any European masters/professional program that accepts students that don't have at least 3 years of undergrad Architecture and if you do stay in Canada or go to the US for masters you will already be at a point where you can be developing your interests more fully, ie: get more out of it rather than being completely new to the architectural discourse.

Nov 15, 13 4:27 pm

European architect is i think is more better. Many many beautiful architectures are seen in the chapels of St: Peters burg. Really i love European  architecture, because i have seen some beauty and some speciality.

Nov 15, 13 11:15 pm
Non Sequitur

Thomas, the OP is Canadian and therefore, if he wants to return home and chase a professional license, his education must be accepted by the Canadian association. Right now, there are about 5 Programs which are deemed acceptable by these standards.

Nov 16, 13 1:12 pm

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