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U of T vs Guelph- MLA


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Hi there,

I was wondering if someone could give input about completing a masters of landscape arcihtecture at both the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph. I am leaning towards the University of Toronto but Guelph looks just as good. I am having quite the trouble deciding. Does anyone have any advice in choosing a school? Thanks in advance.

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I know nothing about those programs but can comment on both cities, if this is of any importance to you. Do you like living in a big city with great access to restaurants, public transportation, shops and amenities or living a remote location (that, in my option, looks barren in the winter) and requires a car to travel to most places, or a greyhound bus to go anywhere outside of Guelph including neighbouring Cambridge and Kitchener?

 

It's a matter of personal preference. If you like remote locations with a little downtown core, go for Guelph. I know I would prefer the first option, not to mention U of T is ranked 16 world wide (although I cannot comment on the ranking of your particular field).

 

Congrats and good luck!

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I know nothing about those programs but can comment on both cities, if this is of any importance to you. Do you like living in a big city with great access to restaurants, public transportation, shops and amenities or living a remote location (that, in my option, looks barren in the winter) and requires a car to travel to most places, or a greyhound bus to go anywhere outside of Guelph including neighbouring Cambridge and Kitchener?

 

It's a matter of personal preference. If you like remote locations with a little downtown core, go for Guelph. I know I would prefer the first option, not to mention U of T is ranked 16 world wide (although I cannot comment on the ranking of your particular field).

 

Congrats and good luck!

 

Guelph is not remote, nor is it barren in the winter.  Guelph is only an hour from Toronto, has winters incredibly similar to Toronto, and is far from barren!  It has many wonderful green spaces, and is a wonderful place to live if you like being outdoors, due to the numerous parks, running paths and cycling paths.

 

Guelph has GO train service to Toronto during the morning rush hour (and service back at the evening rush hour) so you do not need a car nor do you have to rely on Greyhound buses.  Guelph transit is great for getting around Guelph, but Guelph is incredibly bike-able, and much, much more bike-friendly than Toronto!

 

That said, Guelph is obviously much smaller than Toronto, so if someone likes big cities, Guelph will not be for them. 

 

Guelph has a very active downtown core, with lots of activities going on.  There are plenty of sports and cultural opportunities in the city.  Every weekend there is a festival of some sort or another going on.

 

As for landscape architecture, Guelph is extremely well known in the field.  Also, with the arboretum attached right to the campus, landscape architecture students have wonderful opportunities available right on campus!  One landscape architecture student recently re-did the cross-country course for the Ontario provinicial university championships, which runs through the Guelph arboretum.  I don't think you get that kind of green space in downtown Toronto (at least I don't as an MPH student in downtown Toronto at UofT - I wish there was more green space on campus!)

 

OP, I'm sure you've seen this site at Guelph, but if not, check it out: https://www.uoguelph.ca/sedrd/landscape-architecture/why-choose-la-guelph

 

Guelph also has the only ASLA accredited program in Canada at the undergraduate level: http://www.asla.org/contentdetail.aspx?id=21636(which probably doesn't matter for grad studies, but shows how seriously Guelph takes landscape architecture)

 

UofT is a great university.  But Guelph is just as strong when it comes to certain programs, and landscape architecture is one of them.

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Guelph is not remote, nor is it barren in the winter.  Guelph is only an hour from Toronto, has winters incredibly similar to Toronto, and is far from barren!  It has many wonderful green spaces, and is a wonderful place to live if you like being outdoors, due to the numerous parks, running paths and cycling paths.

 

Guelph has GO train service to Toronto during the morning rush hour (and service back at the evening rush hour) so you do not need a car nor do you have to rely on Greyhound buses.  Guelph transit is great for getting around Guelph, but Guelph is incredibly bike-able, and much, much more bike-friendly than Toronto!

 

 

I think that Guelph is barren because there is lots of grass and there are lots of parks. Any land that has lots of grass and trees on top of it and no infrastructure I would call barren. But it's all a matter of perspective.

 

In the summer, it looks prettier if you like parks. But in the winter, when the grass is covered in snow there are lots of long roads and the scenery looks quite bland, in my opinion. It's definitely a place I would not live in without a car. 

 

You can take the GO train but keep in mind it only operates between Monday to Friday. 2 trips leave early in the morning towards Toronto and 2 trips return in the afternoon, a schedule meant to accommodate people who work business hours in Toronto.   

 

But this is all relative. If you grew up on a farm, for instance, Guelph would probably seem like a busy and active place. If you are a city person, it would be a bit of an adjustment to live in Guelph, imo. 

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As for landscape architecture, Guelph is extremely well known in the field.  Also, with the arboretum attached right to the campus, landscape architecture students have wonderful opportunities available right on campus!  One landscape architecture student recently re-did the cross-country course for the Ontario provinicial university championships, which runs through the Guelph arboretum.  I don't think you get that kind of green space in downtown Toronto (at least I don't as an MPH student in downtown Toronto at UofT - I wish there was more green space on campus!)

 

OP, I'm sure you've seen this site at Guelph, but if not, check it out: https://www.uoguelph...hoose-la-guelph

 

Guelph also has the only ASLA accredited program in Canada at the undergraduate level: http://www.asla.org/...l.aspx?id=21636(which probably doesn't matter for grad studies, but shows how seriously Guelph takes landscape architecture)

Yes, I know Guelph is very well known in the field considering they are the first and oldest landscape architecture school in the country (staretd in the 1800s I believe). It's also probably why they have both undergrad and grad. The ASLA accreditation doesn't really mean much to me considering I never want to leave Canada but I still think it's great that they have that! It's definitely a plus for the undergrads! I have seen the 'Why Choose LA @ Guelph' page and also the student project which I thought was great. Both programs are great and both are accredited by the OALA and the CSLA. There's great landscape architects coming from all the accredited universities in Canada (UBC and Manitoba are accredited too).

But even with the GO Bus service from where I live, Guelph won't work for me. It's too far to travel and it's a long ride and living on or around campus will be much too expensive for me and I could never afford it. I went over all the pros and cons of both school and ended up choosing U of T in the end due to their focus on urban areas which is right where I want to be and what I want to focus on. It was a tough decision for me. I did visit both schools during the application season and honeslty U of T won me over while I just felt out of place at Guelph (not to mention my lips puffed out due to the carpeting! I'm allergic to dust in carpet apparently) and something was telling me no, this is not the place for you. In the end, I just went with my gut and where I know I will be comfortable. The arboretum is also open year round so going for a one day visit shouldn't be a problem if I ever feel the need to (could bring my pocket tree identification book for North America with me).

Thank you everyone your input, it is much appreciated! And yes, I do agree parkland downtown is severely lacking. I should know, I did a whole group project just about the lack of parkland downtown Toronto. Sometimes land restraint forces you to get super creative!

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Thank you everyone your input, it is much appreciated! And yes, I do agree parkland downtown is severely lacking. I should know, I did a whole group project just about the lack of parkland downtown Toronto. Sometimes land restraint forces you to get super creative!

 

Felinebookworm, it sounds like you've made the right decision for you!

 

I have to say that I enjoy most of my graduate classes at UofT (although one was a complete waste of time - we learned more and did more complicated/involved projects in undergrad, but that was just one course), but I absolutely do not like the city of Toronto at all.  I much prefer Guelph as a city!  It's one of the many reasons that I choose not to live in Toronto, and commute into UofT for grad school.  I just don't enjoy living in a city like Toronto.  I like being close to big cities, so that I can attend whatever events I want to that aren't offered in my smaller city outside of Toronto, but I much prefer smaller, greener, quieter, cheaper cities, where there isn't constant traffic, noise, and congestion.

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