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U of Toronto VS. U of Waterloo

  1. Jan 13, 2008 #1
    I am planning to go to one of these universities to pursue my mechanical engineering degree and i was wondering if any miscers studied or are studying in one of these universities.

    Please tell me the pros and cons, student life,dorms etc.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2008 #2
    I would recommend you to visit both campuses first. UoW is ugly inside out and isolated, UoT is flamboyant and is located in the heart of downtown Toronto. But the social scene at UoW is better from what I can gather. As for the two programs, they are equivalent, I don't think there really is a question on that level. You might want to know that Waterloo is planning a major expansion of its Engineering faculty, though.

    I live in the engineering dorms. My personal opinion: they are horrendous. If you want cozy dorms, consider UoT. If you intend to pursue a coop degree, I would think Waterloo is better since it has the larger program.
  4. Jan 13, 2008 #3
    basically what Werg22 said, just go ahead and do a campus visit. Then talk to some of the people over there as well, usually tour guides are students in upper year courses so they can tell you more about study life and student life over there.

    I currently go to UofT (Mississauga campus) and I really love it a lot. Although it is very different from Downtown campus. I know some people who go to the downtown campus and they have told me it is a really nice campus with some good social life in there. But then again it all depends I guess what degree you studying.

    But the best advice, that a lot of High School students don't follow is actually going to the campuses and doing a tour around. It is very helpful and informative as you can speak with a student one on one along the way.
  5. Jan 14, 2008 #4
    Go to Waterloo unless you like being treated like a number to be milked for tuition fees.

    I have done research at both places and I regret not going to a place like Waterloo or Queens over U of T.
  6. Jan 14, 2008 #5
    I am a commuter and am studying ME at UofT. If you have specific questions about the program I can answer to that.
  7. Jan 14, 2008 #6
    i'm studying at U of Waterloo, mechanical engineering in my 1B term.

    class sizes are around 100 students, you have all the same classes with your stream and program. on the whole, the professors are accessible and friendly, and its easy to access them outside of lectures.

    the professors and TA's do alot to make sure you get through exams. there are review lectures and extra help sessions with the TA's, and some profs every day during exam week.

    there are several different student reps, who communicate with the university and the professors. if many people arent getting through the course material. then extra weekly tutorials can be organized. in my term now, i have an extra physics and extra programming tutorial.

    30 hours of class in 1A term and 35 hours in 1B per week, not including extra tutorials. some tutorials are mandatory because of assignments and quizes, but others are skippable (same with some lectures *cough*engineering economics*cough*).

    I live in residence, it has an apartment style, where you can buy your own food and have a full kitchen. Its very roomy and im enjoying it very much.

    Also, the student teams are the bomb. They readily accept 1st years, and other students and the machinests in the student lab (very friendly guys) are willing to teach you everything.

    cons...cons... PDEng, work terms and work reports which suck away your holidays, hah. And since co-op is madatory you will be at the university for study terms during the summer sometimes while your friends are at home and will be working sometimes when your friends are at school.

    My opinion... I'm loving the program, enjoying the challenge which highschool never offered me, I would highly recommend. I cannot offer comparison to UofT's program because I have never attended there... only have heard mixed things. UofT and UW are both very good engineering schools.
  8. Jan 14, 2008 #7
    Do you live in UWP, Dylan? I can't imagine you do, nobody finds it nice.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2008
  9. Jan 14, 2008 #8
    Correct, I live in UWP, bech hall. I haven't heard very many complaints from people in my building. The room styles are different from other buildings in UWP. I can imagine people not liking some of the other buildings very much, especially the all-guys residence, though possibly for lack of things other than comfort and space...

    The 4 bedroom dorms in Waterloo Court are strikingly similar to the 4 bedroom dorms at UofT where I once visited a friend. The single dorm residences at UofT looked very nice though.

    Where are you living Werg?
  10. Jan 14, 2008 #9
    Spartan right here (familiar with the label?, maybe not). Waterloo Court South.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2008
  11. Jan 17, 2008 #10
    i was doing chem eng at waterloo up until 2b. i switched because it's just not the line of work that i want to do.

    i have to say though, it was an enjoyable experience. co-op pads your resume and helps out with the finances but it also brings some intangible qualities. i've been able to work in r&d labs, some process eng., and a marketing job with a company i've wanted to work for a long time.

    i do like the smaller classes. i think mech. is a bit larger than chem. but my chem classes were about 40-70. it's the same people every day, unless you're taking an elective. you really get to know your classmates well, even after one term. that's thing i miss most about engineering, how tight you can get with some people so quickly.

    there are various, related clubs and initiatives to get involved with. off the top of my head there was the solar car design group, alternative fuels team, SAE, biotech symposiums, etc.

    some cons... waterloo can get a little boring if you're used to toronto life but really i feel it's the people that make your experience.

    it smells like manure in warmer months sometimes. lol.

    some people are turned off by the extra year due to co-op but in my opinion the experience is worth it.
  12. Jan 22, 2008 #11
    Uw > Ut

    FIRST I would like to point out that the information I have on UT is from my friend in mechanical engineering at UT so I apologize if I'm mistaken in any of the facts please correct me if I'm wrong).

    I am in mech eng at UW, currently on my workterm (at work actually its lunch time shhhh) after I've finished my 1A term. That's right co-op in first year. Now I am not familar with all universities in Canada....but I'm pretty sure UT's co-op program is incomparable to UW's. We have 6 work terms of 4 months each to work at different employers totalling to two years of experience. Also, these work terms are seperated evenly throughout our university career, makes a nice break between studies and helps to pay tuition for those of us that don't have daddy and mommy to pay for us haha. UT's mech eng has an 8 month program where you work for ONE employer, and you are only eligable starting third year. Some of you may say, hey you guys only had 4 months of school and you're working? What can you possibly do? Everyone gets different jobs some boring some interesting but for myself I'm already applying stuff I've learnt in 1st semester its pretty rewarding.

    Academically UW excels in several ways. We have small class sized cohorts in which everyone takes the same courses in mech eng first year. You get to know everyone and can make close friends easily. Profs are genrally approachable and help is always there if you visit them during office hours (Lambert is the worst he thinks he's the ****) All tutorials are relatively small and in one of my tutorials we had like 15 people per TA. Helps alot when you have questions or when you're preparing for exams. Secondly, I'd like to point out that at UW admissions are not only based on marks but are dependant on extracuricular activities, past relavant work experience, and other aspects. I think indiviuals are on average more well-rounded and you will find that many people bring different experiences to the learning environment right from 1A. After co-op terms this sharing of experiences becomes even more beneficial. And seriously guys, we have a higher admissions avg = more competition but less retards asking stupid questions in class (but theres always that one guy.....lol). At UT support is limited and you have hundreds of people in a theatre like lecture hall.....have fun clicking your iclicker bet its alot of fun sitting at the back row 100m away from the projection screen.

    As for the living environment, yeah I admit it waterloo gets pretty depressing at times...NOTHING to do! I'm from BC so I havn't been to Toronto much but from the 5 times I've been there last semester it was awesome! The downtown scene at UT is really nice. (The food in toronto makes waterloo caf food taste like chicken liver, but can get expensive). Rez at UT are pretty nice too I stayed there while visiting.

    As for general engineering, UW's ECE engineering department (electrical and comp) is probably the best in Canada hands down. Everyone knows that Gates only hires from Waterloo in Canada right? The undergraduate engineering program itself is one of the best if not the best in Canada. Mechanical, civil and others are not as famous but hell when I compare everything I just listed above....(all engineering departments generally have the same treatment aka small class sizes etc etc ) I chose UW when I got accepted to both and UBC. We can talk about UBC in a different thread :)

    Btw, UWP is the place to be.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2008
  13. Jan 22, 2008 #12

    I lived in V1 it wasn't that bad, I'm in 1A currently doing co-op. The Spartans seem to have it bad, lol.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2008
  14. Jan 22, 2008 #13
    2A UW physics student here. On coop this term with RIM. UW Co-op rocks.
  15. Jan 22, 2008 #14
    Hey, I applied to physical science @ UW. How is it? I'm in grade 12 atm btw.
  16. Jan 22, 2008 #15
    I'm done 1A, doing co-op as well. Aside from the repugnant food, V1 is not bad. I stand by my statement that UWP is horrible. Maybe the towers aren't bad, but the other residences are horrible, almost jail like. What adds to the agony is that right beside there are cozy Laurier res.
  17. Jan 23, 2008 #16


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    UWP isn't that bad! I've lived in both towers and in Wilmot. Aside from the small rooms, they were all fine - at the very least, you get a bathroom in your suite.

    If you really want to find a nice and affordable place to live, go off-campus and far away. Right now I'm living about half an hour away from campus, in a large basement apartment with my own washroom and kitchenette, and my rent is less than any residence's fees. You can also find some really nice places in Kitchener that are less than an hour bus ride to campus. If you don't really want to move that far away, then there are some good places north of McCormick, especially on Cedarbrae Ave. An added bonus is the iXpress stop up there: it takes 5 minutes to get to DC or go to Conestoga Mall for groceries and such.

    (I didn't know there were this many UW students on physicsforums.com. :smile:)
  18. Jan 23, 2008 #17
    Oh by the way,

    there is only ONE person in senior year physics at U of T this year who has a CGPA over 3.8.

    So if you want to screw yourself over and not be able to get an REU (NSERC USRA award) or go to a good graduate school, sure, go to U of T. Enjoy the mark deflation that other schools (at least Canadian ones) don't take into account.
  19. Jan 24, 2008 #18
    I'm living near Columbia & Hazel, rent is only $350 a month, all inclusive. The rent for places near campus usually start off pretty high, but when you look near the end of the term the go down a lot. I'm not sure if this is true for the fall term though. I've heard from ppl that rent during the winter & summer terms are cheaper compared to fall term rent as well.
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