Think your school has what it takes to be one of Canada’s Top Party Schools? Wondering where to spend the next four years at school? Check out the list of the Top Party Schools in Canada for 2020.
This list has been decided by Canada’s top tier partiers on behalf of the team at Canadian Party Life. This group of people looks over 60+ schools while going through thousands of video & picture submissions each day. They’ve seen the videos, heard the stories, and lived the moments that define the Canadian Party Lifestyle.
This list was ranked based on the 5 major scoring points:
- Street parties
- Greek life
- Bar scenes
- School events
- Residence partying
- Content submissions.
This year, the Top 3 were definitely close. However, each year we will be releasing a new Top 15, allowing schools to prove themselves of being one of the Top Party Schools in Canada. Does your school have what it takes?
#15. Acadia University
Acadia, known for The Cheaton Cup hockey game, is a small school with a sizable party life. The bar scene, however, is small, with The Anvil (“The Vil”) and The Aze being favored among students.
#14. University of Ottawa
Being in the same city as Carleton, both schools come together for HOCO and host the annual Panda Game, a football game between both schools. After the game, both schools part ways, and UOttawa holds a big street party on Chapel Hill, in the Sandy Hill area. Being in the country’s capital, the bar and club scene is pretty nice, featuring The Show and The Green Room as clubs, and Blue Cactus, Heart and Crown, and Warehouse as popular bars.
#13. McGill University
First-year students at McGill are for sure the luckiest because the legal drinking age in Quebec is 18. Top bars for students in Montreal include Apartment 200, Suwu, Cafe Campus, and Tokyo. Hype Week in November and Carnival Week in January are two huge celebrations that earn McGill their spot on this list. Greek Life here is also notable, with a total of 17 fraternities and sororities.
#12. University of Toronto (UofT)
UofT definitely has the largest Greek Life on this list, with 20 different fraternities and 12 sororities. The Zeta Psi fraternity hosts monthly parties that are extremely popular with students, so if you’re looking to immerse yourself in Greek Life, you’re looking in the right direction. If you’re looking to rush a fraternity this semester, the Zeta Psi (ΖΨ) chapter from UofT is the way to go. Zeta’s at UofT have a strong presence on and off-campus and an even stronger sense of leadership and brotherhood. Not only are they focused on giving back to the community, they also throw some of the best parties on campus, making them a Top House of UofT.
Because the university is so close to downtown Toronto, their bar/club scene is also ideal. The top spots being Rebel, Toybox, Lovechild, Lavelle, Lost and Found, and The Maddy. Gracies is also a popular hangout for first and second-year students.
#11. University of Guelph (UofG)
Being so close to Waterloo, the two universities usually team up and throw huge street parties on Ezra Ave. for both Homecoming and St Patrick’s day. During frost week, Guelph hosts The Frosty Mug, a hockey game and tailgate played at the Sleeman Centre. The bar and clubbing scene is decent in Guelph, the most popular bars being Franks, Trappers, and Western, and the most popular clubs being Palace and Onyx.
#10. St. FX University
HOCO and St Paddy’s Day are not taken lightly here, with both events featuring huge street parties at “The Village”. At St FX you never have to look too far for a good bar scene either. With The Inn being the on-campus “Wednesday night” bar and Piper’s Pub on the weekends, a pint is never more than a few steps away. For those first-years still not old enough to go out, MacIsaac Hall, the freshman residence, always has the best and biggest dorm parties, to keep you busy while you await your 19th.
#9. Brock University
Best known for their St Paddy’s Day celebrations, Brock University is the place to go if you’re looking to party. Their St. Paddy's Day street party on Jacobson Avenue was even featured on Ellen! Their Steelblade Classic hockey game and tailgate during HOCO week is an event you definitely don’t want to miss. Too young to go out? The Village is a popular res among first-years, where you’ll always find the best dorm parties. When you do finally reach 19 though, popular bars like 12 Mile Lounge, L3, and Moose and Goose will become some of your new favourite spots.
#8. Dalhousie University
At number 8 we have Dalhousie, one of the Top Party Schools on the East Coast. Best known for their HOCO street party on Jenning’s Street, Dalhousie also has its own bar scene, including The Lower Deck, The Dome, and Pacifico. Their Greek community may be small with only 6 fraternities and a single sorority, it still stands strong.
#7. Carleton University
Located in Ottawa, Carleton is famous for its annual Panda Game, starting as a street party along Canal Woods Drive, followed by a homecoming football game against the city rival, University of Ottawa. With 8 fraternities and 7 sororities, you never have to look too far to find Greek life at Carleton.
Barwise, Heart and Crown is always a classic place to go because of its large venue. Some freshman students under 18 will mission out to the ‘Greasy Gat” or Gatineau, Quebec where the legal drinking age is only 18 compared to 19 in Ontario. The popular freshman bar in Gatineau is Le Pub while Mardi Gras is known for being Gatineau’s best student club. For St. Paddy’s day, the majority of students head down to Queen's University’s Aberdeen street to celebrate. With Aberdeen street known for hosting one of Canada’s Biggest St Paddy’s Day street parties, many Carleton students will agree that the 2-hour drive to Kingston is worth the send.
#6. University of British Columbia (UBC)
Located on the west coast, UBC is known for its Greek Life and is very similar to American fraternities and sororities. Since they’re on the west coast of Canada, a lot of Americans from California and other west coast states come to UBC to study because it’s super close. Because of this, UBC has the second most Fraternities and Sororities of any school in Canada with 21 total.
Also, Top students bars and clubs within the BC area include The Yale Saloon, Twelve West, Aura, Fortune, and Sound Club.
#5. McMaster University
McMaster is known for one of the Best Bar/Club areas in Ontario called “Hess Village”, featuring spots like Sizzle, Dirty Dog Saloon, Modrn, Gown and Gavel, and Club 77. Also, McMaster’s HOCO celebration on the famous Dalewood Avenue is One of the Top HOCO Street Parties in Canada. With 5 fraternities and 4 sororities, McMaster is a great spot for anyone interested in getting involved with greek life.
#4. Bishop’s University
Bishop’s, best known as the Top Party School in Quebec, also hosts One of the biggest HOCO and St Paddy Street Parties in Canada, both on Reed Street. Aside from their Homecoming street party, the annual HOCO celebration at the “Animal House” is famous for its massive backyard party. Bishop’s SRC (Student Representative Council) also hosts a huge Frost Apres Ski event every year called Winterfest.
Winterfest allows snowboarders/skiers to show off their best tricks at the outdoor rail jam, followed by an Apres Ski outdoor bar & concert to end off the night. Since Quebec has a legal drinking age of 18, their street parties and bar nights are packed as it allows students to party even harder in their freshman year. Their on-campus bar “The Gait” is one of Bishop’s most popular bars for students as well as The Lion, being one of their best bars located off-campus. Bishop’s is definitely an underrated party school compared to the current top 3 schools all located in Ontario. However, as their reputation continues to, Bishop’s has the potential to move up the list in the years to come.
#3. Queen’s University
Queen’s University is known for its famous Aberdeen street, the place to be during their HOCO and St. Paddy’s Day street parties. Queen’s has one of the Biggest HOCO Street Parties in Canada as well as one of the Biggest St Paddy’s Day Street Parties in Canada.
Both of these annual celebrations leave Aberdeen St. packed from morning until late at night. With Kingston being a smaller sized University town, the majority of students gravitate towards either Stages or The Ale House when planning a night out at the bar/club. Between the two of them, you’re always likely to have a good night out. If Greek life is what you’re looking for, you won’t find it here, with sororities and fraternities having been banned at Queen’s since 1933.
#2. Western University (UWO)
Western’s massive FOCO and Frosh events earn them second place on the list. Ran by the Western University Student Council, Purple Fest is a UWO Frosh Week event that you won’t want to miss! This event is one of the best frosh week events in Canada, as they are known for headlining popular performers each year. These artists include Tyga, Lil Uzi Vert, Juice WRLD, Loud Luxury, Felix Cartal, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Murda Beatz and many more. 2019’s Frosh week was suppose to feature A$AP Rocky, although he wasn’t allowed into the country. Even without their headliner, the Mustangs still managed to have a great time as usual.
Known for hosting one of Canada’s biggest HOCO events, UWO has its very own FOCO street party (Fake Homecoming) held on Broughdale Ave. The 2019 FOCO at Western had an estimated attendance of over 25,000 people, partying throughout the day from 9 am till 5 pm. With lots of students traveling from different schools to attend the event, FOCO is the best place to meet great people, get drunk together, and party during the day!
Year-round, there’s never a dull moment on “Richmond Row”, a popular London street where you’ll find the best clubs and bars such as The Ceeps, The Barking Frog, The Belfort, Jacks, and Lost Love Social House. Greek life is also strong at Western, counting 13 fraternities and 6 sororities. Top tier fraternities at UWO include Sigma Chi (ΣΧ) and Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI), whereas Top tier sororities to rush include Alpha Omicron Pi and Kappa Alpha Theta (ΚΑΘ).
#1. Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU)
The proximity between WLU, University of Waterloo, and Conestoga College are very close to each other making this party scene bigger than ever! WLU is best known for its huge St Paddy’s Day and HOCO street parties located on the famous Ezra Avenue. Their St. Paddy’s Day street party is The Biggest Street Party in Canada with over 25,000 people attending Ezra Ave in 2019. Students travel from across Canada to spend St. Paddy’s day on Ezra, making it a great place to meet new people, send together, and gain an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life! Also, the Laurier Homecoming party is One of the biggest HOCO Street Parties in Canada.
At night, you can always find a good time on King Street, where the city’s most popular bars and clubs are found. Coincidentally, campus and student housing are only walking distance away from King Street so even on a Tuesday night, you’ll see places like The Pub on King, The Drink, Phil’s, and Becky’s Apartment packed.
Finally, with a total of 8 fraternities and 4 sororities in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, you’ll never have to look far to find a good time. If you’re looking to rush a fraternity this semester, the Pi Kappa Alpha (ΠΚΑ) chapter from WLU is the way to go. Pikes at WLU have a great sense of brotherhood and an even stronger presence on campus. Not only are they focused on giving back to the community, they also throw the best parties on campus, making them the Top House of WLU.