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Thread: Canadian Planning Schools

  1. #1
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    Canadian Planning Schools

    I am wondering where I can get an idea of how these schools rank. They are probably all the best at something, bur what about a general reputation score?

    Toronto,Waterloo,Queen's,Dalhousie, Calgary, McGill

  2. #2
    Cyburbian supergeek1313's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by venividi
    I am wondering where I can get an idea of how these schools rank. They are probably all the best at something, bur what about a general reputation score?

    Toronto,Waterloo,Queen's,Dalhousie, Calgary, McGill
    Hey - there was a thread somewhere on this page (started by GrampaFunk).

    I'm going to Univ. of Toronto in the fall. When I visited there last summer they said that the top 3 schools were Toronto, Queens and UBC. However, it looks like McGill & Waterloo have some great programs too. Waterloo is more Env. Science or Architecturally based but I think that they're the best for the co-op work experience (at least undergrad). McGill is in Montreal - location is key.

    I chose Toronto over Queens because of the finances (better scholarship) but also I wanted to study in a big city. Toronto's strength is that they offer a lot of breadth and also offer courses in related fields so it's a little more interdisciplinary. From my experience thus far the faculty/support staff is great, which is nice considering I don't get any help from administrators/advisors at my current school. Queen's has a great real estate & housing program... so if you're interested in that then I'd definitely go for Queen's (Which is why it was a toss-up for me). I didn't apply to UBC b/c I couldn't fathom moving cross-country and to another country but they have great infrastructure/technical-ish planning. Don't know a thing about Dalhousie.

    I think with CDN schools it's more what you make of it than where you go.

  3. #3
    I can't comment on a school I haven't gone to (really no one should).

    I went to Queen's and was not overly thrilled. Coming from an urban geography undergrad degree alot was duplicated and wasted time for me. Very little hands on courses - more policy and theory oriented. If you're into urban design and community planning, look elsewhere. And a small department with little specialization, so course variety suffers. Not sure where the idea of "a great real estate & housing program" came from, but there was only one course for each and they were mediocre at best. Not to be negative but the best thing going for Queen's for planning is the appearance of the name on your resume. Hey, maybe I'm just bitter.....

    I would try not to focus on the courses offered as the crux of your decision making -choosing the right city for you is far more important for enjoying yourself. I like the small cities so Kingston was great for me; others thrive in the bigger cities - each to their one.




    Quote Originally posted by supergeek1313
    Hey - there was a thread somewhere on this page (started by GrampaFunk).

    I'm going to Univ. of Toronto in the fall. When I visited there last summer they said that the top 3 schools were Toronto, Queens and UBC. However, it looks like McGill & Waterloo have some great programs too. Waterloo is more Env. Science or Architecturally based but I think that they're the best for the co-op work experience (at least undergrad). McGill is in Montreal - location is key.

    I chose Toronto over Queens because of the finances (better scholarship) but also I wanted to study in a big city. Toronto's strength is that they offer a lot of breadth and also offer courses in related fields so it's a little more interdisciplinary. From my experience thus far the faculty/support staff is great, which is nice considering I don't get any help from administrators/advisors at my current school. Queen's has a great real estate & housing program... so if you're interested in that then I'd definitely go for Queen's (Which is why it was a toss-up for me). I didn't apply to UBC b/c I couldn't fathom moving cross-country and to another country but they have great infrastructure/technical-ish planning. Don't know a thing about Dalhousie.

    I think with CDN schools it's more what you make of it than where you go.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian supergeek1313's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Plan Man
    I can't comment on a school I haven't gone to (really no one should).

    I went to Queen's and was not overly thrilled. Coming from an urban geography undergrad degree alot was duplicated and wasted time for me. Very little hands on courses - more policy and theory oriented. If you're into urban design and community planning, look elsewhere. And a small department with little specialization, so course variety suffers. Not sure where the idea of "a great real estate & housing program" came from, but there was only one course for each and they were mediocre at best. Not to be negative but the best thing going for Queen's for planning is the appearance of the name on your resume. Hey, maybe I'm just bitter.....

    I would try not to focus on the courses offered as the crux of your decision making -choosing the right city for you is far more important for enjoying yourself. I like the small cities so Kingston was great for me; others thrive in the bigger cities - each to their one.
    Well it seemed like of the three "fields" that one was Real Estate Dev & one was Housing so you'd think... well now I'm happy that I passed up Queen's for Toronto.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Hey where is the love for the University of Manitoba? Oldest planning school in Canada...come on now!!

    I will hopefully be attending U of M, in the fall, 06, unless for some reason the graduate studies department doesnt like me. (city planning dept. has already accepted me), as for best school, it very much depends on what you want; I am interested in community involvment/working with the community/studio based course work, Dalhousie and U of M, both fit the bill for this. I have attended the U of M for this past year studying in the undergraduate program; the school is very much focused on participatory practices, community involvement, ect. They do however have a good variety of professors specializing in everything from environmental planning, to social, faculty are also very involved with organizations within the professional planning field, Planners network, CIP, MPPI ect.... Sooo, with that in mind, they might be somthing to look at if your interested in that sort of thing..

    If you are planning on applying, I would make some contacts, get to know people....

    it helps..

  6. #6
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    I am just finishing up at McGill and thought it was generally a pretty good programme. They're also starting up a new urban design programme next fall in conjunction with the architecture department, so if you have a design-bent then it's probably a good choice. Life in Montreal is good as a student, but quite brutal as an anglophone seeking work once you're finished with school. Somthing to keep in mind. Most people at this english-speaking school end up having to leave to find work in another province (or in the US) once they're done, which is a real drag. The thing about planning is that, unlike other academic pursuits, it really is a "local" discipline. It's important to think about where you might want to get started in your career as you are making your choice of graduate schools. Why learn all of the land use planning laws for Quebec, for instance, if you might end up wanting to work in Ontario when you're done?

    My two cents.

  7. #7
    Carefully consider your options. There are no planning jobs in Montreal so I don't see the value of a degree from there.

  8. #8
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    Can someone tell me why there "are no planning jobs in montreal"

  9. #9
    I have to throw Ryerson into the discussion. Located in downtown Toronto, you get a great exposure to big-city planning. As per Ryerson's mandate, there is a heavy emphasis on hands on projects, and there is a strong community planning bent, and you will get heavily involved with community groups. For example, I spent an entire term working with Habitat for Humanity; drafting a site plan, but also attended all of their meetings, and had access to all of their resources and contacts. We've also dealt with the Toronto Public Space Committee, a landmark group in Toronto for the success they've had in reclaiming public space. www.tpsc.ca

    The professors are very accessible, and can be seen throughout the day mingling and interacting with students, something from my previous post secondary experiences, is pretty rare. From my prior two degrees, (non planning mind you), professors have been in their offices (ivory towers), and refuse to speak or get to know their students.

    The downsides to Ryerson are the facilities, which are old, but word has it they are moving to new digs sometime next year. The faculty is also very small, so the range of electives is usually somewhat limited, but the gains from being in an intimate atmosphere surely outweigh that.

  10. #10
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    You also have York University in Toronto. Their Graduate Planning Program is part of the Faculty of Enviromental Studies. I'm not too sure what kinda of emphasis they have but it is located in a big city.

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