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McGill Residences!

A photo of itsara itsara
So, I'm planning on going to McGill next year and was wondering if anyone has any useful information on residence life, specifically at Douglas Hall, RVC, and Pres Res. If you have any info, regarding atmosphere, room quality, food quality, distance from campus, or anything else that you think would be useful, I'd appreciate you letting me know!
Thanks :)
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A photo of purpledog purpledog
Hey! Those 3 residences are the ones that I'm thinking of, too! All I know is that apparently Douglas has a good sense of community, and that my mom (who lived in Montreal for many years, but didn't attend McGill) says that RVC is very close to the main campus. Apparently the food is ok, but not amazing. Again, this is only from doing my own research, and you probably have looked at the same sites as me. Oh, and apparently at McGill, nothing is too far away from the main campus, except for Solin Hall.
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A photo of prmly prmly
I really suggest reading this.

It's a thread from the McGill 2014 Facebook group. A wonderful young gentleman decided to bestow his knowledge on incoming freshman. I can't pinpoint where exactly the residence answers are (it's there... somewhere) but read through and you'll learn a lot.

If I go to McGill, I'll be staying at either the MORE Houses or Greenbriar -- maybe Solin if I'm unlucky. The meal plan equates to like $21/day (5k is the minimum plan) and apparently the food is terrible, so I'm going with a rez that doesn't require me to buy one.
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A photo of itsara itsara
Yeah, I've heard the same thing about Douglas! From a current student who lives there, I've also heard that each floor has about two or three common rooms which provides lots of hangout space, and again, promotes community which is nice! And apparently only 6-8 people share a washroom, which really isn't that bad. Haha, and I've also heard that there are house wars amongst the Douglas houses based on the Harry Potter houses.... Hahaha, so if you're into Harry Potter that would be fun! I think Douglas Hall just sounds great because of the community, and how beautiful the building is. Does anyone know if the food is okay there? I wonder if it's a pain to walk up and down the hill everyday....
RVC would be nice too, because of its proximity to the main campus.... Except I've heard that the food isn't that great :P And apparently the nicest rooms are in the all-girls tower, so if you are a boy or want to live co-ed there, things aren't in your favour.
And Pres Res I've heard next to nothing about!

purpledog, what did your mom think of Montréal? I've visited the city a few times and think it will be an amazing place to live!

Decisions decisions....
I hope you get into MORE or Greenbriar prmly!
It's true that the meal plans are crazy expensive for cafeteria food, but I don't think I could manage cooking all my own meals first year.

And thanks for that link prmly! It was very helpful.

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A photo of purpledog purpledog
Aww, itsara you sound like such a sweet person. My mom LOVES Montreal, and since you've been there, I'm sure you can see why! (I've never been there before :P.) She really loves the French language and everything about Europe, so I assume the reason she likes Montreal is because it does have those two things. She says that she would love me to go so that she can visit me, lol. So I'd say that Montreal must be an amazing place- sorry if I can't give anymore information!

So at Douglas Hall only 6-8 people share a washroom? That's really not bad at all! For some reason I thought it was more 15-20 people sharing one!
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A photo of itsara itsara
Haha, aw why thank you, so do you!!
Well I hope you enjoy Montréal as much as she does!
What area of study are you hoping to go into purpledog?

And do you know any French?
I spent five weeks in a tiny town in Québec this past summer learning French with the Explore program, and it was amazing, but I have hardly anyone among my friends at home who I can practice with, so my skills have dwindled a bit haha. So I'm looking forward to hopefully being able to speak French in Montréal, even though I know you can get by with just English!

I know, I was surprised about the washrooms too! And really quite happy to hear the good news haha.
I'm curious as to what condition they and the rooms are in... Hopefully decent, but if not, at least they have a bit more of an "old-fashioned charm" going for them haha.
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A photo of smarty1 smarty1
I wanna go for Greenbrair or MORE Houses. These are the only two with non-mandatory meal plan I guess. Meal plan seems really expensive, like 5k. :/
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A photo of johannan johannan
what do people think of new rez? i've heard really great things about living there, and apparently the food is really good!
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A photo of jessiexo jessiexo
Yeah New Rez is my #1 choice. Big rooms, large beds, tvs in every room, private washrooms/showers, best food... what more can I want :D
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A photo of purpledog purpledog

@itsara wrote
Haha, aw why thank you, so do you!!
Well I hope you enjoy Montréal as much as she does!
What area of study are you hoping to go into purpledog?

And do you know any French?
I spent five weeks in a tiny town in Québec this past summer learning French with the Explore program, and it was amazing, but I have hardly anyone among my friends at home who I can practice with, so my skills have dwindled a bit haha. So I'm looking forward to hopefully being able to speak French in Montréal, even though I know you can get by with just English!

I'm going into sciences. What about you? And ya, I know a decent amount of French. If I was dropped into a rural French (France) town, I'd survive and maybe even make a few friends :P But I don't know what it's like in Quebec! I have a friend who did that program! Ya, it's hard to keep it up when there's no one to practice with. I'm excited about being able to speak it in Montreal too :D
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
Hi guys!

Anyone else thinking MORE houses? I was originally going to go with normal dorm style residences like upper rez, for the uh, great social atmosphere, but then I figured, if I want a high GPA I'm going to have to work my rump off. Easier to study when you don't have temptation literally knocking on your door every night. Also, the hill scared me quite a bit haha, imagine it in the winter (most of the school year :P).

The independent living really appeals to me, plus I like thinking that I'll be able to go 'home' during a cold winter night, make some tea, put on comfy clothes and chill with some friends hahaha.
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A photo of francoisceg francoisceg
Okay guys, I have another question for you considering that you answered perfectly before :)
I'm an international student (I'm french but i lived a year in Washington DC so my english is quite good), I'm gonna be in the engineering department with a minor scholarship. Now I have to pick the residence where I'll be living next year, and it's getting really complicated... OK let me explain. I'm hesitating between Douglas and RVC because:
- I'm really into sports so I think that living at Douglas would be a good thing considering its proximity with the stadium, and RVC is pretty far from it.
- I'd prefer a single room, because i need some independence and privacy but on the other hand, I'd like to be involved in the social life of Mcgill (not being the nerd that stays in his room with his computer all day long if you know what I mean) and I like to party quite a bit.
- I think I wouldn't mind to climb a hill every day, but I guess i can't know right now. Damn guys, that's hell of a weather apparently!

I've made some researches about those residences, and I've seen a lot that Douglas was especially wanted by the scholarships winners. Do you have any idea why? Is it a tradition or is it because it's an excellent residence? And I've also seen that the ambiance was a little bit freaky, even "harry potteresque" (I don't know if it's an English term) and that even if there is a real sense of community, it was THE Douglas community. Does that mean we're kinda excluded from the other people and residences? I've seen also that the bathrooms were Co-ed. I'm not sure to understand, does it mean that girls and guys share the same bathrooms?
Then, about RVC, I've seen that the recent changes that have been made make any belief hard to trust, even though some things stay the same: It's a residence very close to the campus, very connected with the faculty of arts and music (I'm not much of an artistic person), but it's still quite far from the other residences of McGill. Once again, are they kinda excluded? I heard also that the cafeteria was now awesome, but even if we're living in Douglas, as long as we have a meal plan we can eat wherever we want right? So that's not a really big deal, is it?

I know that's hell of a long post, but if you've made it to this line, I hope you'll be able to answer as good as possible.

Thank you in advance!

(btw, I'm visiting Montreal right now, and wow it looks like a wonderful place to study!)
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A photo of itsara itsara
@smarty1 - I totally agree about the meal plans... They're ridiculously expensive, but I've heard that they can be a huge help in the craziness of first year university. Though if you're able to manage your time really well, then going without a meal plan would be a great idea, since it would save a TON of money. Oh, and Solin Hall doesn't require a meal plan either, if you're willing to live that far from campus!

@johannan & jessiexo - From what I've heard from current students, New Rez is super luxurious and the food is delicious. The main downsides are its priceyness and lack of classic dorm feel and community, if those things matter to you!

@purpledog - I'm entering arts, but I definitely like my sciences as well, so I'll probably take some as electives haha. I think being dropped into a rural French town could actually be great, as it would force me to actually use what I know and learn a ton more French! Unfortunately Montréal won't be that way.... hahaha. The town I was in with Explore was pretty small... It's called Jonquière if you've heard of it. Some of the accents in Québec can be pretty tough to understand at the beginning (at least they were for me :P), but I think that's more in small-town Québec, and less in Montréal, so I'm not too worried :)

@Suntracker - I personally think the MORE houses sound awesome, but I probably won't go for that just because I think I'd like the classic dorm experience, and I don't think I could handle taking care of all my own meals right at the beginning haha. Maybe I'm just a wimp. Although you're very right about avoiding the temptation knocking at your door every night... That would be tough to say no to when you need to study, but I've heard that it lessens up after the first few weeks of initial excitement. I'm also a bit worried about the hill, because I'm leaning toward Douglas at the moment... But I also figure that's a good way to get exercise everyday... hahaha.

@francoisceg - Those are the same two residences that I'm having a tough time deciding between! Except for slightly opposite reasons... I'm really into music, so RVC would be great for that reason. As for the stadium, it could be handy to be so close, but in the long run, I don't think it would make that much of a difference, since there will definitely be lots of other people regularly heading to the stadium who don't live in Douglas. So if it was me, I wouldn't base my decision too much on that... But maybe that's just because I'm not massively into sports.
I think that in either residence, you'll have about the same shot at getting a single room, except in RVC, the west wing is still all-female, so that probably means there's less space overall for guys... I would think... But maybe they balance it out?
As for partying, RVC has about 260 residents, and Douglas about 180, so that could make a bit of a difference in party atmosphere I suppose... I have a feeling that no matter which residence you choose, there'll be a lot of partying going on in the beginning at least! At least with Douglas, if there isn't anything going on, I'd think you always have the option of heading up to Upper Rez, which is close by. So that might give you more options if you're looking for a party.
I've heard the same thing about Douglas, that it is kind of its own community within the larger McGill community. I personally like the idea of that, because then you really get to know the people you're living with, and it's still a decently large group. That said, I don't think you'd be cut off from the rest of the McGill community just because you were part of Douglas, unless you chose to be. I don't know as much about RVC....
Haha, I don't really know why so many scholarship winners choose Douglas Hall... From what I understand, it has a good balance between partying time and studying time, which is attractive to most people. Overall, it just sounds like a great place, other than the walk up the hill, and the distance from campus. (Though it's still not really that far.) And I've definitely heard it called Harry Potteresque! Which I think would be fun to experience :)
The washrooms are co-ed at Douglas, which does mean that guys and girls share a washroom. From a first-year student who lives at Douglas, I've heard that only about 6-8 people share a washroom generally, and each bathroom has two toilets, three showers, and three sinks, which doesn't sound too bad to me.
In terms of meal plans... For both Douglas and RVC, your meal plan allows you to eat at RVC, Douglas, or BMH. That is for your meal plan dollars. You also get flex dollars, and you can eat anywhere you want with those. Your meal plan dollars DO NOT carry over into the next year, but your flex dollars do, so most people eat at their assigned dining halls for the most part, so that they use up their meal plan dollars, and have flex dollars left over. Each residence has assigned dining halls for the meal plan dollars.
So, if you want to eat at RVC's new and apparently excellent cafeteria, it doesn't matter if you choose Douglas or RVC!
I hope that made some sense.... Haha, sorry if it didn't!
Where are you from in France?

Here's a link to the McGill Handbook for Life in Rez from 2010/11: http://www.mcgill.ca/files/students/LifeInRezHandbook2010_11.pdf
It has great info on each residence. Just remember that it is a year old, so some things may have changed!
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