So, you just decided to accept your offer to the University of Waterloo and you’re starting to get excited. Then you get that email – it’s time to choose your residence. If you’re a first year student and planning to live on campus, it’s hard to choose where to live when the university website makes all the residences look pretty inviting. Well look no further, because this is the ultimate ranking (from worst to best) of University of Waterloo dorms you can apply to live in your first year. (For this list the University College Residences have been omitted due to them not being directly operated by the University of Waterloo).
1. CLV – Columbia Lake Village
When it comes to University of Waterloo dorms, this is the place you don’t want to end up. Don’t be fooled by the home-y atmosphere promoted by the townhouse style living. If anything this residence shouldn’t even be considered a Waterloo residence since it’s so far away from campus, and mostly everything else except for the grocery store. Get ready to use your WatCard as a bus pass a lot to make it to class on time, or try your luck catching the university provided shuttle bus that’ll make you reminisce of your days in elementary school, cramped on the school bus. Right now you’re thinking you want to live in a suite style residence to really learn to be independent, and learn how to cook for yourself, but once you find yourself at home the night before an exam starving with but an empty fridge and a Sobeys in your vicinity you’re going start wondering why you put yourself through it.
2. UWP – University of Waterloo Place
UWP is another suite style residence that is just a step up from Columbia Lake Village. While it boasts its vicinity to the plaza’s many food retailers and most of the engineering buildings on campus that’s all you’re going to get extra from here. If you’ve got class on the opposite side of campus you can still expect lengthy trek. There’s also the possibility that if you’re staying here you’ll get a room with a bunk bed, which while a couple of years ago it would have been super cool to sleep 5 feet off the ground, that’s not how you want to spend your first year at university. When it comes to University of Waterloo dorms, UWP is mainly viewed as old and uninspiring, but overall manageable.
3. CMH – Claudette Miller Hall
This is the newest residence building, located right beside UWP, and offering new furnishings, a cafeteria and an improved floor plan for double rooms, as well as classic single rooms. Overall not a bad choice, and you’d definitely be getting the most updated amenities with all of the pros of UWP. If you apply make sure you’re careful with choosing your second and third options since this residence only houses 539 students and may be more difficult to get into.
That brings us to the top three; Mackenzie King Village, Ron Eydt Village and Village 1. These are the places you want to apply. All three are clustered together, close to campus and where the real residence memories are made. If you’re living in any other residence, this is where you’ll come for most school organized events, parties and to meet up with people.
4. MKV – Mackenzie King Village
If suite style living is your thing this is your best bet. This is the newest suite style residence, and a popular choice. Close enough to REV and V1 that you won’t miss out on any events, and so that when you find yourself setting your new frying pan on fire (it happens) you can go to either one of the REV or V1 cafeterias to redeem yourself. Because of the apartment style and vicinity to campus, MKV is a popular place to meet up with friends, and if you can overlook the nearly weekly fire alarms (It. Happens.) overall a great choice. Main drawback is that getting into this residence is the hardest since there are very limited spots, so be aware that if suite style is your number one choice you might end up being place in CLV or UWP if you don’t get in here.
5. REV – Ron Eydt Village
REV is definitely the most well-known University of Waterloo dorms. You hear someone in your class Monday morning talking about something crazy that happened over the weekend; was it at REV? Yes. With the shared rooms and things constantly happening, this is not the residence for an introvert. If you’re looking to have a lot of fun in your first year though, this is the place for you. Not only is there a cafeteria in the building, but also a gym, sparing you the walk to the Physical Activities Complex. While it is a little further from campus, and you’ll have to deal with your roommates potentially weird habits for a whole year, if you’re willing to deal with that you’ll love it here.
6. V1 – Village 1
This is it. This is where you want to be. V1 has single rooms so you’ll be getting all the privacy you need, but if anything since most people are living alone it really encourages people to get out of their room, hang out in the common rooms, interact with a lot of other people and eventually probably form a really strong bond with the people in your building. The main V1 building has a cafeteria, and loads of study and hang-out space where most residence events are held. There are people who say the REV cafeteria is better than the V1 one; those people are wrong. This is also the closest residence to campus and also close enough to REV and MKV that you can take advantage of all their benefits of them too. Village 1 is a little older and nestled on a hilly tree filled part of campus, making it cozy and sure to really feel like home.