Back in the fall of ’09, I was utterly consumed with a single thought: where would I be attending grad school? I had narrowed my list down to two picks; McGill was at the top of the list.
I was invited to spend an early November day at the Macdonald Campus to meet with my potential supervisor, chat with some of the students in his lab, and get a feel for the campus. I took a day off work, hopped in my car, and ventured out on what would become the first of many commutes from the small rural Ontario village I call home to the campus that I now consider my second home.
I fell in love with Mac instantly. I’m an outdoorsy-type-person and the oh-so-green Mac campus is gorgeous in autumn. From the highway, the road leading to the main entrance winds its way through the picturesque waterfront town of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and along Lac Saint-Louis. Mac has few buildings but boasts 1600 acres of land, including loads of green space and gardens, a fully functional farm, and an arboretum.
At Mac, I can learn while being surrounded by an inspiring and beautiful space – if I need a breather, nature is a just a short walk away from the lab door. As much as the main campus has the perk of being in the heart of Montreal with everything that the city has to offer, for this nature-nerd-country-girl, Mac has everything I need.
There are some particularly nice perks at Mac in autumn…if you’re ever in the neighbourhood, I suggest that you check some of them out:
- Take advantage of the bounty of the fall harvest! Get some drop-dead gorgeous produce grown by the Macdonald Student-run Ecological Garden on a 1.25 acre farm. Produce is on sale in the lobby of the Mac-Stewart building.
- Can’t get enough of fresh veg? The Mac Market is also in full swing from July through to November. The products come from different cultivar trials conducted at the Horticultural Centre, a research and learning facility at Mac. Get your Halloween pumpkins here!
- The Morgan Arboretum. Open to McGill students (for free!) year-round, this McGill-run natural treasure is a very short drive (or a nice walk) from the Mac Campus. The fall colours, bird migrations, and other wildlife are not to be missed.