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montreal student residence varcity515 - interstude

1 – For the common rooms

Some Montreal student residence like the Varcity515 have a home theater, a gym, pool tables, babyfoot tables, chilling sofa area, study rooms and more, all inside the building. No need to go outside in the cold. You can “chillaxe” with your international friends right in the building.

2 – For the before and after parties

When you are a student you always pre-drink before going out. The nice thing with residences are that there’s always one pre-drink going on in the building.

3 – For meeting a lot of people and from all universities

People from every University in Montreal stay at the Varcity515. You’re constantly meeting new people from other countries and other Montreal’s universities. This is one of the best ways to open yourself to Montreal and the world

4 – For having the best of both worlds

The Varcity515 is like living in an apartment with 5 roommates, a kitchen, a dining room, a living room and 2 bath rooms but with all the advantage of living in a student residence.

5 – For the best social life ever

From Clubs, to dorm parties, to movie nights, to BBQs, to cultural events, and day trips, … there’s always something going on when you live in a residence. When it’s not offer by the residence itself, it’s proposed by other residents. Living in a student residence will surely lend to some wild stories from your time here in Montreal!

Source: Interstude Dream Team: 

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reputable cities


The institute devises its rankings by looking at factors such as "advanced economy, appealing environment and effective government," according to its 2014 report.

When evaluating an "advanced economy," it considers performance indicators such as whether the economy is "technically advanced," is primed for future growth and "offers a favourable environment for doing business."

An "appealing environment" is decided by looking at whether the city is physically beautiful, whether it has great options for dining, sports and entertainment, and whether well-known "artists, scientists, inventors, writers, athletes and politicians" make their home there.

Finally, an "effective government" must be run by "well-respected leaders," it must oversee "adequate infrastructure" such as transportation and public services, and it has to administer a "safe environment for visitors and residents."

The institute came up with its data by interviewing over 19,000 people in G8 countries, in cities that had large populations, strong gross domestic product and heavy tourism.

Reputations were scored out of 100. Vancouver, the seventh-ranked city on the list, had a score of 74.8 points, while Montreal, 10th on the list, had 73.1 points.

Toronto declined by 8.6 points from last year's survey, leaving it with 70.9 points but still ranking it among "Cities with a Strong Reputation" (between 70 and 80 points).

Check out the world's 25 most reputable cities:

Source:  | By 

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Whether you’re a native Montreal or new to this city, no one is ever prepared for the city’s winter weather. Behold! Varcity515 has the key to keeping you warm this season – its gastronomic culture. Tastefully authentic and culturally diverse, Montreal is known for its outstanding cuisine. From now until November 9th, enjoy some of Montreal’s best restos at a reduced price with MTLàTABLE . Get a taste of Montreal’s finest participating restaurants at exclusive prices. See our list of nearby favourites below!


  1. Kyo Bar Japonais

Bundle up and take a 15-minute walk from Varcity515 to the Place d’Armes Hotel & Suites for an exciting evening with friends; Kyo is nothing short of fun! Its lively atmosphere, extensive menu and delicious sake bombs make it a great place to kick off your Saturday night. Make sure to try their buzz-worthy Donuts with Yuzu Sauce – you won’t regret it!

  1. Brasserie T!

This restaurant is the ideal place to hit up with a few friends or for a chic date. It’s located in the middle of Place des Arts, offering an alluring atmosphere with a glass box-like design and an appealing menu. Better yet, it’s only a 4-minute walk from us!

  1. Weinstein & Gavino’s

Craving a taste of Italy without the travel? Weinstein & Gavino’s is a great restaurant to test out! Right by Concordia University and a short distance from us, this restaurant is the perfect spot for an after school dinner with classmates.


This season, keep yourself warm with all the flavours of Montreal by experiencing MTLàTABLE. You’ll feel like royalty and delight your palate with reasonably priced feasts.

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With the beautiful array of colours on the autumn leaves and the crisp October weather, it’s time to step outside and enjoy the fall season before breaking out your down coats. Whether you are from Montreal or still getting acquainted with the city, here are some of our favourite activities that will have you feeling like a true Montrealer in no time.

  • For the foodies:Now that bikini weather is behind us, put on your comfiest jeans and head to one of the many restaurants participating in MTL àTable. In a city known for its fine cuisine, there is no time like the present to experience the best of what Montreal has to offer. Our top picks: L’Assommoir, Brasserie T!, and Bevo! These restaurants are just a walk away from the front doors of Varcity515.
  • For the thrill-seekers:Take in the adventure while you can! Take a day trip with friends to LaRonde and enjoy the theme park’s attractions every weekend until November 2nd.  It’s only a quick metro ride from Varcity515.
  • For the stress-cases:Grab your favourite book and slip into a comfy robe at a relaxing spa. Refer to this list of nearby spas and give yourself some much-needed “me time” in a lush atmosphere. Helpful hint: Always ask about their special offers!
  • For the art-lovers:One of the many beautiful facets of Montreal’s charm is its diversity. Learn about expressionist and impressionist art during “Van Gogh to Kadinsky” at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, or witness the beauty of “Gardens of Light” at the Montreal Botanical Garden. and
  • For the lovers:Between the hip Mile End area and Park Extension, a quick bus ride to “Dinette Triple Crown” will offer you a unique experience. Enjoy southern comfort takeout - picnic style. Take your wicker basket to Martel Park, where you will find a gazebo to dine under. How romantic!
  • For real:You don't need to know much about the city to know that we take our hockey very seriously. If you can’t make it to the Bell Center, get yourself downstairs and watch it on our theatre’s big screen!



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Calling all undergrads! Being new to University can be an adjustment when you’re new to Montreal – so what better way to integrate yourself into the student lifestyle than to join in on Varcity515’s onsite Frosh activities? Experts in the student lifestyle department and in making students comfortable, Varcity515 gives a warm welcome to you all.
We couldn’t be happier to have been a sponsor for McGill University’s Science Engineering, Management, and Athletics faculties, as well as Concordia University’s CASA-JMSB. Our goal is not only to provide our residents with the ultimate student living environment, but also to enhance the University experience as a whole. We are here to provide positive personal, social, and professional opportunities.
The abundance of activities offered during Frosh Week allowed all new University students an exciting way to get to know new students while also becoming well acquainted with each individual University faculty and the student community. The beautiful weather, outdoor BBQ, chilled refreshments, onsite activities, and an exclusive #FroshVaricty Selfie contest made this year’s Frosh experience more entertaining than ever! And the excitement did not stop there – with Varcity515’s Welcome Bags, faculty members presented students with goodies such as ping-pong balls, ‘Do Not Disturb’ door signs, and much more to take home.
New students, like yourself, lead to new friends – new opportunities lead to unforgettable memories. We are thrilled to have you begin an incredible University experience with us. WELCOME!
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Here at Varcity515, we go above and beyond to make sure our residents get only the BEST. To prepare for the upcoming fall semester, we wanted to enhance our residents’ experience even more… Alas, we found the way to every student’s heart– improved Wi-Fi!
The Need for Speed
It is with great pleasure that we announce a new alliance with Medwave Optics, Cisco, and Videotron to offer our residents a brand new wireless Internet solution!
Here is the low-down:
- Sitting, Waiting, Wishing: You wait in line ALL the time. We know how tiring it is to spend copious amounts of time outside a club just to enter it. We know how waiting outdoors in a concert line can ruin your hair and turn your chic outfit into a sweaty mess. So trust us when we say, we KNOW how irritating it is to sit and wait for a webpage to load. That’s why we had Videotron’s FibreOptic Internet service installed!
- First Choice: Varcity515 is the first student apartment building to have Videotron’s FibreOptic Internet service installed. This technological solution will surely meet your high need for speed, performance, and reliability.
- Fibre What? FibreOptic is a first-rate network of unparalleled quality. Videotron’s newest Internet service boasts over 99.9% reliability. So whether you’re trying to stream your favorite TV series on Netflix, catch the last round of a UFC event, or submit your online quiz on time, we’ve got you covered.
- Free to Roam: Here’s how it works: Once you’re logged in to our Wi-Fi system, you have automatic wireless access from anywhere in the building. It’s as simple as that.
Oh, and did we mention it’s FREE? You heard us. At Varcity515, we do our best to provide our residents with an unmatched university experience. Now that we’ve stepped up our game, it’s time for you to step in to Varcity515 and discover your future home!
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At Varcity515, we pride ourselves on the student housing services we extend to our guests. With summer in bloom and studies on hold, we are pleased to announce that we have completely renovated our GYM. Although it feels great to take our physical activities outdoors and enjoy the nice weather, it feels even better to have the convenience of an air-conditioned gym just footsteps away. Varcity515 offers two fully equipped rooms: one for cardio exercise, and one for weight training. Whether you’re looking for an outlet to relieve the stress of all your studying, getting in shape for vacation, or simply looking to void off that beer belly, you’ll be pleased to see the remarkable differences in our gym. 


- Brand New: Though we’re thrilled to offer two separate rooms for your fitness needs, we’re even more excited to present BRAND NEW equipment. ALL our fitness machines are completely updated. 


- Fresh Paint: With brighter colors, a new floor, and a modern industrial look, you won’t feel like your workout is a chore. The Weight Room has a full wall comprised of mirrors (check out yo’ self), and the Cardio Room has plenty of natural light with its window-wall facing City Councillors Street


- Entertainment: Though we all turn to 8tracks and Songza for an upbeat musical playlist, we are installing brand new TV screens for the visual types – Now you can run while catching up on your favorite student shows.


- Break Time: We all need to recharge after we ‘sweat it out’. Hit up our beverage dispensers, located right next to the Weight Room. If you’re feeling tired after you work out, feel free to make yourself a fresh cup of coffee to re-energize.


You can now get one step closer to your fitness goals with our brand new, super-jacked gym. Feel free to go grab that poutine and beer now – just don’t forget to stop by later for an intense workout.

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Maclean's annual ranking places McGill in first position among medical-doctoral universities

MONTREALOct. 31, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Maclean's has ranked McGill University as the top university in Canadaamong institutions offering medical-doctoral programs. This is the 9th consecutive year that the magazine has placedMcGill as the top institution in that category in its annual issue devoted to Canada universities.

"We are delighted by this news, which reflects the hard work, the dedication and the accomplishments of our faculty, staff and students," said Prof. Suzanne Fortier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University.

"We must remain vigilant however, as the race for top talent is a global one," Prof. Fortier added. "We want McGill - and Canadian universities - to remain magnets for the top professors and top students. We must therefore reaffirm - as a city, as a province and as a nation - the importance of higher education for the well-being of our society and invest in our universities accordingly so we can continue to fulfill our missions of teaching, research and service to the community."

Earlier this year, McGill ranked 21st in the world in the 2013 QS World University rankings and 35th globally in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2013-14.

The Maclean's medical-doctoral category includes 15 Canadian universities with medical schools and a broad range of PhD programs. To access the full 2013 Maclean's University Rankings, which hit newsstands and the Web today, go to

SOURCE McGill University

 For further information:

Julie Fortier

Associate Director, Media Relations
McGill University
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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MONTREALOct. 22, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The prestigious Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) has recognized the greater region of Montreal as one of the 21 Intelligent Communities of the Year (Smart21). The announcement was made in North Canton, Ohio as part of the semi-finalist unveiling for the 2014 edition of the Intelligent Community of the Year Awards. The nomination of Greater Montreal was submitted by TechnoMontréal, the information and communication technologies (ICT) cluster of Greater Montreal, in partnership with Montréal International, the Ville de Montréal, the Montreal Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ), the Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitainand the Conseil des arts de Montréal.

Since 1999, the Intelligent Community of the Year Awards annually recognize the communities (cities or regions) that stand out in the development of smart cities. The evaluation criteria are composed of five recurrent themes (broadband network, innovation, knowledge workforce, digital inclusion and marketing & advocacy), as well as an annual theme, which for 2014 is "Community as Canvas," focussing on culture. Greater Montreal has distinguished itself by the quality and quantity of its ongoing digital development projects, as well as the predominant place that culture holds in the city.

"The advancement and potential of the Greater Montreal region as an intelligent city is not well known by the public at large. The city already has around twenty independent "smart" initiatives and several major projects are in the works. Since 2011, TechnoMontréal has brought together these initiatives and coordinated structuring projects within a development vision called Montréal Digital Metropolis that aims to propel the metropolitan region into the ranks of the major "Smart Cities" of the world. As part of this unifying program, our partners have put projects in place to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. It is thanks to all the contributors who believed in the positive outcomes of a digital vision for the metropolis that this extensive work is recognized today by the highest international expert in the field," stated Lidia Divry, Executive Director of TechnoMontréal.

In addition to its digital assets, the Greater Montreal candidacy benefited from this year's culture-based theme. "Creativity is an integral component of Montreal culture. The city is already recognized for the proliferation and quality of its artistic productions and has distinguished itself internationally more and more over the last several years in various digital niches like the video game industry, software production, citizen applications and digital arts. In addition, various players in the sector are currently mobilizing to present a Digital Spring in 2014 that will prove to be an unforgettable event," declared Marie-Claire Dumas, CEO of the Montreal CRÉ.

Greater Montreal is recognized as a city of knowledge that relies on its rich ecosystem of higher educational establishments and visionary companies. "This is an important distinction highlighting the expertise of our companies in the information and communication technologies field. This recognition confirms - if ever there still needed confirmation - that this city really does sit amongst the most advanced metropolitan regions in its application of new technologies. It is important to now maximize the repercussions of this announcement in order to attract new investments to this key sector of our economic base," added Michel Leblanc, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain.

This distinction, granted by the ICF, is the first stage in a ten-month process that leads to identifying the seven most advanced cities in January 2014 (Top7) and ultimately in the nomination of the big winner in June 2014.

About TechnoMontréal 
TechnoMontréal is the information and communication technologies (ICT) cluster of Greater Montreal. Its mission is to bring together industry players in the Greater Montreal ICT field around common objectives and concerted actions towards the goal of accelerating and optimizing the competitiveness, growth and influence of the metropolis' digital industry.

About the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) is a non-profit research organization based in New York that studies the development of 21st century cities. This independent think tank is dedicated to job creation and the development of the digital economy. The ICF's activities are focussed mainly on research, conferences, consultation, educational services, as well as an annual awards program, thus identifying and sharing best practices in the development of intelligent communities.

The Intelligent Community of the Year Awards Program
Since 1999, the Intelligent Community of the Year Awards Program has annually recognized communities (cities or regions) that have distinguished themselves in the development of intelligent communities. The goal of the program is to highlight the work and success of communities that orient their development towards a digital economy, while feeding data to the ICF's research. The evaluation criteria are made up of five recurrent themes:

  • Broadband infrastructure
  • Innovation
  • Knowledge workforce
  • Digital inclusion
  • Marketing and advocacy

In addition to these five criteria, an annual theme guides the choice of finalists. The theme for 2014 is "Community as Canvas," which looks at culture in the general sense (art, heritage and mindset).

The Intelligent Community of the Year Awards Program occurs through a ten-month process. The first stage, Smart21, selects the top 21 Intelligent Communities for the year. These semi-finalists were announced on October 21.  Then, a second candidate file is submitted, allowing for the seven finalists (Top7) to be chosen in January 2014. Those finalists are subjected to an audit led by an independent group, which leads to awarding the Intelligent Community of the Year Award at the annual ICF summit in June.

Past Winners of the Intelligent Community of the Year 1999-2013


2013 - Taichung City, Taiwan 2006 - Taipei, Taiwan
2012 - Riverside, California, USA 2005 - Mitaka, Japan
2011 - Eindhoven, Netherlands 2004 - Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
2010 - Suwon, South Korea 2002 - Calgary, Canada & Seoul, South Korea
2009 - Stockholm, Sweden 2001 - New York City, New York, USA
2008 - Gangnam-Gu, South Korea 2000 - LaGrange, Georgia, USA
2007 - Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 1999 - Singapore


What is a Smart City?
Since 2007, half of the world's population lives in an urban environment. Metropolises consume 75% of the planet's energy and produce 80% of its CO2. This trend grows daily: one million inhabitants are added per week to the world's cities. Between now and 2050, over 70% of the global population will live in metropolises, generating 60% of GDP growth.

Global urbanization is seeing unprecedented growth today, which has an impact on city management and transforms services for citizens, notably as it relates to transportation, healthcare, education, resource management and administration.

In the face of such challenges, hundreds of the world's large cities have jumped on the development of "smart cities." Being a Smart City (or smart grid, intelligent city, etc.) means using technology to optimize services to citizens. Among hundreds of concrete examples, here are a select few:

  • A system used in Singapore can predict the speed of traffic with close to 90% accuracy.
  • An intelligent traffic management system in London reduced the volume of traffic to levels seen in the 1980s.
  • Energy management systems in Dublin (Ireland) are composed of sensor networks that gather real-time data on transportation and energy.
  • Barcelona (Spain) released 500 public datasets, generating the development of applications allowing citizens to directly contribute to democratic life.
  • Stockholm (Sweden) installed a million metres of Opticl fiber cable allowing the development of a multitude of public services like helplines and teleservices.

All of these major projects take advantage of ICT to facilitate the daily lives of citizens, support economic development, reduce environmental impact and optimize collective services.

SOURCE TechnoMontréal

 For further information:


Benoit Labbé
Director of  Communications and Marketing
T 514 987-9344 | C 514 239-6435  | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Montréal is often described as a “software” city, not only because of the thriving IT sector, but because the certain “je-ne-sais-quoi  that is so quintessentially Montréal is not just the bricks and mortar of its historic sites and cutting-edge architecture. It’s the creative energy, French flavour and mosaic of cultures and languages that makes Montréal so cosmopolitan and open to the world. And, with 11 world-renowned institutions of higher education, Montréal is a hive of innovation, breakthrough research and the de facto academic capital of Canada.


Every year, 43,000 degrees are awarded to students in Montréal, feeding the largest pool of new graduates in Canada (25% to be exact). Some 185,000 students call Montréal home, and the city ranks first in Canada for the number of research centres, and amount of money invested in university research. As a multilingual, multicultural city, Montréal attracts more than 25,000 international students from over 150 countries, the largest group of foreign academics in Canada.


Montréal has four world-class universities making the variety of education available here a giant degree buffet. The bedrock of Montréal’s brainpower is McGill UniversityUniversité du Quebec à Montréal (UQAM),Université de Montréal (UdeM), and Concordia University. Each institution makes distinctive contributions to research, development, and international exchanges.
McGill University is a part of the “Canadian Ivy League.” It was even dubbed “The Harvard of Canada” in an episode of The Simpsons. Ranking in the top 100 best universities worldwide, McGill is recognized for nearly 200 years of groundbreaking research and discoveries. One of McGill’s most important contributions was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted by John Humphrey (BCom’25, BA’27, BCL’29, PhD’45, then a Professor of Law at McGill).


Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) has the largest School of Management in North America, and one of the largest Arts programs in Canada. It is known for Environmental Science, Tourism Management, and Communication.


Concordia University’s dual campuses are known for their leading programs in Cyber Security, Digital Media, Journalism, and The Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurology. They also boast a prestigious Fine Arts school, producing alumni that go on to make waves in Theater, Dance, and Film. For the third consecutive year in 2009, Concordia was named the Canadian university with the most graduates becoming CEO of a Fortune 500 company.


Université de Montréal (UdeM) is the largest research institution in Quebec, and second largest in Canada. Nestled on the northern side of Mont Royal, UdM’s beautiful campus is dominated by the Art-Deco tower of the Roger-Gaudry Building.


In addition to the four universities mentioned above, Montréal has an additional seven institutions of higher learning: École nationale d’administration publiqueÉcole Polytechnique MontréalÉcole des technologies supérieuresTélé-UniversitéUniversity of Sherbrooke in LongueuilHEC Montréal and the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS).

HEC Montréal is the affiliated business school of UdeM, and the oldest management school in Canada. It is one of only two schools in North America to hold a triple accreditation in management education (AACSB, EQUIS, & AMBA). The Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) is a post graduate university associated with UQAM, conducting research in four broad sectors: Water, earth and the environment; energy, materials, and telecommunication; human, animal, and environmental health; and urbanization, culture, and society.

Montréal brings new meaning to the term “geek-chic” – and has hundreds of thousands of bright minds learning to become the world pioneers of tomorrow.

Photo credit: McGill University, UQAM / Nathalie St-Pierre,, Concordia University.


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Freedom, prosperity and strong social ties are major factors in a nation's happiness, a new study suggests.

Canada ranks 6th in global happiness survey

Main factors include social ties, freedom, UN-sponsored report says


Canada has some of the happiest people on the planet because of long life expectancy, high average income and robust social ties, according to a survey sponsored by the United Nations in which Canada ranked sixth.


And it appears our cold, harsh winters make us merrier, not morose, since the only people who say they feel happier than Canadians are citizens of fellow northern nations, in order: Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands and Sweden.

The United States ranked 17th in the report, trailing the United Arab Emirates, Panama and Mexico. Libyans were in the middle of the pack in 78th, while the globe's most sorrowful citizens reside in West African neighbours Benin and Togo.

"One thing that struck me this time is that of the 150 countries we look at — and we're measuring a period roughly from 2005 to 2010 — is how many had significant increases or decreases — 60 had big increases but 40 had a big decrease," co-author John Helliwell, professor emeritus of economics at the University of British Columbia, told CBC News.

Overall, the world is getting happier, the report says, though there are stark regional contrasts.

While people in Latin America and the Caribbean are more content — by seven per cent since 2007 —residents of the Mideast and North Africa, many of whose countries have been racked by political turmoil in recent years, are 11.7 percentage points more miserable.

"The Arab Spring wasn't good for a lot of people in those regions," Helliwell said. "But the major declines were the countries that were hardest hit in the euro crisis — i.e. Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal."

The happiness rankings are largely based on the so-called life-evaluation results from the Gallup World Poll, conducted in more than 150 countries every year since 2005. The poll asks people to describe their happiness on a scale from zero to 10. The average happiness level in the 2013 World Happiness report was 5.1. Canadians scored 7.48, below Denmark at 7.69 but well above Togo at 2.94.

The paper's authors say six factors account for three-quarters of the differences among residents of surveyed countries:

  • GDP per capita.
  • Life expectancy.
  • Perceived national corruption.
  • Freedom to make life choices.
  • Generosity of fellow citizens.
  • Having someone to rely on in times of trouble.

However, they emphasize that while the most cheerful countries on the planet are also some of the wealthiest, income is a less important contributor than things like personal freedom and social supports.

Jens Norlem, who lives in Denmark, told CBC News he wasn't surprised his country led the rankings, which he said is a national point of pride.

'The major declines were the countries that were hardest hit in the euro crisis — i.e. Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal.'— John Helliwell, report co-editor, University of British Columbia

"It's a very equal country," Norlem said. "There's not a lot of very rich people and there's not a lot of very poor people. There's a very big group of the middle class. And people have a high level of education, so people participate very much in elections and stuff like that."

However, Norlem said, what sets Denmark apart from a country like the United States is simple peace of mind.

"You feel that you have confidence in the system — in the governmental system and in other people also," he said.

"It's a very typical thing here that if you walk up to people in the street and ask them a question, they'll try to help. They wouldn't think, 'Who is this person coming up to me? He's probably trying to rob me.'

"Which I guess is a bit different in the United States, just taking an example, where lot of people have guns and try to protect themselves, so they can shoot anybody coming up to them."

The report, co-edited by Helliwell with Jeffrey Sachs, a professor of development and health policy at Columbia University in New York, and London School of Economics professor emeritus Richard Layard, suggests more countries use citizen happiness as a measure of progress, citing the South Asian kingdom of Bhutan, which has developed a Gross National Happiness Index and aims above all to maximize it.

Helliwell said this year's report, created under the aegis of the UN Sustainable Development Research Initiative, is meant to be a kind of blueprint for governments to consider.

"It's so the objectives of governments should include happiness," Helliwell said. "It's important we have the science and the measures there so they are taken and understood. The report is intended to play into discussions about world development goals for 2015 to 2030."

Other countries using happiness levels or similar measures of wellbeing to gauge policy include Brazil, Britain and New Zealand, the study says.

Posted: Sep 9, 2013 12:04 AM ET




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McGill rents Varcity515 floors to house first years

Complex on Saint-Catherine Street serves as additional residence space due to Douglas renovations

Samiha Sharif


This year, 85 students and two floor fellows will call a building named Varcity515 home following McGill’s decision to rent two floors of this furnished student-housing complex to accommodate an excess number of students requiring places in residence.

According to Interim Director of Residences and Student Housing, Janice Johnson, it is difficult to predict exactly how many students are going to require accommodations at McGill each year. One per cent more or fewer students than anticipated could cause a difference of 50 to 60 students.

Due to the last-minute nature of its opening, Varcity515 was not on the housing survey completed by all first years who apply for residence in the spring. When this year’s residence lottery was completed last June, the number of incoming students requiring accommodations exceeded the number that McGill’s residences could hold. This excess was partially due to Douglas Hall being closed for renovations this year, as the residence usually accommodates 179 students.

“It’s a bit of a gamble every year to make sure that we stay full,” Johnson said. “We have a responsibility to stay full because if we don’t raise our revenues to cover the expenses each year then we have to raise the prices for our students next year.”

Normally, all students who do not immediately receive a residence placement are assigned a temporary room—often in living rooms at Solin Hall or in Royal Victoria College. This year, students placed on the top of the temporary residence list were assigned to Varcity515.

Located at 515 Saint-Catherine Street, Varcity515 is within easy walking distance of campus. As Johnson pointed out, this is not the first time that the building has been used as a McGill residence.

“Five years ago, when Varcity515 first opened, McGill was in a similar situation and therefore initiated an arrangement with them,” Johnson said. “Since McGill’s relationship in the past with Varcity515 had been a positive experience, this year when McGill needed more beds, Varcity515 was readily contacted.”

Only 60 to 70 extra beds were needed to house this year’s students, but two whole floors of the building have been rented. Although this means a few empty spaces, Johnson said it was done to ensure a solid residence community experience, even though this means a few empty spaces, according to Johnson. Each apartment has three to five bedrooms, one of which is a room that has no outward-facing windows, only a window facing the interior of the apartment. The rent is $1,250 per month for regular rooms—approximately the same amount that students pay to live in McGill’s hotel-style residences like New Residence Hall. Rooms that lack an exterior window in Varcity515 cost $950-$1,000. Students pay their rent in a nine-month lease.

All Varcity515 students have a mandatory commuter meal plan, which is a $300 plan designed for students, professors, and staff members who occasionally purchase food on campus. Each four- or five-bedroom apartment comes with a fully equipped kitchen, complete with a dishwasher as well as utensils such as pots, pans, and cutlery. The cafeterias at Carrefour Sherbrooke and Royal Victoria College are just two blocks away from the building.

According to Johnson, McGill does not currently have any plans to occupy Varcity515 in future years.

She added that its residents want to have their own residence council instead of being aligned with Carrefour Sherbrooke’s council as originally planned.

“Feedback from these councils is important for us to better the experience,” Senior Director of Student Housing and Hospitality Services, Mathieu Laperle, said.

Although most students at Varcity515 only arrived in their residence two weeks ago, some, like Kirsten Neprily, U0 Arts, say the building already feels like home.

“Everyone is so happy to be here,” Neprily said. “We cook together, shop together, party together. I honestly don’t wish that anything was different.”

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TORONTO – A new survey says international students studying in Canada pay some of the lowest fees amongst Western developed nations.

According to research from HSBC, Australia is one of the most expensive countries for oversea students, following by the United States, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

READ MORE: Accommodation shortage as SIAST international student numbers rise

Out of 13 countries studied, Canada falls fifth on the list with an estimated annual cost of living and student fees totaling around $26,000 for international students.

READ MORE: Montreal rated as world’s best in international education study

The lowest fees are in Germany, where international students can expect to pay an average of $635 USD a year.

Table: International student tees


Annual student fees (US$ per year)



United States


United Arab Emirates


United Kingdom






Hong Kong














“Families with these aspirations need to plan ahead,” said Betty Miao, executive vice president, retail banking and wealth management of HSBC Bank Canada, in a press release. “The good thing about education planning is that it is predictable. Children’s education needs are tightly constrained to a defined number of years. It is the annual cost that is the main variable depending on the country chosen for your child’s higher education.”

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada statistics, Canada welcomed a record 100,000 international students in 2013—an increase of 60 per cent from 2004.

Miao says those who wish to educate their children overseas also need to consider other factors besides tuition fees, such as living costs, exchange rates and inflation in their estimates of total costs.

“On average, living expenses can comprise at least a third of total costs and parents need to budget for travel home during school holidays,” she said. “As such, there is a need for parents to ensure their children’s education forms an important part of their financial planning.”

About the survey
The research was conducted in 13 countries around the world. Fees represent the average tuition cost for international students based on the top 10 largest institutions in each relevant country.


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MONTRÉAL, le 5 août 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Du 5 août au 2 septembre 2013, les nouveaux étudiants internationaux pourront bénéficier, dès leur arrivée à l'aéroport Montréal-Trudeau, d'un service d'accueil personnalisé et chaleureux à la veille de leur rentrée collégiale et universitaire. Cette opération, à laquelle participent tous les établissements universitaires et 55 collèges et instituts, est coordonnée conjointement par la Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) de Montréal et les établissements universitaires québécois.

Ainsi, une équipe d'étudiants internationaux et québécois, postée dans le hall des arrivées internationales de l'aéroport Montréal-Trudeau, sera responsable de l'accueil des nouveaux étudiants durant cette période. Le passage de ces milliers d'étudiants à l'aéroport sera simplifié et grandement accéléré grâce au service Accueil Plus. Depuis leur pays d'origine, les étudiants inscrivent leur plan de vol sur le site Internet afin que l'Agence des services frontaliers du Canada (ASFC) prépare en amont leur permis d'études, réduisant considérablement le temps d'attente à l'aéroport. L'inscription en ligne à Accueil Plus est possible jusqu'au 1er septembre 2013.

« L'apport des étudiants étrangers à l'essor économique du Québec est indéniable et nous devons faire en sorte qu'ils soient plus nombreux à réaliser leur projet de vie, ici au Québec, indique la ministre de l'Immigration et des Communautés culturelles et ministre responsable de la Charte de la langue française, madame Diane De Courcy. Leur diplôme en main, les étudiants étrangers sont des candidats de choix. C'est pourquoi nous avons créé à leur intention le Programme de l'expérience québécoise. Ce programme leur permettra, s'ils le désirent, de transformer en immigration permanente leur première expérience d'études et de prendre part à l'émergence d'une relève talentueuse dont l'ensemble du Québec pourra bénéficier. »

Ces étudiants contribuent de façon significative à la vitalité du réseau universitaire québécois, tant par leur participation à l'enrichissement des programmes de formation et de la vie culturelle, que par leur apport à la recherche et à l'innovation.

« Cela ne fait aucun doute que la présence ici d'étudiants internationaux est un gage de dynamisme pour Montréal qui doit demeurer un endroit de choix dans le circuit mondial de la mobilité étudiante. La CRÉ de Montréal croit en l'audace et la créativité de cette jeune relève pour insuffler à la communauté montréalaise de nouvelles idées, de nouveaux savoir-faire. C'est pourquoi, avec nos partenaires, nous développons et nous animons des initiatives visant à les attirer, les accueillir et favoriser leur ancrage ici », explique la présidente de la CRÉ de Montréal, madame Manon Barbe.

Que ce soit pour la qualité de l'enseignement, pour le coût abordable de la vie ici ou pour l'attrait d'une province créative, vivante et francophone en Amérique du Nord, le Québec constitue une destination de choix pour les étudiants : à l'automne 2011, quelque 31 000 étudiants internationaux étaient inscrits dans un établissement universitaire et collégial québécois.

L'activité d'accueil à l'aéroport Montréal-Trudeau et le service Accueil Plus sont rendus possibles grâce à la participation financière de la CRÉ de Montréal et du ministère de l'Immigration et des Communautés culturelles (MICC) dans le cadre de l'Entente spécifique et du Plan d'action de la région de Montréal en matière d'immigration, d'intégration et des relations interculturelles (PARMI). Les établissements universitaires québécois, le Regroupement des collèges du Montréal métropolitain (RCMM) et Cégep international participent également au financement du projet. Enfin, ce projet bénéficie aussi de la collaboration de l'ASFC, du Service Immigration-Québec du MICC et d'Aéroports de Montréal (ADM).

À propos de la CRÉ de Montréal 
Interlocuteur privilégié du gouvernement en matière de développement régional, la Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) de Montréal regroupe les leaders politiques et socioéconomiques de l'île de Montréal. Elle a pour mandat de favoriser le développement de son territoire par une approche concertée.

Suivez-nous sur :
Twitter : @CREdeMontreal
Facebook :
Site Internet :


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Posted by on in Media Coverage

Montreal ranked best of 80 cities to attend university

Montreal has topped a list of 80 cities offering the best overall return on investment for foreign undergraduate students, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Montreal, with an overall score of 72, easily edged out London and Hong Kong based on a series of 24 criteria in the study issued last week.

The Bank of Communications Sea Turtle Index, as the study is called, praised Montreal for its cultural vibrancy, low crime rate, ease of obtaining a visa and other factors. The study was broken down into five categories: educational returns, real estate returns, financial returns, work experience and social experience. Montreal was given a 73.3 for educational returns, with a top mark of 100 given for its range of academic programs but a low mark of 50 for cost of living.

Montreal scored 69.8 in real estate returns, with high marks for the openness of the real estate market but low marks for rental expenses. The city scored a lower 57.2 for financial returns, as it was given perfect marks for openness to foreign investors but only 17 for real GDP growth.

As for work experience, the city was given 66.4, with a top 100 given for length of visa. But the city earned low marks for average wages and income tax.

The social experience section was the city’s highest ranking category, as Montreal scored a 88, with a perfect 100 given for student mix, quality of cultural attractions and openness and diversity. Montreal also scored a mark of 88 for its low level of crime.

Read more:

Source: CTV Montreal - Published Tuesday, July 16, 2013 3:11PM EDT 


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Posted by on in News & Events (English)


Students moving to Montreal? Stay in the loop with the latest info about our quality apartments by liking our Facebook page here:

Be sure to follow @Varcity515 on Twitter for updates and for the latest on student life in Montreal!

Click here:

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Canada’s global stature gives it the competitive edge to attract tourists, talents and investment from around the world.

Vancouver, BC, June 28, 2013—For the third year in a row,Canada has been ranked No.1 as the country with the best overall reputation in the world.The ranking, derived from the Reputation Institute’s annual Country RepTrak™ report, saw Canada keep top spot ahead of Sweden in second place and Switzerland in third.

The Reputation Institute, a global private consulting firm based in New York and Copenhagen,evaluates the reputations of 50 countries based on online interviews with 27,000 people from G8 countries. The Country RepTrak™ report measures the trust, esteem, admiration and good feelings the public holds towards these countries, as well as perceptions of peoples’ quality of life, safety and attention to the environment.

According to Nicolas Trad, the Reputation Institute’s executive partner, there is a strong correlation between a country’s reputation and the intention to visit, and that intention to visit alongside a country’s income from tourism. “The perceptions held by stakeholders determine their decision to visit or live and work in a country, buy national debt, or purchase its products or services,” says Trad. “Without a doubt, a good reputation will always mean greater national income for a country.”

The report underscores the link between country reputation and economic outcomes. Tourism has a vital role to play as a lever to drive trade and investment in ideas, education and business.

 “A country’s reputation is its personal calling card and Canada’s tourism brandis expanding into all corners of the globe,” says Michele McKenzie, CTC President and CEO. “We’re not just inviting the world to visit us, we’re capitalizing on our positive reputation to open new doors and create new opportunities for Canada, such as the impact of the business events travel sector on our economy.”

Tourism generated revenue of $81.9 billion for Canada in 2012. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the tourism industry directly contributed $2.1 trillion in GDP and 101 million jobs to the global economy in 2012. This year, global tourism’s contribution to direct GDP is forecast to grow by 3.1%, outpacing the growth of the total global economy (2.4%). The future is even brighter: annual growth forecast is 4.4% per year up to 2022.

About the Canadian Tourism Commission
The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) is Canada's national tourism marketing organization. A federal Crown corporation wholly owned by the Government of Canada, we lead the Canadian tourism industry in marketing Canada as a premier four-season tourism destination. Our vision is to inspire the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we promote Canada's extraordinary experiences in 11 countries around the world, conduct original market research, offer stunning visuals through theBrand Canada Library and provide resources and toolkits to help industry leverage Canada's successful tourism brand—"Canada. Keep Exploring." For regular updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, search our corporate website, become a fan on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, share images on Instagram or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

For further information, please contact:

Margaret Nevin

Senior Communications Advisor

Canadian Tourism Commission

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: 604-638-8406


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Varcity515 présente - Témoignages d'étudiants

Montréal, le 26 mars 2013

Chaque année, Varcity515 accueille des étudiants venus de partout dans le monde. Ces nouveaux résidents peuvent partager leurs cultures d'origine dans un environnement accueillant offert par Varcity515.

Dans une série de six vidéos, nous avons demandé à des résidents provenant de différents pays de raconter comment ils sont venus à Montréal et pourquoi ils ont décidé de vivre au Varcity515.

Anne est une étudiante d'origine française qui étudie à l'université McGill. Elle a trouvé l'expérience de déménager à Montréal et de s'adapter à un nouveau style de vie fort simple grâce à la chambre tout-inclus offerte par Varcity515. Elle avait seulement besoin d'apporter sa brosse à dents et ses vêtements. Tout comme elle, Steven, qui vient de New York, trouve Varcity515 très pratique. La résidence offre tous les services et les installations dont il pourrait avoir besoin à un seul tarif.

Hatem, un étudiant du Collège LaSalle originaire de la Tunisie, vivait dans un appartement au centre-ville. Lorsqu'il a visité des amis au Varcity515, il a été tellement impressionné par l'ambiance et la qualité de l'endroit qu'il a décidé d'y emménager.

Ce que ces étudiants préfèrent avant tout du Varcity515, c'est la qualité de leur vie sociale. C'est tellement simple de rencontrer des gens intéressants et de se faire de nouveaux amis que même étudier devient plus agréable.

Varcity515 est un concept exclusif de résidences offrant un niveau de confort inégalé avec tout ce dont un étudiant a besoin pour un style de vie sain et agréable au centre-ville de Montréal.

Voici un aperçu: 

Cliquez ici pour regarder plus de témoignages vidéo:




Montréal, March 26, 2013

Every year, Varcity515 welcomes students from all around the world. These new residents move in with different cultural backgrounds, which they come to share in Varcity515’s welcoming environment.

In a series of six video testimonials, we’ve invited Varcity515 residents from different countries to share how they came to Montreal and why they chose to live at Varcity515.

Anne, a McGill student from France, found it easy to move into her room and adapt to a whole new lifestyle. All she needed to bring was her toothbrush and her clothes, because Varcity515’s all-inclusive accommodation provided her with the rest. Like her, Steven, from New York, loves the convenience of Varcity515. He finds that the student accommodation has all the amenities and services that the residents could possibly need, all included in a single fee.

Hatem, a LaSalle College student from Tunisia, was originally living in an apartment downtown. When he visited some friends who lived at Varcity515, he was so immediately impressed with the quality of the place and the friendliness of the people that he decided to move in!

The thing all of these students like the most about Varcity515 is the quality of the social life they have here. It’s so easy to meet interesting people from different universities and develop new friendships that even studying is fun with 515’s group study rooms.

Renowned for providing an unmatched level of comfort and everything students need for a great lifestyle in Montreal, Varcity515 offers an exclusive concept for downtown student accommodation.

Here is a preview:

Click here to watch all the video testimonials:

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What you'll get:

Ahh the WINDOW ROOM – the room that will let you kick up your feet and gaze onto the busy streets of downtown Montreal. Live out your student days with Canada’s most vibrant & cultural city, right outside your window.

  • A double bed
  • 12 feet ceiling height
  • Cabinets and drawers
    (all the space you’ll need!)
  • The ultimate student work space
    (For your books, laptop and PlayStation…)
  • Exterior window
  • Key controlled access (privacy is key)






What you'll get:

Want some space to sprawl out? The LARGE SHUTTER ROOM gives you the extra space needed to t that extra pair of converse shoes, your hockey bag, or to put down a yoga mat for 5 minutes of zen.

  • A double bed
  • 12 feet ceiling height
  • Cabinets and drawers
    (all the space you’ll need!)
  • The ultimate student work space
    (For your books, laptop and PlayStation…)
  • Interior window
  • Key controlled access (privacy is key)






What you'll get:

The SMALL SHUTTER ROOM brings you the perfect dose of “home away from home”. Comfy and quaint, with an interior window, the small shutter is your 1rst step into apartment living.

  • A double bed
  • 12 feet ceiling height
  • Cabinets and drawers
    (all the space you’ll need!)
  • The ultimate student work space
    (For your books, laptop and PlayStation…)
  • Interior window
  • Key controlled access (privacy is key)

Shared Living Apartment


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