So you’re all packed up and ready to go to university. You’ve brought sheets, you have a brand new laptop, and you made sure to buy a laundry bag. But once you get to rez and you’re all settled down, you realize there’s a small kitchenette in your rez and you need some plates or the room isn’t quite as well air conditioned as you thought and you need a fan. Maybe you just want to get all your school supplies before school starts to get it over with. Have no fear; I’m here to impart some wisdom acquired over years of keeping my eyes open and an ear to the ground.
There are basically four stores you can rely on for all supplies related to life and school. The first is Canadian Tire. I love Canadian Tire. For those of you who don’t know, it’s like a hardware store that has everything you could every want packed into cramped aisles where every shelf is overflowing with trash bags, cookwear, and yes, fans. Canadian Tire is where I bought my first George Foreman Grill and a reliable coffee machine that has lasted until now. It has all the brand names you would expect in a hardware store with knowledgeable staff who can help direct you toward anything you’re looking for. The closest one to McGill’s downtown campus is at Place Alexis Nihon on Avenue Atwater.
Just across the street from this gem is “Bureau en gros,” otherwise known as Staples. At Bureau en gros you can get any and all school supplies. I tend to buy all of my notebooks, pens, pencils, etc. from here and they even have corkboards and printers. They usually have good back to school sales and I would highly recommend making the trip to stock up.
The Dollar Store is good for any loose odds and ends you may need. Notebooks, glasswear, and trinkets will run you $1 to $2 depending on what it is. The quality is usually ok. I still have a glass from my first year at McGill that has survived more than one fall. If you’re having trouble finding something or don’t know where to really start looking, hit the Dollar Store. In fact, it is the only place so far that I’ve been able to find a box of Cheez-Its, the snack of my childhood. The closest to McGill residences is in the Galeries du Parc mall underneath La Cité Apartments at the corner of Rue Prince Arthur and Avenue du Parc.
Finally, a little less important first year is IKEA. You could spend a whole day at the city of furniture located at 9191 Boulevard Cavendish. I would highly recommend going here in a car if you have to at all. It is possible to get to IKEA by public transportation if you take the orange line to “Du College,” the penultimate stop in the “Côte Vertu” direction and then transfer to either the 175 or 202 bus. Again, avoid at all costs if you have another means of transportation because I’ve heard stories of people spending their entire day getting to and from this IKEA by public transportation.
Between these four, one could live perfectly content to the end of their days.