McMaster University 1280 Main Street West

Just in case you were unaware, we Tour Girls are all McMaster alumni. Out of all the universities in all the cities in all the world, we chose to stay close to home and go to MAC for our post-secondary education. And, with a scheduled print and video interview with the McMaster Daily News, we had the opportunity to check out some of our schoolday haunts on a beautiful sunny August morning.

Being interviewed by Matt Terry and Angi Shen in the DeGroote School of Business

Walking from the HSR bus stop on Main Street to Chester New Hall, plenty of memories came flooding back. And, as I was the first to get there and had yet to eat breakfast, I was leaning on a pillar quite studiously with an apple in my right hand and a Canadian history book in the left as if I were still an undergrad! (I doubt that Bastards and Boneheads: Canada’s Glorious Leaders Past and Present by Will Ferguson was on any reading list of mine, but I presume that if it had been, a lot more students would take a shine, or at least an impressed giggle, to Canadian history.) The rest of the girls were close enough behind, though, and we met up with Matt Terry and Angi Shen to start our interviews.

Outside the Faculty Club

Being led into the Michael G. DeGroote School of Business (an undiscovered part of campus for us Humanities girls), we turned down a number of confusing corridors until we came upon the interview room for the video shoot. Being sat one at a time on a chair in front of a bookcase full of REALLY old books (our idea to look like the smart alumni that we are and read said old books in the background as the others were being interviewed was kiboshed once told that the really old-looking books were actually really old – like, “not to be touched for fear that they would spontaneously crumble into dust” kind of old), we laid out the top tour stops of the summer. James Street North Art Crawl, Judy Marsales’ karaoke nights, Ottawa Street, and the Hamilton Waterfront made the cut this time around as our top places in the City for every McMaster student to check out before they graduate. Once the video portion of the interview was over, we spoke with Angi to offer a bit more insight into the Tour. The full video and print interview can be seen/read here.

McMaster Museum of Art

After some loitering outside of the Faculty Club, peacefully sitting in the Nina de Villiers Memorial Garden, troublemaking (and unsuccessful bubble tea seeking) in the Student Centre basement, sunbathing on the stairs outside of the Mills library (oh, fifth floor, how I miss thee), and annoying Canadian geese outside of the Burke Science Building, we made our way to the McMaster Museum of Art. This free art gallery was something that none of us had ever looked at during our tenure as McMaster students, so we decided it was an opportune time to get artsy. Exhibitions that were on display were “By Design and By Chance,” and some sculpture and other artwork by John Miecznikowski. Although both exhibitions just closed up this past weekend, there are plenty of interesting shows coming up in the fall for students, alumni, and the general public to take in.

Wrapping up the morning, we had a creative photoshoot at the Sterling Street entrance (our apologies if any flower was mistakenly flattened in our artistic endeavors, but climbing onto that sign was a tad more difficult than anticipated and we really, really should have practiced our Parkour talents beforehand) and then said goodbye to the campus that I credit as the cause of our little group’s friendship.

As an educational institution, McMaster is a school with incredible professors, quality libraries, and has an absolutely beautiful landscape. I know that I would not be as critical and analytical of a student if it were not for my McMaster education, and I am thankful that it offered such a perfect space to study and be social. Educationally, its academia has propelled me towards graduate study in a school that I never thought I would be good enough to get into and, socially, it has granted me three great friends that have been locally aware enough to creatively share the City during these glorious summer months. Walking on the grounds of McMaster as a graduate is refreshing, nostalgic, and reminded me of how influential those four years really were.

xoxo Carly.

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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