Boarding Life

Boarding Life - January 30, 2014 RSS Feed
Message from Andrew Turner, director of residential life

Andrew Turner

Monday morning's assembly served as the official opening of International Languages week at Upper Canada College.

Wedd's head Philippe Martin and Seaton's head Louis Généreux serve as the student leaders for all events that occur over the course of the week. To get things rolling, they announced the results of a recently completed student survey that revealed that almost 40 languages are spoken with a high degree of proficiency within the UCC community. It was then their task to introduce fellow boarder Max Lemay from Quebec City, a student who had never had English as a language of instruction prior to his arrival in September 2012.

It takes great courage to get up in front of 700 students and talk about the challenge a French-speaking student faces when integrating into a predominantly English-speaking student body. I hope you'll take time to read Max’s message that's embedded into one of the articles that follows in the "International Languages Week" article below. 

Many other boarders and day students are in the midst of taking courageous steps. The UCC student government is comprised of a head steward, seven portfolio stewards, 10 heads of houses, a treasurer and a secretary. All of these positions require a student to write a declaration and speak in front of the entire student body, or at least in front of a day or boarding house that could be comprised of as many as 80 students. To learn more about each of the positions on the UCC board of stewards, please look at the PowerPoint presentation that was presented by the residential student leadership committee to fellow boarders at last Wednesday’s community meeting that's included in the article titled "UCC Community Meeting."

I want to congratulate Max for his superb address to the UCC student body, and I'd like to congratulate all boarders who are stepping outside their comfort zones to run for significant leadership positions over the next two to three weeks.

International Languages Week


Guest speaker Max Lemay


Director of International Languages Week Philippe Martin


Director of International Languages Week Louis Généreux

International Languages Week at Upper Canada is about something deeper than the simple differences in the way we express ourselves. It's about accepting different cultures and ways of living in order to be more tolerant on a school-wide level. The fact that UCC has a duality between boarding and day school is truly enriching for both parties, but many times this leads to unnecessary tensions.

For this reason, club heads Philippe Martin and Louis-Charles Généreux opened the week by presenting the results of a survey that determined that almost 40 languages were spoken by students. The number speaks for itself, as every language comes with its own culture and way of life. After this brief introduction, they called up fellow boarder Max Lemay for a speech on tolerance and the impact that closed-mindedness has when it comes to discriminating for a language. His compelling speech ended on a very strong note by saying that boarders and day boys are both here for the same reasons and we should be blind to all the differences. They're what makes our school so unique. Click here to read his full speech.

The message set the tone tremendously for the rest of the week, where languages have been used as a tool to explore the students' cultures. An emphasis has been put on food, with a "Quebec Lunch" on Wednesday and a food sale on Thursday with gastronomy from Colombia, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, the Middle East, Japan and China.

The week will close on Friday with an assembly honouring the Chinese new year with games and a presentation.

-Louis-Charles Généreux, IB2, Seaton's



Community meeting on student leadership positions at UCC

Download available:

Stewards Community Meeting Presentation

UCC's student leadership committee held a meeting on Jan. 23 to introduce and explain all the board of steward portfolios that are open for election in the coming weeks.

Special thanks go to Xu Zhang and Arnold Cheung for spearheading the initiative and to all students who took part in the presentation. Please take a close look at the PowerPoint presentation in the download link above, as your son may be in the midst of vying for one of these important positions of leadership.

Winterfest basketball and hockey

Cody MacRae, Jo Berube, Nic Royer-Legare singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" at the afternoon assembly prior to Winterfest sporting events.  


O'Neill Halstead driving the ball up the court vs. Crescent


Matt Baker, P.J. Conlon, Justin Sadler and Max Lemay preparing for Nichols School.  


Matt Baker


Justin Sadler    

There was some great basketball and hockey played in the Hewitt Athletic Centre and the William Wilder '40 Arena and Sports Complex on Jan. 24.

Winterfest annually brings alumni and parents on campus in the same manner that Association Day does in the fall. UCC boarders played important roles in an impressive varsity basketball victory over Crescent School. Later that evening, UCC boarders helped lead the way in a well-played 1-1 tie against Nichols School from Buffalo, N.Y.

Congratulations to all players, and especially to the large Blue Army contingent of fans who supported our Blues from the 4 tip-off until the final buzzer of the hockey game.

Blue Mountain weekend ski trip

Chris Huang Chang and Kevin lee  


Ahn Nguyen and Trung Tran


Warm soup during lunch break from the cold weather 


Ms. Evan, Maddalin Evans and Eric Rogic


Mrs. Evans, Kyungphil Ko, Alex Kasakov and Maddaline Evans in foreground  


Maddalin Evans, Thomas Wu, Kevin Lee, Kyungphil Ko and Alex Kazakov


Alex Jewkes and Christian Huang Chang Matt Parsons and Jeremy Kim



A bus full of UCC boarders and residential house advisers made an early morning trek on Jan. 26 to Blue Mountain Ski Club near Collingwood, Ont., which has some of the best ski terrain and groomed slopes in the province.

The temperature was cold, but the snow conditions were perfect. Some boys were on skis, others were carving their turns on snowboards. There's nothing like a January day of outdoor skiing to remind everyone that winter can be a lot of fun –- especially when you’re sharing the day with your boarding buddies.

One more ski trip is planned for February, and it's hoped that similar conditions will create many more great winter memories that can be shared by boys that come from across Canada and around the world to share weekend experiences in Toronto and the near north.

Saturday night cultural dinner at El Trompo Restaurant


Alex Nguyen, Takoda Kemp, Zhengbang Zhou,Kyungphil Ko, Grierson Turpie  


Ms. Gryszkiewicz with the group at the Mexican cultural dinner


Kyungphil Ko  


Takoda Kemp


Mr. Hoel enjoying dinner with the group.   Delicious tacos for dinner at El Trompo

On a very chilly and cold Saturday evening as the sun started to set, Alex Nguyen, Grierson Turpie, Takoda Kemp, Zhengbang Zhou and myself joined Mr. Hoel and Ms. Gryszkiewicz to have a little "fiesta" on a trip to El Trompo, a Mexican restaurant in the northern part of Kensington Market.

The seven of us hopped on the subway at Davisville station, went down to Bloor-Yonge to transfer to the Bloor line, travelled west to Spadina and transferred to a streetcar. We then headed south to College Street and walked to Augusta Avenue to continue south to the small but amazing El Trompo.

We started by getting nachos with pico de gallo (salsa) and guacamole dips. Our main course included el taco de bistec con quesa (steak tacos with cheese) and el taco tinga, some fajitas and interesting drinks like sangría señorial (non-alcoholic sangría) and té menta (mint tea). Desserts included flans and churros. This pretty standard but interesting mix of Mexican food felt authentic; unlike fast food chains like Taco Bell. If there's a chance to go again, I'll definitely return.

-Kyung Phil Ko, Y2, Seaton's House

Submit your family recipes for the "Just like Home" program

Download available:

Just Like Home Recipe Request Form

Our meal provider, Aramark Foods, continually looks for new and innovative ways to meet the needs of our boarding students who come from more than 20 countries and several Canadian provinces.

The boarders' palates have never been more discerning. The residential leadership team, which meets every Monday for dinner, has made food a top priority for this school year. The boarding food committee has developed student surveys that gauge the satisfaction levels with snack foods delivered to Seaton’s and Wedd’s and the dinner meals served in the Upper School dining hall.

Aramark staff members have been incredibly accommodating as our boys worked hard to develop a new menu of dinner options that are being served until the March break. There's also a student presence on the new UCC nutrition committee that includes day parents, a boarding parent, a health centre representative and two boarding students.

The committee's next priority is to bring a bit of the homefront to the boarding community. We're sure your son has enjoyed wonderful home-cooked meals and we'd like to facilitate an opportunity to provide some of the home environment to his UCC experience.

I ask each family to consider providing one favourite family recipe that Aramark can replicate in the school kitchen. Our dream is that we'll be able to put together a recipe book that will be bound and made available to all boarding parents by the time your son returns home for the March break holiday.

We know some of you have family recipes that have been handed down through generations. We're not asking you to reveal family secrets, but we hope that making a meal for your son (and maybe some of his friends) in the UCC kitchen will be a source of pride, and help him feel that there's a strong connection between home and school.

Thanks in advance for considering our request. The best-case scenario is that you'll receive a bound cookbook this term that will provide new recipes from around the world, reflecting the international flavour of the UCC boarding community.