Royal Roads University 411: Where to find the best cheap lunch and more

An insider’s perspective on life at Royal Roads University

Royal Roads University Campus

Official school tagline:

‘Life. Changing.

Best place for a nap:

Third-floor lounge of the Learning and Innovation Centre

Royal Roads University student Lucas Wilson

Best cheap lunch:

Sandwiches at Italian Food Imports

Best hangover breakfast:


Favourite watering hole:

Darcy’s Pub

Perks of living in this town:

The incredible hiking trails, and views of the Juan de Fuca Strait

Best place to study:


Weirdest tradition:

The peacocks (which occasionally try to follow you to class)

Best campus event:

Career Development Day

Best giveaway:

Umbrella with an LED flashlight

Best live music venue:

Lucky Bar

University Insider: Lucas Wilson, 21, Professional Communications

Royal Roads University does not have a typical campus, but it certainly has one to be proud of. Located on the ancestral lands of Coast Salish First Nations, the campus is home to the majestic Hatley Castle. Built in 1908 by former B.C. premier and coal baron James Dunsmuir, Hatley is a beautiful replica of a 15th-century Edwardian castle. There is a proud tradition associated with the castle and the grounds, as Royal Roads served as a military college from 1940 to 1995. Along with spectacular views of the Juan de Fuca Strait and the Olympic Mountains, the campus is part of Hatley Park National Historic Site, and includes formal gardens on 565 acres of forested areas criss-crossed with trails. Although it may take students a while to get used to the flock of more than 30 peacocks that roam the grounds, they only add to the charm of this unique campus environment.

PROFILE: Royal Roads University | Victoria, B.C. | Founded 1995

The learning experience at Royal Roads is also unlike that of a typical university. Its cohort model, which relies on group-based course work, has shaped the best learning environment I have ever experienced.  Cohort learning stresses teamwork and collaboration, which creates great working relationships within each class. Royal Roads instructors enhance this model by promoting student participation and discussion during lectures. With diverse cohorts, the unique student interactions have become an important part of the classroom dynamic. While studying at other schools, I sat through rambling, three-hour university lectures that had nothing to do with my interests. That method of teaching does not compare to the focused learning format that I’ve experienced here.


Royal Roads has a state-of-the-art recreation centre that offers a wide variety of fitness classes. The university also has a number of clubs and organizations, including a music group, a real estate club, and a running club. Students have full access to the Hatley Castle gardens—Italian, Rose and Japanese—which is a great place to study and hang out.

Local Vibe

Royal Roads is located in Colwood, a small city southwest of Victoria on the shore of Vancouver Island. While Colwood has the relaxed atmosphere of a small town, every amenity possible is within a 10-minute drive of the school. It has great parks and trails, and provides a healthy living environment. Downtown Victoria, with its incredible restaurants, shopping and nightlife, is just a 20-minute drive from campus. Victoria and the West Shore also offer plenty of opportunities for sports fans, as high-level football, baseball, lacrosse and hockey teams all play in the area.

The Skinny

Check out, a Victoria-based online lifestyle magazine run by three Royal Roads students.

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