Illustration: Hanlin Cheng


Garneau, blessed school that it is, does not actually have ten stairwells. It doesn’t even have nine, despite one of the stairwells being named Stairwell 9. In fact, we have a whopping total of six stairwells, numbered 2, 3, 5, 7, 8 and 9. Now, why this is, we don’t know. We won’t question it though, because we’re scared of authority.

The different stairwells oddly have varying numbers of steps. Stairwells 5 and 7 have fifty-five steps from the first to the third floor, whereas Stairwells 2, 3 and 9 have the standard fifty-three, excluding the six steps that lead outside. This is because the steps themselves are smaller in Stairwells 5 and 7. Probably. We know that we should’ve measured the step height, but Bridget was already getting strange looks as she marched up and down the stairs, counting every step out loud. Anyways, supposing the stairwells with more steps have smaller stairs, take one of the stairwells with fifty-five steps (Stairwells 2, 3 and 9) if you want more of a cardio workout. Stairwells 5 and 7 are probably ideal for plyometrics. #legdayeveryday

There is one stairwell we want to get out of the way first: the clear loser, Stairwell 3. Not only does it not open to the first floor, but it also locks!!!! So, if by any chance you need to get inside the school and have the luck of being outside Door 3, you better pray to the heavens that someone inside is coming out. Its only saving grace is that its reputation of isolation makes it the perfect place for some uninterrupted romance <3 <3 <3.

Another non-contender is number 8. The mere fact that it only goes to the second floor disqualifies it from first place. Otherwise, it is actually a pretty good stairwell. The window has a nice view overlooking Don Mills Road. And it always smells like something, whether it be overpowering perfume, the sour-smelling sweat of the slaving student body, or the tar from the construction on the roof, which is arguably sexier than perfume or body odor.

Then there’s Stairwell 5, which is good when you need to travel between the second and third floors (like every other stairwell besides number 8). However, when it comes to going to the first floor, it’s pretty useless, unless of course your destination is the cafeteria. The stairs are sort of coloured, too—most of them are brown, while others are a faded, ugly orange.

In third place, we have Stairwell 2. With its murals and forever open doors, it’s actually pretty nice. From the second and third floor, you get a view overlooking the field. But no stairwell is perfect. Stairwell 2’s problem is that it is at a corner, the southeast corner, to be exact. This becomes a problem when you need to go to most classrooms, but it’s also closest to the washrooms and water fountains. Silver linings, eh?

Second only to Stairwell 9, Stairwell 7 is one of the best stairwells at MGCI. It’s right at the front door, making it one of the most used stairwells. But this comes with strings attached. If, for some reason, you are religiously bent on not looking out the window, you can tell the weather by checking out the state of the stairs in Stairwell 7. Don’t get too excited if you see milk spilled on the steps, though. That’s simply due to the boorish laziness of the students. Be careful when you are on those stairs. You never know what you might slip on. There is no art in this stairwell, but there is a window facing Overlea Boulevard. Maybe it’s just us, but we feel very exposed with our back to this window. Just something to think about next time you go up those stairs.

So here’s our verdict: Stairwell 9. Why? Well, its only flaw is that there are no windows. But it makes up for this with murals generously painted by Garneau’s own artists. It is also very central and the closest to both the library and the office located on the first floor. Although Stairwell 9 is locked from the outside, Door 1 is right beside it so it really isn’t that big of a problem. What makes this stairwell truly special, though, is the absence of major problems rather than any real advantage.

There you have it, Garneau. This is our take on the best stairwell, but at the end of the day, it is up to you to decide. Do you agree or disagree? Vote below for the stairwell you think is the best. 


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