ITHACA is a small town (pop. approx. 30,000) in Upper New York State about 4 hours drive southwest of Toronto.
It is quite well-known for just another typical small town in middle-America. That’s because it is the North American base of the 14th Dali Lama’s extended Namgyal Monastery. And the home of a major manufacturer of shotguns with the same name as the town. But it is also perhaps best known as the home of the august Ivy League institution, Cornell University.
The University’s student body (over 20,000) is 2/3 the size of the entire town.
Our Toronto hostel was just invaded by 9 members of the fraternity Chi Phi at Cornell. The students were all studying different disciplines, the one thing they had in common was they were all under 21 years of age – the age of majority in the U.S.
Hence, the drive to Canada. In the Province of Ontario, the legal drinking age is nineteen. (Our boys from Cornell were all over 19 but under 21).
They crossed the border for a four-day bacchanal with little luggage and lots (14 cases) of American beer. (Suds are quite a bit less expensive south of the border).
One thing about the invasion of university students from the U.S. is although they are often loud and boisterous (always in full party mode), they know when and where to draw the line.
The students from the university known for its’ academic excellence, really let loose in Toronto! Just ask the young gentleman who came back to the hostel after a hard night of partying and woke up with a body piercing – a ring through his left nipple.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Too all future University “Beer Tourists” fron south of the border: When you book a hostel in Canada DO NOT choose one with a bar. It is illegal to drink your own beer at hostels with a bar!