On October 29, 2016 Waterloo Engineering students took a trip with a bus in a rather unusual fashion. October 29, marked the 40th University of Waterloo Charity Bus, a longstanding Waterloo Engineering tradition which has happened annually since 1977 with the aim of raising money for charity. This year the goal was to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation collecting sponsors before and during the difficult 6.5km pull which saw 14 brave engineering students pull the bus from the University of Waterloo to downtown Kitchener.


The contingent of Waterloo Engineers get a brief break from pulling the bus as gravity takes over on one of the routes many hills. This year the mild weather was welcomed over the rain, ice and snow of previous years.

The Bus Push which has become an excellent example of how engineering students can give back to the community wasn’t always embraced by the community as it is in the current day. In fact, the event started because the Dean of Engineering at the University of Waterloo decided that engineering students needed to find a method to give back to the community. In response, the Waterloo Engineers found the most disruptive method possible, pulling a Grand River Transit Bus through the main street of Waterloo and Kitchener to raise money for charity. Since 1977, many things have changed, a school bus is now used, permits are acquired, and police are employed; but, the core fundraising goals remain the same. The Bus Push is an excellent fundraising event that has raised thousands of dollars for charities such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Sleeping Children Around the World, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and many other charities over its history.

The University of Waterloo isn’t the only engineering school to take a self-propelled vehicle and move it by hand. Ryerson Engineers have also taken to pushing a classic Volkswagen Beetle which has had its engine and transmission removed around their campus for 24-hours in support of the Sick Kids Foundation. Ryerson’s event which started in 2004 has since raised thousands of dollars for excellent causes including the Sick Kids Foundation and Canadian Cancer Society.


Ryerson Engineering Students push BUG 2.0 through their campus. The 1973 Volkswagen Beetle has had its engine and transmission removed and has push bars to help students keep it moving for 24-hours.

Both events have proven to be excellent examples of engineering pride and traditions working towards meaningful goals. Most of the participants of both events can be seen wearing their engineering coveralls, hardhats, and even their leather jackets. All while singing the engineering hymn to keep spirits high through the rain, sleet or snow.


Author: Grant Mitchell

I am in my second year of Geological Engineering at Waterloo and am currently on a co-op work term working for R.J. Burnsides Ltd as an Engineer’s Assistant. Being a part of student societies and outreach groups has always been a passion of mine and as such I have become heavily involved in several student societies at the University of Waterloo including our engineering B-Society of which I am the Outreach Commissioner. I have also taken on the position of Sponsorship Director within the society for planning a conference in 2017.
Outside of the Engineering Society, I have also taken on the position as Vice president of the Civil, Environmental and Geological Engineering Society as well as captaining the World Mining Competition Design Team and starting my own Green Home Design Team. I have also become a general member of the Engineer’s Without Borders chapter at Waterloo as well as being an active team member of the Waterloo Aquaponics Team.

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