Find your way about

Finding your way around campus and the National Capital Region, learning about the services available to help you get around, and knowing how things work in your new community will all help things go more smoothly for you now that you’re a university student. The more comfortable you are getting around campus and the more familiar you are with your surroundings, the easier it will be for you to enjoy yourself!

Getting around campus – maps, shuttles and parking

Maps

Use our interactive campus maps or print a map of the main campus (PDF).

The University of Ottawa comprises buildings on three campuses.

  • The main campus is located in downtown Ottawa, bordered by the Rideau Centre to the North, Sandy Hill to the East, the Rideau Canal to the West and Mann Avenue to the South.
  • The Lees campus is located 15 minutes by foot to the south of the main campus, alongside Highway 417.
  • Roger Guindon Hall is located on The Ottawa Hospital (General) campus.

The University also has facilities in other buildings in Ottawa and satellite campuses in Pembroke, Windsor and Toronto. You’ll be notified if any of your courses are given in a location other than the three main campuses.

Overpasses and tunnels

Overpasses connect some of the buildings located in the north and central sections of the main campus, while others on the south end are connected by tunnels.

Simply follow the signs posted on doors and hallways to find your way around. We recommend you do a few practice runs first. You’ll be glad you know the shortcuts and how to stay warm when we’re in the throes of a frigid Ottawa winter!

Travelling between campuses

If you have courses on different campuses or want to go to one of the other libraries, or if you need to travel between campuses for any other reason, just hop on the shuttle, which travels between the three campuses.

Visit the Parking and Sustainable Transportation page for shuttle information, including schedules.

Note: shuttle buses are not accessible. If you have a condition or disability that prevents you from getting on the shuttle bus, you have access to a taxi shuttle service.

Parking and permits

The University is located close to main transit lines and to many essential services. As a result, it’s much easier to get to and around the main campus without a car. Many students travel around on foot or by bike, rather than having to worry about a vehicle!

The University of Ottawa is always looking for ways to make our campus more sustainable. In fact, we’d like to have a car-free campus by 2025. Until then, however, visitors and students can still find short-term parking on the street and on campus or purchase a long-term parking permit.

Getting around by bike, on foot or by car

Get to know your student guides!

Our student guides are here to help, whether you’ve just arrived on campus or are midway through your year. They’d be more than happy to give you a short guided tour or suggest some interesting things to do. Don’t hesitate to contact a member of The Cast; they’re here to answer your questions.

By bike

It’s easy to get around the main campus and surrounding areas by bike. In addition, the campus is just a stone’s throw from National Capital Region bike paths, allowing you to get around the city with ease, go for a challenging ride or anything in between.

The University’s Parking and Sustainable Development provides many services that make it easy to travel by bike—an inexpensive and healthy way to get around!

  • Bike parking: Get information on the more than 170 campus bike racks and our two secure bike parking locations.
  • Bike co-op: Run by the SFUO, this is a creative space and community hub for all bicycle enthusiasts where you can use tools, get advice on repairing your bike, access other bike-related resources and find out about biking events.
  • Bike-theft prevention: Advice on how to prevent bike theft
  • Ontario’s guide to safe cycling (PDF): Publication on safe cycling tips from Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation

On foot

The main campus is located in downtown Ottawa, so you can get to most major services on foot.

  • SFUO Foot Patrol: The Student Federation and Protection Services offer a service to ensure you won’t need to get around alone at night. The service is offered for destinations within a 45-minute walk of the main or Roger Guindon campus. Simply contact the foot patrol service to set-up a meeting spot.

By car

If you don’t have your own car, you can join VRTUCAR, take a taxi or rent a vehicle.

  • Car sharing: Borrow a car by becoming a member of VRTUCAR. The main campus has two VRTUCAR vehicles.
  • Taxi: The two main cab companies in Ottawa are BlueLine and Capital Taxi. You can get more information on taxis on the City of Ottawa taxi information page.
  • Car rental: Rent a car with Hertz or Enterprise, both located within walking distance of the main campus, or with one of the other local car rental companies.
Public transit
  • uPass: All full-time University of Ottawa students who are residents of Ontario receive a bus pass valid on Ottawa’s public transit system, OC Transpo, and on Gatineau’s STO buses (some conditions apply). The cost of the pass is included in your ancillary fees. Find out how to pick up your pass and about exemptions and conditions for using the pass.
  • OC Transpo: Get information on Ottawa’s public transit system, including routes, schedules and updates on the new rapid transit line.
  • STO: You get information on Gatineau’s public transit system, including fares, routes and schedules.
  • Confederation Line: The City of Ottawa is currently building a light rail line that will greatly improve its public transit system. Be sure to find out about this exciting project!
Destinations outside Ottawa

While at university, you may want to go back home or simply visit some other places outside Ottawa. See below for information on travel options and other resources to help you plan your trip.

  • Bus: The most economical way to travel to other cities, large and small, is via Greyhound.
  • Train: Travelling by VIA Rail is both economical and practical, allowing you to travel easily and comfortably between large cities like Toronto and Montréal.
  • Plane: You can travel to destinations within Canada or the US from Ottawa International Airport.
  • Long distance ride sharing: You can connect with drivers or passengers on Kangaride (membership required).
  • Car rental: Rent a car with Hertz or Enterprise, both located within walking distance of the main campus, or with one of the other local car rental companies.
Emergencies and accessibility

Emergencies and security on campus

The University of Ottawa—with a community of close to 50,000 staff, researchers and students—is like a small city. And like any city, we have our own protection services to watch over and protect the grounds and facilities 24-7. For more information on safety on campus, to report an emergency or ways to stay safe, visit the Protection Services site or consult the pages below.

Information

Report emergencies: Dial 5411, use the emergency phones or panic buttons on campus, hit the emergency button from any Mitel phone (in residences) or come to the office in person at 141 Louis Pasteur.

    Access to campus buildings and accessibility on campus

    The University of Ottawa is committed to maintaining the dignity and independence of all students. The University seeks to ensure that persons living with a disability enjoy free and unhindered access to the University’s programs, services, facilities, equipment, communications, events, public spaces, housing and employment opportunities.

    Access

    • Campus buildings: Most buildings where you have classes are unlocked when courses are taking place. This means they usually remain unlocked between 6:30 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week.
    • Residence buildings: Information on residence access card, keys and guests
    • Libraries: consult locations and hours.

    Accessibility

    • Accessible campus: Information on accessible parking and transportation, assistive technologies and other accessibility resources
    • Accessibility: University of Ottawa and Ontario provincial policies and procedures related to accessibility
    • Access Service: to apply for academic accommodation measures 
    Your community

    Being a student at the University of Ottawa also means being a responsible member of your community. Whether you live on campus, elsewhere in Ottawa or in Gatineau, you are responsible for being a good neighbour. Find out when your garbage and recycling is collected, what the winter parking regulations are, and become familiar with the noise, smoking and animal bylaws.

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