Practical information

Arriving to Ottawa

Air: The airport in Ottawa (Ottawa McDonald-Cartier International Airport) is around a 20-30 min drive from downtown. A taxi to downtown will cost approximately $40-$45. There is a good public transport connection with the Ottawa bus system (OC Transpo). If you pay with cash on the bus, it will be $3.50 (you will need to board at the front of the bus with exact change).

Bus: The Ottawa bus station (Ottawa Central Station) is around a 25 min walk from the University of Ottawa campus.

Train: The Ottawa train station (Via Rail) is a short bus-ride away from the University of Ottawa campus. The station is near a highway hub and not easy to walk-to or from.

Car: There aren’t many options for parking at the University of Ottawa (Parking Map). The City of Ottawa has information about parking options here.

Public Transport

Public transport in Ottawa is done via bus. Here is the website of the bus company OC Tranpo. It includes a Travel Planner to help you identify buses and time tables. You can pay the bus fare on the bus in cash with exact change ($3.50). You need to enter the bus at the front if you plan to pay your fare in cash.


The University of Ottawa campus is downtown, and there are several hotels in the vicinity. Here are some hotels that have been used by visitors in the past (we cannot offer any special deal): Novotel, Lord Elgin, Westin,  Les Suites, Swiss Hotel, Ottawa Jail Hostel.  We will be happy to try to find crash space for students (get in touch with us if you are interested).


There is a shopping center close to campus called “Rideau Center“.  It has some stores that may be useful to you (e.g. Shoppers Drugmart, Farmboy). It also has a food court for emergencies. Close to the Rideau Center is a neighbourhood called “Byward Market“. There is a variety of food options there, from quick bites at a food stall in the market to fancier restaurants.  Some supermarkets close to campus offer ready-to-eat food (e.g. Sobeys, Farmboy).