U of Ottawa – Ottawa University News & More
The University of Ottawa, also more commonly referred to as U of O or uOttawa, is located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and is one of the few bilingual public research universities in the entire country of Canada. With the main campus that is situated on over 42.5 hectares, or 105 acres, of prime real estate that is located in a residential neighborhood known as Sandy Hill, it is also adjacent to the Rideau Canal which is also in Ottawa. With a vast array of different academic programs that are administered by just ten faculties, the school is a member of the U15 group of research universities that are located throughout Canada. What makes the University of Ottawa so special is that it is actually the largest English-French university that is bilingual in the entire world. This means that there is not one other college that has a larger English-French bilingual campus.
Originally being established back in 1848 as the College of Bytown, its founder was the first bishop who belonged to the Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa, or Joseph-Bruno Guigues. Being placed under the supervision of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the university would eventually be renamed to the College of Ottawa in the year 1861, receiving its ‘university’ status just a short five years later through a special royal charter. On February 5, 1889, the University of Ottawa would be granted its pontifical charter by the great Pope Leo XIII, which would elevate the institution’s status to that of pontifical university. Many years later on July 1, 1965, the university would decide to reorganize itself, but as a corporation that would be independent from any type of outside religious organization or body. As a result of this, the pontifical and civil charters would be kept for the newly created Saint Paul University, which was federated with the university. All of the remaining civil faculties would be retained by the newly reorganized University of Ottawa.
The university is a co-educational school that enrolls over 34,000 undergraduate students and over 5,000 post-graduate students every single year. On top of that, the university also has over 195,000 alumni. The athletic teams at the University of Ottawa are more commonly referred to as Gee-Gees and are all members of U Sports.
University of Ottawa’s Campus
Being situated within the residential neighborhood that is known as Sandy hill, the university’s main campus is right in the middle Ottawa. The main campus is bordered by the ByWard Market district to the north, the Sandy Hill residential neighborhood to the east, and Nicholas Street to the southwest, which actually runs adjacent to what is called the Rideau Canal, which is actually located on the western half of the campus. As of the 2010 school year, the main campus took up 87 acres (35.3 hectares) and has other properties and campuses that it manages throughout the rest of the city as well, bringing the total land space that it occupies to 105 acres (42.5 hectares). Prior to settling in its current location back in 1856, the main campus was actually moved from a couple of different locations. When the University of Ottawa was originally founded, the campus was situated right by the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica. As you might imagine, this made space extremely hard to come by, the university would then be moved to a different location in 1852, that location currently being right across from the National Gallery of Canada. Just four years later in 1856, the university was moved to where it presently sits, and has no plans of moving anytime soon.
The different buildings that make up the University of Ottawa are going to greatly vary in age, some being from the year 1893 (also referred to as 100 Laurier), to 2012 (120 University). With such a rich history, back in 2011, the median age of any building on the campus was 63 years old. During the 2011 school year, the University of Ottawa would be in charge of running and managing 30 main buildings, 301 teaching laboratories, 805 research laboratories, and even 257 seminar rooms and classrooms. While not normally how universities work, the main campus has been divided between the original Sand Hill campus, and shared with the Lees campus, which was purchased in 2007. Even though the Lees Campus is nowhere near adjacent to the residential neighborhood of Sandy Hills, on all of the school maps, it is displayed as being part of the main campus. While Lees Campus is considered to be walking distance with Sandy Hill, it was originally used as a satellite campus and was owned by Algonquin College.
- The Library and Museum
The library at the University of Ottawa is actually a network of libraries that is composed of 12 different locations and holds over 4.5 million different titles in both electronic and monograph form. The main campus of the library is located in Morisset Hall, which is also where you will be able to find the Media Center, the Geographic, Statistical and Government Information Center, and the Archives and Special Collections.
There are a total of five other libraries that are specialized depending upon what you are looking for. These specialized libraries include: the Health Sciences Library which is located on the Roger-Guindon campus; the Brian Dickson Law Library which is located inside Fauteux Hall; the Management Library which is located inside the Desmarais Building; the Annex, which is a storage facility that is off-site and housed some of the lesser used portions of the collections form the rest of the libraries; and the Isobel Firestone Music Library which is located inside of Perez Hall.
The University is also much renowned for its Museum of Classical Antiquities, which was originally established in 1975 to be used as a teaching collection, which would be run and operated by the school’s Department of Classical and Religious Studies. Composed of many different artifacts, each reflecting what daily life was like during the period of time from about the 7th century BC through the 7th century AD, the museum permanent collection is also enhanced by several different touring exhibitions each and every year. On top of the Museum of Classical Antiquities, there is also a gallery space that is run by students and referred to as Gallery 115, which is housed on the main floor of the 100 Laurier East building.
This student-run gallery allows students the perfect opportunity to do their work within a gallery type of setting. Students who decide to do so, no matter if they are an undergraduate or a graduate student, have the chance to start developing their curatorial, as well as administrative skills, as well as give them the opportunity to display pieces of art that they have created. With the co-operation of the University of Ottawa, Gallery 115 is operated under more of a democratic structure, meaning that it represents many of the students that are enrolled into various programs, some of which include Art History, Art Administration, and Visual Arts.
Ottawa University Student Facilities and Housing
While most of the students who attend the University of Ottawa are going to live off campus, the university does have a total of ten student residences. These residences include:
- Le Blanc Hall
- Marchand Hall
- Thomson Hall
- Hyman Soloway
- 45 Mann
- 90 University
The university even offers several different housing options to help accommodate all of the students who require housing. There are four out of the seven residences that are your more conventional one and two bedrooms. Hyman Soloway and Brooks are both a little larger, housing the 2 to 4-bedroom apartment style residences. 90 University is only two bedrooms but is more of a suite-style type of residence. And on January 24th of 2018, the newest residence, Annex, was officially announced to all of the students at the University of Ottawa through an email newsletter that the school released through its ‘The Gee’ news outlet. This new residence, which officially opened in September of 2018, has several different 1 to 5-bedroom apartment style units, which include studio style single rooms as well.
A study that was done in September of 2010 revealed that there was about 26.2 percent of all first-year students who lived on campus, which was part of the 8.8 percent of the entire undergraduate student population that was living on campus. All of the residents of the University of Ottawa are represented by the campus’ Residents’ Association of the University of Ottawa, also known as RAUO. With a special mandate that was created to help improve all aspects of the quality of life while living in the university’s residences, each one of the buildings is able to elect one representative to be a part of the association. The RAUO, is also able to provide a certain amount of political representation on the behalf of the resident students who live on campus. To help support this association, it is not uncommon for residents to pay a small fee, which is known as ‘the floor fund’, which pays for this particular group.
When it comes to student facilities, the Jock Turcot University Center, or JCU as the students refer to it, is essentially going to be the center of all student programming and life. Located right between Morisett Library and Montpetit Hall, the JCU was officially completed in 1973 and cost over C$6 million. In the Spring of 2017, the JCU would become even better, as an expanded rooftop patio would be added, which allowed for students to have much more open campus space that was in a more of a downtown type of setting.
Some of the funding that the center was receiving would be partially offset, as the Jock Turcot University Fund, which was set up previously by the student body, would help to pay for the rooftop addition. The center was originally named after one of the University of Ottawa’s former students and federation president, Jock Turcot, who would end up being killed in a traffic accident that happened in 1965. The facility plays host to over thirty-five different types of dining outlets, seven of which are considered to be major restaurant chains.
There are many different off-campus facilities which are located throughout the city of Ottawa. The university actually owns and operates another campus that is located in the Ottawa neighborhood known as Riverview and is referred to as the Alta Vista or Health Science campus.
Located right on Smyth Road, Health Science’s campus is about 18 acres, or 7.2 hectares. While it is still a part of the University of Ottawa, this particular campus is mainly used for those in Faculty of Medicine or Faculty of Health Sciences. The main building on that campus is known as Roger Guindon Hall. Since this campus is more of a medical and health sciences campus, it has been placed right between the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and The Ottawa Hospital, both of which carry university affiliations. Many of the health professionals and researchers who work at the surrounding hospitals do actually teach in the Health Sciences and Faculties of Medicine as well. The students who attend this campus will more likely than not end up getting a job with The Ottawa Hospital.
On top of that campus, the university also operates what is known as the Center for Executive Leadership, which takes place at the World Exchange Plaza, located in Downtown Ottawa on O’Connor Street. This center is going to primarily be used by the students in the Telfer School of Management’s Executive Master of Business Administration program. This center includes seven case rooms that are often times used for different team meetings, one giant amphitheater-style classroom, multiple collaborative work and independent study or conference rooms, as well as several boardrooms that students are able to use.
While the University of Ottawa has been around for quite some time, it has evolved into one of the most prestigious universities in all of North America, and even the world.