Located in Ottawa and minutes from the seat of Canadian parliament, the University of Ottawa is the single largest bilingual (French-English) University in the world and offers classes and programs in both national languages.

The current campus was founded in 1856 when the institution outgrew the previous location. The University of Ottawa has worked hard to make these facilities some of the most sustainable in the world, achieving an impressive and steadily improving international reputation in green design.

With an astounding 97% employment rate for graduates, the university has a lot to offer students looking forward to a rewarding career after graduation.

Other graduates of the University of Ottawa include a Prime Minister, six federal judges, and many famous entrepreneurs. In fact, the institution’s list of powerful alumni has helped make it a powerhouse in the economic and political landscape of the nation’s capital.

University of Ottawa – Quick Facts


  • 7th overall among Canadian Universities and 171st in the world — Times Higher Education University Rankings 2013
  • 3rd among top engineering schools in Canada and 44th worldwide — Business Insider 2012
  • Tied for 7th among Canadian law schools and placed 151-200th worldwide — QS World University Rankings 2012
  • Ranked 51-100 worldwide for sociology programs — QS World University Rankings 2014
  • 14th most sustainable university campus in the world — UI Green Metric World University Ranking


The University of Ottawa boasts a big, beautiful primary campus next to the city’s Rideau Canal. The campus spans over 105 acres in central Ottawa1 and hosts all undergraduate and some graduate programs.

Off-campus facilities include the Health Science campus, serving the Faculty of Medicine and located between the university-affiliated Ottawa Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. The university also operates the Centre For Executive Leadership in downtown Ottawa, home to the Telfer School of Management’s Executive Master of Business Administration program.

Percentage of International Students:

Undergraduate 5% Graduate 28%


At the University of Ottawa over 40,000 students are enrolled in more than 450 programs within 10 faculties. Among these are the largest French language immersion program and the largest law school in Canada.7

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Ideal Ottawa Neighbourhoods for Students

The University of Ottawa is bordered on the west by the Rideau Canal and is located on 42.5 hectares (105 acres) within the residential neighbourhood of Sandy Hill.

Sandy Hill

A prime location for university students, Sandy Hill West Heritage Conservation District is a primarily residential neighborhood located to the east of the Rideau Canal, south of the Byward Market and north of the University of Ottawa.

Walk to class

One of the landmark features of Sandy Hill West is the University of Ottawa, formerly Bytown College. Although most of the campus lies to the south of Sandy Hill West, a number of important buildings, including the oldest building on campus, Academic Hall, are contained within the district.

To the north it stretches to Rideau Street and the Byward Market area while to the south it is bordered by the Queensway highway and Nicholas Street.

The area is named for its hilliness, caused by the river and its sandy soil, which makes it difficult to erect large buildings. It is home to a number of embassies, residences and parks. Le cordon bleu operates its Canadian school at the opposite end of Sandy Hill from the University of Ottawa.

All kinds of people

Unusual among modern urban neighbourhoods, Sandy Hill demographics change dramatically within a few blocks. Very wealthy people live near the embassies of the Rideau River, but closer to the university there are more students, more senior citizens and more new immigrants with more diversified income levels.

Sandy Hill West represents an unusually rich cross-section of Ottawa architecture over the last one hundred and fifty years. The survival rate has also been quite high; over 80% of the buildings date from before 1920.

Types of Homes

The district is strong in residential and institutional building types. The residential buildings include single family homes, double residences, two, three and four door rows, and larger multi-unit apartments.

North Sandy Hill consists of the area north of Laurier Avenue. This part of the neighbourhood is much older with many of its buildings dating from the nineteenth century. Housing in the western end of Sandy Hill living includes boarding houses, student rental housing, modest privately owned homes and cooperative housing. Significant restoration of the heritage homes in the area give Sandy Hill added charm.


The Sandy Hill area is split about equally between the English speaking and the francophone population, with large communities from Somalia, Lebanon, and Haiti. The area is very close to downtown, especially to the Rideau Centre, a large downtown shopping mall. The area is well- served by mass transit and the transitway passes by the university.

ByWard Market

Simply known as “The Market” by uOttawa students, ByWard Market Square is a district located in the downtown area of Ottawa’s oldest commercial and residential neighbourhoods. The district is bordered on the west by Sussex Drive and Mackenzie Avenue and on the east by Cumberland Street. It stretches northwards to Cathcart Street, while to the south it is bordered by Rideau Street.

Situated east of the government & business district, ByWard Market residential neighbourhood surrounds Canada’s oldest, continuously operating farmers’ market. The streets around the open-air market are filled with artisans, retail food merchants, pubs, restaurants, craft vendors and music venues, offering the best nightlife in the city.

Everything at your doorstep

The market building is open year-round, and open-air stalls are operated in the warmer months offering fresh produce.5 Within the ByWard Market’s four square blocks are museums, cafés, specialty food shops, boutiques, galleries, hair salons and more.

New condo developments and homes in the Market area offer students all the shops, services and conveniences they would ever need within a 10-minute walk to campus.

An ideal location, The Market also provides access to other exciting activities in the downtown core, including Ottawa Festivals and attractions, Museums and some of the best shopping in the capital.