Carleton University 411: Where to find the best cheap lunch and more

A Carleton University insider’s perspective on campus life
Emily Haws


Unofficial school motto:
‘Ottawa U sucks’ or ‘TGFT— Thank God for the tunnels’

Best place for a nap:
The benches in the Tory Building, the couches in the Charlatan office, or the bed of your friend who still lives in residence (many students live there even after first year)

Carleton student Emily Haws.

Best cheap lunch:
Mike’s Place

Best hangover breakfast:
Wilf and Ada’s, a scratch diner on Bank Street

Favourite watering hole:
Oliver’s Pub for Thirsty Thursday or Heart and Crown in the Byward Market any other night of the week

Perks of living in this town:
You can skate to school, you might run into Justin Trudeau downtown and you can have BeaverTails in any season

Best place to study:
Page Break Starbucks (in the MacOdrum Library) or in the River Building overlooking the Rideau River

Weirdest tradition:
Going to drink in Gatineau, where the drinking age is 18, during first year, and then never setting foot there again after your 19th birthday

Best campus event:
Fall orientation, or Frosh, particularly if you are a part of SPROSH (business students), or EngFrosh (engineering and design students); Locura Latina

Best giveaway:
Water bottles (you’ll never need to buy one ever again), or frisbees from the Charlatan

Best live music venue:
Black Squirrel Books and Café, a used bookstore and café near campus that has local music events and is being developed into a bookstore-bar

University Insider: Emily Haws, 23, Journalism and Women’s and Gender Studies

It was Carleton University’s journalism program that drew me to the school, but it’s the campus and people that have made me stay. My education has led me to the North Bay Nugget, interning for the Ottawa Citizen and CBC Radio’s The House, and even this article. Carleton taught me the harder you work, the luckier you get.


Carleton has approximately 27,000 students from Canada and 140 other countries. It’s big enough that if you grew up in Ottawa you wouldn’t know everyone, but small enough that your professors know your name. I can take a dance class at the athletics centre, watch free movies or study at the treadmill desks in MacOdrum Library.

PROFILE: Carleton University | Ottawa, Ont. | Founded 1942

The residence program eases the transition between home and school, offering a support system and grouping like-minded students. I met my best friends there in first year and live with five of them today. The professors care about their students, often staying after class to chat. It’s not unusual to be friends with your teaching assistants and profs; some have become my most valuable mentors.

In Ottawa, politics and elections are paramount. You might think students are talking about a sports team rather than an election, whether it be for the Carleton University Students’ Association or the federal government. If you attend a CUSA debate, wear earplugs!

Although our homecoming is small, Carleton students are spirited. Carleton has won the Panda Game (a football game against our crosstown rivals, the University of Ottawa) three years in a row and regularly kicks butt at the Capital Hoops Classic.

Carleton has made my university experience magical. I feel at home here, and you will too.


Carleton boasts more than 200 clubs and societies. From the Toastmasters to the Carleton Harry Potter Alliance, new students have room to further develop old hobbies or dabble in new ones. Carleton’s communities are strong, especially that of its engineering students. It’s not unusual to see them dyeing themselves purple or competing with other universities in the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race.

Another notable feature of the school is the tunnels, which connect every building on campus. They’re perfect for staying warm and dry in winter.

Local Vibe

The Rideau Canal runs from Carleton to downtown, so students can walk, skate or cycle if they don’t want to bus it. A host of venues have concerts every weekend, and there is almost always a festival in progress.

The National Gallery of Canada is a great place for a date, and the Canadian Museum of Nature hosts after-hours Nature Nocturne parties once a month. High budget or low, there’s always something to do.

The Skinny

For Ottawa events,, and for Carleton events,

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