University

University of Ontario Institute of Technology: student life on campus

An insider's guide to the weirdest campus tradition, best cheap lunch and more

The 411

Best place for a nap:
Home. Nothing beats your own bed.
Best cheap lunch:
Subway across the street from north campus. Nothing on campus is very cheap.
Best pizza:
Domino’s for a quick craving fix; Pizzamunno downtown for the real stuff
Best place to study:
The silent rooms in either library are great if you really want to focus
Best bar for hanging out:
Simcoe House Ales & Grill or Riley’s
Best hangover breakfast:
McDonald’s on Simcoe, with water and Advil
Weirdest tradition:
The Wild Goose Chase at September orientation. Trust me, it’s really fun!
Best place to live:
South Village residence in first year and on Secretariat Place after that. It’s super close to the north campus and the bus loop to go downtown.
Best campus event:
Anything sponsored by the UOIT Student Union (USU)
Best giveaway:
Sometimes the USU surprises students with free breakfast on both campuses
Best place for a fancy meal:
Avanti
What surprised me most about the school:
The many opportunities to build strong connections with professors and staff
If I could change one thing about the school:
I wish the north and downtown campus students were more connected and engaged with one another

PROFILE: University of Ontario Institute of Technology | Oshawa, Ont. | Founded 2003

UOIT is only 16 years old and still a pretty small university with a population of roughly 10,000 students. With 60 undergraduate programs on campus, there are endless opportunities for students to complete impressive research with professors, or foster meaningful, mentoring relationships to aid their future careers.

With two campuses, one in the north and the other in downtown Oshawa, UOIT is primarily a commuter school. For students who don’t want to commute—or come from out of town—the north campus is closest to student housing. All the essentials like groceries, shopping and restaurants are within walking distance or a quick bus ride away from both residences or the student housing on Simcoe Street. Many students live on the north campus and take the bus to the downtown campus; downtown is considered a rougher area but has actually improved since the campus opened. Personally, I love the vibe of the 61 Charles St. building downtown. It’s the old Alger Press Building; they left the original printing press in the building, creating a really cool, industrial interior.

As an innovative new university, UOIT is focused on finding new ways to solve problems with new technologies. The school strives to give students experiential and career-focused learning. Although many students just go to class and then go home, the Student Life office and the many clubs really try to get students to stick around.

After Class
The university is situated on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, something acknowledged any time there is an event. The Indigenous Education and Cultural Services department at UOIT has a lot of initiatives to educate students on traditional practices like a sweat lodge, powwow, and beading and dreamcatcher-making workshops for all students. Check out the UOIT-Baagwating Indigenous Student Centre (UBISC) on the downtown campus.

Local Vibe
The interesting part about UOIT having two campuses in Oshawa is that there is such a different vibe on each campus. There is no shortage of places to eat, which is good news for a multicultural university with students coming from all over the Greater Toronto Area. Whatever you’re craving—Italian, Mexican, Indian, Greek, Middle Eastern or classic pub food—you can get it here. As a cultural hub, downtown Oshawa houses the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, the historic Parkwood Estate and a few great cafés to finish your work. There is lots to do here when you’re bored.

More Info
For all of your on-campus news and happenings, check out the UOIT Undergraduates Facebook page.

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