Nightlife

Undergrads
28,100
Tuition (in-state)
$9,982 ($5,188)
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Reviews

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4 College Junior

Nightlife: Popular places to party include 1848 (campus bar), which has great drink specials most nights and good music. Otherwise there is the Byward Market with a myriad of places to drink and dance, ranging from Lookout (gay club) to Fat Tuesdays (with dueling pianos!). Or, there is even a ton of places on Bank St, which is a little further than the Byward Market but in a different direction. There are always taxis around, and OC Transpo drivers must give you a ride if you are drunk, so you'd be hard-pressed to find an excuse to drink and drive. Students' house parties often take place in Sandy Hill, which is a community of around 10 blocks full of students, so there is always something happening. I find the amount of partying to be disappointing, since I'm not into that, but for those who are, more power to them.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Nightlife: the night life on campus is not excessive but there are a lot of places for nightlife

1 Recent Alumnus

Nightlife: Nightlife in Ottawa is great if you can drive to Montreal.

3 people found this useful Report
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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 241st
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 1036th
    Best Drink Prices
  • 1133rd
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Zohra Kassam
Hometown
Toronto
Major
Honours Health Sciences
Grad Year
2011
View all previous student authors

With the backyard of the University being Ottawa's lively downtown, there is always something to do at night. Whether you're a bar person, a club person, or looking for something else entirely, there are so many different locales for you to relax and unwind. ByWard Market is a student favorite, especially because of the diversity of its establishments. Whether you're a jazz or country person, there's a spot for almost every music lover. A number of places host student nights—usually on Thursdays and Fridays—so you can always find a good deal. Student favorites include MacLaren's, a pool bar on Elgin Street; Canadian Cabin, a country bar and lounge; and Mansion, a house and Top 40 nightclub. The most popular sports bars are right on campus, such as Father & Sons and the Draft Pub. Most clubs and bars in Ottawa are 19-and-up, but if you're not 19, you can always celebrate in the residence halls or in Gatineau-Hull, where most of the locales are 18-and-up or have designated "all ages" nights.

LGBT? Ottawa has quite a number of gay bars, including The Lookout Bar, Swizzles, and The Flamingo. Not into clubs or bars? Explore history on Parliament Hill; the Mosaika light and sound show is presented every night July through September. Or you can check out one of Ottawa's cultural communities, such as Little Italy or Chinatown. For laughs, Absolute Comedy features Canadian and American comics every night. Even if you just feel like a 4 a.m. snack, Zak's and Dunn's diners offer 24/7 eats with favorites such as smoke-meat sandwiches and French onion soup. Whatever your fancy, there's always something to do at night in Ottawa!

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • ByWard Market
  • Downtown Ottawa
  • Gatineau (Hull)
Other Places to Check Out
  • Absolute Comedy
  • Byward Market
  • Café Nostalgica
  • Chinatown
  • The Draft Pub
  • Dunn's
  • Little Italy
  • MacLaren's
  • Royal Oak
  • Zak's Diner
Local Specialties
  • Canadian beer: Everyone loves Canadian beer. Favorites include Labatt Blue, Molson Canadian, and Alexander Keith's.
  • Jägerbomb: A cocktail mixed by adding a shot of Jägermeister into a glass of Red Bull
  • Tequila shots: Campus favorite-served with salt and lime
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Flip cup
  • Kings
  • Spinners
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • outottawa.com (LGBT nightlife guide)
  • Urban Spoon
  • www.ottawakiosk.com
  • www.showmeottawa.com
Closing Time
2 a.m.-3 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
1848
Organization Parties
During Frosh Week, every faculty (department) throws parties and club crawls, which are typically held in Gatineau, as all the clubs there are 18-and-up. Each faculty has a social rep that is responsible for student life within his or her faculty, and as a part of this, faculty clubbing events are usually held on an on-going basis. The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) hosts concerts throughout the year.
Did You Know?
  • ByWard Market is one of the most popular areas for student nightlife, and it's located steps from campus!
  • Every Thursday is student night at Club Addiction.
  • Every night from July to September, Mosaika, the sound and light show presenting the history of Canada, takes place near Parliament Hill. Don't miss this free, bilingual show.
  • Bars on campus include: La Maison, Father & Sons, Café Nostalgica, The Draft Pub, and 1848.
  • Located in the center of campus, Café Nostalgica is a Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) initiative and offers eats until 2 a.m. every night.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Pier 21

Pier 21, located in ByWard Market, offers live music and an atmosphere with a maritime feel. Events feature live music from the East Coast. This 19-and-up club also offers a full maritime menu showcasing fresh seafood.

111 Parent Ave.

Downtown - ByWard Market

(613) 244-3278

pier21pub.ca

Mercury Lounge

Located in ByWard Market, Mercury Lounge is a "21st century soul club." Featuring regular and guest DJs, along with a percussionist, events featuring live music are held regularly. Wi-Fi is also available. Mercury Lounge also offers an appetizer and pizza menu. Music is typically electronic, house, jazz, soul, and funk at this 19-and-up club; the dress code is casual chic-no hats.

56 ByWard Market Square

Downtown - ByWard Market

(613) 789-5324

www.mercurylounge.com

Ritual

As Ottawa's biggest downtown nightclub and live music venue, Ritual features some of the most popular shows. A mezzanine bar level offers a great view of the stage and provides seating. Themed events are held weekly, such as "Drop-it-like-it's-hot Thursdays" and "2 Rooms 1 Cover Saturdays." Music consists of hip-hop and R&B; the dress code at this 19-and-up club is casual chic.

137 Besserer St.

Downtown - Ottawa

(613) 680-7661

Tila Tequila

Tila Tequila is a club located in ByWard Market that is known for its tropical themed beachy atmosphere. Weekly events such as Thursday's "Ladies Night" are held, along with beachwear- and lingerie-themed events. This 19-and-up club is known for having the largest dance floor in Ottawa.

104 Clarence St.

Downtown - ByWard Market

(613) 241-6581

www.tilatequilabar.com

Studio

Studio is an upscale club located in ByWard Market that primarily caters to young adults. It has two rooms spread out over 7,000 square feet (and a rooftop terrace overlooking ByWard Market) featuring Ottawa DJs and three bars. They host events featuring DJs, performers, and featured photographers. Prior reservation is recommended at this semi-formal, 21-and-up club.

403 Dalhousie St.

Downtown - ByWard Market

(613) 315-8255

www.studionightclub.ca

Mansion

Mansion is one of the more popular downtown Ottawa clubs. They host quite a few events with guest DJs and performers, including themed nights and external events such as fashion shows. The atmosphere is fairly upscale and catered to the young adult clientele (21 to 26). Music includes R&B, hip-hop, and Top 40, and the dress code is semi-formal at this 19-and-up club.

400A Dalhousie

Downtown

(613) 878-8110

www.mansionnightclub.com

Babylon

Babylon is a student club that offers a "Mod Club Dance Party" every Sunday and monthly dance parties featuring Top 40 music. Often, they feature themes such as reggae nights, no-cover nights, and ethnic genres.

317 Bank St.

Downtown Ottawa

(613) 594-0003

www.babylonclub.ca

Addiction

Club Addiction is a popular student club located in Gatineau, with a central dance floor resembling a wrestling ring, a bar, and plush booths. Featuring student nights on "Wild Wednesdays" and "Thirsty Thursdays" and guest DJs on special occasions, this 18-and-up club typically plays Top 40 and has a dress code that's casual chic.

117 Promenade du Portage

Gatineau (Hull)

(819) 771-6677

www.clubaddiction.ca

The Great Canadian Cabin

The Great Canadian Cabin bar in Ottawa is a wildly popular student lounge. Featuring 12 pool tables and an outdoor patio in addition to the regular dance floor, bar, and booths, it's always packed. Thursdays are "Cabin Goes Country" nights, exclusively featuring country music.

95 York St.

Downtown - ByWard Market

(613) 241-7552

thecabin.ca

Liquor Store

The Industry Room Liquor Store (popularly known as "Liquor Store") is a popular student lounge located in ByWard Market. A self-titled "party bar," every Tuesday this 19-and-up club hosts "Keg Nights," and every Friday it hosts "Flashback Fridays," featuring '80s and '90s hits. On Sunday, it hosts a "Dimanche We Party" event. Music includes mixed genres, and the dress code is casual chic-no hats, athletic wear, or branded wear.

128 York St.

Downtown - ByWard Market

(613) 241-6827

liquorstorepartybar.com

Le Volt

Le Volt is a popular student club located in Gatineau. Le Volt features a large rooftop patio, in addition to the dance floor and bar. Weekly events are held from Wednesday to Saturday, including "Unpredictable Wednesdays," with other events including country nights, soaking-wet foam parties, "Student Thursdays" with drink specials, "Fresh Fridays," and "Sexy Saturdays." Music is typically Top 40, with a dress code that ranges from casual chic to semi-formal at this 18-and-up club.

175 Promenade Du Portage

Gatineau (Hull)

(819) 770-0202

www.levolt.com

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

La Maison

La Maison is a student bar located on campus, featuring regular pub food at student fare. Well-known for its poutine, which comes in more than 10 creative varieties, La Maison is usually packed with students at night.

194 Somerset Ave. E

Ottawa

(613) 565-9585

The Highlander

The Highlander is located at ByWard Market and features a Scottish atmosphere. A full menu is available for lunch and dinner at this 19-and-up bar, in addition to regular bar food. The Highlander also features trivia nights on Tuesdays and live music Wednesday through Saturday.

115 Rideau St.

Downtown - ByWard Market

(613) 562-5678

www.thehighlanderpub.com

University Tavern

The University Tavern is a student bar located on campus and offers a full menu in addition to regular bar food. Pizza and pasta are offered at student-friendly rates.

196 Somerset St. E

Ottawa

(613) 235-7777

Pub 101

Pub 101 is a student pub located in ByWard Market, featuring a street-front patio and regular bar food with daily specials. Open for lunch and dinner every day, "pub packages" are available to accommodate sports events and include guaranteed seating and coat check.

101 York St.

Downtown - ByWard Market

(613) 789-3515

pub101.com

Heart & Crown and Peter Devine's

Located in ByWard Market, the Heart & Crown features an Irish atmosphere stretching one block in size (earning the nickname, the "Irish Village") and consists of six patios belonging to five pubs under one roof: the Heart & Crown itself, the Snug Pub, the Mother McGintey's Pub, the Black Rose pub, and the Peter Devine's Club. In addition to a full menu served at lunch and dinner, breakfast is served at the Heart & Crown and Peter Devine's on weekends and holidays.

67 Clarence St.

Downtown - ByWard Market

(613) 562-0674

www.heartandcrown.ca/byward.aspx

The Aulde Dubliner

Located in ByWard Market, the Aulde Dubliner features an Irish atmosphere with décor imported from Ireland and two patios that encircle the bar on either side. Live entertainment is presented every Friday and Saturday night at this 19-and-up bar. In addition to a full menu, breakfast is served on weekends and holidays.

62 William St.

Downtown - ByWard Market

(613) 241-0066

www.heartandcrown.ca/dubliner.aspx

1848

The on-campus student bar 1848 is managed by the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO). Located on the second floor of the University Center, 1848 offers bar food at student rates and is a favorite during sporting events. It also features pool tables, foosball, games, and music with DJs. There are nightly drink specials, most famously, "Toonie Tuesday."

Jock-Turcot University Center, Second Floor

On Campus

(613) 562-5800 ext. 2013

www.sfuo.ca/businesses/bar/en/about.html

Father & Sons

A wildly popular student restaurant and bar located on campus, Father & Sons features regular bar food at student prices. It is a favorite during sporting events. The breakfast special is quite popular among students, too.

112 Osgoode St.

Ottawa

(613) 234-1173

Blue Cactus

Blue Cactus is a restaurant and bar that serves up "contemporary favorites" in its full menu and features an all-day happy hour. Sporting events are showcased in the bar area, and every Friday and Saturday night is hosted by a DJ. Blue Cactus also supports many charities and hosts many events for charitable organizations.

2 ByWard Market

Downtown - ByWard Market

(613) 241-7061

www.bluecactusbarandgrill.com

What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?

Residence parties

The legal drinking age in Ottawa is 19, with Gatineau/Hull being 18. If you are under 18, you can opt for a residence party instead!

Any residence of uOttawa

On Campus

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 14 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Convenience to get to
  • Cover charges
  • Distance from campus
  • Drink prices
  • Fun
  • Variety/number of options

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 16 responses

  • 0% There are no good options.
  • 0% Use a designated driver.
  • 0% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 44% Public transportation.
  • 12% Taxis.
  • 44% Walk.

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 16 responses

  • 0% Parties? What parties?
  • 12% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 31% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 38% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 19% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
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