While it may not always be convenient, there are alternatives to SFUO shops. Photo: Parker Townes.
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Your go-to guide to a post-SFUO world

As we approach Dec. 24, when the termination of the agreement between the U of O and SFUO is set to take effect, many questions remain about the future of federation bodies, student healthcare, and shops run by the SFUO.

The Fulcrum has put together a list of alternative shops that students can go to if the SFUO ceases to be able to fund its businesses on campus—or, if you are just looking to support non-SFUO initiatives.

The SFUO’s Pivik

Located on the ground-floor of the University Centre, Pivik is a convenience store owned and operated by the SFUO. Offering everything from cheap sushi to limited electronics, the store is an accessible option for students who need something in a hurry.

The Fulcrum’s alternative: Circle K, located at 120 Osgoode St., provides shoppers with everything that Pivik has to offer at a similar price.

Alternatively, if you’re willing to go for a longer walk, Metro and Loblaws have an even wider selection of goods than both former stores, and have a 10 per cent discount for students on Tuesdays and Thursdays. While they are situated at 245 Rideau St., and 363 Rideau St. respectively, adding a ten minute walk to your day, Metro and Loblaws boast even cheaper prices than both Circle K and Pivik.

The SFUO’s Café Alt

Café Alt, located in the basement of Simard, might be one of the biggest losses for caffeine-lovers on campus. The cafe, which promotes environmentally friendly initiatives, and hosts numerous campus activities, is at risk of disappearing if the SFUO cannot secure student funding.

The Fulcrum’s alternative: Fortunately, there are lots of alternatives around campus. For students who need a quick caffeine-fix, check out the Second Cup located at 153 Laurier Ave. E, if you’re on the north end of campus, or the various Tim Hortons locations at the south end, not to mention the forever busy Starbucks in Desmarais.

Alternatively, if you are looking for more of an adventure, try going through Sandy Hill or the Byward market for a cup of joe—there are tons of great options that give Café Alt a run for its money.

The SFUO’s 1848

If Café Alt will be the most missed place to grab a drink on campus, chances are, 1848 will be the least missed. The student bar, which has been the SFUO’s least profitable business in recent years, is located in the University Centre above the library.

The Fulcrum’s alternative: While many students may be unfamiliar with 1848’s existence, you likely know another bar that sits outside of campus and has been a staple for after-lecture beer, and after-beer breakfast—Father and Sons.

Father and Sons, which is independent from the U of O, has daily specials that include $6 doubles on Tuesdays and $13 pitchers on Fridays nights. Plus, unlike 1848, Father and Sons can boast large crowds on its activity nights—like its Wednesday night Karaoke session.

The SFUO’s Agora bookstore

Agora bookstore, located on 145 Besserer St., is the last SFUO owned and operated business which may face an uncertain future in 2019. Unlike the student bar and cafe, however, Agora bookstore turned a profit in 2017, and may be able to sustain itself without the student funding.

The Fulcrum’s alternative: If students are looking for an alternative, they can find their textbooks at the campus bookstore, or even online at shops like Amazon.

Since Amazon offers students a discount on their prime service, students who do not want to face a textbook monopoly at the campus bookstore, but also do not—or cannot—shop the SFUO bookstore, can take to the web to find their learning materials.


  • Spring 2022: Desiree Nikfardjam Fall 2021: Zofka Svec 2020-2021: Aisling Murphy 2019-2020: Ryan Pepper 2018-2019: Iain Sellers 2017-2018: Ryan Pepper