Features

Discovering Ottawa through the U-Pass

Another year, another U-Pass. Though returning students already know what to expect—that mandatory $290 bus pass tacked on to all full-time student fees. But all you first years have yet to decide whether you love it or hate it. Some of you will wonder, “What do I do with this U-Pass? I live on or near campus. I’m central to it all!” Well, the Fulcrum has come to save the day—as usual—by compiling this year’s top five places to use your U-Pass.

IKEA

Need I say more? Maybe bringing a new Trondheim dresser home on the bus isn’t the best idea you’ll have over the next four years, but I guarantee it won’t be the worst. Something to write home about!

Scotiabank Place, a.k.a The Bank 

Hockey lovers—rejoice. And all music lovers too. Oh, you’re into professional bullriding and monster trucks? Well then, the Bank is for you, my friend. Located in Kanata, it’s the only large-scale arena in the Ottawa region. Home to the Ottawa Senators and to host Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne concerts, Scotiabank Place has a lot to offer. As an added bonus, Flex-Packs for cheap, grouped Sens games are available, as well as discounted student-priced tickets. Double the savings!

Beaches

What beaches?! Newcomers will be delighted to learn Ottawa has many public beaches, all accessible via OC Transpo. Our top picks are Mooney’s Bay, Petrie Island, and Britannia Beach; however, we recommend checking the City of Ottawa’s website to ensure water quality. A green flag means the beach is ready for the taking, while a red flag means there is a bit too much E.coli in the water. What? I never said we were perfect.

Gatineau/Hull

Take a walk on the wild side and hop the border—the Ontario–Quebec border that is! The OC Transpo and Société de transport des Outaouais both accept the U-Pass. Quebec’s legal drinking age is only 18, so 101-ers can brag to their friends hours away from this magical frontier of legality. One night spent at Le Bop or Volt is worth the satisfaction of waiting for that bus. I’ll also throw in a little tip, for our 19 plus readers: Depending on what you buy, many types of alcohol are less expensive in Quebec. The SAQ Portage is our pick for cheap beer and Absolut Vodka.

The Works

This joint is by far one of the best hamburger and milkshake places you’ll have the pleasure to venture into. Ottawa currently has seven locations, including Kanata, the Glebe, and Orleans, and it’s a sin to miss out on their wide selection of burgers and shakes. We suggest you try the R.O.F. (with onion rings, jalapenos, and banana peppers) or the Dead Ringer. You can handle it—you go to the University of Ottawa now!

—Alexandra Souligny