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Beginning your tour

Welcome to one of the most beautiful university campuses in Canada. Bordered by the Rideau Canal and the Rideau River and surrounded by parklands, Carleton University’s 62-hectare campus is a place of water and green space, just minutes away from Parliament Hill and downtown Ottawa.

We’ll start at Robertson Hall and move clockwise around the campus. You can follow along with our interactive campus map.

Academic and student services buildings

Robertson Hall (RO) is named in honour of former Chancellor and Chancellor Emeritus Gordon Robertson. It houses Admissions Services, the Undergraduate Recruitment Office, the Business Office, the Awards Office, Equity Services, the Centre for Aboriginal Culture and Education, Development and Alumni, Department of Campus Safety and meeting rooms for the Senate and Board of Governors

As you proceed through the doors on the west side of the building, you enter Alumni Park. Its riverside location, fountain, and flower gardens make it an ideal location for outdoor receptions.

Richcraft Hall (RB), named after one of Ottawa’s most prominent real-estate companies, Richcraft Hall is currently the largest building on campus, and it is home to the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs, the School of Journalism and Communication and the School of Public Policy. It comes equipped with a 400-seat lecture hall, The Singhal Family Theatre, and green living wall, in addition to a beautiful rooftop and indoor gardens. Coffee lovers will be pleased to note a Tim Horton’s overlooking the scenic banks of the Rideau River.

The Health Sciences Building (HS), Carleton’s newest building houses the Bachelor of Health Sciences and Neuroscience programs, boasts a brand new 300-seat lecture theatre, a dedicated new teaching lab floor, active learning labs, and state of the art research labs.

The Steacie Building (SC) is named in honour of E.W.R. Steacie, a distinguished chemist who served as Chair of Carleton’s Board of Governors and President of the National Research Council Canada. The building houses the Department of Chemistry, classrooms, a lecture theatre, a computer room, and labs, including the state of the art SuperLab, a $5 million chemistry lab which can hold up to 3 different classes at once.

The Herzberg Laboratories (HP) were named for former Carleton Chancellor and Canada’s first Nobel Prize recipient for natural sciences, Gerhard Herzberg. The building houses the School of Computer Science, the School of Mathematics and Statistics, and the department of Earth Science and the department of Physics. A roof-top observatory contains a powerful 14-inch reflecting Celestron telescope. In the lobby you’ll find a reproduction of Foucault’s Pendulum—the original was used by French physicist Jean Bernard Foucault in 1851 to prove that the Earth spins on its own axis as it rotates around the sun. On the fifth floor you’ll find Carleton’s Computer Game Development lab, where Computer Science students learn about the sophisticated technology involved in modern computer games. There are also two services, the Math Help Centre and the Science Student Success Centre, where students can get free math and science help from upper year students.

The Institute for Advanced Research and Innovation in Smart Environments (ARISE), formerly the Life Sciences Building, is in the process of adding 34,500 square feet to the existing structure that will allow for applied research in clean technology, health technology, and information and communication technology. The facility is intended to combine numerous faculties including Science, Engineering and Design, Business, Public Affairs, and Arts and Social Sciences in order to collaborate on training and research in a variety of areas including 5G wireless, smart cities, and data analytics.

The Loeb Building (LA) recognizes the financial contributions made to Carleton by Ottawa’s Loeb family. It houses the Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs and offices of the Dean of the Faculty of Public Affairs, as well as various university departments, a cafeteria, a lounge, classrooms, and laboratories. It is also home to the University’s distance education department CUOL (Carleton University OnLine)! It provides flexible access to over 60 credit courses offered through live streams, Video on Demand (online) and an online ‘pay per lecture’ service. Loeb also houses the Instructional Media Services (IMS) that provide support to professors using technology in the electronic classrooms.

The Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Institute Facility (HC) and the Centre for Advanced Studies in Visualization and Simulation (V-SIM) (VS) buildings consist of approximately 80,000 square feet of research space funded by Canada Foundation For Innovation (CFI), Ontario Innovation Trust (OIT), and Carleton University. Consisting of six levels, the research space includes user interface, experience, and satisfaction labs, Cognitive Science computer labs, graduate student space, and a heat transfer/refrigeration lab.

The Social Sciences Research Building (SR) is used for research in the social sciences, particularly in psychology. A number of organized research units are located here.

Southam Hall (SA) honours Carleton’s first Chancellor and former publisher of the Ottawa Citizen Harry Stevenson Southam, who also donated a significant portion of the land on which the campus is built. The 444-seat Kailash Mital Theatre, the largest lecture hall on campus, is located here. The theatre is also used for dance, musical, and theatre productions throughout the year. The theatre was named after Kailash (Kelly) Mital, an Ottawa-based businessman who has been a long-time supporter of Carleton University. Together with his wife Nandi, he has established several scholarships for students pursuing business, technology and operations management studies, and has provided generous bursary support for Carleton students in need. Two fully equipped television studios on the sixth floor are used by Carleton’s instructional television service. The grassy outdoor amphitheatre between Southam and Paterson Halls is used for concerts, classes, and relaxation during the warm days of summer.

Paterson Hall (PA) is named after Norman Paterson, one of Canada’s longest-serving senators whose generous financial support helped to develop Carleton’s world-renowned programs in international affairs. Here you’ll find the College of the Humanities, the offices of the Dean of Arts and Social Sciences, the Department of History, the Institute of European and Russian Studies, African Studies, Philosophy, and the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies. The Centre for Indigenous Initiatives hosts a variety of events for Indigenous students on campus, many of which are held in the student centre, Ojigkwanong. A full service Scotiabank branch is located on the lower level.

The MacOdrum Library (ML), named in honour of Carleton’s second president Murdoch Maxwell MacOdrum, contains a collection of more than three million items, a growing collection of electronic products, as well as the Learning Commons (which offers students research, academic, and IT support), study space, reading rooms, and the Writing Tutorial Service. An online catalogue system provides students with easy access to the collection and to their own borrower records. Library patrons find the main floor Starbucks, a convenient place to take a break from studying.

The Dunton Tower (DT) honours the memory of A. Davidson Dunton, Carleton’s longest-serving president, who headed the University from 1958 to 1972. During his long and distinguished career, Dunton was also Chair of the CBC and Co-chair of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. The 22-storey tower houses numerous academic units, including the Sprott School of Business, the School of Social Work, the departments of French, English, Women Studies, Canadian Studies, Cognitive Science, and Interdisciplinary studies. It also holds the Centre for Initiatives in Education.

The David J. Azrieli complex (AP and AT) houses four large lecture halls, classroom space, specialized computer laboratories and work rooms, teaching studios and seminar rooms. The 75,000 square-foot Azrieli Pavilion houses the Canadian Photonics Fabrication Research Centre, the David J. Azrieli Institute for Graduate Studies in Architecture, and the School of Information Technology.

The Tory Building (TB), the first to be built on campus, is named in honour of Carleton’s founder and first president, Henry Marshall Tory. The 120,000 square-foot building houses the Academic Advising Centre for advising services, the Student Experience Office, Career Development, and the Registrar’s Office. It also holds the offices of the President and Vice-Presidents of the University, as well as the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, and the Director of Student Affairs. The Technology and Research Development Office, Research Services and Carleton International, Co-op and Career Services, along with Biology teaching laboratories and 20 classrooms, are also located here.

The University Centre (UC), more commonly known as the Unicentre, is a focal point for student life at Carleton. Here you’ll find a campus bookstore for texts, supplies, books, and magazines, as well as a computer software store. The student-run CKCU-FM radio station, the student newspaper The Charlatan, Information Carleton, the Campus Card Office, International Student Services Office (ISSO), and a variety of student clubs and organizations, including the Carleton University Students’ Association, are located here. In addition, there are pubs, a food court, coffee shops, banking machines, and a convenience store that includes a postal outlet. The Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities, located in Room 501, provides a wide range of support services to students with learning, physical, psychiatric, and medical disabilities.

The Canal Building (CB), new to Carleton’s campus in 2011 houses biomedical, energy, environmental and aerospace engineering labs as well as facilities for nanoscience. It is an environmentally friendly research building or ‘intelligent’ building’, complete with green roof technology. A Second Cup coffee shop is located on the main level.

The Architecture Building (AA) was designed specifically for Carleton’s Architecture program with its large open studio spaces, flexible classrooms, and fully equipped work stations. Studios are open 24 hours a day and there is a carpentry workshop for the construction of models and prototypes.

The Mackenzie Building (ME) honours Chalmers Jack Mackenzie who was Carleton’s second Chancellor, President of the National Research Council Canada, first President of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, and instrumental in the development of science and engineering education in Canada. The building contains facilities to support all engineering disciplines. It is also home to Carleton’s Industrial Design program and its specialized studios, testing labs, photographic facilities, and mass production laboratory.

The Minto Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering (MC), located off the east wing of the Mackenzie Building, houses state-of-the-art facilities for research and studies in engineering, including a flight-simulating wind tunnel. A 400-seat lecture theatre offers the latest in audio-visual equipment.

Residence buildings

University residences, named after Ontario counties in the Ottawa Valley—Lennox and Addington (LX), Prescott (PH), Renfrew (RH), Lanark (LH), Grenville (GR), Russell (RU), Leeds (LE), Dundas (DH), Stormont (SH), Glengarry (GH)—provide homes to over 2,500 students in double and single rooms. Senior residence fellows offer advice and counsel, helping new students make a successful transition to university life. The Department of Housing and Conference Services is located in Stormont House.

The Residence Commons (CO) is the hub of residence life. Most students in residence meet here for their meals. The building contains The Caf (the residence dining hall), offices, a convenience store, the Rideau River Residence Association and the Residence Commons Reception Desk.

The St. Patrick’s Building (SP) once housed St. Patrick’s College, a liberal arts school which joined the University in 1979. The building is now home to the School for Studies in Art and Culture, an extensive resource centre, and the Carleton University Art Gallery (CUAG). CUAG offers an eclectic and exciting range of exhibitions in the visual arts—from historical and contemporary Canadian paintings, prints, and photography, to art from around the world. You are encouraged to stop by CUAG for a visit. CUAG is open Tuesday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is closed on Mondays. Admission is free.

Underground tunnels

Your tour wouldn’t be complete without visiting a section of the five-kilometre tunnel system that links all of the buildings on campus. From the ground floor entrance to the St. Patrick’s Building, take Stairway A to the basement level. The tunnel entrance is through the double doors at the bottom of the stairs immediately to your right. After about 15 paces, turn right again and follow the arrow marked Athletics. This will lead you to the Physical Recreation Centre, your next destination on the tour. Along the way you’ll pass a series of colourful murals. They’re the work of Carleton residence students who each year put their artistic talents to the test on behalf of their floor or wing.

Athletics facilities and other buildings

Keep following the arrow marked Athletics and you’ll eventually find yourself at the ground level of the Physical Recreation Centre. Proceed straight ahead and you will find yourself in the foyer of Alumni Hall.

The Physical Recreation Centre (AC) is a popular spot for Carleton students, as well as for residents in neighbouring communities, who are keen to stay in shape. It offers a wide range of fitness and recreation programs, weight training, a fitness centre, a covered Fieldhouse (FH) with indoor jogging track and artificial playing field, an Olympic-size pool, squash courts, saunas, an Ice House (IH) with two NHL-sized hockey rinks and a triple gymnasium, and the Ravens’ Nest (AH), the home of the nine-time CIS men’s basketball champions, the Carleton Ravens.

Outdoor facilities include tennis courts and playing fields. The “indoor” tennis facility (TC) is housed inside an inflatable-type dome structure. This facility covers four of the existing hard surface tennis courts and permits year round playing of this popular sport.

The Colonel By Child Care Centre (CC) provides programming for infants, toddlers, and pre-schoolers, along with lunch and snacks. The Centre is open all year, Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:45 p.m., except on statutory holidays. Priority is given to children of students, staff, and faculty.

The Carleton Technology and Training Centre (TT) is home to the University’s Health Services which includes a doctor’s office, a coffee shop, a pharmacy, the Co-operative Education Office, a dental clinic, and a variety of Ottawa-based companies and associations.

The H.H.J. Nesbitt Biology Building (NB) is made up of offices and biology laboratories, as well as three climate-controlled greenhouses that contain one of the finest collections of plants for teaching and scientific study in Canada. The building offers an exotic oasis from the pressures of academic life, especially in the middle of an Ottawa winter. It also provides a welcome place to rest after touring the campus. Drop in to enjoy the sights and scents. Adjacent to the Nesbitt Building is the National Wildlife Research Centre (NW)—researchers from both these facilities combine to create one of the most important concentrations of environmental scientists in Canada.

Dining options

After your tour, please take the opportunity to stop for a snack or a meal at any of the following campus restaurants:

  • Tim Hortons: first floor of the University Centre (UC), second floor of Richcraft Hall (RB), second floor of Residence Commons (CO)
  • Roosters: fourth floor of the University Centre (UC) Starbucks – main floor (2nd floor) of the MacOdrum Library (ML), fourth floor University Centre (UC)
  • Food Court: second floor of the University Centre (UC)
  • Second Cup: first floor of Canal Building (CB)
  • Oasis Cafeteria: first floor of Residence Commons (CO)
  • Treats: second floor of the Carleton Technology and Training Centre (TT)
  • Bent Coin: fifth floor of Robertson Hall (RO)
  • Loeb Café: first floor of the Loeb Building (LA)
  • Booster Juice: fourth floor of the University Centre (UC)
  • Tunnel Junction: at tunnel level between Paterson Hall (PA) and the MacOdrum Library (ML)

If you are planning on staying in residence as a Carleton student, you may wish to sample the food offered in the Residence Caf. The Caf is located on the third floor of the Residence Commons Building (CO).

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