• By: OLM Staff

Best of Ottawa 2020: Places to Study

After over 20-years writing about life in Ottawa, we think we have a pretty good idea of the best of what this city has to offer. In this weekly series, we share our picks with you — our top hotels, live music venues, local brews, bands and more. Check, share and discuss #OLMBest every week!

Black Squirrel Books & Expresso Bar — 1073 Bank Street, Ottawa

This coffee shop slash used bookstore is the go-to place for college and university students to study and relax. Located in Old Ottawa South, Black Squirrel Books is a cozy spot to sit down for a couple of hours and get your work done. Sigh . . . the shop is only open for curbside takeout and order pick up but hopefully it will be back to business as usual before long. 

Richcraft Hall, Carleton U — 9376 University Drive, Ottawa

The atrium of this newest building at Carleton has quickly become popular with students looking for a quiet place to study that is also full of natural light. The green wall and the views of the Ottawa River add a soothing natural element.

Bluebird Coffee — 261 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa

This stylish cafe is tucked in the ByWard Market and has an extensive menu of baked goods, drinks and sandwiches! Bluebird Coffee is an open concept bakery cafe with a relaxed atmosphere. Check out this cute location for a group study session or a solo study night.
Photo: Bluebird Coffee Facebook

The Ministry of Coffee — 274 Elgin St, Ottawa

The Ministry of Coffee is a popular independently owned coffee shop with four Ottawa locations. A great place to socialize or to have a quiet study session, The Ministry of Coffee is a nice change of scenery! The Elgin Street location is currently offering only limited dine-in and no wifi but once things fully reopen it is a great place to go for the ample table space and a delicious menu.

Carleton University Library – 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa

Only the main floor is currently open to registered Carleton students in limited numbers — normally it is open to a wide swath students from across the region. When it fully reopens head to Carleton U's beautiful library to catch up on readings. The 3rd and 5th floors offer quiet space while the other floors allow for collaborative studying. Student staff members are ready to help with research inquiries and material needs.
Photo: Doubletree Photography

National Arts Centre — 1 Elgin Street, Ottawa

Since reopening in 2017, the NAC has become a popular indoor public space in Ottawa. There's free wifi and an Equator Coffee. Along with the comfy chairs and all glass facade that offers great views, the wood stairs in the atrium have become a popular place to study. Due to COVID the space is currently closed but we heard a rumour that it will be reopening soon.
Photo: OLM Staff 

Life of Pie — 1134 Bank Street, Ottawa 

The Life of Pie is a quaint family run bakery in the Glebe, known for its mouth watering pies! Unfortunately due to COVID, this cozy shop is only open for takeout but when things open up again head there, get some pie and one of the many tables — perfect for setting up a work and study space.
Photo: Life of Pie Facebook

Equator Coffee Westboro — 412 Churchill Avenue N, Ottawa

This is the second Ottawa location for the Almont-based roaster known for fair trade, organic coffee. The Churchill Avenue location is spacious and full of light — perfect for catching up on readings.
Photo: Equator Coffee Facebook

Ottawa Public Library — 2500 Campeau Drive, Kanata

With various locations across the city, the Ottawa Public Library has multiple floors and designated quiet areas. Currently only open for in-person book borrowing, those who need a silent and free location to get all their work done will have to wait for COVID to pass.
Photo: Beaverbrook Library

Desmarais Hall, Ottawa U — 55 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa

One of the newest buildings on campus and the home to the Telfer School of Management, Desmarais Hall is a great place to head if you are at the library on campus and need a change of scenery. Not only does it have designated study areas, there is a bonus Starbucks on the the main floor.
Photo: Moriyama and Associates of Toronto