Useful Information

Comprehensive tourist information on Ottawa can be found here.

Table of Contents

  1. Bicycles
  2. Public Transports and Tickets
  3. Phone Numbers of Taxi Companies
  4. Electricity
  5. Pharmacies
  6. Emergency Numbers/Emergency Ward
  7. Language
  8. Currency
  9. Banking
  10. Tipping
  11. Taxes
  12. Post Office
  13. Wine, Beer and Spirits
  14. Water
  15. Weather


Ottawa is a fairly safe city for biking, with an extensive network of bike paths. Bike sharing service is offered by Velogo. Bikes can be rented here.

Public Transports and Tickets

The two public transport companies are OC Transpo and STO. OC Transpo mainly serves Ottawa and STO mainly serves Gatineau.

Tickets from one service are not accepted by the other. However, transfers can be used between the two.

OC Transpo and STO tickets are available at the conference reception, the Campus Pharmacy and at the Pivik Convenience store (main floor Jock Turcot University Centre).

Phone Numbers of Taxi Companies

Some Ottawa taxi contact numbers.

  • Airport West Way Taxi: 613 523 1234
  • Blue Line Taxi Co Ltd: 613 238 1111
  • B & R Taxi: 613 446 7272
  • Caddy Cab: 613 260 8585
  • Capital Taxi: 613 744 3333


Outlets ("Type B" NEMA 5-15 Grounded) and voltage (110 - 120 volts) are the same as in the United States. For electrical appliances from other countries, adapters are required (small appliances such as hair dryers, irons, and razors may work, but it is advisable to double check first). The frequency of electrical current in Canada is 60 Hz.


The Campus Pharmacy is located at 100 Marie Curie Private, 613-563-4000.

Emergency Numbers/Emergency Ward

  • Campus Protection Emergency: 613-562-5411
  • Campus Protection Non-Emergency: 613-562-5499
  • Emergency: 911
  • Poison Information Centre: 613-737-1100
  • Ottawa Fire Services: 613-580-2860
  • Ontario Provincial Police: 888-310-1122
  • Ottawa Police: 613-236-1222


English and French are the official languages. English is more commonly spoken in Ontario and French in Québec. Beside English and French, many other languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Arabic, ... can be heard in Ottawa. The University of Ottawa is a bilingual (English-French) institution.


The Canadian Dollar (C$) is the local currency. Currency can be exchanged at banks or at currency exchange stations. Some hotels and other merchants accept foreign currency, but it is recommended that visitors exchange currency before they arrive.


Banking hours differ by bank and branch, but are generally the same as common working hours (9am to 5pm). Some banks are open later or on weekends or Thursday evenings. Most businesses accept debit cards as a form of payment. Most major credit cards are accepted in Ottawa.

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are located in banks and in various other locations throughout the city. They are usually available during and outside of regular banking hours, although often with an additional service fee.


Service fees are typically not included in restaurant and bar prices. A tip of 15% of the pre-tax bill is customary. Some restaurants add a service charge to the bill, especially for large groups, in which case further tipping is not expected. Tipping is also customary in salons/spas, and taxis.


Sale taxes are generally not included in advertised prices. The combined Federal and Provincial Sale tax rate are 13% in Ontario and 15% in Québec. Visitors can get tax refund for the Federal portion of the sale taxes (6% GST) with the minimum amount of 200 dollars and if the receipt values exceed 50 dollars. Goods need to be taken out from Canada within 60 days and hotel accommodation also can be refunded if it is less than one month. For more information please contact Canada Revenue Agency Location: Summerside Tax Centre, Summerside, PEI,C1N 6C6, call 1 800 66VISIT (1 800 668 4748) or visit their website.

Post Office

59 Sparks St., at Elgin Street. Open from Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm. Contact number is 613 844 1545

Wine, Beer and Spirits

Ontario: Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) outlets are sales agents for wines and spirits in Ontario. Wine, liquor and a selection of foreign and Canadian beers are available. Wine is also available at several stores run by individual wineries. Beer may be purchased in Ontario at The Beer Store. Both LCBO outlets and Beer Stores are open daily, including some holidays. Drinking hours in bars and restaurants are from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. The legal drinking age is 19 years.

Québec: In Québec, wines and liquors may be purchased at Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) outlets. Beer and some wines are available at grocery and convenience stores. The legal drinking age is 18 years.

There are stiff penalties for drinking and driving in both Ontario and Québec.


It is perfectly safe to drink water from the tap in Canada.


The average temperatures in August is 15C – 25C. It is advised to bring a light jacket or sweater for the evenings. Current weather information.