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A guide to navigating the North campus location

September 14, 2023

My first official day as a university student…I still remember it like it was yesterday. My first class? Introductory Calculus 12:40 to 2 p.m. on a Thursday. This was my only class that day and I figured it should be an easy enough day.

With it being my first day and all, I was both excited and nervous. Excited to embark on this new journey of university life and nervous because I never had experienced a Calculus class before. Upon leaving my house I told myself it would all be okay, and I would get through my first day. All I had to do was:

  1. Locate UA 1350
  2. Sit down, listen, take notes

and I would survive my first day. Easy, right? Well, was I ever in for a surprise…

I'm a commuter who is lucky to get a ride to school every day from a parent, so off we went! Upon arriving all I knew was I needed to get to UA 1350. So we pull up right in front of the Science building and I'm already faced with my first problem: UA? UWhat? On the outsides of our buildings from a distance, all you can see are the big labels: Science Building. It's not until you get up close that you can see the “UA” part. Anyway, I did some wandering and made it to UA (which was right in front of me the whole time...) and I could now identify it as the Science Building. 

Now I was faced with my next problem: 1350. Ironically, this is the biggest lecture hall in UA, yet it was the room I had the hardest time finding! The room number is kind of hidden because you have to walk toward the doors to get a better look. First-year me walked past UA 1350 about 10 times before I finally asked for help and again learned that it was right in front of me the whole time!

Nevertheless, I made it. I made it to class on time. I made it through my first calculus class and two whole semesters' worth of integrals!

My advice:

Book a campus tour

Who better than a trained expert to show you around campus?

Book a tour

Virtual Tour

Find all of your classes before your first day

Before the first day of classes, I hadn't explored the campus enough on my own to be familiar with the different abbreviations we use and the location of some of the big lecture halls that you tend to spend a great deal of time in during the first year (oops). I would've benefited greatly from this!

Insider tip, abbreviations include:

UA - Science Building
UB - Business and Information Technology Building
ERC - Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre
SIRC - Software and Informatics Research Centre
SHA - Shawenjigewining Hall                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

The floor numbers are indicated by the first number in a room name, for example, UA 1350 - the 1 would indicate that this room is on the first floor, UB 2080: the 2 would indicate that this room is on the second floor.

Download a campus map

We have campus maps available, so use them! I had a map downloaded and saved to my phone for quick reference and it was a lifesaver. If you have the Ontario Tech University app on your phone, you can access a campus map right there.

North Campus Map

Downtown Campus Map

Find an Ambassador

During the first couple of weeks of school, there are Ambassadors available to provide directional support and answer any questions you may have! Keep an eye out for Ambassador booths during the first couple of weeks of school, they will be extremely helpful.

Give yourself ample travel time, show up to your classes early

Whether you're new to campus or not, this is always a good idea (especially if you have to walk to SIRC)! This will make your travels less stressful, and if you do happen to get lost, you'll have extra time to find your way. 

There will be times when you think you're walking into Organic Chemistry and to your surprise you look up to find that you've just walked into a Physics class by accident. Embarrassing - I know. But rest assured that we've all been there! I've gotten lost a bunch of times during my time at Ontario Tech University, and you probably will too, but I am confident you will eventually find your way!