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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Canadian Slang and Ontario Tech terms

January 18, 2023

International Students have a lot to get used to when arriving in Canada. There is a possible culture shock that can occur when stepping foot on Canadian soil for the first time, and it can be a barrier to a successful transition if not managed carefully. Language is something that a lot of people do not consider when first moving here – most people think of the weather. But it is important to remember that even though one of the official languages in Canada is English, there are still many words and phrases that are only commonly used around the area. I'm here to help you navigate these words and slang so you are better prepared for when you are here! I know it took a bit to get used to all the terms and phrases, so don't worry about it.

Typical Canadian Slang

Eh: "Don't you think?" You will hear this extremely often at the end of sentences. For example, someone could say, "It's nice weather outside, eh?" People use this word so often that it will only be a matter of time before you do too!

Tims/ Timmies: This means Tim Hortons. There are currently 2 on campus, and you can find them around every corner! Be careful; I spent most of my money there in my first year.

Timbits: These are mini donut balls that you can buy at Tim Hortons.


Double-double: I was confused about this phrase, but it means 2 sugars and 2 shots of cream in your coffee.

Tuque: A beanie. I'm not sure why they call it this, but they do.

Beanie / Tuque

Washroom: This is what they call the bathroom/toilet. A little self-explanatory.

Hydro: For some reason, the electricity bill is called the Hydro bill. I was perplexed about this one.

Toboggan: This is something used to slide down the snow! It is super fun, and you should definitely try it out too!

Take-Out: The food you get for takeaway at a restaurant. You could also take someone out on a date. Or you take someone out by punching them. Probably don't do that last one, though.

Snow day: This means the weather is too snowy to go to school! Yes!

Pop: Another way to say soda. This one is a little funny to me.

I'm okay: Another way to say no thank you.

Sounds good: It means.. it sounds good.. Basically just someone agreeing to what you're saying or proposing.

The 6ix: Some people call Toronto the 6ix because the area code in Toronto is 416. Also, Drake calls it that. I don't know what else to say.

Loonie: This is what they call the 1-dollar coin


Toonie: This is what they call the 2-dollar coin – you could remember which is which because the Toonie has two colours while the loonie is the same colour


Ontario Tech Slang

The Onion: This is the University Pavilion. It is located right behind the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, one of Ontario Tech's larger lecture theatres shaped like an onion – hence the name.

UA: This is what we call the Science building. It stands for University Building A, but no one calls it that. Additionally, the basement in this building is called UAB, which I struggled to find, but I just found the elevators in UA, which will take you down there!

UB: This is the Business and Information Technology building. You can find the UB cafeteria here.

ERC: This is the Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Center. Yes, I know, it is a mouthful, which is why everyone calls it ERC. You can find the Ontario Tech bookstore in this building.

SIRC: This is the Software and Informatics Research Center. This is where you can find the Registrar's office, School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) and the International Office!

The Fishbowls: The Fishbowls are the study rooms surrounded by windows on the first floor of UA, between the Tims and atrium.

SHA Hall: This building is the Shawenjigewining Hall. Shawenjigewining is an Anishinaabe word meaning The Place of Kindness. This place is my absolute favourite place to study.

I know it seems like a lot to remember, but these things will come naturally, given the time. I know it took me some time to get used to, and besides, you are not alone in learning them all. If you ever need to remember, refer to this blog post! Take care and good luck!

By Jan Mary Joyce Voluntad