About the University of Ottawa

Located in the heart of Canada’s National Capital, at the juncture of French and English Canada, the University of Ottawa holds a unique place on the Canadian academic map.

Long a meeting ground for two of the prominent intellectual and scientific traditions of the western world, it is the oldest and largest bilingual university in North America. Established by the Oblate Fathers as the College of Bytown in 1848, the institution moved from Lower Town to its present location in Sandy Hill in 1856.

In 1861, the College, like the city in which it is located, was renamed and five years later was elevated to university status by royal charter. Rev. Joseph-Henri Tabaret, OMI, three times rector of the College for a total of 30 years during the 19th century, is generally regarded as the builder of the University.

The University of Ottawa has been conferring undergraduate degrees since 1872, master's degrees since 1875 and PhDs since 1888.

In 2018 enrollment at the university exceeds 46,000 students.