Interested in BSD? Try BSDCan.
This page contains information to help plan your trip.
The conference is held at the University of Ottawa, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Accommodation is available on campus as well as at nearby hotels a short walk away. More information is available on our UOttawa Campus page.
All prices are in Canadian Dollars (CAD, or C$) and may not include applicable taxes. Federal tax of 5% applies to most goods and services in Canada, and an additional provincial tax of 8% also applies to most goods and services in Ontario. Additional taxes may apply in various situations - no effort is made here to ensure prices do or do not include tax.
We recommend arriving the day before your first activity and leaving late on Saturday. Air fares are often cheaper if you arrive on Saturday night and leave Sunday. We are planning post-confernces events on the day after the conference.
Please be advised that one of the largest construction projects in Ottawa's history - the Confederation Line - is currently underway, and this may affect trains, roads and walkways in the area, particularly since one entrance to the new tunnel is located immediately adjacent to UOttawa.
Conference attendees are responsible for booking their own accommodation. Meals and accommodation are not included in your conference registration fee.
Additional information can be found on the Ottawa Tourism site.
Getting into Canada
HEADS UP: as of 2016, as found at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp:
Starting March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid visa. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.
At the URL above, you can see if you now need a via (eTA). Please apply early. It can take some time.
Attendees have reported that having a printed copy of your registration email helps with getting through Customs.
The Government of Canada website lists the full official requirements on what is required to visit Canada.
For most countries a passport is sufficient. Note that US citizens now require a passport to enter Canada by air. For details, please read Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
If you require a travel VISA, please arrange this immediately. Sometimes the process is unpredictable and it may require some special attention to complete the process.
Ottawa is served by Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport (IATA:YOW), with connections from most major Canadian and American hubs.
If you are arriving from outisde Canada or the USA, you may be flying into Toronto Pearson International Airport (IATA:YYZ) or Montreal Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport (IATA:YUL). In addition to connecting flights, you may take also a train or bus/coach from those two airports to Ottawa - see below for details. (Most other ports of entry into Canada are too far away for train or bus to be a realistic option.)
From the Ottawa Airport, the UOttawa Campus is easily reached by private automobile, taxi, hotel shuttle, or public transit (see below).
Taxis are reported to cost around C$40, and the privately-run hotel shuttle - which does service UOttwa Campus - is reported to cost around C$35.
Ottawa is served by VIA Rail, Canada's national passenger train service, at the Ottawa Train Station.
VIA Rail interconnects with the AMTRAK's Maple Leaf train in Toronto (TWO), and the Adirondack train in Montreal (MTR), both originating from New York Penn Station (NYP). If arriving from the USA, you'll have to disembark at the end of the line and transfer to either a VIA train or a bus (coach).
If you're transferring from airplane to train, please ensure you know how to get from the airport to the train station. VIA maintains a list of partners that you may find helpful.
Once arrived in Ottawa, the UOttawa Campus is easily reachable by private automobile, taxi, public transit or on foot, i.e. walking.
By Bus (Coach)
The Ottawa Central Station is served by Greyhound from points across Canada and the USA, with Express service from both Toronto and Montreal. Certain Greyhound routes will permit you to disembark directly at UOttawa - ask the ticket agent and the driver if this is possible, as it can save you a 30-minute walk or a taxi fare.
If you are transferring from one mode of transport (e.g. air) to another (bus), please ensure you know how to successfully transfer from one to the other - the respective terminals are often a great distance away from each other.
If you are flying KLM or Air France (and possibly others), you may be able to purchase a bus ticket as part of your airfare. If you do this, please let us know more about how that works!
Typically, a number of private bus or coach operators also provide service to the Ottawa area at any given time, and there are typically one or two providing service from Montreal airport. Let me Google that for you.
Please see Google Maps, MapQuest!, a GPS system, an actual printed map on paper, or your preferred source, for driving directions. The UOttawa Residence building address is "90 University Private, Ottawa, ON, K1N 1H3". If your source for directions can't parse that address, try the Desmarais building at "55 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa ON K1N 6N5" instead.
Please be aware of major traffic disruptions in Ottawa, particularly the construction of the Confederation Line, that may affect your route.
Public Transit (Bus)
OCTranspo's combined fleet of city buses and light rail transit serves the Ottawa area, but the most useful feature for PGCon attendees is probably the #97 route that runs from the Airport directly past UOttawa. (The train station is served by #61 and #62 routes, both of which stop at UOttawa.)
As of this writing, regular fare to get from the airport to campus costs C$3.55 (exact change), or two tickets (available at the airport information counter for C$1.60 each). The bus stop is just outside the Arrivals level of the terminal: exit the right-most doors, cross the lanes of traffic to the first walkway, turn right and walk approximately 15m (50').
If you're staying on or near campus, get off the #97 bus at the LAURIER stop (NOTE: the CAMPUS stop is closed for construction until 2018) - the residence building (90 University Private) is a short walk to the south, and the conference venue is directly adjacent to the Laurier stop. If you are traveling between midnight and 4am, you can get off at Cumberland St. instead of LAURIER station.
OCTranspo provides accessible transport, including Para Transpo for disabled riders; please see the Accessible Transit page and contact OCTranspo directly for further details.
If you expect to use OCTranspo more than five times during your stay in Ottawa, you might save money by obtaining a PRESTO card.
Presumably you're reading this because you've arrived at either the bus station or the train station. Consult Google Maps for up-to-date walking directions from the bus station (~30min), or the ~45min walk from the train station. For the 2017 conference, the bridge across the Rideau canal from Somerset St. W. to the UOttawa campus is open again, with no detour.
If you're walking from the train station, note Google suggests walking down Robinson Avenue, which lacks sidewalks, to get from Hurdman Ave. to Lees Ave. Taking the walkway at the end of Hurdman Ave. to Lees Ave. is an alternate route that seems more pedestrian-friendly.
Ottawa is a very bicycle-friendly city, in general, with dedicated bike paths and bike lanes. There are several bicycle rental shops, including one near campus (RentABike/Vélocation) if you aren't traveling with your own bicycle. A quick internet search will turn up quite a lot of information about biking in and around Ottawa - more than we can reasonably link to here! Be aware of hazards and detours resulting from the Confederation Line construction.
Staying in Ottawa
Please see the Accommodations page for details.
When this page is updated, an email will be sent to the announcement mailing list.