By Bianca Chan

As we kick off the winter semester, some of us may be a little less-than motivated to get back into the swing of things. Spending time with family over the holidays, stuffing our faces and coming back from tropical getaways aren’t exactly easy to swap out for books, notes and yet another “introduce yourself” assignment. Kick back into gear by escaping to some of these places that make studying a little easier.

These are a compilation of some students’ favourite study spots – what are yours? Share where you do your studying with us via Twitter (@Carleton_Online) or Facebook, or reply in the web comments below!

  1. University Libraries

Alright, this one may seem kind of obvious but if you’re looking for a quiet place to study, the Carleton University Library has a lot of hidden nooks that are perfect for when you need to be in the studying zone. For those outside of Ottawa, you can access other university libraries through Carleton’s reciprocal borrowing agreement ( Find a university in your city and gain access to the stacks and facilities.

  1. Local Public Libraries

Public libraries have a seemingly-endless amount of online and in-shelf resources, not to mention the librarians and employees who know more than a thing or two about where to find the exact source you’re looking for. Even very small satellite libraries can bring resources in.  Plus, they all have free Wi-Fi and there are multiple locations. See the Ottawa Public Library for locations in the Ottawa area, and the Ontario government’s site for locations across Ontario.

  1. Coffee Shops

Every town has some great coffee shops, usually with free Wi-Fi, where you can hang out and either huddle in or watch the world go by as you study – to say nothing of staying caffeinated.  Here are some favourites in Ottawa – let us know your go-to spots!

Equator Coffee // 412 Churchill Avenue N.

Locally roasted, sustainably sourced, organic & fairly traded coffee in a fun Westboro Village space.  There’s also a location in Almonte, Ontario.

Black Squirrel Books // 1073 Bank Street

This is a personal favourite of mine. Black Squirrel Books on Bank Street is a quaint coffee shop in Old Ottawa South, where you can enjoy an Americano and vegetable quiche while studying. With free Wi-Fi and shelves-upon-shelves of used books for a great price, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better studying place with as much character as this.

Life of Pie // 1134 Bank Street

Check out the online menu to see what’s baking at Life of Pie – if the Snickerdoodle scone is on the menu then you don’t have a choice, you gotta go!

Ministry of Coffee // 279 Elgin Street and 1013 Wellington

Don’t even bother with the Starbucks, the Second Cups and the Bridgeheads. This is the coffee shop you need to go to.

Arlington Five // 5 Arlington Avenue

Open seven days a week between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., but you’ll want to go early to grab a seat because this place fills up.

Morning Owl Coffee // Various locations

Morning Owl Coffee is one of Ottawa’s hidden gems with amazing nosh and it has a great atmosphere. It is a must try.

Wild Oat Bakery // 817 Bank Street

A popular Glebe spot with plenty of vegetatian and vegan options.  They grow many of their vegetables on their own farm.

  1. Pet Cafes

Cat Cafes, where the space is populated with resident cats (often available for adoption!) are popping up all over Canada, with Catfe in Vancouver, Tot the Cat Café in Toronto, and Café Chat L’Heureux in Montreal. These are great places to study, and if you need another excuse besides hanging out with cats all day, animal therapy is a proven method for helping with stress and mental health issues!

Ottawa has Wag Café and Pet Lounge, a pet friendly café with free Wi-Fi. There is just one resident Chihuahua, but people can bring in their own dogs to hang out.

Note – some pet cafes have an entrance or hourly charge.

  1. City Public Facilities

Ottawa offers free public Wi-Fi at various facilities, such as recreation centres. For those outside Ottawa, check the local city website to see what’s available!  It’s a chance to get out of the house, change your view, and maybe combine a study session with a swim or a workout.

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