Are you coming to campus for the first time? Take our self-guided campus tour to orient yourself to campus and learn about our grad students’ most-frequented places on campus.

Instructions: Access the campus map, make your way to Engineering 5 (E5), and read the notes below to find out what's available at each stop along the way. 

The entire tour should take you 30 minutes to one hour, depending on how long you stop at each location along the way.

Engineering 5 (E5), ION station and University of Waterloo transit station

E5 and ION trainWith a 20,000 square-foot student design centre, there’s always something happening in E5. In front of E5, you’ll find an ION stop for the Region’s light rail system, which stretches from Contestoga Mall in North Waterloo to Fairway Road in Kitchener. Nearby, you will also find the University of Waterloo transit station. If you’re a full-time graduate student, your WatCard acts as your transit pass for the Grand River Transit system, including ION.

Davis Centre (DC)

Davis CentreThe Davis Centre Library, located within DC, houses resources for engineering, mathematics, and science, and is one of several libraries on campus operated by the Library. In addition to books, the University Library has many services available for students from any discipline, including: study rooms, copyright experts, equipment loans, workshops, and a variety of online guides covering everything from open access and authors’ rights to entrepreneurship and finding patents.  

DC is also home to a Tim Hortons, located right beside the DC library.

Mathematics & Computer Building (MC)

Mathematics and computer buildingDon’t let the name fool you, MC is home to several services for graduate students from all disciplines. Additionally, the Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) hosts the majority of their graduate student workshops here. Attendance at these workshops counts towards CTE’s teaching certificate programs.

The Math Coffee and Donut shop (Math C&D) is located on the third floor of MC. Here you’ll find affordable food, snacks, drinks study space, and a balcony overlooking the rock garden.

Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre (QNC)

QNCThis building is named after the Lazaridis family, including University of Waterloo alumnus Mike Lazaridis who is co-founder of the world’s first smartphone. Waterloo encourages entrepreneurship and has a unique inventor-owned Intellectual Property (IP) policy. It’s one of the reasons Waterloo has launched more high-tech startup companies than any other school in Canada. Check out the whiteboard walls and study spaces overlooking the rock garden!

Student Life Centre (SLC)

SLCAs the only building on campus open 24 hours a day and 365 days of the year, there’s always something happening in the Student Life Centre. Inside, you’ll find study spaces, food, businesses (e.g. CIBC), a climbing wall, a fitness studio, and more. Inside at the Turnkey Desk, you can purchase tickets for a variety of transit systems (e.g. Go transit, GRT). The Graduate Student Association (GSA), which offers many services to graduate students, is also located in SLC, and maintains a Grad Lounge (SLC 3216), which can be used as a study and event space. The Grad Lounge is open daily Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.

With eateries ranging from the Flock Stop (an on-campus convenience store) to Tim Hortons, Jugo Juice, and Brubakers (featuring Pizza Pizza, Subway, Shawarma Hub, and more), there are lots of food and drink options at the SLC! 

Health Services (HS)

Health ServicesLocated across the creek, Health Services provides all University of Waterloo students convenient access to health care, right on campus. Within Health Services you will find a student health clinic that offers both walk-in care and regular appointments. Additionally, the Family Health Clinic provides primary medical care for family members of registered students and visiting scholars.

On your way to Needles Hall, keep an eye out for the Starbucks located in the Science Teaching Complex. Plan your coffee breaks wisely, though. This Starbucks gets very busy when classes let out because it’s right outside one of the largest lecture halls.

Needles Hall (NH)

Needles HallNeedles Hall is a hub for student services. The Centre is on the first floor for all your administrative needs. This is where you can order documents, drop off forms, change your personal information, receive financial advice, and much more. Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, AccessAbility Services and Counselling Services are all also located within Needles Hall. 

Environment 3 (EV3)

Environment 3This is one of Canada’s greenest buildings and it’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum-certified, a perfect example of Waterloo’s commitment to the environment. Its features include a living wall, green roof, solar panels, and more. Home to a coffee shop and study space, EV3 is a great place to head if you’re looking for a change of scenery while writing, or to find a nice green space in the middle of winter!  

You can find the Ev3rgreen Café on the first floor of EV3, for hot and cold beverages and a large selection of food. 

Dana Porter Library (LIB)

Dana Porter LibraryThe Dana Porter Library is the largest of seven libraries on campus. Known as the “arts library”, but with resources for students from all disciplines, Dana Porter is one of the best places to get the tools and support you’ll need when you’re conducting research, writing papers, or reading for your literature reviews. There are also bookable study rooms, printing and scanning services, workshops, and so much more.

Browsers Café is a great place to stop for coffee, tea, snacks and pastries during a day of research at the library. 

Tatham Centre (TC)

Tatham CentreHome to Co-operative Education services and the Centre for Career Action, this building is 100 percent dedicated to helping you launch your career. Use WaterlooWorks to register for the services offered at TC, including one-on-one career advising appointments or workshops to refine your résumé, hone your academic interview skills, craft your cover letter, and more.

South Campus Hall (SCH)

South Campus HallHome to the W Store, where you can order textbooks, buy Waterloo swag, and more, SCH is one building that nearly all students visit in their first few days on campus. SCH also has lots of great resources for students including the Student Success Office and the Writing and Communication Centre, all of which offer graduate specific programming or workshops throughout the term.

There are lots of great food and drink options in SCH, including the South Side Marketplace (second floor) and a Tim Hortons (first floor). Grad students especially love the South Side Marketplace for pho and ramen, sushi, and Lebanese cuisine.  

Graduate House (GH)

Grad HouseAs the last stop on your campus tour, take a break at the Graduate House (Grad House). Occupying the original farmhouse on south campus, the Grad House is owned by the Graduate Student Association and is a hub for graduate students and their guests in a relaxed social space. The Grad House is the best spot to meet other grad students, attend a grad student social event, catch up on marking on the sunny patio, or celebrate a successful thesis defence!

The Grad house is a great place for food and drinks! Don’t forget to ask about discount pricing and coupons for grad students!

In the distance...

Located outside Ring Road and across Columbia Street West, don’t forget to familiarize yourself with Columbia Lake Village and Columbia Icefield:

Columbia Lake Village (CLV)

Columbia Lake VillageColumbia Lake Village (CLV) is a diverse townhouse community that offers housing for graduate students and students with families. The benefits of living at CLV include a campus shuttle and Community Centre with programming for you and your family.

Columbia Icefield (CIF)

Columbia IcefieldColumbia Icefield (CIF) is one of two athletic facilities on campus, and includes an ice rink, multi-use fields, and a well-equipped fitness centre. More centrally located, Physical Activities Complex (PAC) is the second athletic facility on campus and includes squash courts, studios and a swimming pool.