While most new students took OC Transpo buses on the first day of school, some local and international students were taken on a 1968 double decker bus for a tour of Ottawa.
The free tour took place on September 9 and included more than thirty people, such as Filipp Gorodkov from Cape Town, South Africa.
“[I came] to view the city, to meet some people around the college, to integrate a bit with the surroundings,” said Gorodkov, a first-year computer-programming student who fell in love with Canada when he visited for a backpacking trip last year.
Ben Dinh, the Student’s Association creative services coordinator, said this event was geared toward students new to the city, no matter where they are originally from.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re international or just from around the area,” said Dinh. “It’s good to see Ottawa and have a professional tour guide to tell you about the special locations.”
The bus wasn’t full, but Dinh thinks the tour was a successful event considering people are busy on the first day of classes.
Tour Guide Claire MacFarlane said the double decker isn’t used as often as modern models because it holds less people, but was perfect for the smaller group from Algonquin.
“I really like talking to people,” said MacFarlane, who started working at Lady Dive Tours in May. “I meet people from all over the world, which is pretty cool.”
Hailey Burns, a first-year travel and tourism student who moved to Ottawa from Pembroke, said she thinks MacFarlane was really nice on the tour and offered a lot of information about the locations they drove by.
“I thought it was really fun,” said Burns. “We got to see a lot of parts of Ottawa I’d never even heard of.”
Burns’ favourite part of the tour was seeing the Royal Canadian Mint building, which currently casts mostly collectable coins and also offers free tours.
Other highlights on the bus’s route were the Hintonburger restaurant in Hintonburg, the Parliament Buildings, the Dominion Arboretum and Stephen Harper’s house.
Dinh said that he and the other organizers of the event were very pleased with the turnout and planned on doing it again next year.
“We think it was a successful event,” said Dinh.