HI Ottawa Jail Hostel, 75 Nicholas Street
I loved this hostel! The novelty of staying in a jail cell was fantastic. However, a friend of mine stayed here and swears she saw a ghost.
I had arrived in Ottawa on the overnight bus. It got me in at 4 in the morning (much earlier than I expected!), but I couldn't check into the hostel until about 10. The reception opened at 7, and I was able to put my stuff in a locker until check-in. They let me sit in the lounge area, and I accidentally fell asleep on the extremely comfy sofas, until I was woken up about an hour later by a child telling me I wasn't allowed to sleep in there. They also had a good selection of videos, I helped the child pick out a film and put it on for him.
The hostel was within walking distance of everything I wanted to see in Ottawa, and I was able to cross the river over to Quebec.
As a budget traveller, I try to walk everywhere, even when carrying my backpack. I walked to this hostel from the bus station, which was quite a trek, but I found the hostel very easily.
I had just bought a new sleeping bag for a camping trip, so I decided to take it to Ottawa with me. However, I wasn't allowed to use it. This is fairly standard in hostels, as there are concerns about bugs and hygiene. However, you would think that seeing as they don't allow you to use your own bedding, they would provide it for free, but no, they charge you for it.
Facilities: kitchen, dining room, TV lounge, laundry, lockers.
I stayed at HI-hostel in Ottawa and was very disappointed. This place is neither cheap nor friendly. The only good thing about this place is its location. As for the rest, you will be very dissapointed. The staff is unfriendly (well, at least the people I met while I was there), the place is durty and unsafe. I've heard that things get stolen from time to time in the hostel, such as cell phones, and the staff will not assist you in the situations. Find other places to stay in Ottawa, please do not be tricked with their advertising it as a "jail life experience" and so on. If you are really interested to see the building, they offer tours for 5$ or so.