Falling down: bowling pins and people

Some of us may know that dad who looks forward to that one night of the week when he picks out his favourite shirt, gives his shoes a shine and polishes his ball. He’ll then take that same ball and try to knock down a few pins.

You can learn from that dad – go bowling.

Sure, you can sit back and sip a few drinks with friends at the Observatory at Algonquin College, Oliver’s Pub at Carleton University or Bar 1848 at the University of Ottawa. But students are stuck sitting in classrooms for hours on end each day.

Why not look for fun – and a buzz – while moving around?

Merivale Bowling Centre, McArthur Lanes and Orleans Bowling Centre are three of the most notable bowling facilities in Ottawa. All of these places have little canteens serving slushies, some vintage arcade games in their lobbies and some sort of rock n’ bowl signs.

But for thirsty students looking for some fun and an activity in a social setting, a neat fact: these bowling alleys also serve alcohol. Bowling may be a “sport” that you connect with your parents or a 9-year-old’s birthday party, but you should think again.

Practical nursing student at Algonquin College, Bailey Holder, feels nostalgic when bowling. “It’s old-school,” she says. “It’s something our parents used to do all the time that is fun and competitive. I think it’s cool that we can do the same thing they used to do when they were young.”

There are many activities that have the ability to connect a group of people together while offering a fun, leisurely environment. Bowling has been one of the best for decades. Bowling alleys are more than just a place to bowl: they’re a social hub that encourages interaction.

Booze and bowling make a lot of sense. The time between each player’s turn is a prime opportunity to sip a drink, not to mention each lane has its own table and seats. Although many people may prefer to go to the movies or mini-golf, bowling allows for socializing in a friendly and sometimes competitive atmosphere.

“The friendly competition makes things fun and gives you something to talk about all the time,” says Matteo Petti, a Carleton University graduate, on one of his favourite activities. “Plus the alcohol is a bonus.”

Regardless of whether alcohol is involved or not, what it really comes down to is the group of people you’d hit the lanes with. “What really makes it fun is my friends,” says Holder. “We could probably do anything together and have fun while doing it.”


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