Valrideau University Residence

We are celebrating over 30 years of welcoming students


Since 1989, Valrideau has been offering a family atmosphere to students studying in Ottawa. This independent student residence is situated in Sandy Hill, a 12-minute walk to the University of Ottawa. 

Valrideau offers undergraduate and graduate women a serious study atmosphere to allow them to achieve academic excellence; Valrideau’s family atmosphere is conducive to making deep friendships.

For more information about Valrideau visit:

Chilawee Trails Camp – celebrating 25 years

Chilawee Trails was envisioned in 1994 as a camp for girls to have fun together enjoying nature, friendship, sports and crafts in a relaxed atmosphere of cheerful co-operation – and to appreciate that having fun is a natural part of a virtuous and faithful life. 

And that vision has become a reality for hundreds of campers over the 25 years who have formed deep friendships with girls from across the country (and the world) as they experience being “Chilawee born and Chilawee bred”. 

Starting as campers at the age of 9, most girls return later on as staff and pass on the Chilawee traditions. It is a true testament to the bonds built at camp.

For more information on camp, visit:

Girls Clubs

Neeje believes in engaging children in healthy group activities with a character-building component, which is why we have a roster of clubs for girls aged 5 and up. Each session starts with a short talk on a virtue, during which the kids are encouraged to ask questions and share anecdotes with their peers about this virtue. The rest of the session is spent on an age-appropriate projects and activities such as crafts, baking, sports and music.

Leadership Training

Girls aged 15 and older are invited to enroll in our leadership training programme. We strive to provide invigorating curriculum in preparation for summer camps and other employment situations. Our seminar includes games, skits and group projects. The following topics are covered:

Purpose of leadership program and of camp
Cooperative games and ice-breakers
Understanding the distinction between personality and character
Competitive games
Being a team member
Qualities of a good leader
Handling challenging situations
Purpose of the Mass in our life (religious exemptions available)
Leading discussions

To register for the LEAP Training program, visit:

Teen Clubs

Neeje has several clubs for teenagers. Each meeting begins with a short talk on a virtue, followed by something fun and formative, such as cooking, a movie, hiking or an excursion to a museum. We encourage the girls to share insights about the virtue of the day in this informal setting. Our club leaders are available for personal mentoring.

For more information about these clubs, visit

Study Skills

Sometimes developing study skills, managing commitments and staying organized in high school seems impossible. We are excited to offer workshops for high school girls to help them operate at an executive level at this most pivotal time.

As students go through our study skills program, they begin to feel more in control of their operations, confident in the possibility of admittance to their chosen university, and clear-headed as they decide how to spend their time.

See for more information about the workshops

International and Cultural Evenings

Being in Canada’s capital city, we at Valrideau have a powerful opportunity to share our heritage with international students and benefit from theirs. Several times a year, students put on cultural evenings.

The host will serve a national dish, dress in traditional, and prepare an entertaining seminar which covers her nation’s history, customs, music, current events and beliefs. Questions and comments are encouraged throughout, although we do require a degree of cultural sensitivity and respect from all participants.

Seminars on Anthropology

Anthropology as a field began when the European colonial powers wished to understand the foundations of observable human diversity. Today there are four branches of anthropology; cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology and linguistic anthropology. An example of a question that anthropology attempts to answer is, “What are some similarities and differences in marriage customs/beliefs between the West Coast First Peoples and the Aztecs?”

We offer Anthropology seminars for university students several times a year, lead by…. with the hope that such discourse will supplement their studies. We believe students can benefit from deepening their appreciation of culture, customs and beliefs across humankind. See for more information about the seminars

Lectures for University Students

In order to help young women understand career success, we host “mentor nights” at Valrideau. Professors, managers, radio hosts, editors and CEO’s are among the distinguished speakers. In a two part informal seminar, participants learn firsthand about successful people in terms of habits, attitudes, goals and priorities. We encourage questions and comments. Speakers at Valrideau have included:

PIERRE BERGERON, president and chief editor of newspaper LeDroit
HUGUETTE LABELLE, chancellor, University of Ottawa
LYNDA CRANSTON, chief executive officer, Canadian Blood Services
JOANNE DICOSIMO, chief executive officer, Canadian Museum of Nature
GRAEME HUNTER, professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Ottawa
JANICE FIAMENGO, professor, Department of English, University of Ottawa
RANDAL MARLIN, professor, Department of Philosophy, Carleton University

For information on upcoming events, visit

International Youth Projects

UNIV is a gathering of university students every year in Rome during the Easter season. With around 5000 attendees at this Catholic event, it is a week filled with various cultural encounters, conferences, roundtables, showrooms and concerts. The purpose of UNIV is to inflame in students a desire to use their education to help the unfortunate, and aspire to leadership in their future professional work.

For information on participating in this project, visit

World Youth Day

Since Pope John Paul II started these exciting gatherings in 1986, millions of teenagers and university students have come from almost every country on the world to celebrate their love of the Pope and the Catholic faith. Music, cultural festivals, roundtables and catechesis fill the week, ending in a papal Mass. Catholic youth who have attended say this experience solidified their identity as a Catholic young adult.

At World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto, attendees will never forget the sublime moment when the sun suddenly shone during the most sacred part of the Mass after a huge storm.

Neeje organizes a group of women to go to World Youth Days, which occur every 3 years, cognizant that this event can build a deep sense of generational solidarity among Christians.

For information on participating in this project, visit

Service Projects in the Developing World.

El Refuerzo is a Canadian project in which university students across Canada go to Canete, Peru, every summer to help at a community centre, where rural women have access to educational programs. Our students assist with the children’s programs as well in practical and social ways. Students come back with renewed determination and focus in their daily round, confidant that they can use their talents toward international compassion.

For information on participating in this project, visit


Community Service

Neeje has always acknowledged the powerful teaching value of community service and tries to incorporate it into all its youth activities. Visits to citizens in need of company, comfort and help in the home have always been a part of Neeje’s youth programmes.

The government of Ontario has formally acknowledged the importance of community service by making it a mandatory requirement for high-school graduation. One initiative promoted by Valrideau as a consequence has involved high-school girls in the Ottawa area since 2003: the “Café-rencontres au 160 Charlotte”, hosted by the Services d’entraide pour aînés francophones d’Ottawa.

Under the guidance of university students, participating youth complete part of their mandatory community service hours by facilitating leisure activities at 160 Charlotte, a residential building for seniors around the corner from Valrideau. Seniors are invited to share coffee and treats and to socialize with the students and amongst themselves while playing games, having their Christmas gifts wrapped, etc.

Besides being a lot of fun, the programme gives seniors an opportunity to overcome isolation, while students discover the wealth hidden in the life experiences of elderly citizens and learn helpful skills such as team-work, planning, and interpersonal communication.

For more information, contact us.

Spiritual Activities

One of our primary purposes at Neeje is to facilitate spiritual awakening in each woman, to help her discover a richer life that will infuse her with true peace and joy. Cognizant of our diverse society, we respectfully urge women to actively seek truth and live a life consistent with the values and beliefs they hold.

Neeje’s spiritual activities reflect the teachings of the Catholic Church, but are open to everyone. Such events are entrusted to the Prelature of Opus Dei. (


We offer monthly recollections, in which women are invited to take a spiritual health break. A recollection is an opportunity to reflect on one’s goals, character and priorities, and is given by a Catholic priest of Opus Dei and one of the women of Opus Dei. There are different Recollections, depending on whether one is married, single or a student; the goal is always greater communion with God and self-awareness on the journey.

View  Recollection Timetable Here

Recollections for High School/University Students in Ottawa see Valrideau’s website.

Classes in the faith

Classes in the Catholic faith are offered in both Ottawa and Kingston. A stimulating and clear exposition of the Christian way of life helps listeners grow in their understanding of the faith according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Classes on the Catholic faith can become food for life and deep nourishment of the soul.


Several yearly retreats are offered at an Opus Dei conference centre, depending on one’s state in life (married, single, professional, university). A three day event with the same principle as a recollection, retreats are given at conference centres in the Ottawa/Kingston area and generally silent. Silent retreats allow the individual to withdraw from her schedules, stress and commitments, and be fully present to her relationship with God. All participants are encouraged to use the time of the retreat to become truly spiritually centered.

To register for a retreat, visit: