Thompson Rivers University 411: The best cheap lunch and more

An insider's perspective on life at TRU

Thompson Rivers University Fall Campus

Unofficial school motto:

‘Dear deer’ (we share our campus with wildlife)

Best place for a nap:

Campus Activity Centre (CAC), second-floor lounge

Thompson Rivers University student Zain Bakhtiar

Best cheap lunch:

Ooh! Kabsa

Best hangover breakfast:


Favourite watering hole:

Commodore Grand Café and Lounge

Perks of living in this town:

Everything is a bus ride away

Best place to study:

Brown Family House of Learning (HOL), third-floor library

Weirdest tradition:

Long Night Against Procrastination, pizza at midnight!

Best campus event:

Back to school barbecue

Best giveaway:

Food on international days

Best live music venue:

The Den

University Insider: Zain Bakhtiar, 28

Living in Oakville, Ont., I could have gone to school in Toronto. But the thought of packed highways and congested buildings horrified me. That’s why I wanted to go to Thompson Rivers University. When I showed up in Kamloops, I felt like TRU was the centre of the city. All the buses lead to the school and shops seemed to cater their hours to students. At TRU, professors not only know who I am, they notice when I don’t show up for class.

PROFILE: Thompson Rivers University | Kamloops, B.C. | Founded 1970

Beyond getting a personalized education, the school comes with a view. After class, they can turn their gaze to the city’s breathtaking rivers and surrounding mountains—all within walking distance of the school.

As an institution, TRU has come a long way. It started as Cariboo College in 1970 and then became the University College of the Cariboo in 1989. It was established as full-fledged university in 2005. TRU launched a law school in 2011, and the 45,000-sq.-foot reno of the Old Main building transformed a 40-year-old facility into a campus landmark.

Anyone can take classes at TRU through the school’s open learning program. It’s the biggest online program in B.C. and accepts people of all different backgrounds. That means you don’t have to come to Kamloops to get a degree (but I would suggest you do!)


Starving students and food lovers look no further. TRU’s Scratch Café, run by culinary arts students, allows for an affordable gourmet meal between classes. The open-kitchen concept is similar to what you might see on shows like Hell’s Kitchen, only without the screaming. The culinary program also runs a nationally acclaimed dining room that hosts fancy dinners. Both venues are open to the public.

Local Vibe

Downtown Kamloops is worth a stroll. It has everything from bars, pubs and clubs to museums and art galleries. Many pubs and bars offer free pool on certain nights, often serve as cozy venues for B.C. bands, and serve up weekly drink specials for students. There are artsy coffee shops such as Zack’s, the Art We Are and my go-to spot to think: Caffe Motivo. Flashing one’s student card allows for discounts at most fast food chains. Outdoor sports enthusiasts can ski at the Sun Peaks Resort or just go for a nature walk in McArthur Island Park. Kamloops has great weather all year round with moderate temperatures in the fall and extremely hot summers, perfect for patio lunches and swims in the river.

The Skinny

Check out the school newspaper site,

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