The University of Guelph is expanding its residence spaces by leasing a nearby property at 785 Gordon Street for the next three years.
The City of Guelph’s Committee of Adjustment approved a minor variance application at its June 22nd meeting to allow the University to use the property for student accommodation for the next three years. Leasing this property will add 160 residence beds to the University’s current residence spaces.
With these additional spaces, the University is able to accommodate all students who applied to live in residence for the 2023-24 academic year, including upper-year students.
“We applaud the support of the City in allowing us to immediately expand our residence spaces so that we can provide housing to all of our students interested in living in residence,” said Sharmilla Rasheed, vice-president, finance and operations. “Residence life is part of U of G’s outstanding student experience, and we are pleased that all of our students interested in staying in residence will have that opportunity.”
While U of G does not own the building, it will be managed as part of the University’s student residence portfolio from September to April. Student Housing Services will provide the same supports and services as it does in other residences on campus, including 24-7 monitoring.
From May to August, the University will operate this space as part of its conference services portfolio, continuing to offer accommodations in the summer that support Guelph’s conference and tourism sector.
“The three-year lease will allow the University more flexibility with residence spaces in the short term while we explore sustainable, long-term solutions as part of U of G’s student housing strategy,” said Rasheed.
“The aim of our student housing strategy is to develop a comprehensive, inclusive and forward-thinking housing plan that will provide our diverse student population with a variety of housing options,” said Irene Thompson, interim vice-provost, student affairs. “We want to set our students up for success, and securing appropriate housing is essential to that.”
The University’s housing strategy includes conducting a housing demand study to assess the available student housing on campus and within the Guelph community. The study involves consultation with key community partners to assess existing student housing and future developments. Consultations are also occurring with the University’s diverse student population to better understand their current and future housing needs. The housing demand study is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
“The next step will be to prioritize the implementation of the study’s recommendations so that we can best meet our students’ housing needs,” said Rasheed. “As we continue to advance our plans, we welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with the broader community in addressing housing issues.”