Ryerson is set to introduce two new buildings that will double the housing capacity on campus. These buildings, Jarvis Street Residence and the Daphne Cockwell Health Complex, are set to open for the fall 2018 semester.
The total number of beds on campus between Ryerson’s three residences, O’Keefe House, Pitman Hall and the International Living/Learning Centre, is 856. The new developments will add another 925.
“Since 1991, the university has changed a lot and grown a lot. And we haven’t really grown our residency capacity at all,” said Ian Crookshank, the director of housing and residence life.
The idea that Ryerson needs more student housing is not a new one. According to Crookshank, discussion about the two new buildings started in 2008. Then-president Sheldon Levy announced that Ryerson needed 2,000 new beds in order to accommodate the increase in students. Shortly following this, the Board of Governors met and began looking into local real estate.
Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex
On Church Street, construction of the Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex is underway. The first few floors of the complex will host space for educational purposes, but the upper levels will be reserved for housing. Apartment-style housing will be offered, with two-bedroom and four-bedroom apartments with a kitchen and one or two bathrooms.
The complex will be located at 288 Church Street with a total of 332 residence units spread across 18 floors.
The academic portion of the building will be funded through the school, but the residence portion is done through a separate agency.
Jarvis Street Residence
On Jarvis Street, a 30-floor residence unit will soon stand. The Jarvis Street Residence will host similar housing, with three- or four-bedroom apartments.
There will be a total of 191 apartments with 19 of them being one bedroom apartments, 57 being two bedroom apartments and 115 apartments with four bedrooms.
The funding model for this residence will be similar to Pitman Hall’s by being funded, operated and maintained by a private agency.
Rental prices for both buildings have not been confirmed, but will likely be similar to rent in the local housing market.
There is one major catch for both of the housing units: besides a select few apartments in the Jarvis Street Residence, the new units will be exclusively for first-years.
Crookshank said, “The reason that we prioritize first-year students is obviously they’re transitioning. There are two transitions that are happening: they’re coming to the university and they’re potentially coming from a (different) city.”
For most upper-years, this means searching for property outside of what the university directly offers.
The university’s president, Mohamed Lachemi, said, “Both will more than double housing capacity. But is that enough? No. We would like to do more and we continue to look for opportunities.”
For the time being, students interested in the university’s current progress can check out a livestream for the construction of the Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex.