COVID-19 & Housing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people will be living in my house?

Up to 4 people, each in a private bedroom.

Are there any guarantees that I'll get a space?

Residence is guaranteed for all new full-time students entering their first year of university in an undergraduate program for the first time, provided that they have indicated their interest in residence by completing the StarRez Portal application by March 31, and receive and accept an offer of admission by June 1.

If you missed the March 31 deadline, you can still apply to be on the wait list.

Students must respond to all deadlines and meet all deposit requirements in order to maintain their eligibility.

 

What is a Residence Advisor (RA)?

Residence Advisors are students who live in the residence community and are responsible to assigned townhouses/areas. They are your front line support. They take an active interest in the quality and enrichment of residence life and are willing to talk with you about the adjustments to be made in leaving home, living in residence, and making academic choices. They are responsible for providing information and referrals to villagers, educational and social programs, crisis and emergency support, general help with house and village matters, enforcing residence policy, supporting the academic mission and larger mission and goals of the University of Toronto Scarborough. These students provide an essential balance between friendship and guidance and leadership in the village around issues of community standards and behaviour.

Are there any application criteria?

Students are able to stay in Residence if they are full time (must be enrolled in at least 3.5 F.C.E.). Students must be registered at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

If I have an accessibility concern related to living in residence, where can I find more information?

The AccessAbility Services Office is able to assist if you have specific questions or concerns: https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/ability/. You may also complete the Accessibility Needs in Residence form on our website: https://utsc.utoronto.ca/residences/accessibility-needs-residence

Is there a meal plan? How do you purchase a meal plan?

Since our residences are equipped with complete kitchenettes (a refrigerator, microwave, oven and stove), the meal plan is optional. Meal plans are available through Food Partnerships.

Meal Plans can be purchased online by visiting https://uoft.me/utscmealplan. Online payment can be made through any major Credit Card. To purchase a Meal Plan through Debit or Cash or if you have any questions, you can send an email to tcardplus@utoronto.ca, call 416-208-2233 or visit our office at BV498A (4th Floor of Bladen Wing) during regular office hours.

Can I live with my friends?

On your application you can fill out the section which asks for your "preferred housemate". Your preferred housemate must also request you as a preferred roommate in order for your request to be processed.  Roommate groups of either 2 or 4 people will be considered.

What should I bring?

You will need to bring personal use items as noted on our "What to Bring" page:

 

How do I get my mail?

See the mail page to find your address.

How are housemates chosen?

Housemates are matched according to the information you gave us on your application form. We take these questions into careful consideration when going through the housemate matching process.

Are the residences mixed gender?

Students can indicate in their application if they prefer to live in Same Gender - Women, Same Gender - Men, or Mixed Gender Housing. Mixed Gender means that students of any gender will share a kitchen and washroom facilities housed in the same unit.  However, they will have separate single occupant bedrooms.

 

Is there summer residence?

Yes, we run a summer residence program for all university/college students, from any higher education institution in the world, who are working or studying in the Greater Toronto Area.

Am I allowed pets?

Pets are not permitted in residence.

Can I bring my own furniture?

All units are fully furnished, however, students can bring their own small furniture (e.g. no bigger than a desk chair). You may bring items that will help you feel comfortable with your new living space such as a  lamp, small side table and small bookshelf.
 
NOTE: All original furniture (in the bedrooms and common area) must be returned by the end of the year check-out.

How do I do my laundry?

There are three laundry rooms available in the residence complex, and four in the apartment complex (1 per floor). They are locked at all times but you will be given 24 hours access. A washing cycle is $2.00 per load and a drying cycle is $1.50 per load. Payment can only be made using your TCard, and funds can be loaded in the TCard+ website: https://utsc.utoronto.ca/tcardplus/

Can I hang posters or pictures?

You are more than welcome to personalize your bedroom with posters and pictures. Nails or screws in the wall are not permitted, neither is tape. 3M productes are recommended as these products do not cause damage to the walls.
 
Posters may also be placed in the common area (upon agreement within the household).
 
During particular holidays (e.g. Christmas), you may decorate your house accordingly and are actually encouraged to enter a contest and decorate the outside of your house!

Is there somewhere I can store my belongings over the summer?

Store Your Dorm can help you store your belongings from one semester to the next at an offsite location. They deliver boxes and tape to your room. They pick-up your goods from your room, store them over the session and then deliver them back when requested.

Can I have overnight guests?

Rule: Residents will not be permitted to have visitors/guests attend the residence.

 

Note: In line with public health directives, this rule includes visitors/guests from other residence buildings, off-campus friends and family member or study partners.  A one-time exception will be made, however, on each resident student’s move-in day, when up to 2 visitors per student, wearing masks, may accompany the resident student. These visitors are required to go directly to the resident student’s room, and may be in residence only during an allocated move-in window.

 

Are the houses wheelchair accessible?

There are 5 wheelchair accessible houses on the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. Contact us so we can create an accomodation plan.

Can I stay over the winter holiday?

The University including Student Housing & Residence Life will be closed during the December Closure (December 23, 2020 to January 2, 2021). As stated in your Residence Agreement; the Resident is expected to vacate the room during the closure but may leave their belongings in their assigned units/bedrooms. The Resident is expected to secure alternate accommodation during this period. For those who absolutely require residence during this time period, Student Housing & Residence Life will allow students with particular circumstances (e.g. international students, out-of-province students), to register to stay in residence during the closure on the StarRez Portal. There is a $300.00 fee for service during this period. Registration to stay for the closure can be discussed with the SHRL office in October/November.

To complete the Winter Break Closure form:

  • Login to the StarRez Portal
  • Select "Manage my Housing"
  • Select your Fall 2020 booking
  • Select "Winter Break Closure form"
  • Complete the form according to the instructions provided

 

Who does the cleaning?

Students are responsible for the general upkeep and cleanliness of the houses including cleaning and garbage disposal. It is recommended that a cleaning schedule be established (and agreed upon by all of your housemates) at the beginning of the year so that future disagreements may be avoided. Houses are inspected by the Maintenance office periodically to ensure that they are kept in good condition.
 
Note: Mops, vacuums, and brooms will be provided.
 
Every month a cleaning service enters units to clean all common areas (bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms)

How do I get downtown?

There are several routes to downtown. There are buses that leave from Scarborough Campus that will take you to the subway stations. From Kennedy station you take the subway until you reach St. George station.

Will you still be honouring the first-year residence guarantee?

We anticipate that we’ll be able to provide accommodation for all first-year students who need residence and we’re committed to ensuring that all students who receive and accept our offer are housed.

 

How will meals be provided in residences with meal plans?

All campus dining outlets have put measures in place to ensure food safety for students. Please refer to the meal plan website for more information: https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/businessdev/residence-meal-plan

How do I get my funds returned when I cancel my space within the deposit refund dates?

Refunds are returned to the credit card the original payment was made with.

Please allow 10-20 business days from the time of cancellation for the refund to be processed.

COVID-19 FAQs

Will residences be open in the fall?

Yes, we’re planning to have students in residence this fall. We know that for many students, residence is an important part of the university experience and we look forward to welcoming you.

What do I do if I am feeling sick?

If a student is feeling ill or experiences any symptoms of illness, they should remain in their bedroom and immediately notify residence staff at 416.287-7365. In the case of emergency, they should call 9-1-1 immediately.

In addition to notifying residence staff, students may also contact Toronto Public Health or Telehealth Ontario as listed below for assistance.

 

o Toronto Public Health Hotline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 from 8:30 a.m. –8 p.m. Translation will be available in multiple languages. Phone: 416-388-7600; TTY: 416-392-0658; Email: PublicHealth@toronto.ca

o Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential service available to get health advice or information (including but not limited to COVID). Calls are answered by Registered Nurses who respond 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Phone: 1-866-797-0000 or TTY: 1-866-797-0007

o https://www.utoronto.ca/utogether2020 provides helpful resources for students.

 

When should I self-isolate?

In accordance with all government requirements, all members of the community must self-isolate if they:

- have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19; OR

- may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or someone with symptoms of COVID-19; OR

- have returned from anywhere outside of Canada within the past 14 days.

Students should inform Student Housing & Residence Life (residences@utsc.utoronto.ca, 416-287-7365) if they are self-isolating.

Note: Residents who are self-isolating and/or quarantined in their residence room should adhere to the public health directives located here.  Specifically, residents self-isolating or quarantining in their residence rooms are prohibited from accessing or using shared residence facilities, such as laundry rooms and study spaces must remain in their room at all times. Residents who need to open the door of their self-isolation accommodation (e.g., to retrieve groceries or meals) must wash their hands immediately before doing so, and wear a face covering when the door is open.

What does it mean to self-isolate?

Residents who are self-isolating and/or quarantined in their residence room should adhere to the public health directives located here.  Specifically, residents self-isolating or quarantining in their residence rooms are prohibited from accessing or using shared residence facilities, such as laundry rooms and study spaces must remain in their room at all times. Residents who need to open the door of their self-isolation accommodation (e.g., to retrieve groceries or meals) must wash their hands immediately before doing so, and wear a face covering when the door is open.

What happens if I don’t follow COVID-19 -safety rules in residence?

Non-compliance with COVID-19 safety rules in residence may pose a health and safety threat to the community and will be treated as a serious matter. The University will make every effort to resolve these issues informally, when possible and appropriate, but may also impose sanctions where individuals or groups of students are not in compliance with these rules.

I’m worried about sharing a room due to concerns with COVID-19 transmission. Can you guarantee me a single room?

Yes. We’re reducing our capacity so that we can assign single rooms to all incoming students for at least the first semester, in consultation with our local public health unit. Requests from siblings and close friends who wish to share a double room will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

I’m an international student planning to move into residence. If I have to quarantine for two weeks when I first arrive, can I do so in residence?

Students who need to fulfill the 14-day mandatory quarantine period will be able to arrive early. Details about early arrival and supports will be communicated to you in the near future.

The University has released the following principles regarding the required quarantine period:

https://www.viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/covid-19/studentroadmap/#Quarantine

Additional information on the process for registering for a mandatory quarantine space and service provisions will be available mid-July.

My classes are mostly online so I’m not sure if I should live in Residence. Any advice?

Living in residence offers students numerous opportunities to meet and interact with peers, explore the campus environment, be part of a community, and find enriching experiences that go beyond the classroom. We will be providing a mix of virtual and in-person activities and invite you to explore the various activities we have to offer that will provide memorable experiences only available on campus.

What measure have U of T residences taken due to COVID-19 to ensure facilities are safe for students?

We are working hard to implement several safety measures to help students stay safe and healthy in residence. These measures meet and, in some cases, exceed the recommendation set by public health officials. They include:

All residences have updated signage that promotes physical distancing, hand washing, and other health and safety reminders.

Additional hand sanitizing dispensers have been installed in buildings.

Residence staff members have been trained on health and safety measures.

All spaces including high touch areas are cleaned on a more rigorous schedule.

All residences have implemented enhanced cleaning protocols that include disinfecting.

Additional physical distancing equipment, such as plexiglass barriers, are in place in areas following public health guidelines.

 

Will I have full access to all the residence amenities and spaces like common rooms?

We are implementing measures to ensure safe access to residence amenities and spaces. This includes enhanced cleaning, additional signage, limiting capacity, and spacing of furniture. We may be required to limit access to these spaces as per public health guidelines and will be working closely with our residence communities if this does occur.

If I choose not to live in residence this year due to COVID-19, will I be guaranteed a space in residence in fall 2021?

No, the First Year Guarantee is only for your first year at UofT. Some residences have limited spaces for upper year students and you would be eligible to apply for those.

What should I bring?

Due to COVID-19, bring personal kitchen items such as cutlery, glasses, bowls, plates, and mugs.  While packing to travel internationally consider packing lightly including toiletries, phone, backpack, clothing, and an additional supply of non-medical masks.  Just think of what you would use on a regular basis and chances are you'll need to bring them with you to residence.

After arriving to campus, there are local stores and purchasing items such as bedding, linen, posters/pictures, pots & pans, food containers, fan, and food.

You may also pre-order linens from Residence Linens (https://residencelinens.com/)

I’m an international student planning to move into residence. If I have to quarantine for two weeks when I first arrive, can I do so in residence?

Students who need to fulfill the 14-day mandatory quarantine period will be able to arrive early. Details found at this link:

https://www.viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/covid-19/#Quarantine

Early arrivals, please contact info.quarantine@utoronto.ca.

The University has released the following principles regarding the required quarantine period:

https://www.viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/covid-19/studentroadmap/#Quarantine

SELF-ISOLATING

Rule: In accordance with all government requirements, all members of the community must self-isolate if they:

-           have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19; OR

-           may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or someone with symptoms of COVID-19; OR

-           have returned from anywhere outside of Canada within the past 14 days.

Students shall inform Student Housing & Residence Life (residences@utsc.utoronto.ca, 416-287-7365) if they are self-isolating.

Note: Residents who are self-isolating and/or quarantined in their residence room should adhere to the public health directives located at: https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/95bd-COVID-19-How-to-Self-Isolate.pdfSpecifically, residents self-isolating or quarantining in their residence rooms are prohibited from accessing or using shared residence facilities, such as laundry rooms, fitness rooms, study spaces and cafeterias and must remain in their room at all times. Residents who need to open the door of their self-isolation accommodation (e.g., to retrieve groceries or meals) must wash their hands immediately before doing so, and wear a face covering when the door is open. 

If I can’t come for September, can I move into residence later in the term or January? Will I still be guaranteed a space?

If you cannot come for September but hope to come later in the academic year, you will need to pay the first deposit to maintain your Residence Guarantee status.  Next, you must login to the StarRez Portal to select the option that pertains to you by July 31, and pay your second deposit ($1,400) by August 14.  Being an Active Applicant means you will maintain your guarantee and we are committed to housing you for the date you register to arrive to campus on.

Active applicant options to select in StarRez Portal by July 31:

1. Arrive between October 1 - November 30 (You will be asked for your anticipated arrival date and we wil follow up with you later about your specific arrival).

2. Arriving for January 2021
 

More details can be found at: https://utsc.utoronto.ca/residences/first-year-applicants

 

How will I make friends and build relationships/community while social distancing in residence?

Our residence staff members are working hard to ensure students feel connected, engaged, and academically supported in their residence communities through fun, virtual events and small in-person activities.