Canada Gets More Purpose-Built Student Housing


There is a soaring demand for off-campus, purpose-built student housing in Canada, but the supply lags far behind.  The Quad York is one of the few available privately owned student housing solutions in Canada, offering premium student housing on the York University campus.  The United States, along with some European countries, have long developed a trend for constructing housing specifically targeted at meeting students’ rental accommodation needs.  However, Canada is only now beginning to play catch-up in this industry, and may still have a long way to go to match what is obtainable in the U.S. and Europe.

“Student housing is a subset of the apartment industry,” said Derek Lobo, chief executive officer and broker of record for SVN Canada Inc. and SVN Rock Advisors Inc. Brokerage, quoted on “Apartments have been held back in many Canadian provinces because of rent controls.

“We haven’t had a merchant apartment building industry in Canada since the ’70s. If you don’t have a primary apartment industry, you’re not going to have the spin-off industry of student housing.”

The Quad student residence near York University is one of the few facilities taking advantage of the available demand for student housing in Canada. The Quad provides large, quiet, and state-of-the-art facilities ideal for a study environment. This facility is conspicuously located on the southern side of the York University Keele Campus.  Aside from a very few small religion-based university campuses, there are only a few other universities in Canada that can provide adequate on-campus housing to meet the demand. Most universities in Canada typically only have some on-campus housing such as dormitories and apartments for students coming from faraway places to study. These on-campus accommodations are usually equipped with just the very basic amenities. Some may also provide meal plans to go, but this is usually as far as it goes.

In the Quad’s student residences, student units come with a fully furnished kitchen, high-speed internet, and gas. Students can easily access their rooms from wherever they are on campus. They also enjoy adequate parking spaces, large shopping areas, restaurants, and entertainment without having to leave school grounds. This student housing community was developed to provide students at York University an opportunity to enjoy modern rooms, restaurants, entertainment, and other facilities within the campus environment. The Quad offers full amenities to students, giving them a chance to live in fully furnished units while having access to wireless internet, a gym, lounge areas, and a lot more privacy than is usually obtainable in student accommodations. One of the most interesting features of the housing facility is that it has 17 commercial businesses, including food vendors, shops, barbers, and dentists, among others. Students would hardly find any need to leave the housing unit except togo to classes.

Due to the success experienced in the business of running the Quad student residence near York University, a decision was made in 2017 to build the Arc in Winnipeg near the University of Manitoba; the building is presently under construction and is expected to open in September 2020. The Arc is a 16-storey student residence with single-level underground parking. The project happens to be Manitoba’s first luxury student housing community and it is suitably located directly across the street from the entrance to the University of Winnipeg.

The company is also building The Hub in Calgary. This project is also still under construction.

The proposal to commence construction of the Hub was submitted in May 2017.With all permit processes and soil tests completed, the construction officially commenced in January 2019.