Whether you are from overseas, another part of Canada or the Toronto area, residence is a great way to be part of the U of T community. Each year, approximately half of our first‑year Engineering students live in residence. Engineering students lead busy lives, and living on campus gives you full access to academic resources, student services, and plenty of friends.

The Residence Guarantee & How to Apply

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 complete the university’s common residence application (StarRez) and accept their offer of admission by the stated deadline. For more information about the Residence Guarantee, residence options and how to apply, please visit the Housing Services section of the U of T website.

Residence offers a number of advantages:

  • You’re right in the middle of the action when it comes to taking part in sports, clubs and extracurricular activities.
  • You’ll find instant friendship and with roommates and neighbours.
  • Many of your classmates will be in residence, so it’s easy to form study groups.
  • There’s always someone from Engineering to talk to, including live-in residence assistants, dons and upper-year students who can offer advice and guidance.
  • You’re minutes from class.
  • Each residence has 24‑hour porters and/or security cameras, making sure that every student feels safe.
  • On‑campus dining offers a diverse range of cuisine options to cater to every taste and need.

Take a virtual tour of Chestnut Residence:

An interview with Gerry Ip who lives in residence

Age 20, third-year student in Civil Engineering

Where do you live?

89 Chestnut Residence, behind City Hall, about 15 minutes away from campus. It’s refreshing to not always be at school — it’s a nice walk and very convenient.

How long have you lived in residence?
This will be my third year.

What are the advantages of living in residence?
The main thing for me was meals were prepared and I didn’t have to worry about cooking. I like to have my time to study, and it’s nice to be able to eat with your friends. There are a lot of engineers, about 500, in the same building, so if you have questions you can go to their room, especially at exam time.

What do you like best about living in residence?
Just being able to socialize when you want to. If I’m lonely, I can visit a neighbour. I have my own bathroom, the food is decent and it’s good for your social life.

Why did you choose residence?
I’m from Vancouver; it was my first year living away from home. I thought it would be a better transition for me so I could get used to managing my time.

Do you, or did you, have a roommate?
I had roomies for first and second years. In first year, we got paired. My roommate and I had similar interests; he was in the same Engineering program and was from Vancouver too. We’re good friends now. Second year, I chose my roommate. We were in the same program and helped each other with homework. I’ve met people who had soul-mate roommates and were best buddies.

What about this year?
I’m living by myself this year. I wanted my own peace and quiet at times.

How does living in residence affect your social life?
It’s convenient. I am involved, but only in two clubs every year. I do like my extracurriculars, but I don’t want it to be overwhelming.

How does living in residence affect your outlook?
It makes me realize how much more independent I would need to be if I didn’t live in residence. There’s a once-a-week cleaning service at 89 Chestnut; they clean your bathroom and vacuum. You realize how these small things are important; you realize these things are luxuries. And there are a lot of resources in residence. You can always ask upper-year students for help.

How does residence affect your studies?
Positively. It’s mainly the time saving. You eat in residence, and you have easy access to friends for help. I can just walk across the room.

Would you recommend it to other students (first-years in particular)?
I would, yes. Residence is a very important part of university. It allows you to meet so many people – students from other Engineering programs and from other parts of U of T. They all have different perspectives. You can talk to the dons and ask for advice. It’s great to be able to live downtown. But you need self control because there are a lot of ways to get distracted!

What surprised you most about living in residence?
I was surprised at the number of people I met. I wouldn’t have met half the friends I have now. Residence is a tight community and Engineering is tight too. You have the same classes and see the same people in many classes, so it’s double tight. I was also surprised by the level of school spirit. I was used to school spirit in high school because it’s smaller, but I didn’t expect it at university. We have an event called Cannonball at the beginning of the year. And we have a version of Frosh week in January — it’s called Godiva week. Those events help promote school spirit.

Do you have any advice for first-years who are coming into residence?
Even living in residence, you have to make an effort to meet people and reach out. The possibilities are big at Chestnut.