The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) is the largest division, in terms of enrollment, of the University of Toronto (U of T), which is the largest university in Canada. The Mississauga campus offers 15 academic departments, 147 programs and 90 areas of study, with an enrollment of 13,500 undergraduate students and 575 graduate students. UTM offers student housing to single graduate and undergraduate students, students with families, and faculty and staff.

Background

UTM selected the team led by The Scion Group, including Ernst & Young and Hanscomb, through a competitive bid process to develop a Student Housing Master Plan. The process included data gathering and review, a visioning phase through which guiding principles and standards for Student Housing and Residence Life (SHRL) were developed, a market and demand analysis, facilities analysis and cost estimating, program planning and a financial analysis.

Analysis

The team’s work included significant engagement with students, staff, faculty and community stakeholders, and considered the University’s existing strategic documents, including U of T’s Towards 2030, Strategic Management Agreement, Campus Master Plan, and Academic Plan. The Scion team created and analyzed a survey targeting multiple student cohorts, examined the off campus rental market and the residential options provided by peer and competing institutions, and conducted a series of workshops with students and other campus stakeholders to develop and refine the resulting Housing Master Plan.

Results

Scion’s recommendations to the University included increasing the focus on first-year students to create an intentional first-year community in order to enhance the student experience and create additional opportunities for student development at UTM. Scion also recommended renovations to some of the residence halls – with a focus on improving the resident experience – and suggested occupancy management strategies.

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