WATCH ABOVE: A new idea is emerging that combines the student residence experience with off-campus living. Mark McAllister reports.
TORONTO —; A new idea is emerging among Toronto post-secondary institutions that combines the student residence experience with off-campus living.
The doors to what used to be the Primrose Hotel at Carlton Street and Jarvis Street will be open again under the name ‘Parkside’ next week.
The private development from Knightstone Capital promises a full-scale gym, study lounges and social areas. An unlimited food program will be available for students living there as well.
“There is a very big need for this in this market of residences,” marketing manager Kamal Uppal said. “We have a lot of students who come from all over the world and they have such a hard time finding places to stay.”
Just blocks away from Ryerson University, the building has 600 rooms available for prices ranging from $990 to $1,985 monthly. The residence’s website says it is designed around students of Ryerson, the University of Toronto, OCAD, GBC and other nearby schools.
It’s a welcome option for some when finding housing near Toronto’s post-secondary institutions can be a serious problem for first-year students.
“It makes sense for students that still want the experience to live close but don’t necessarily get into residence,” said Jivana Basra.
The management company for Parkside claims to be at 95 per cent capacity for the upcoming year. Marketing campaigns have been aimed at registered students from schools other than Ryerson as well.
Knightstone is also involved in a couple of other projects affiliated with Toronto colleges and universities. One has already been deemed a success by those involved. The other has spawned controversy in the area where it’s being built.
Next year, the Centennial College Residence & Culinary Arts Centre will be opening in Scarborough, combining both a place for students to live with academic space to learn.
University Place on College Street has been the subject of debate since first proposed despite an affiliation with U of T.
Local residents’ groups took issue with the plans to build 42 storeys and claimed a privately owned residence wouldn’t comply with U of T rules and regulations.
Those concerns were taken to the Ontario Municipal Board for a hearing last month where the developer won the right to go ahead with the project as planned. It is now scheduled to open in 2017.
As for those moving into the Parkside residence this school year, they are being promised an experience different from any other.
“We are going to be doing lots of events throughout the year so that they feel this is a home,” Uppal said. “We don’t want them to feel like they are going into a residence or apartment or condo.”