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Trent University Explores Next Steps for Housing Strategies

August 15, 2019

Plans will help meet demand for student housing and support City’s housing efforts

Students sitting at a picnic table at Traill College

Trent University is joining other community efforts, taking further steps to provide housing in Peterborough, initiating a housing strategy that can help improve the housing situation while accommodating first-year and upper-year students.

Trent University’s Board of Governors recently approved next steps for a housing strategy to address increasing enrolment and respond to housing pressures in the Peterborough community.

The first phase of the Trent plan, which focuses on the Peterborough campus, includes a proposal for building a new 400-bed college residence on the Symons Campus and adding 150 residence spaces at Traill College. A second phase of the project would include a 150-bed addition to an existing college on the Symons Campus as well as the renovation of residence spaces at Otonabee College.

“Peterborough is unique in having two very successful institutions which are attracting a growing number of students. Together Trent and Fleming contribute $1 billion in economic benefit annually to the community,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “Trent’s housing strategy recognizes the partnership with the City and our community that we greatly value.”

The University’s housing strategy was developed after extensive engagement and dialogue with key stakeholders in the Trent community, including students. The planning process began in the fall of 2017, with an identification of the mission, vision, and values and the establishment of a set of guiding principles for housing students in residence at Trent University. Throughout the 2018-2019 academic year, the University developed a 10-year facilities renovation plan, and partnered with The Scion Group to assess student housing market and demand. The final housing strategy details initiatives relating to renovation, new construction, and programming.

On July 22, 2019, the University issued two requests for proposals to seek the expertise required to create both a housing development plan as well as a financial strategy to fund the plan. 

Following the selection of successful bidders, the University will continue to engage in conversations and dialogue with the Trent community and relevant stakeholders as we work with partners to confirm the academic and residence needs, and possible locations. It is anticipated that construction of the new college residence would begin late 2021. When the creation of a new college is confirmed, the Honorific and Wayfinding Naming Committee will develop and implement the process to guide the University in deciding upon a name.

The University is also in the midst of updating its campus master plan, and is envisioning a residential community that would feature leading edge sustainable buildings and a community designed around innovative approaches to the environment. Possibilities include a long-term care village that would meet regional needs for elder care.

Trent continues to work with homestay to identify families and staff members interested in hosting international students in their homes.

About Trent University

One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.

For more information contact:
Cara Walsh, communications & media relations officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6240 or

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