It’s no secret. As a mid-size city with a naturally-appealing quality of life conveniently located close to Toronto, boasting a regional hospital, airport and two post-secondary institutions, Peterborough is increasingly seen as a desirable place to live, work and study.
These factors, combined with the growing international reputation of Trent University, are attracting more students to pursue a post secondary degree here. This translates into growing enrolment with all the economic, social and cultural benefits of welcoming more young people to our community.
Peterborough, like cities all across Canada, needs to increase the amount of housing of all types, and Trent is doing our part by advancing a number of projects to add both student and general accommodations within our community.
A new on-campus student residence
The first is the construction of a new first-year student residence on the East Bank of the Symons Campus, along with a redevelopment and expansion of the Otonabee College residence. These two projects will add as many as 700 new residence beds and enhance the quality of at least 500 more. Construction will begin in 2025 with a target opening date of 2027 for the new residence.
Upper-year student housing on Water Street
At the same time, the University is also entering into a land lease with Residence Development Corporation (RDC) to construct new townhouse-style housing on Water Street, just south of the main campus. RDC is aiming to build approximately 215 spaces, specifically for upper-year Trent students, and is hoping to complete the building in 2024. RDC has a proven track record of delivering high quality student accommodations such as the buildings on Water Street across from the University, and this new project will provide students with a comfortable, safe place to live within walking distance of campus.
Seniors Village and long-term care home
Trent continues to advance its vision of a University-Integrated Seniors Village at the north-end of the campus at Water St and Woodland Drive. A 224-bed not-for-profit long-term care home to be built and operated by peopleCare is expected to break ground in 2024, and plans for the rest of the village includes a mix of intergenerational housing and complementary services.
As we advance these projects to increase Peterborough’s rental housing capacity, the University is also supporting students to find housing today. Housing Services helps students with resources and information on topics such as finding housing, mediating conflict with roommates, and engaging positively with landlords; and wraparound supports and services for those living both on and off-campus include academic, social and financial assistance – including a $25,000 emergency housing fund for students in need.
Addressing the need for more housing in our community requires collaboration by developers, the City of Peterborough, local agencies, the provincial and federal government, and our two post-secondary institutions. Trent will continue to be involved as a productive and creative part of this broad coalition to ensure we can create a welcoming and vibrant home-away-from-home for students for many years to come.
This article, penned by Julie Davis, vice president, External Relations & Development, originally appeared in Peterborough Examiner on April 14.