artist's rendering of UTM new student residence

‘More students want to live on campus:’ UTM plans new residence to support student success

Kate Martin

University of Toronto Mississauga is planning to grow its residence community and boost on-campus living spaces to help meet demand for housing. 

Slated to open in 2026, the new building, which will be located next to Oscar Peterson Hall (OPH), northwest of Residence Road, includes 400 beds, bringing the total number of students housed on campus to approximately 1,900.  

This will be UTM’s newest residence since the completion of OPH in 2007. 

The new residence is part of a tri-campus investment to meet the growing need for student housing, with 1,446 more spaces expected to be added over the next three years across U of T. 

If approved by university governance in the spring, this new building will help UTM continue to meet its student housing guarantee for first-year students. The guarantee supports their transition to university by placing them at the centre of the student experience, building supportive residence communities, and providing 24/7 resources, programming and activities.  

“More students want to live on campus, and we are working to make that happen,” says Brian Cunha, director of student housing and residence life. “Supporting our students is always our goal, and this new residence will help foster student success by enhancing the overall experience and encouraging collaboration and a sense of belonging on campus.”  

The six-storey structure will include 115 single bedrooms, 135 double bedrooms and 15 bedrooms for residence support staff (dons). 

artist's rendering of the view looking up a the new UTM student residence

There will be a don for every 25 students and the building will include accessibility features such as wayfinding braille and 130 AODA-accessible rooms.  

Designed with a focus on community building, the 116,560-square-foot residence has areas for social and educational programs, laundry facilities, a meeting room, a music room, lounge spaces and more. Residents will share dining and administrative services with OPH.  

The design is a collaboration between Toronto-based architects Montgomery Sisam and Denmark-based firm Christensen & Co., with an emphasis on UTM’s Campus Master Plan, Strategic Framework and sustainability goals, better preparing UTM and its communities for the future. 

The plan integrates the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including high quality daylight, acoustics and indoor climate, solar panels, smart lighting and water-efficient fixtures. 

In his presentation to UTM Campus Affairs Committee in February, Mark Overton, assistant principal, student services and dean of student affairs, said students have indicated an increased need for on-campus housing as affordable options for off-campus housing in Mississauga become increasingly limited due to rising rents and declining vacancy in the Greater Toronto Area. 

He also noted research has shown that living in residence has a positive impact on grades, better retention to second year and higher persistence to graduation, adding that graduation rates for international students in UTM residences are 14 per cent higher than their off-campus peers.