Glimpse into future of student housing at York University

The new buildings will be built around central courtyards and will include amenities such as fitness facilities, lounges and games rooms

The new buildings will be built around central courtyards and will include amenities such as fitness facilities, lounges and games rooms

The team designing the Quad student housing community has been hard at work over the past several months, finalizing the design for what will not only be the home to hundreds of York University students, but a major architectural statement on the south side of the Keele campus.

The Quad student housing community, with 800 beds in two six-storey buildings, will be built on the south side of the Pond Road, to the east of Sentinel Road. The new buildings will feature modern suite-style units with kitchens, and many of the private bedrooms will have their own ensuite washrooms. Amenities, including lounges, outdoor courtyards, games rooms and fitness facilities will round out the Quad. The residential units will be for the exclusive occupancy of York University and Seneca@York students. The Quad project also includes a two-storey retail building that will frame a new publicly accessible square at the centre of the project. The south side of the Pond Road will be a pedestrian-friendly environment, with generous sidewalks and a tree-lined “greenway.”

The southeast corner of the Pond Road and Sentinel Road at night: The Quad project will create a pedestrian-first environment on the south side of the Pond Road, including cafes, stores and an open-air plaza

The southeast corner of the Pond Road and Sentinel Road at night. The Quad project will create a pedestrian-first environment on the south side of the Pond Road, including cafes, stores and an open-air plaza

The Quad will be delivered via a unique agreement between York University and a private Canadian company, FCS Development Corp., which was in turn formed by Campus Suites and Forum Equity Partners. FCS will lease the Quad site from the University, and will design, build, finance, maintain and operate the new facilities – delivering them at no net cost to the University.

Henry Morton, president of Campus Suites and a York University alumnus, has built more than 11,000 beds of student housing at universities and colleges across the United States. “We are excited to take our extensive development experience and bring it to York and its students,” said Morton. “The Quad will be one of the preeminent, purpose-built student housing sites in the country. We have developed a relationship with York and its community that ensures that the needs of all stakeholders were heard and incorporated in the final designs.”

The “Greenway” along the Pond Road will be an important design feature of the project, helping to create a comfortable experience of pedestrians

The “greenway” along the Pond Road will be an important design feature of the project, helping to create a comfortable experience for pedestrians

“The Quad student housing community will benefit York’s students, and is part of our broader housing strategy of reinvesting in our existing residences and working with experienced private firms to deliver new beds,” said Gary Brewer, vice-president finance and administration at York University. “This project will deliver high-quality new housing on the doorstep of our classrooms.”

Last year, York and the developer signed a Master Development Agreement for the Quad project following a long period of design and consultation with the York community, including students, staff and faculty. FCS has applied to the City of Toronto for the various municipal planning approvals required to undertake this project. Expect to see City of Toronto “development proposal” notices posted on the south side of the Pond Road shortly.

As this project moves closer to construction, further updates about the Quad will be posted, including any changes to the surface parking lots on the south side of the Pond Road.

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