Conestoga College adds 3 properties in Waterloo to create more student housing

The Conestoga College campus. Conestoga College

With the school recently coming under fire for a lack of student housing, Conestoga College says it has acquired three properties in Waterloo in order to provide more beds for students.

The college says it will lease the Inn of Waterloo on King Street and it has also purchased properties at 400 Albert St. and 419 Hazel St.

“As our community grows, it is essential that we provide modern and accessible housing options for our students,” said Trish Weigel Green, vice president, students. “We know that housing is an integral part of the student experience. By investing in new facilities, we are helping create a supportive environment that promotes personal and academic success.”

In total, the school says that the three locations will offer 455 beds for students.

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A release from the school also touts the purchase of 60 University Ave. E. in 2023 and says it is finalizing a deal to acquire property in Milton as well.

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In recent weeks, the school has come under fire as it has the largest international student bases in the country and has less than a thousand rooms for students.

Regional Councillor Michael Harris called the school out for its lack of housing after meeting a student who was living in the Doon neighbourhood with 13 others.

He noted that the school had rapidly expanded its enrollment, quickly growing by tens of thousands over a shot period, without adding any additional housing.

“I mean, you can’t … plug 10,000 students into a community and not feel the pressures of social services and even housing,” Harris told Global News.

The school, which has 30,000 foreign students, is likely feeling some pressure after the federal government recently clamped down on foreign students coming to Canada in an effort to curb down some of the issues the influx of students into the country has caused.

Last month, Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced that the feds were set to install a two-year national cap on the intake of students which would see 364,000 approved study permits, down 35 per cent from 2023.

“In order to maintain a sustainable level of temporary residence in Canada, as well to ensure that there is no further growth in the number of international students in Canada for 2024, we are setting a national application intake cap for a period of two years for 2024,” Miller said when the move was announced.


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