Fall 2021 Information

Residence in Fall

Due to the ongoing changes with COVID-19 and wanting to ensure the safest residence experience possible certain decisions about residence for the fall 2021 term are still being determined. We are working closely with Campus Wellness, the Safety Office, and Waterloo Region Public Health in order to determine student to washroom ratios, if there will be roommates and which buildings can safely accommodate students. Please continue to check your email and this webpage for the most up-to-date decision on fall 2021 residence.  

We look forward to welcoming you home. 

Decisions about Residence

New updates

  • All residence buildings, except Columbia Lake Village South will be open for fall 2021. To learn more about each of the residence buildings please visit the Our Residences section of our website.

  • Update about double Rooms: Students may be assigned to double rooms with a roommate in any of our residence buildings except Columbia Lake Village-South. Roommate requests are permitted in both traditional and suite-style residences.

    • The re-introduction of double rooms with roommate pairs represents a change from the 2020-2021 academic year and our growing confidence that public health efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 are working. Every campus residence has robust safety measures in place to support their room assignment approach and will be sharing more about these measures throughout the summer.
  • We are encouraging everyone arriving on campus this fall to be vaccinated. After extensive consultation with public health and our on-campus partners, Campus Housing will not be requiring students to be vaccinated to live in residence this fall.

Previous decisions

  • Campus Housing will be open to students for fall term. Whether your classes are online or in-person, students are welcome to live with us. 

  • Campus Housing is working closely with Public Health authorities to implement safety recommendations. See how we’re keeping you safe below. 

    • Please note changes could continue to happen as decisions are made in ongoing consultation with Region of Waterloo Public Health, Campus Wellness, and the campus Safety Office. If changes are made after filling out the Campus Housing Preference Form, you will be notified by email. 

  • Food Services will be open to students for the fall term. Learn more on the food services website.

  • First year students who have completed the Residence Community Ranking form and confirmed their commitment to residence by June 1, 2021 with a deposit and are no longer able to come to campus this fall can request a deposit refund. Be sure to request your refund by Monday, June 7 2021 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). Study permit holders will be granted a refund after this deadline as we understand that international travel continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Study permit students must cancel before arriving on campus in September. Students who have completed the Residence Community Ranking form and submitted a deposit will receive a link to the refund request form by email. 
    • If you are uncomfortable with the possibility of being assigned to a double room with a roommate, you have the opportunity to cancel your application and receive a full refund of your residence deposit based on the above dates.
    • For students who deferred from Fall 2020 that have not taken any courses and want to be a part of the guarantee please send an email to housing@uwaterloo before you apply.
  • Upper year, graduate, and exchange students are not eligible for a refund on their residence deposit once they have confirmed their space in residence. Students with a confirmed contract are financially responsible to pay for the entire contract. Ensure you are able to come to residence before confirming your contract. Learn more about contract cancellations and appeals
    • Please note that study permit holders are provided additional flexibility. Study permit holders can request a deposit refund by emailing housing@uwaterloo.ca.

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How we're ensuring your safety in residence


Plexiglass at the front desks

Front desks are a major hub in each residence community. Students can pick up mail, make photocopies, ask questions and access resources. We have erected new plexiglass shields to keep both students and our front desk student staff safe.

Disinfectant Wipes Dispensers

Disinfectant wipes dispensers have been added to dozens of spaces throughout our communities. This will allow students and staff to wipe down surfaces with a disposable disinfecting wipe between scheduled twice a day cleaning.

Disinfecting Procedures

Our Cleaning Services staff are meeting and exceeding public health recommendations regarding cleaning and disinfecting all spaces in residences, particularly high touch surfaces.  


Touchless Faucets

Touchless faucets have been added to most of our public washroom spaces to decrease high touch areas.

Virtual Programming

Our Student Development and Residence Life staff are working hard to ensure students feel connected, engaged, and academically supported in their residence communities through fun, virtual events and activities.


 Additional changes to our spaces include;

  • Foot door pulls and door levers have been added at all public circulation doors to decrease the amount of high touch points when opening doors and improve our accessibility throughout our communities.
  • Foot operated elevator buttons have been added to the elevator controls so students can call and select their floors without the use of their hands (normal elevator buttons are still available for accessibility purposes).
  • Power Door Operators have either been added or enhanced at most of our main entry ways. This includes replacing hand button operators with pedestal operators to allow for hands free opening of doors.
  • Over 250 hand sanitizing stations have been added throughout our buildings.
  • Signage has been placed throughout the buildings to indicate things like traffic flow, elevator max occupancy, enter and exit doors, and room max occupancy. Other examples include reminders of Public Health safety reminders like; hand washing, social distancing practices, etc. 
  • Furniture reduction has been implemented throughout all our spaces. Furniture has been reduced to allow for proper distancing.
  • Large study areas, washrooms, meeting rooms, and customer service spaces have all been equipped with plexiglass partitions if furniture placement alone did not provide proper distancing between users. Plexiglass partitions will continue to be added to our spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

All Student Groups 

Graduate Students 

Incoming Graduate Students 

Current Graduate students