Residence and student life

At Waterloo, what you learn outside of the classroom is just as important as what you learn inside. Co-op, clubs, and campus activities are some of many ways to expand your learning at Waterloo. 

Many of your best university memories will undoubtedly come from experiences like late nights chats in residence, joining clubs, or scoring the winning goal for your soccer team.

Guaranteed residence

With guaranteed residence for first-year and transfer students, you'll be in the middle of the action. Living in residence means you'll be close to your classes, labs and tutorials, the Student Life Centre, gyms, places to eat, and more.

Each of Waterloo's first-year residences offer personal and academic support such as Living-Learning Communities and academic clusters, residence life staff, and social activities to help you adjust to living away from home.

Conrad Grebel University College is an on-campus residence that's not a part of the housing guarantee. To live there, you must apply to Conrad Grebel's residence and participate in a group interview prior to June.

Residences at Waterloo

We offer two groups of residences: the main Waterloo residences and four on-campus University Colleges.

  Main Waterloo residences University College residences
Located on campus? Yes Yes
Single and double rooms? Yes Yes
Suite/apartment style and traditional dorm style rooms? Both Traditional style
Where do you eat? At residence or at outlets around campus At your residence
Meal plans Required for traditional residences; optional for suite-style Included in the cost of residence
How many students in each residence? 320 to 1380 students 142 to 360 students
Learn more Waterloo Residences University Colleges

Student clubs and staying active

Our campus is packed with opportunities to get involved no matter how unique your interests. Between our clubs, teams, sports leagues, societies, and events, there’s something for everyone!

running club

250+ clubs

Explore your interests and meet new friends through clubs and student societies.

waterloo hockey players on ice

Staying active

Compete or play for fun in Waterloo's sports and campus recreation programs.

students at concert

A city for students

Enjoy life in our student-friendly city that's home to 2 universities and a college.


Eating on campus

Whether it's vegan and vegetarian smoothies and flatbreads at Frsh, the all-day breakfast at ML's Diner, or creating your own pho at South Side Marketplace, our 38 on-campus eateries mean that you'll always have plenty of choice.

And you're never far from a coffee shop like Starbucks, Tim Hortons, or William's. Plus student-run locations are great for good coffee and cheap snacks. Need caffeine late at night? Grab coffee, food, snacks, and more 24/7 in the Student Life Centre!

Student adding dressing to a bowl of salad

Special dietary needs?

Vegetarian? Observing Ramadan? Have allergies? We can help! See our common questions about eating on campus.

A wrap cut in half on a plate

Eating in residence

Getting a residence meal plan gives you access to an incredible range of food! Check out this week's menu to see what the options are!

Students sitting in Starbucks at the University of Waterloo

Eating outside of residence

With a meal plan, you can also eat or get your caffeine fix at Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Pita Pit, Pizza Pizza, Teriyaki Experience, Booster Juice, and more.