Waterloo Residences acknowledges that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes ten kilometers on each side of the Grand River.
Why choose residence?
What our students say…
Common terms explained
What is a suite-style residence?
Suite-style communities offer apartment-style accommodations where students have a single or double room in a 3 or 4 bedroom unit. All suites come equipped with a kitchen, common area, storage space, and 1 or 2 bathrooms that are shared with other students in that suite. Meal plans are not required, as students can prepare their own meals in their kitchen if they choose.
What is a traditional-style residence?
Traditional style, commonly known as dorm-style, make living easy for students. There are single rooms, interconnecting rooms or double rooms. Most traditional-style residences have singled-gendered floors, except Claudette Miller Hall. Students share bathroom facilities with others living on their floor. Students can share the bathroom facilities with anywhere from 3 to 24 other students. Students living in a traditional-style residence can enjoy their meals prepared for them in the eatery located in their building. A meal plan is required for students in traditional-style communities.
What a is Living-Learning community? How do I join?
A Living-Learning Community is a group of students from the same program or faculty, who live together in the same area of residence. Each group is assigned an upper-year mentor who offers mentorship and support.
Our Living-Learning Communities are:
- Arts and Business
- Recreation and Leisure Studies
- Accounting and Finance
- Global Business and Digital Arts
- Science Academic Clusters
To join a Living-Learning Community, please indicate this option on your Residence Community Ranking Form. You will be placed in the residence that your Living-Learning Community is located in. Learn more about Living-Learning communities.
What is a suitemate/roommate/flatmate?
In Canada, the common term to refer to someone you share a room with is called a roommate. Roommates will each have their own beds in one room.
A suitemate is a term used to refer to someone you share a suite/apartment with. Each suitemate would have their own individual bedroom and would share common spaces like the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. A flatmate is a term commonly interchangeable with the term suitemate.
Meal Plans in Waterloo Residences
What is a meal plan and what are my options?
A meal plan is money stored on your WatCard that can be used specifically to purchase food from any of our on-campus Food Services eateries. There are meal plan options for both traditional-style and suite-style residences.
See fees for mandatory meal plans (traditional-style only)
See fees for optional meal plans (suite-style and off-campus only)
All meal plan fees are paid with your tuition and residence fees before the start of each term.
If you have food allergies or a restricted diet for religious or cultural reasons, the residence eateries will work to be able to accommodate you. Vegetarian (no-meat diet), vegan (no-animal product diet) and halal food is always available in Waterloo Residences eateries. The Village 1 eatery also opens two hours before dawn during Ramadan.
Once you arrive, please speak with the Chef in your eatery to ensure that your needs are fully met. For more information, contact UW Food Services.
What are Flex dollars and where can I use them?
Flex dollars are used to top up your Residence Meal Plan Allowance (RMPA) account before the end of term and for additional on–campus services such as vending machines, laundry, buying textbooks and even for buying food at participating off–campus restaurants. You can also transfer money from your Flex Dollars – which can be loaded onto your WatCard any time – to your empty RMPA account. That way you can keep getting that valuable tax exemption.
Staff at the Department of Housing and Residences take the safety of students living in residence very seriously. The Department takes every precaution necessary to ensure all students in residence feel safe and comfortable in their environments. Students are encouraged to practice basic security measures, including locking their door when they are not at home or when they're asleep and not holding exterior doors open for non-residents. Learn more about residence safety.
Residence Facilities: All facilities have been designed for safety and security. Buildings, houses, and floors are locked and students must have a key to access those areas. All floors or houses are accessible only to the residents of that floor or house and each student has a key to their room and/or suite.
Residence Staff: Waterloo Residences has staff onsite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every residence has a "Duty Don" available 8 p.m. - 8 a.m. daily, with a cell phone number you can call for any emergencies. Most Front Desks are open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week where you can go with any questions, concerns, or assistance with your room keys. After hours facility staff are also available for any maintenance requests after working hours.
In addition, adult Residence Life Co-ordinators (RLCs) live on campus between Mackenzie King Village and Ron Eydt Village. One of the five RLCs is always on duty and available to respond to emergencies.
Campus Services: UW Police are on duty 24/7 and can always be called for assistance. UW Police work with the Waterloo Regional Police Force to ensure that the University, as well as the City of Waterloo, is a safe place to live.
Students often use the UW Shuttle Service to get back to residence from night classes. Help lines are also located throughout the University of Waterloo and can be used to report safety issues and emergency situations.
Frequently Asked Questions from International Students
What is the "residence guarantee"? How do I know if I qualify?
The 100% Residence Guarantee at the University of Waterloo is a collaborative effort between Waterloo Residences and the University College Residences. All first-year undergraduate students have the opportunity to stay in residence during their first-year if they apply by the June deadline. Note: Conrad Grebel is not included in the first-year guarantee and follows a separate application process.
Learn more about the first-year application process.
What happens if I miss the deadline to be guaranteed residence?
If you miss the deadline for the residence guarantee you can apply to the Vacancy Application. This application does not guarantee you a place in residence, and will be used if residence spaces open up and vacant rooms need to be filled.
What happens if I don’t like my room assignment?
All of our residences offer a strong sense of community, support for academic pursuits, full-time professional staff, and many amenities to make it feel like home. Upon move-in, our Residence Life Staff team will help students adjust to their new living placement and ensure their students feel supported and comfortable in their placement. Conversations with your Residence Life Don can help ease the transition and develop ways on how to make the most out of your Waterloo Residences experience.
How is residence inclusive for all students?
Waterloo Residences, and our Residence Life staff provide inclusive living spaces to all residents by creating an inclusive environment within each community.
Multi-Faith Rooms: Multi-faith rooms can be found in both Village 1 and Claudette Miller Hall residences and can be used by all students living in any of our Waterloo Residences buildings.
Room Assignments: Students are placed into residence based on living preferences. Over 20 factors are considered when placing students into residence. Students are placed using some key factors like Living-Learning Communities, academic streams, accessibility needs, roommate requests, residence ranking, space availability, and personality matching. Factors like race, religion, ethnicity, languages spoken, and dietary preferences (unless indicated by a medical professional as an accessibility need) are not taken into consideration when placing students.
Where can I store my belongings between terms?
If you are staying in the same space for two consecutive terms (fall to winter, winter to spring, spring to fall) you can keep all your belongings in your current residence space.
If you are moving residence spaces between terms, you can fill out this form to request storage space in residence to keep a few of your belongings on-campus. Storage space is limited to current students returning to residence the following consecutive term.
Join us for the December International Student Stay Program.