College Residences as Summer Hotels

by Anshul
a yellow sign with a crown

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University or College residences present a tremendous cash saving proposition for those that are looking at non-hotel “Hotel” options. Peak summer travel can be expensive and accommodation bills tend to burn holes in travel budgets. Hotel rates see a significant jump during city events like music festivals, conferences, major sports events. You are looking at x2 standard rates for those times during summer. This is where campus residences shine through.

Over the past decade, universities and college residences have spent millions upgrading and renovating on campus accommodations to ensure comfort for their students. Grubby dorms and shared bathrooms are things of the past (there are always exceptions!) Once academic terms end (Sep-Apr), campuses see a huge drop in occupancy for summer. In order to fill this gap and keep the revenue flowing, most colleges residences offer on-campus accommodations to visitors (non-students), during the summer months (May-August). This includes single rooms and suites with daily housekeeping, basic room amenities, Wi-Fi, free local calling, TV, laundry and all-you-can-eat breakfast!

I offer, below, a sample of Canadian cities/universities summer 2016 prices that offer tremendous value, located downtown (or short public transport ride). For comparison I picked private rooms with en suite facilities, Double Bed rates for 2 people (incl breakfast);

City University/College Rate (starting from, in CAD)
Toronto University of Toronto $70 + Tax
Ryerson University $90 + Tax
Montreal McGill University $109 + Tax
Concordia University $89 + Tax
Vancouver University of British Columbia $119 + Tax
Simon Fraser University $105 + Tax
Ottawa University of Ottawa $101 + Tax


College Residences

McGill (Montreal) summer residence


Ryerson (Toronto) Residence

Ryerson (Toronto) Residence


UBC Standard Suites

UBC (Vancouver) Standard Suites


UBC West Coast Suites

UBC (Vancouver) West Coast Suites


Simon Fraser (Vancouver) Summer Residence

Simon Fraser (Vancouver) Summer Residence


Simon Fraser (Vancouver)

Simon Fraser (Vancouver)


Although I have included only Canadian examples, campuses across North America offer incredible savings when it comes to summer accommodations, and are often overlooked by tourists looking to stretch their $ value.

Take Away:

Many universities have multiple campuses and residences spread across the city. Make sure you map them and seek out ones closest to local attractions. Prices tend to vary for big event weekends, make sure you know the exact rate before booking. University residences are also listed on review sites like TripAdvisor and can offer a sneak peek through traveler experience and photos. If the intention is to hold on to $/points in the bank, it’s hard to beat these rates during peak travel season!

Have you ever stayed at a college residence? What has been your experience? Share with a comment below. 



Anonymous June 15, 2016 - 4:10 pm


Anonymous June 10, 2016 - 12:29 pm


Nihal Kambli June 10, 2016 - 9:34 am

Great read. I can say from personal experiences these dorms are way more comfortable than given credit for. Also one major advantage, I realized, using these residences (at least UofT and Ryerson) as an option was the ability to pay Cash in the days where I didn’t have a credit card but just wanted a cheap “hotel” option for the weekend.

Bling June 10, 2016 - 1:20 pm

Absolutely. I have personally seen some of those UBC suites and they can put some 3/4 star properties to shame!


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