Accessible Student Housing Initiative

The Project 

 The Guelph Campus Co-op operates a fully accessible lodging house. The existing entrance has been redesigned to accommodate a wheelchair ramp as has the back entrance. Extensive modifications were undertaken to every room in the existing house, making it possible for students with disabilities to occupy any room should they choose to do so. The building features an elevator and barrier free appliances and bathrooms.

7 College is outfitted with a number of environmentally intelligent features. These include:

  • hot water is heated by solar collectors
  • the building addition is oriented due south for maximum passive solar exposure
  • all rainwater is collected in large storage tanks which are used for flushing toilets
  • a greywater collection system was in operation until 2013 , and was studied by UofG Engineering and the City of Guelph. It was discontinued due to mechanical problems 
  • low-flush toilets and 1 litre flush urinals to reduce water consumption
  • energy-efficient and barrier-free appliances
  • energy efficient lighting
  • a green roof will be installed on a portion of the roof as well as wall climbing vines
    to encourage cooling
  • in-floor radiant heat that is efficient, economical and comfortable

What makes this project truly unique is that in partnership with the Central Students' Association and the Undergraduate Students of the University of Guelph, we are building a fully integrated, accessible co-operative living experience for our members, which has not been previously available to them. Many students with accessibility issues have not had the option of living in a communal lodging house during University, which has prevented them from taking part in an important facet of University life.

We envision a student controlled lodging house promoting a climate of empowerment and fellowship for students which is organized under the principles of co-operation.

Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI)

Individuals with accessibility issues face a number of challenges securing safe and affordable housing in the Guelph community. University of Guelph students with accessibility issues face a number of challenges; in particular transportation to and from the campus, and the expense of on-campus accommodation and meal plans. In response to the needs of these students the Guelph Campus Co-op has partnered with the Central Students' Association (CSA) Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI) to create accessible and affordable lodging house accommodation close to the University campus.

The Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI) was created by the University of Guelph undergraduate students through a student fee referendum in 2003 with a semesterly fee of $.87 per student per semester which is administered by the CSA. The CSA AHI committee administers the fund with representation from on-campus student groups and the Centre for Students with Disabilities. The Guelph Campus Co-op has been chosen as the first recipient of the fund for the 7 College Ave. W. Accessible Student Lodging House Expansion Project.

Ecological Technologies

In addition to being fully accessible, the redevelopment project will feature a number of state-of-the-art green technologies for environmental sustainability. The building will harvest rainwater to flush toilets, for example, and we have integrated the infrastructure for a future greywater use plan. As well, the lodging house will have solar panels mounted on top of the elevator for domestic hot water solar collection. The addition to the existing building has been oriented on a north/south axis to maximize its solar potential and has been designed for passive solar heating and cooling. All of the appliances and lighting in the building will be energy efficient as well as accessible for our members with disabilities. The new addition will also feature a green living roof, which will be accessible for our residents by elevator.

The Guelph Campus Co-op is extremely excited about this important and necessary project and would welcome any suggestions and contributions to help us realize our goal. Please contact us with any questions or comments you may have.

As you know, applications for housing at the Guelph Campus Co-op are administered through a waiting list. Applications can be completed on-line or in person at our housing office. Please specify if you prefer accessible housing accommodations.

Guelph Campus Co-operative, 17 College Ave. W., Guelph, ON N1G 1R7 email: [email protected] tel: 519-824-4950.