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Downtown Housing

Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, OCAD U is at the centre of one of most dynamic and diverse cities in the world. Studios, galleries, museums, start-ups, and more are all just a few blocks away. Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods. Check out the site and you can discover the restaurants, stores and other local businesses that make each one unique.

OCAD U now offers housing through Parkside Student Residence! Spaces are limited, so submit an application soon. 

We also have many other housing partners within the city. As we know there are many new and current students who will be need a place to stay during their studies, we have compiled all these housing options to support you in your search.


Beginning the Journey

Unsure where to start? Here are a some things to keep in mind when looking into housing!

When to start looking

  • Are you planning on moving in August/September?
  • If you are looking to rent a house or apartment or share accommodation with other students, you should likely start your search safely in late June/early July.
  • Landlords normally advertise accommodation four to six weeks prior to the intended move-in date.
  • Tenants are required to give 60 days notice of move-out.
  • If you are looking for residence-style accommodation, please note that some of them may offer a waiting list up to a year in advance, which will limit immediate availability.

How to start your search

  • Determine your price range.
  • Decide where you want to live.
  • Map it out. Consider transportation, shopping and other nearby amenities.
  • Decide how you want to live (shared, residence-style experience, room and board).
  • Set aside two or three days to come to Toronto to look.
  • NEVER rent a space without seeing it first.

What to do next

  • Make a list of questions to ask (about rent, services, amenities), either on the phone or in-person.
  • Make appointments with landlords to view the space.
  • If the space meets your needs, submit rental/lease application and first and last month's rent.
  • Upon renting a space, don't be afraid to ask for receipts for rent/utility payments.

Shared accommodations

Sharing can make your costs more affordable, offers security and can lead to opportunities for socializing and making new friends. If you don't know anyone, or don't have a room mate in mind, some places (such as U of T Housing Services or offer free matching services. Things to keep in mind:

  • What are the house rules?
  • Who will take care of collecting money from all room mates for rent, bills, utilities, phone, cable?
  • Communicate/ask about living arrangements and expectations.
  • How do your room mates/landlord view additional room mates, overnight guests, smoking, food, sharing internet?
  • Whose name(s) is/are on the lease?
Take The Next Step
On this page learn about:
  • Housing Tips
  • Resources for Renters
  • Housing Supports for Indigenous Applicants

Indigenous Student Resources

OCAD University works with several housing service providers, including independent residence-style student residences, and co-op options. Check out our supports and resources for housing and get more resources on the Indigenous Applicant page.

Are you moving to Toronto or living outside of the city? If you would like assistance with locating a housing coordinator or resources in your area, please contact us at isc [at] (isc[at]ocadu[dot]ca)

Campus Cooperative Residences

Located in the heart of Toronto, we are Canada's oldest student housing co-operative, providing affordable, off-campus accommodation for post-secondary students. CCRI has been home for generations of students pursuing post-secondary education in Toronto and holds a number of units for Indigenous students. If you are looking for community-focused, students accommodation in Toronto, we welcome you to join CCRI! Click here to learn more and apply!


Native Youth Resource Centre

The NYRC supports Indigenous community members aged 16-29 with housing advocacy, viewings, first/last month’s rent supports, acquiring furniture, viewings, tenant rights and more! To view their presentation from the Virtual Housing Info Fair, click here!

Contact: Sherry Clemens (Housing Advocate) sclemens [at] (sclemens[at]nativechild[dot]org)

NYRC Drop-In 416-969-8510 ext. 4119, 655 Bloor Street West


Native Canadian Centre of Toronto 

Indigenous community members ages 25+ can receive support with housing, holistic wellness, service navigation and financial support. Click here to learn more!


Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre

Indigenous community members of all ages can receive support with housing by contacting Sabrina Eddy (Housing Worker) at housing [at] (housing[at]councilfire[dot]ca) 439 Dundas Street East



Wigwamen is a non-profit and charitable organization, is Ontario’s oldest and largest urban Aboriginal housing provider. With 214 units scattered throughout the City of Toronto, a 92-unit apartment building for families and singles in Scarborough, a 60-unit apartment building in Northeast Scarborough, a 103-unit apartment complex for seniors in downtown Toronto,  a 145-unit apartment building in the Canary District of Toronto, and a 115-unit apartment building in Scarborough, Wigwamen is committed to providing decent, safe and affordable housing to thousands of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal families, singles and seniors.  


Indigenous Supportive Housing Initiative

The Indigenous Supportive Housing Program offers monthly rental subsidies (when funding is available) to make housing affordable for community members who are dealing with mental health and/or addictions issues. We also assist community members in obtaining subsidies from other sources and we can help with first or last month’s rent. Additionally, ISHP provides eviction prevention supports that include assistance with rent and utilities arrears. We work closely with landlords and tenants and our capacity to help with the purchase of beds and some emergency furnishings as well as referrals to Furniture Bank and moving, help to stabilize families and single men and women in new housing.

For more information, call the Anishnawbe Health Gerrard Street location reception (416-920-2605) to request services and establish eligibility.

(2022) Ontario Renters Guide from Housing Rights Canada: Find HRC's Top Ten Tips for Ontario Tenants and read through the full guide for information on starting, maintaining, and ending a tenancy.

Link to Ontario Renters Guide (Tips for Tenants)

Know Your Rights: Housing Basics from Housing Rights Canada: A Quick guide to Ontario housing law and renters’ rights.

Link to Know Your Rights: Rental Housing Basics

Helpful list for those living in or moving to Toronto, having both Toronto apartment search sites but also government resources, social services, legal, health and even emergency housing.

Link to Ontario Tenant List

Need a place to store your belongings? FindStorageFast is a free resource that makes it easy to compare prices and specials at nearby storage facilities.

Link to Storage Resources

(2023) Article on how to spot rental scams

Link to Avoid Rental Scams

Federation of Metro Tenant's Association Manual for tenants - Read about the Residential Tenancies Act, Rent questions, information for new tenants and more.

Link to Tenant Survival Manual
OCAD U staff do not inspect any of the listed homes or housing options, with the exception of OCAD U at Parkside, and do not guarantee the accuracy or availability of any information provided by third-party websites. It is your responsibility to judge their suitability and location. OCAD U cannot and does not accept responsibility for housing arrangements made by persons using any of these services.