When it comes to luxury and purpose-built student housing, Canada has been playing catch-up with the United States for the past several years. While Canada may not be home to any luxury student communities boasting a lazy river or a massive exterior rock-climbing wall, the market has made some major strides forward. Let’s take a look at some of the top student housing communities across Canada, starting with British Columbia.
British Columbia – GEC Viva, Vancouver
Talk about 5-star student accommodations! GEC Viva is at the frontier of luxury student accommodations in British Columbia and is ushering in a new era of purpose-built student housing in Canada. There are only 18 luxury apartment suites available, touting such features as a spacious 800+ square foot layout and lavish bathrooms with glass showers. A wide variety of other community amenities are also available, including a fitness center, spacious balconies and community common area.
Alberta - University City, Calgary
While University City is still under development, it's shaping up to be the leading student housing project in Alberta. As the purpose-built student housing trend continues to catch on in Western Canada, University City is spearheading the modernization of student housing in the province. Just minutes away from the University of Calgary, University City is in a perfectly accessible and scenic location. The show suites video gives viewers a taste of what is in store for the future inhabitants. University City has created an aesthetically appealing modern student housing design. Keep an eye on this community, as we're predicting it'll be the next big thing in Canadian student housing.
Saskatchewan - Varsity View, Saskatoon
Varsity View, unlike others on this list, isn't a dedicated student housing apartment or community, but rather, a neighborhood filled with people from all walks of life. There is an abundance of student housing in this area, given its close proximity to the university campus. Varsity View is regarded as one of the premier residential neighborhoods in all of Saskatoon. Students looking for neighborly accommodations will be more than satisfied with the variety of rental options available in this area.
Manitoba - Bison Pointe I & II, Winnipeg
While Manitoba is only home to a handful of luxurious student oriented apartments, there are a few outstanding developments; Bison Pointe being one of them. These luxury apartments are only minutes from the University of Manitoba, making them a very attractive location for students. The apartments offer residents a fully furnished and lavish resident's lounge, a professionally equipped fitness room, furnished guest suites and many other amenities.
Ontario - The MARQ Waterloo, Waterloo
With such an abundance of purpose-built student housing in Ontario, it's difficult to choose a single leading community. However, The Marq Waterloo at 1 Columbia stands out from the competition, based on their exemplary resident reviews. The room layouts are both modern and luxurious, offering students elegant but affordable student accommodations in a prime location. The Marq has a wide range of community amenities, including a fitness center, recreation and games room, rooftop patio, theatre and study area.
Did we mention that each tenant has his or her own en-suite bathroom? Needless to say, The Marq at 1 Columbia offers outstanding student accommodations in Waterloo.
Quebec - Evo Montreal, Montreal
Not only did Evo Montreal rank in on our top 10 most luxurious student housing communities in North America, but they've also taken the title for top student housing community in Quebec! Anyone who has stepped inside of the Evo Montreal knows, without a doubt, that this is one remarkably well designed and state-of-the-art student housing community. Evo Montreal has no shortage of community amenities, including a heated indoor pool, recreational and games room, 24-hour state of the art gym, fitness and yoga studio, library and business center, community get-together lounge and kitchen, theatre, restaurant and more! Evo Montreal is only rivaled by its sister community, Evo Centre-Ville.
New Brunswick - Forest Hills Apartments, Fredericton
In many of the eastern provinces, there isn't a great deal of purpose-built student housing; but major players like Killam Properties are helping to change that. The Forest Hills Apartments are nestled in a tree-lined scenic location within a few minutes drive to UNB and downtown. This campus style apartment cut no corners when it came to amenities, as it offers residents an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, fitness center, rooftop patio, common room and theatre.
Best of all - It's incredibly affordable! If students split a 2 bedroom unit, it's only $505/ month each for rent.
Nova Scotia - Park Victoria Apartments, Halifax
CAPREIT's Park Victoria Apartments are what they define as a walker's paradise, boasting a Walk Score of 97. Much like other luxury-laden communities on this list, Park Victoria has a plethora of great amenities and community features. The ones most worth noting include a community social room with home theatre, fitness center and private balconies. The apartments are also home to a restaurant, convenience store, hair salon and spa right on site! Talk about making student life convenient. It's worth mentioning that Park Victoria is also cat and dog friendly.
P.E.I - Island Dale Estates Apartments, Charlottetown
Since P.E.I's only major university is the University of Prince Edward Island, there isn't a particularly large demand for student housing, in comparison to other provinces. Perhaps this is why we haven't seen much purpose-built student housing development there. Nonetheless, Killam comes to the rescue again with these modern townhomes, just steps away from UPEI and nearby all major amenities. Convenience and location are the two biggest selling features for Island Dale Estates Apartments.
Newfoundland & Labrador - Bennett House, St. John's
While the Bennett House may not necessarily be marketed to students, it still ranks in at the top in Newfoundland, due to its close proximity to Memorial University and its exquisite design. The Bennett House is one of the premier apartment communities in St. John's and boasts such amenities as a high-speed passenger elevator, 16-seat theatre, entertainment facility, full exercise facility and more. While the Bennett House is a bit more expensive, it's well worth the price for this luxury living.
* Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut were not included, due to the fact there are no formally recognized public or private universities in these provinces and little to no student housing.
The Places4Students.com Team