To accommodate growth and address existing housing shortage, school adding new living spaces for approximately 1,000 students at its Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses. Photo credit: Niagara College
Driven by its uber-successful, innovative programs in the food and beverage, horticultural, and advanced manufacturing industries, over the last decade or so Niagara College has quickly transformed from a regional institute catering to local students into one of Canada’s top research colleges, attracting students from across the country, and indeed the world.
While ultimately a net-positive, the college’s growing appeal has come with growing pains, namely: lack of on-site accommodations.
To address the shortage of student housing, the school recently announced an ambitious plan to triple its on-campus housing over the next four years, adding new living spaces for approximately 1,000 students at its Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses.
“As more and more students from across Ontario and around the world are drawn to Niagara College, we recognize the need to expand capacity and options for on-campus living,” said college president Sean Kennedy.
“Our plans support the key priorities in our Strategic Plan and reflect our enrolment growth and the evolving needs and expectations of our students. We also know that a significant expansion of on-campus housing for our students will help to address the urgent need for affordable housing across Niagara.”
According to the college, enhancement and expansion of on-campus accommodations is a “key element” of the institute’s new master plan, adopted in 2022, which will see transformational capital investments and developments at its Niagara-based campuses over the next decade or more.
In addition to new residence buildings, the plan also includes renovations and improvements of existing on-campus residences to expand capacity and enhance student experience.
The college hopes to break ground on new residences at its campuses in both Welland Niagara-on-the-Lake in early 2024.
“Our timelines are aggressive and reflect the urgent need for more housing for students and the broader community,” said Kennedy.
“We also remain committed to working with private and public partners in Niagara to explore additional housing solutions.”
The college currently has on-campus residences that accommodate 228 students at the Welland Campus and 200 students at the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The school did not indicate how the 1,000 new student spaces would be split between the two campuses.
Every year, Niagara College hosts an average of 10,000 full-time students enrolled in over 130 programs, including over 1,000 international students from more than 70 countries.