Case Study

University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario

Faculty Housing Study, 2018-2019

In early 2018, U3 Advisors engaged Demographic Perspectives to collaborate on a larger study of housing and real estate with the University of Toronto. DP’s role was to work with the University of Toronto’s Faculty Residential and Student Family Housing Services to undertake a comprehensive faculty housing planning study. The University of Toronto sought to understand how housing played a role in recruitment, acclimation to University life, and retention. An additional objective was to provide the University with information about current and potential faculty and senior staff housing needs, preferences, tradeoffs and price sensitivity, and determine the demand for new, UT-affiliated housing product, given the impact of growing pressures on the Toronto real estate market.

Demographic Perspectives led UT through stakeholder interviews with deans, chairpersons, faculty, senior administrative staff and librarians at all three campuses in order to understand the challenges of their housing demand and range of responses. Using a rigorous GIS-based market and demographic scan, U3 Advisors and Demographic Perspectives mapped where UT faculty, staff and librarians lived, analyzed distance and time to campus by various means, and identified major clusters of housing within neighborhoods throughout the city and the Greater Toronto Area.


DP designed and administered a comprehensive survey for faculty, staff and librarians, identifying priority populations, assessing their housing priorities, determining their decision-making factors when choosing housing as well as in choosing to join UT, and overall preferences and price sensitivities. For both mapping and survey results, DP assessed findings and patterns by a range of faculty, staff and librarian types, such as year, state of residency and nationality, first-generation status, and household status (i.e. living with a partner or children).

U3 Advisors also developed an in-depth real estate market analysis of Toronto and the GTA to understand housing costs and options for the UT.

This included quantifying the pipeline of known units in new construction approved to date, and evaluating the potential impacts of major GTA changes.

Actionable Outcomes:

Product and policy outcomes included:

  • Determining whether UT would need to consider providing additional housing within the next five to ten years.
  • Confirming how specific segments of the Faculty and Senior Staff population would respond to increased private market rents as well as to new UT housing offerings.
  • Recommendation for UT to consider developing a variety of housing strategies appropriate for different population segments.


Comments related to Housing for Working Faculty at the University of Toronto



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