University or College residences present tremendous cash saving proposition for those that are looking at non-hotel “Hotel” options. Peak summer travel can be expensive and accommodation bills tend to burn holes in travel budgets. Hotel, AirBnB rates see a significant jump during city events like music festivals, conferences, sports events, etc. This is where campus residences shine through.

Over the past decade, universities and college residences have spent millions upgrading and renovating on-campus accommodations to ensure comfort for their students. Grubby dorms and shared bathrooms are things of the past (there are always exceptions 😉 ) Once academic terms end (Sep-Apr), campuses see a huge drop in occupancy for summer. In order to fill this gap and keep the revenue flowing, most college residences offer on-campus accommodations to visitors (non-students) during summer months (May-August). This includes single rooms and suites with daily housekeeping, basic room amenities, Wi-Fi, free local calling, TV, laundry and all-you-can-eat breakfast!

Below is a sample of Canadian cities/universities’ summer 2018 prices, located downtown. For comparison, I picked private rooms with en suite facilities, Double Bed rates for 2 people (incl breakfast);


CityUniversity/CollegeRates (Starting from, in CAD)
University of Toronto$74 +tax
Ryerson University$97 +tax
Mc Gill University$65 +tax
Concordia University$89 +tax
University of British Columbia$145 +tax
Simon Fraser University$108 +tax
University of Ottawa$158 +tax


McGill university in Montreal and University of British Columbia in Vancouver offer all-suite style residences which can easily rival most 3-star hotels in town. Although I have included only Canadian examples, campuses across North America offer incredible savings when it comes to summer accommodations, and are often overlooked by tourists looking to stretch their $ value.

college residences

University of British Columbia (Vancouver) – West Coast Suites Photo Source:


college residences

McGill University – La Citadelle Residence, Photo Source:


Take Away:

Prices tend to vary for big event weekends, make sure you know the exact rate before booking. University residences are also listed on review sites like TripAdvisor and can offer a sneak peek through traveler experience and photos. Although not for everyone, College Residence are a great alternative to hotels – it’s hard to beat these rates during peak travel season, in some cities.

Have you stayed at a college residence as a non-hotel option? Share your experience with a comment below.