With a rapidly growing student population and a vacancy rate of only 1.8% for student housing, Oshawa is enjoying an emerging identity as an education hub. Located near the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Durham College, the Wallman Architects-designed University Studios is positioned to meet growing demand while introducing a new approach to student housing.

Currently in marketing, the 8-storey Podium Developments and Building Capital project uses the (trademarked) SmartStudios concept to provide exceptional spatial efficiency for students. From the layouts and amenities to individual pieces of in-suite furniture, elements of the design are geared specifically to meet students' needs. Recently becoming popular in areas where space is at a premium (including New York and San Francisco), Wallman's design now introduces the concept to the GTA.

Featuring a folding murphy bed alongside compact, custom-designed furniture, each suite provides a full range of private amenities—including a full three-piece bathroom, kitchenette, and laundry room—within a compact footprint. Ranging in size from 274 ft² to 376 ft², each unit also features hidden storage space (beneath living room furniture) and in-built USB connections alongside power sockets. Specifically designed for upper year students leaving residence, University Studios' private, study-friendly suites are combined with highly communal amenity areas.

Envisioned as meeting place, lounge, games room, and studio, the Social Hub (above) will provide a fun environment for both recreation and group study. In addition to the student-oriented Social Hub, the project will also feature a range of condominium-style amenities, including a roof deck, gym, and party room. The building will also be equipped with high-speed internet service.

While much of current student housing stock (particularly University residences) is custom built to provide dorm space, University Studios goes a step further, with space-saving furniture also custom-appointed to fit the layouts. Discussing the design, Rudy Wallman explains "we created a linear block containing storage, study area and European kitchen on one side, which freed up the remainder of the suite for the bathroom, table area, and living space." 

Once complete, the building will be managed by Varsity Properties, a company that specializes in private student residences, including the University Suites in Downtown Kingston, Ontario. With prices starting at $150,000, the suites are being positioned as investor-friendly units, offering an approachable opportunity to capitalize on Oshawa's steadily increasing demand for student housing.

We will keep you updated as further details of the project continue to emerge and the start of construction approaches. In the meantime, check out our dataBase file for more information, linked below. Want to share your thoughts regarding the development? Leave a comment at the bottom of this page, or join in the discussion on our Forum.