Community Housing manages the student rental properties owned by Queen’s University. This includes two apartment complexes located at west campus – An Clachan and John Orr Tower – as well as a variety of apartments and houses in the University District around campus.
Community Housing also operates an Accommodations Listing Service where external landlords can post listings for student rental units, as well as a Landlord Contract Program which requires landlords who wish to participate to undergo an annual property inspection to ensure the property meets municipal property standards. Learn more
The Community Housing office is located at 169 University Avenue at the corner of University and Clergy West, and is open from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Over the years, the Community Housing department (formerly Apartments and Housing) has played an important role in providing housing for students within the greater Kingston community by offering quality accommodations, managing the landlord contract program and providing convenient access to rental options through an Accommodations Listing Service. The department also provides strategic opportunities for Queen’s to expand the campus through the stewardship of the university’s land-banked properties – properties and land secured for future academic development. Currently, the university owns and Community Housing manages 70 downtown properties with 115 units and two larger complexes – An Clachan and John Orr Tower – with 260 and 123 units respectively.
The An Clachan complex was built just north of west campus in 1970. Featuring single and two bedroom apartments, An Clachan was designed to be used primarily by graduate students and families and continues to attract this target market, particularly from an international perspective.
John Orr Tower, a 16-story high-rise located on West Campus, was built in 1973, with 125 one- bedroom apartments for primarily graduate students.
The university first provided an Accommodations Listing Service in 1945, after a booming war industry and a swelling military establishment in Kingston created an acute shortage of housing for students. In 1945, Queen’s had only one residence, Ban Righ Hall, which housed about 60 women — and few students of either sex shared whole houses or apartments as they do today. In those early years, the service provided students with lists of boardinghouses, then the preferred form of student accommodation. Today, the Listing Service features a variety of housing opportunities offered by the university, property management companies and individual landlords, including furnished and unfurnished rooms, apartments and houses.
Starting in the 1950s, the university has strategically purchased downtown properties, both to provide quality student housing and for the purposes of land-banking. In the short to medium timeline, the houses have been used to increase the quantity and quality of housing stock, with a longer-term goal to secure properties identified in the Campus Master Plan as strategic to university growth. Examples of development on land-banked properties include Victoria Hall, Stauffer Library, Chernoff Hall, Leggett Hall, Watts Hall and the Queen’s Centre.
In 1999, Community Housing initiated a voluntary Landlord Contract Program (LCP) – a Queen’s- unique initiative. The contract program requires landlords who wish to participate to undergo an annual property inspection to ensure the property meets municipal property standards. In exchange, the LCP extends an exemption under the Residential Tenancies Act. The exemption permits a Tenancy Termination Agreement to be signed at the time that the lease is signed. This provision is of benefit to both landlords and the university, preventing seasonal vacancies and protecting the student housing stock as student landlords need not rent to non-students in order to fill vacant units mid-year due to the departure of an existing student tenant.