The Oshawa housing battle continues

At least one person isn’t happy that a ‘student apartment’ building will be located near UOIT

A group calling itself “concerned Niagara citizens” is distributing a flyer complaining about a proposed apartment building for students.

Apparently there is at least one individual who is not satisfied that students are being driven out of the neighbourhoods surrounding the University of Ontario Institute of Technology by the city’s new student housing bylaw. (The city says the bylaw is not actually targeting students.)

Now, they must be kept from living near the community. (The apartment building will be located on a main street near the campus. The community borders the campus.)

Do these people realize how great a place they live?

Their biggest problem is an influx of educated young people – there are communities that would pretty much sell their soul to the devil to have this “problem.”

Here’s the other thing I don’t get in a lot of these “town and gown” fights – the areas surrounding universities have high property values. The people who move into these areas are making above average wages, many of them are professionals. These means they went to university – why is it they are surprised to learn that universities have students and that students live near universities.

Common sense folks!


The Oshawa housing battle continues

  1. Joey, these types of issues are much more complicated than you present, and invariably these types of conflicts occur due to bad planning for growth by universities and their host cities.
    More indepth discussions on towngown issues can be found on a number of websites . and are a few web resources you could check out.

  2. I write this note in response to all those that see this issue as a black and white.

    I am a resident near the university. I have been a resident for many years, long before there was a UOIT. It was not a matter of having my eyes open before buying. I bought a home here to raise young children in a home backing onto a ravine lot. It was the “perfect” dream home for me and my family.

    I am university educated and have also spent time living “off-campus” as a student in another city. I understand the life of a student. I also understand that students do not make great neighbours especially to a family with small children. Property values do not go up, they go down! Waking up in the morning and finding street signs torn from their posts, empty beer bottles on my lawn and unkept “new” homes looking like inner city Detroit is not my idea of family living.

    Every family that moved into this neighbourhood fully expected that the city and University would have enough foresight to designate student housing either in the University compound or to the west (where there is tons of empty land). They failed the established communities and the students. Landlords bought up a series of homes and turned them into packed student homes. These were upper-scale homes???? Perhaps you should go for a stroll in our neighbourhoop with a baby carriage. I would caution that you should wear thick soled shoes if you do not wish to cut your toes on glass!

    I obviously believe that students should have a place to live and party. They should enjoy their stay. I am completely baffled as to why the University and the City could not cooperate on finding suitable land. They succeeded in turning residents and students against each other while masking the real problem. Bad planning!

  3. This is utterly appalling, the University brings a huge influx of money to the city. Oshawa is a very small town on the outskirts of the Greater Toronto Area, meaning that the majority of its students come in from outside Oshawa, thats a lot of students. I wonder how much money the city makes off the money spent on food, alcohol, toiletries, and rent by student? I should think a great deal then they made before our arrival. Personally I do not live in the suburbs surrounding the campus and after hearing the treatment students receive in this town I’m glad I don’t. Often innocent students will be attacked for the faults of others, is this not some form of discrimination? It’s true that many of the first years are often unstable, and there are quite a lot of them before they flunk out do their poor lifestyle choices. Of course by the time this happens the new batch arrives. It certainly seems like a frustrating cycle. However it also means that any negative behaviour toward students is endured for up to four years by responsible students, and less than a year for those that cause all the problems. The UOIT campus is a great place to be, and its shame the rest of Oshawa isn’t as hospitable. I understand that the rowdy first years only exacerbate Oshawa’s teen problem. Any hour of the school day you can find high school students at the mall, hardly old enough to have spares, and some times pregnant. I wouldn’t be surprised if partying by the post-secondary students have contributed to teen pregnancy and general lack of discipline. However driving the students and eventually the school out would only cause more problems. The city would lose thousands upon thousands of dollars. As well as the schools automotive engineering program which works closely with the local car manufacturing plants. Furthermore it would irreparably damage the reputation of Oshawa. Students go on home to complain about its inhospitable atmosphere as it is, but to be the city to drive out a University, now thats pushing it. However if students were welcomed, not judged but accepted then they would be encouraged to stay after University and help develop the town, which could do with diversifying its sources of income. There was certainly poor planning on the part of the City Council when UOIT moved here. But I think developing a few apartment complexes would greatly ease the strain on everyone. Students in dorms tend to roam the halls while drunk, not parade in the streets, I expect students in apartments to do the same. This way students aren’t scattered throughout the suburbs but in one place close to the school. Ideally it would be right next to the school but I’m sure the landlords next door don’t want to sell their property. I think people are neglecting to see that this proposal would contain much of the student-resident problems. No it wont fix everything overnight, certainly not, there will still be problems, but its a step in the right direction. I mean honestly folks with a University at home you could keep your kids within arms reach when its time for their post-secondary education. If the school lasts that long it is, if the community continues to show this sort of hostility toward students then I can only hope we can relocate the school to a friendlier town as soon as possible.

  4. By all means, come, by a house in our Neighbourhood and live here! If there are no perceived problems, then come on over.

    Or Educate yourself, get a great job, have a family and then move here.
    You’ll see where we’re coming from.

  5. … I’m surprised people living in the surrounding area of the college did not just pack up and move elsewhere when they found out that the university was going to be built. Honestely… land value near any university for student housing is usually the highest in any city, but it is also one of the worst areas to live in any city as well. The common term for such areas is the “student ghetto”.

    At any rate, you can blame the city for forcing you to make a decision of either moving out before the university was built, or staying and enduring the students. you can only blame yourself though for taking that second choice and staying, so suck it up, and make due with what you have. Your homes are worth more in resale value, but you have to realize that you’re no longer selling the homes to “families” but instead to “landlords”.

    Also, most cities have the “student ghetto” conveniently surrounding such universities for a very important reason as well. Would you really want an extra five thousand cars on the road trying to get to the same destination all at the same time of day (usually 8am)?

    Having students in the communities directly surrounding a school aleviates the potential traffic problem which would arise otherwise, and also brings in much more commercial services to the surrounding area. In turn, jobs are created, (usually minimum wage ones), which benefits the students again, however, there will also be managerial positions available as well, which will benefit those which have already attained a diploma/degree.

    The bottom line is, you shouldn’t really be complaining about an influx of people into your neighbourhood, unless they’re on social assistance… (then you’ve got a real problem on your hands)

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