By Rhea Singh
Non-Ryerson University students live in the HOEM residence, The Eye has learned. As it turns out, the building isn’t even completely owned by the university.
The building located at 186 Jarvis St. has been widely advertised as a new Ryerson residence. The university website states, “HOEM residence was built in 2018 and is Ryerson’s largest residence, with 30 floors and 593 rooms.”
Canadian Student Communities Inc. (CSCI) actually owns the building. CSCI has a public-private partnership with Ryerson’s housing and residence life department.
That detailed information was left off the brochure that advertises the building. HOEM’s official website FAQ page states the building exclusively offers housing for Ryerson students during the school term, from first-year to upper-years—but that’s not the case.
There are three suites within the building that are available for non-Ryerson international students, said Valerie Bruce, assistant director of housing operation and administration for the university.
“Ryerson’s partner on HOEM has an agreement with Kaplan International to house students who are here studying English at HOEM,” Bruce said in a statement to The Eye. Kaplan International English is a Toronto school that offers English classes for international students.
“Our goal is for everyone at HOEM to feel like they are part of the community,” Bruce said. “For those students who haven’t had a chance to meet the Kaplan students yet, we hope they do soon!”
University spokesperson Dasha Pasiy told The Eye the HOEM marketing brochure handed out to students references a partnership between HOEM and Ryerson. She also said that their partnership is mentioned various times on the HOEM website.
“When we’re marketing a residence to prospective students, it’s important to convey what residence life would entail in that building—in the case of HOEM, and like any other residence at Ryerson, it means the same range of services,” Pasiy said about the brochure.
When asked about the partnership, Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi said it isn’t unusual for the university to partner with others on buildings. He added that the Mattamy Athletic Centre building is a partnership between Ryerson and companies including event entertainment company Spectra.
Students at HOEM pay $385 per week for a double room, $360 for a triple room or $340 for a quad room. This does not include utilities, which average $35 a month.
Pasiy said students who live at HOEM sign an agreement for 11 and a half months, which is between students and CSCI, rather than between Ryerson and the student—the way it’s done at Ryerson-owned residences Pitman Hall and the International Living and Learning Centre.
This offers students a chance to sublet their rooms during the summer. If spaces are available during the summer, then pads are advertised as being available to co-op and language students.
Kylie Atkins, a first-year child and youth care studies student and HOEM resident, said she was unaware students who don’t go to Ryerson live in her building.
“Everyone that I’ve talked to goes to Ryerson, that’s why I assumed it was a Ryerson building,” she said.
HOEM resident Kate Yien said she had to provide her Ryerson student information when applying for a room.
Yien, a first-year journalism student, said she was upset to discover non-Ryerson students living in the building since it wasn’t initially disclosed, calling it “an abuse of power” on behalf of HOEM management.
From a disclosure standpoint, Yien said, “I don’t think HOEM lived up to the task.”
The Eye attempted to contact members of the CSCI via phone and email. They did not respond to questions about transparency in time for publication.