Hello returning resident,

Since Carleton announced that all scheduled undergraduate and graduate classes for the fall 2020 term will be delivered online, many students, parents and guardians have been reaching out to Housing and Residence Life Services to ask questions about residence for the fall. This email is intended to share what we’re doing to prioritize safety in our residence community for Fall 2020 and also to answer your questions what this year will be like.

Our residence community will be different this year. And we’re changing it as a commitment to your health and safety, the health and safety of our entire community and to minimize the risks of contracting and spreading COVID-19. We would like to reiterate that the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty is Carleton’s top priority and the first guiding principle in all of our plans.

The following information is up to date as of June 4, 2020 and we will provide further updates throughout the summer with any new information. Please read to the end of this email to see answers to Frequently Asked Questions and important deadlines.

Residence Rooms

Residence capacity will be reduced to support assigning one resident to a bedroom either in a traditional- or suite-style residence (approximately 2,200 beds). All buildings will be occupied.

  • Each student joining us in September will be in single occupancy* with a maximum bathroom ratio of 2:1 (*until restrictions are lifted)
  • Students living in a single room with single occupancy (meaning that the room was designed for single occupancy) will pay single room fees
  • Students living in a double room with single occupancy (meaning that the room was designed for double occupancy) will pay the double room rate noting that when restrictions are lifted that they may be assigned a roommate or may be required to move to another double room with a roommate.

Based on current guidelines of public health authorities and government regulations, residents would spend a majority of their time in their residence room. 

Residence Social Spaces

Carleton has offered residence for students in the current summer term who were not able to return home due to travel restrictions. Those students living in residence right now have access to building lobbies, their living quarters, outdoor areas and Residence Commons (to access the Residence Desk and dining facilities). Student lounges (tv and study lounges), the Raven’s Roost and the Residence Fitness Centre are not currently available and will only be open if current restrictions are lifted by the public health authorities and the provincial government. We do not have a timeline on lifting restrictions.

Residence Supports

The supports we provide you in residence will continue including (but not limited to):

  • Residence Fellows (upper year students living on each floor to support your learning and growth while in residence)
  • Residence Managers (professional staff members living in your community and trained to support you 24/7)
  • Residence Counsellors (online and some in-person urgent same-day appointments)
    Mental Wellness Mentors (peer support for those interested in conversations to support their mental wellness)
  • Residence Desk (students and staff operate this desk to support you with lockouts, mail and triaging concerns)

Residence Dining

Plans are currently underway to make sure we’re providing exceptional dining service while respecting physical distancing guidelines. Students currently living in residence for the summer term use a takeout service located in the Residence Commons. If current restrictions continue, we will offer take-out meals from the caf and from The Oasis. More information to come on this in the next few weeks.

Residence Care Packages

Each student living in residence in September will receive a residence care package. This will include two washable face coverings (non-surgical masks), hand sanitizer and instructions on how to use these items. In addition, each bathroom will be provided with a cleaning kit including instructions on how to maintain cleanliness standards in the bathroom space.

Frequently Asked Questions

I no longer want to live in residence in September but wish to live in residence in January. Is my space guaranteed for January if I cancel my room for the fall term?

  • No. However if you cancel, please send us an email to have your name added to the waitlist for winter term and your current application will be kept active.

What is the deadline to cancel and receive my full deposit?

  • Students wishing to cancel residence for September-April (full academic year) with a full refund of the $700 deposit may do so by 4:30 p.m. on July 15, 2020.

What happens if courses are online in January? Can I cancel my residence?

  • Due to the still evolving nature of the current public health crisis, it is too early to speculate about what January will look like exactly. Carleton’s decisions will continue to be informed by the guidelines of public health authorities and government regulations and we will continue to provide more information on the COVID-19 website.
  • Students who move into residence for fall term will be required to pay full fees as per our standard practice, unless you withdraw from all of your classes.

What happens if there is a second wave of COVID-19? What happens to students living in residence?

  • This is not something we’re able to answer at this time. Our commitment is to ensure the health and safety of our community, and we’ll make decisions with this in mind in line with advice from the public health agencies and government regulations.

Will my residence experience be these same as for those who attended pre-COVID-19?

  • Short answer: not exactly. While the restrictions may require us to limit interaction in physical spaces, our team is working hard to adapt our current practices and design an exceptional experience for you. This may mean that we interact more in smaller groups, one-on-one and virtually. We are committed to show you what a community looks like – even in the most challenging times!

Will move-in weekend look the same?

  • No. We will extend move-in to residence over a longer period of time to allow more physical distancing and support smaller community integration. More information will come out about this in the coming weeks.

Will I be required to self-isolate prior to arrival?

  • This has yet to be determined. If this is the case, we will provide specific instructions on what you can do to support the community before your arrival. For those coming from outside of Canada, we’ll provide information on how you can self-isolate upon arrival.

I’m nervous about the risks and am unsure if I want to live in residence. If I decide to live off-campus in Ottawa, will you help me find a space?

  • We can help direct you to resources that list spaces around Ottawa that you can choose at your discretion. Feel free to check out our off-campus housing website.

How many students will be living in a suite?

  • This depends on the size of the suite. Some suites will have 2 people, and some will have 4 people based on the number of bathrooms in the suite. The difference between suite-style and traditional-style residence is that the suite-style space has a small kitchen/dining area. The number of bathrooms in a suite varies based on the building.


Laura Storey, Director

Housing and Residence Life Services