Supporting the Surrounding Community


Regional Facilities Designation and 'First Right of Refusal' for Purchase:  The University and its Affiliated University Colleges recognize the importance of ensuring that the lands under their ownership remain within the Regional Facility designation in the Official Plan and thus available for the future needs of both the University and the Colleges. The University will work with the Affiliated University Colleges to create a process that will ensure that any land no longer required by any College will remain available for the future needs of the University.

City Official Plan/Zoning:  As the largest neighbour in North London, Western will respond to all rezoning and variance applications within 300 metres of the campus (the distance used by the City of London to notify neighbours of such applications) and will act in the best interest of the University and the neighbourhood involved.  This will entail our advocacy of adherence to the City’s Official Plan, which we will support in all cases, unless a Board resolution directs otherwise.

Enhancing University/ Campus Neighbourhood Relations:  The past growth in undergraduate student enrollment and expected growth in graduate student enrollment and general activity on campus has an impact on surrounding neighbourhoods.  Many of our neighbours are directly affiliated with Western: they are students or employees who are taking advantage of the opportunity to live in safe, affordable neighbourhoods within walking distance of campus.  Western supports the preservation of neighbourhoods that provide an appropriate balance of good quality student and permanent resident housing.  To that end, Western will continue to work with our neighbours, the City of London and landlords. Through the work of our Housing Mediation Office and our student leaders, we will continue our current initiatives to encourage appropriate student behaviour and develop new programs and initiatives as needed.

Western needs to continue effective communication with its neighbours, many of whom feel that they have a stake (because they are neighbours and because Western is a public institution) in Western’s development.  The Master Plan and other initiatives should be developed in meaningful consultation with those neighbours willing to be engaged. 

Student Accommodation: Western has over 30,000 full and part-time students with some 6,000 living in University housing as follows:





Total on campus housing



Most of our students, over 24,000, live off the campus.  We estimate that some 5,000 Western students live south of Oxford Street; this is the equivalent of over 10 large residence buildings on campus.  A great many live in what the City would define as downtown London, and make a major contribution to the economy and vibrancy of downtown. 

Graduate student housing is a key issue for the University, given our planned expansion in graduate studies.  We do not intend to build additional housing and we are therefore looking to the private sector to provide additional housing.  We believe that living downtown can be attractive to many graduate students, if the price and quality of housing are attractive, and if public transit to the campus is reliable.  We will continue to work with private developers to inform them of our graduate student plans and encourage them to consider construction of downtown apartments for those students.

The housing needs of graduate students differ from undergraduates in several ways. The results from the 2006 Off-Campus Housing Service Survey indicated that graduate students prefer to live with fewer people, prefer to live in an apartment complex and intend to stay longer in their chosen housing than undergraduate students. The criteria which ranked first and second in importance in choosing accommodation for all students were price and proximity to Western.

On campus, graduate students have access to our apartment and townhouse complexes where they occupy over half of our units. Off-campus graduate students tend to live in the residential neighbourhoods surrounding the University.

London enjoys a relatively high residential vacancy rate in comparison to other university communities in Ontario. Graduate students should be able to meet their housing needs in the London residential rental market. Western will work with the private sector and the City of London and provide them with enrollment data and information about graduate students’ housing needs in order to encourage the private sector to provide housing for graduate students.

Continuing Studies at Galleria London: The University of Western Ontario moved its Continuing Studies operation downtown to Galleria London in 2001.  The initiative has meant more than 35,000 students have taken classes at our downtown location in a wide variety of professional development and life-long learning programs. This has been an important and significant educational bridge between Western and the London community. Continuing Studies recently expanded its space at Galleria, adding two additional classrooms as demand for these programs has continued to increase. We are committed to sustaining Continuing Studies in Galleria London.