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As organizers worked within provincial COVID-19 guidelines to keep things safe, there was lots of joy and excitement among first year students on Dalhousie’s campus at this year’s O-Week and Welcome Week events.

After the pandemic forced Dalhousie students to move to online learning for the Fall term in 2020, O-Week (the highly anticipated introduction to university life) was also forced to go virtual that year (Ramesar).

Whether home is a plane ride away, or a stone’s throw from Halifax, 2021 first-year students were understandably eager to get on campus, experience human connection once again and welcome a brand new chapter with a world of possibilities… University Apartments was equally keen to meet with students face-to-face again, especially after we’ve all had such a long hiatus from in-person events!

We set up camp as sponsors at O-Week to welcome first year students to Dal and introduce ourselves. As a data-driven team, we conducted hundreds of surveys in order to gain a better understanding of our students’ needs and wishes, allowing us to incorporate them into our projects. The personal interactions we have with students inform our work, there is nothing we value more than being able to listen to and learn from students directly.

4 students sitting on bench at Carnival Day

Move-In & Registration

At O-Week registration, we had the opportunity to welcome tons of students to their first day on campus. While many are living in residence this year, they know it’s never too early to start the hunt for an off-campus apartment. It’s clear from our conversations with them that in their search for a home after res, students are becoming increasingly concerned about the hectic and unstable rental market in our city.

That’s where we come in. Between move-in and registration, students stopped by to chat with us about SEE-MORE, our beautiful new student community building on Seymour Street near Studley Quad, which will be ready for them to move into as of September 1, 2022.

UA employee talking to Dal student at O-Week

Carnival Day

The fun continued the next day after students had the chance to settle into their dorms and explore campus. The Studley Quad looked a bit different, having been totally transformed into a full-blown carnival complete with music, games, delicious food, and lots of exciting activities for all.

We had our share of fun, too, practicing our aim with a bow-and-arrow, shooting soccer balls at a giant inflatable target, and getting cotton candy and snow cone-induced sugar rushes. We gave away Starbucks gift cards to those who completed our survey about their housing needs. Hopefully that helped out a bit with all the inevitable post-O-week hangovers! ????

students cheer on someone playing a carnival game at Dal O-Week

Movie Night

After a great day at the carnival, students brought their blankets and snuggled up for Movie Night in the McInnes room in the SUB. And what is movie night without a lil’ pre-film bingo, right?!

We hosted an INTENSE few games of Surviving Dal bingo, which naturally didn’t have your standard bingo game calls… Climbed the wave on the Halifax waterfront? Ditched a zoom class? Mistook the Killam Lib for a jail? Yup, bingo will never be the same again! We smiled, we laughed, we gave away some great prizes to our bingo winners, and, most importantly, we connected with many, many students.

Dalhousie O-Week 2021 brought us out of our year-long Zoom fatigue and the relief was felt all over campus, we got even closer to our Tiger family ????  We learned so much about the struggles students are facing when it comes to off-campus housing and how our project will benefit the community. The need for affordable student housing has become even more apparent and pressing. Students deserve to feel safe and have easy access to campus in order to make the most of their university experience.

UA employee with microphone talking in movie theater

All Eyes On Us

UA employee being interviewed by CTV news

Dalhousie University has reduced their residence capacity to 80% due to the pandemic, and students are scrambling to find a place to live while battling Halifax’s affordable housing crisis (Willick). In 2021 Halifax saw the rental vacancy rate increase to 1.9% from last year’s record low of 1%. However, rental rates have increased by 4.1%, and the university is not offering much support to students (Woodford).

We spoke with so many students who told us that they are still living at home or commuting over an hour to and from campus because they can’t find or afford suitable housing close to campus. COVID-19 has had a far-reaching impact on young people heading out into the world and exploring their independence, and we were moved by how many obstacles students have had to face while beginning their journey into adulthood.

With all these challenges, everyone from CTV, to the dean of Dal, to the students themselves were interested in learning more about SEE-MORE, our new purpose-built student apartment building featuring fully-furnished, beautifully designed units, launching on September 1, 2022 right on Seymour Street. We hope to help the community rally with more options for students as they establish themselves in what continues to be a difficult time for everyone.

Big thank you to Dalhousie University and Dalhousie Student Union for hosting. You can head to our full Dal O-Week 2021 gallery on Facebook for more photos!

 

References:

Ramesar, Vernon. “Orientation weeks get closer to normal at Halifax universities.” CBC News Nova Scotia, 5 September 2021, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/orientation-week-halifax-universities-covid-1.6165771.

Spurr, Bill. “Student-oriented apartments going up on Halifax’s Seymour Street.” Saltwire, 28 May 2021, https://www.saltwire.com/atlantic-canada/business/roger-taylor-student-oriented-apartments-going-up-on-halifaxs-seymour-street-100593696/

Willick, Frances. “Dal students scrambling for housing after university limits residence spaces.” CBC News Nova Scotia, 22 June 2021, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/dalhousie-university-residence-covid-19-1.6073775

Woodford, Zane. “Apartment vacancy rate moves up to 1.9% in Halifax, but average rents are up too Apartment vacancy rate moves up to 1.9% in Halifax, but average rents are up too.” Halifax Examiner, 28 January 2021, https://www.halifaxexaminer.ca/province-house/apartment-vacancy-rate-moves-up-to-1-9-in-halifax-but-average-rents-are-up-too/

This unique fully furnished five bedroom, two bathroom ground floor apartment includes everything you could possibly need as a student… Tons of storage to tuck away your belongings and keep your space tidy (or not, we won’t judge), a comfy couch for all your lounging needs, and a kitchen that’s fully stocked with brand new, stainless steel appliances. Not your typical student apartment, if we say so ourselves! It even has its very own private entrance from the street, as well as a perfect view of our gorgeous mural. Best part is, it’s located right by campus, so it’s incredibly convenient.

The common space is styled with our stunning warm honey colourway, guaranteeing a golden hour feel throughout the day, and each room is cozier than the next (one of the rooms has a HUGE window and extra floor space). The modular living room is perfect for ultimate lounging and hanging, and was designed for students who may wanna switch up the configuration depending on the mood or how many guests are over for game night.

Since we only have one of these units in the building, you’ll wanna reserve it ASAP!

 

THE DETAILS

Each bedroom

🛏️ A bed nestled into an alcove with enough room to store your luggage underneath

💡 An open shelf above the bed with lighting underneath for late night reading or studying

📚 Cabinets (large enough to fit books and anything else you may need) above the bed for extra storage and your fairy lights!

✨ A vanity bedside table, mirror, and cabinet with storage for small personal items, including hooks inside for jewelry and other small items to hang

👚 An armoire with wood laminate doors and a full-length mirror, including roomy drawers, a shoe rack for up to 8 pairs of shoes, and a full-length cabinet with a hanging rack and enough room to fit a laundry hamper and IKEA storage inside

🪑 A study nook fully equipped with a desk, chair, lamp, and wall shelves

🎨 A large cork board on the wall making it easy to hang art or photos, and providing solid soundproofing to help roomies & neighbours get along

🖤 Black out curtains for deep sleep when you need to catch up on 💤

🌡️ Thermostat to control the temp for your individual comfort

🎒 Hooks for bags and any stuff you need to grab and go!

 

Bathroom

🛀 Two bathrooms each with a shower

💊 A vanity with spacious drawers and a full medicine cabinet for individual storage

🌟 A mirror that lights up so you can get ready in style

🧻 Extra storage for bathroom items, ‘cos nobody wants to run outta TP…

Kitchen

💎 Fully equipped with brand new, stainless steel, energy efficient LG appliances, including extra-large fridge, electric stove with a fan, microwave, and dishwasher – no arguing over dishes again!

🔪 Tons of counter space, perfect for cooking by yourself or with your roomies

🍽️ Lots of cabinet space for storing kitchenware

🍳 Spacious corner cabinet with a lazy Susan inside for easy access, great for storing pots and pans or bulkier kitchen items

♻️ Hidden garbage and recycling bins included in the cabinet under the sink

Entrance

🔮 Large mirror (for last looks before a big night out! 💃)

Living room

🛋️ A cozy couch with an ottoman and a chaise lounge for chilling, movie watching and hangs!

💻 Two laptop tables that can easily be tucked away for extra floor space

🖼️ A cork board to easily hang up artwork or photos to add your own flair to the space

📺 A TV stand (television not included, so it’s totally up to you and your roomies what screen size or consoles you go for!)

🍺 A dining area with a table and four chairs for communal meals, studying, or just hanging out…

 

BUILDING AMENITIES

🍜 Noods (noodle bar): Our vending machine cafe is there for you whether you’re in the mood for a quick late night bite, or you feel like studying with friends!

Bestie (café co-op): Hang out with your besties (or on your own) in our cute coffee co-op; it’s perfect for studying or relaxing with a cuppa…

🧘 Well Studio (yoga and wellness studio): Give yourself a much-needed break from the stressors of university. Well is the ideal spot to practice meditation, yoga, breath work, pilates, dance and more! With its relaxing mood lighting and soothing ambiance, you’re sure to unwind and feel recharged once you leave. Use the provided yoga mats, bricks, and pillows, or bring your own gear!

🕹️ SEE-MORE Social Club (games room): Take a breather and come hang out with friends at SMSC, fully stocked with games, a TV area, and a lounging space to play, watch and chill.

🧺 Laundry room: Doing your laundry will never be a hassle with our in-building laundry access. Feel free to chill in the lounge area while you wait for your load to finish.

🚴 Bike parking: 80 inside, 14 outside

🔒 FOB entry front entrance

📹 Security cameras on every floor

🛡️ Security on weekends

📶 Wi-fi

 

***Disclaimer: Features may differ from how they appear on our website. 

Conveniently located in South End next to Dal campus, this fully furnished four bedroom, two bathroom unit might just be one of our best, and we’re not just saying that because it’s the only one of its kind in the whole building… The common space’s breathtaking golden honey colourway catches the light beautifully (as for light, there’s lots of it. Have you seen the huge windows?) and the kitchen is sure to make cooking feel like an absolute dream, with its brand new, stainless steel appliances and counter space for daaayyyys!

This ground floor unit has its very own private entrance, as well as two extra storage rooms allowing you and your roomies to tuck your belongings away and keep your space tidy (if you want to, of course). It has the largest open concept of all our units, giving you more freedom and personal space; there’s even enough space for you to bring in your own additional furniture if you wanted to.

We could definitely see you hanging with your roomies on the cozy living room couch, or having a productive solo study sesh in your bedroom’s study nook to prep for exams. Either way, get your hands on this unit before someone else does!

 

THE DETAILS

Each bedroom

🛏️ A bed nestled into an alcove with enough room to store your luggage underneath

💡 An open shelf above the bed with lighting underneath for late night reading or studying

📚 Cabinets (large enough to fit books and anything else you may need) above the bed for extra storage and your fairy lights!

✨ A vanity bedside table, mirror, and cabinet with storage for small personal items, including hooks inside for jewelry and other small items to hang

👚 An armoire with wood laminate doors and a full-length mirror, including roomy drawers, a shoe rack for up to 8 pairs of shoes, and a full-length cabinet with a hanging rack and enough room to fit a laundry hamper and IKEA storage inside

🪑 A study nook fully equipped with a desk, chair, lamp, and wall shelves

🎨 A large cork board on the wall making it easy to hang art or photos, and providing solid soundproofing to help roomies & neighbours get along

🖤 Black out curtains for deep sleep when you need to catch up on 💤

🌡️ Thermostat to control the temp for your individual comfort

🎒 Hooks for bags and any stuff you need to grab and go!

 

Bathroom

🛀 Two bathrooms each with a shower

💊 A vanity with spacious drawers and a full medicine cabinet for individual storage

🌟 A mirror that lights up so you can get ready in style

🧻 Extra storage for bathroom items, ‘cos nobody wants to run outta TP…

Kitchen

💎 Fully equipped with brand new, stainless steel, energy efficient LG appliances, including extra-large fridge, electric stove with a fan, microwave, and dishwasher – no arguing over dishes again!

🔪 Tons of counter space, perfect for cooking by yourself or with your roomies

🍽️ Lots of cabinet space for storing kitchenware

🍳 Spacious corner cabinet with a lazy Susan inside for easy access, great for storing pots and pans or bulkier kitchen items

♻️ Hidden garbage and recycling bins included in the cabinet under the sink

Entrance

🧳 Locker-style entrance closet included for each renter’s things

🔮 Large mirror (for last looks before a big night out! 💃)

Living room

🛋️ A cozy couch with an ottoman and a chaise lounge for chilling, movie watching and hangs!

💻 Two laptop tables that can easily be tucked away for extra floor space

🖼️ A cork board to easily hang up artwork or photos to add your own flair to the space

📺 A TV stand (television not included, so it’s totally up to you and your roomies what screen size or consoles you go for!)

🍺 A dining area with a table and four chairs for communal meals, studying, or just hanging out…

 

BUILDING AMENITIES

🍜 Noods (noodle bar): Our vending machine cafe is there for you whether you’re in the mood for a quick late night bite, or you feel like studying with friends!

Bestie (café co-op): Hang out with your besties (or on your own) in our cute coffee co-op; it’s perfect for studying or relaxing with a cuppa…

🧘 Well Studio (yoga and wellness studio): Give yourself a much-needed break from the stressors of university. Well is the ideal spot to practice meditation, yoga, breath work, pilates, dance and more! With its relaxing mood lighting and soothing ambiance, you’re sure to unwind and feel recharged once you leave. Use the provided yoga mats, bricks, and pillows, or bring your own gear!

🕹️ SEE-MORE Social Club (games room): Take a breather and come hang out with friends at SMSC, fully stocked with games, a TV area, and a lounging space to play, watch and chill.

🧺 Laundry room: Doing your laundry will never be a hassle with our in-building laundry access. Feel free to chill in the lounge area while you wait for your load to finish.

🚴 Bike parking: 80 inside, 14 outside

🔒 FOB entry front entrance

📹 Security cameras on every floor

🛡️ Security on weekends

📶 Wi-fi

 

***Disclaimer: Features may differ from how they appear on our website. 

Right next to Dalhousie campus, our fully furnished four bedroom, two bathroom ground floor unit is the only one of its kind in the WHOLE building. This one-of-a-kind apartment is just what you’re looking for, with tons of storage for you and your roomies, incredible common and individual spaces, and its very own separate entrance from the outside of the building.

Imagine spending quality time with your roomies in the spacious brightly-lit common area, decked out in our gorgeous golden mustard colourway, adding warm hues and a comforting vibe to the space… And picture yourself hanging out in your cozy room perfect for de-stressing, recharging, studying or writing/grading endless term papers.

Enjoy cooking on your own or with your school fam in your fully equipped kitchen, with brand new, stainless steel appliances that will make you feel like the true masterchef you are (it’s okay if you opt for frozen pizzas or ramen, we totes get it). This unit will definitely go fast since there’s only one, so if you’re interested in making it yours: run, don’t walk, to book a tour!

 

THE DETAILS

Each bedroom

🛏️ A bed nestled into an alcove with enough room to store your luggage underneath

💡 An open shelf above the bed with lighting underneath for late night reading or studying

📚 Cabinets (large enough to fit books and anything else you may need) above the bed for extra storage and your fairy lights!

✨ A vanity bedside table, mirror, and cabinet with storage for small personal items, including hooks inside for jewelry and other small items to hang

👚 An armoire with wood laminate doors and a full-length mirror, including roomy drawers, a shoe rack for up to 8 pairs of shoes, and a full-length cabinet with a hanging rack and enough room to fit a laundry hamper and IKEA storage inside

🪑 A study nook fully equipped with a desk, chair, lamp, and wall shelves

🎨 A large cork board on the wall making it easy to hang art or photos, and providing solid soundproofing to help roomies & neighbours get along

🖤 Black out curtains for deep sleep when you need to catch up on 💤

🌡️ Thermostat to control the temp for your individual comfort

🎒 Hooks for bags and any stuff you need to grab and go!

 

Bathroom

🛀 Two bathrooms each with a shower

💊 A vanity with spacious drawers and a full medicine cabinet for individual storage

🌟 A mirror that lights up so you can get ready in style

🧻 Extra storage for bathroom items, ‘cos nobody wants to run outta TP…

Kitchen

💎 Fully equipped with brand new, stainless steel, energy efficient LG appliances, including extra-large fridge, electric stove with a fan, microwave, and dishwasher – no arguing over dishes again!

🔪 Tons of counter space, perfect for cooking by yourself or with your roomies

🍽️ Lots of cabinet space for storing kitchenware

🍳 Spacious corner cabinet with a lazy Susan inside for easy access, great for storing pots and pans or bulkier kitchen items

♻️ Hidden garbage and recycling bins included in the cabinet under the sink

Entrance

🧳 Locker-style entrance closet included for each renter’s things

🔮 Large mirror (for last looks before a big night out! 💃)

Living room

🛋️ A cozy couch with an ottoman and a chaise lounge for chilling, movie watching and hangs!

💻 Two laptop tables that can easily be tucked away for extra floor space

🖼️ A cork board to easily hang up artwork or photos to add your own flair to the space

📺 A TV stand (television not included, so it’s totally up to you and your roomies what screen size or consoles you go for!)

🍺 A dining area with a table and four chairs for communal meals, studying, or just hanging out…

 

BUILDING AMENITIES

🍜 Noods (noodle bar): Our vending machine cafe is there for you whether you’re in the mood for a quick late night bite, or you feel like studying with friends!

Bestie (café co-op): Hang out with your besties (or on your own) in our cute coffee co-op; it’s perfect for studying or relaxing with a cuppa…

🧘 Well Studio (yoga and wellness studio): Give yourself a much-needed break from the stressors of university. Well is the ideal spot to practice meditation, yoga, breath work, pilates, dance and more! With its relaxing mood lighting and soothing ambiance, you’re sure to unwind and feel recharged once you leave. Use the provided yoga mats, bricks, and pillows, or bring your own gear!

🕹️ SEE-MORE Social Club (games room): Take a breather and come hang out with friends at SMSC, fully stocked with games, a TV area, and a lounging space to play, watch and chill.

🧺 Laundry room: Doing your laundry will never be a hassle with our in-building laundry access. Feel free to chill in the lounge area while you wait for your load to finish.

🚴 Bike parking: 80 inside, 14 outside

🔒 FOB entry front entrance

📹 Security cameras on every floor

🛡️ Security on weekends

📶 Wi-fi

 

***Disclaimer: Features may differ from how they appear on our website. 

This furnished four bedroom, two bathroom ground floor corner unit is the ideal space for unwinding after a looong day of classes and student activities, with its cozy L-couch and a bathtub perfect for soaking, relaxing, and de-stressing. It’s located at the back of the building, ensuring a peaceful atmosphere for you and your roomies. It definitely doesn’t hurt that this apartment is located right by Dalhousie University so you don’t need to worry about a commute.

The huge living room window adds brightness and warmth to the space, and its kitchen has everything you could possibly need to whip up a feast (fully equipped with brand new, stainless steel appliances!) or just prepare a quick snack to take with you on the go (student life is hectic, we get it!)

Each bedroom has its very own study nook, for cramming in crunch time in case our building’s common areas, Noods and Bestie, are too bustling for your studying needs. Have we mentioned that there are only two of these units in the whole building?! You’re gonna want to get your hands on this one ASAP.

 

THE DETAILS

Each bedroom

🛏️ A bed nestled into an alcove with enough room to store your luggage underneath

💡 An open shelf above the bed with lighting underneath for late night reading or studying

📚 Cabinets (large enough to fit books and anything else you may need) above the bed for extra storage and your fairy lights!

✨ A vanity bedside table, mirror, and cabinet with storage for small personal items, including hooks inside for jewelry and other small items to hang

👚 An armoire with wood laminate doors and a full-length mirror, including roomy drawers, a shoe rack for up to 8 pairs of shoes, and a full-length cabinet with a hanging rack and enough room to fit a laundry hamper and IKEA storage inside

🪑 A study nook fully equipped with a desk, chair, lamp, and wall shelves

🎨 A large cork board on the wall making it easy to hang art or photos, and providing solid soundproofing to help roomies & neighbours get along

🖤 Black out curtains for deep sleep when you need to catch up on 💤

🌡️ Thermostat to control the temp for your individual comfort

🎒 Hooks for bags and any stuff you need to grab and go!

 

Bathroom

🛀 Two bathrooms, one with a shower and one with a bath

💊 A vanity with spacious drawers and a full medicine cabinet for individual storage

🌟 A mirror that lights up so you can get ready in style

🧻 Extra storage for bathroom items, ‘cos nobody wants to run outta TP…

Kitchen

💎 Fully equipped with brand new, stainless steel, energy efficient LG appliances, including extra-large fridge, electric stove with a fan, microwave, and dishwasher – no arguing over dishes again!

🔪 Tons of counter space, perfect for cooking by yourself or with your roomies

🍽️ Lots of cabinet space for storing kitchenware

🍳 Spacious corner cabinet with a lazy Susan inside for easy access, great for storing pots and pans or bulkier kitchen items

♻️ Hidden garbage and recycling bins included in the cabinet under the sink

Entrance

🧳 Locker-style entrance closet included for each renter’s things

🔮 Large mirror (for last looks before a big night out! 💃)

Living room

🛋️ A cozy couch with an ottoman and a chaise lounge for chilling, movie watching and hangs!

💻 Two laptop tables that can easily be tucked away for extra floor space

🖼️ A cork board to easily hang up artwork or photos to add your own flair to the space

📺 A TV stand (television not included, so it’s totally up to you and your roomies what screen size or consoles you go for!)

🍺 A dining area with a table and four chairs for communal meals, studying, or just hanging out…

 

BUILDING AMENITIES

🍜 Noods (noodle bar): Our vending machine cafe is there for you whether you’re in the mood for a quick late night bite, or you feel like studying with friends!

Bestie (café co-op): Hang out with your besties (or on your own) in our cute coffee co-op; it’s perfect for studying or relaxing with a cuppa…

🧘 Well Studio (yoga and wellness studio): Give yourself a much-needed break from the stressors of university. Well is the ideal spot to practice meditation, yoga, breath work, pilates, dance and more! With its relaxing mood lighting and soothing ambiance, you’re sure to unwind and feel recharged once you leave. Use the provided yoga mats, bricks, and pillows, or bring your own gear!

🕹️ SEE-MORE Social Club (games room): Take a breather and come hang out with friends at SMSC, fully stocked with games, a TV area, and a lounging space to play, watch and chill.

🧺 Laundry room: Doing your laundry will never be a hassle with our in-building laundry access. Feel free to chill in the lounge area while you wait for your load to finish.

🚴 Bike parking: 80 inside, 14 outside

🔒 FOB entry front entrance

📹 Security cameras on every floor

🛡️ Security on weekends

📶 Wi-fi

 

***Disclaimer: Features may differ from how they appear on our website.