Last Updated: October 13, 2020


Along with the University of Toronto, Chestnut Residence is proactively planning and responding to the global progression of the COVID-19 virus. On this page you will find current and ongoing updates to this extraordinary situation and our efforts to ensure the health and safety of our community.
We strongly encourage you to review the information below, which we are updating regularly. Should you still have questions, the best way to reach us is by email: We are working to respond to all inquiries as quickly as possible – thank you in advance for your patience.


Important Health & Safety Information & GuidelinesAre you feeling sick?Fall/Winter 2020-21 Residence OccupancyFacilities & ServicesHelpful Information LinksUpcoming Events & Resources

We’re ready for you!

Our priority continues to be the health and safety of our residents.

As such, we have implemented a number of  measures and guidelines within residence.

Changes to residence due to COVID-19:

Temporarily suspending our guest policy to limit the amount of traffic in the building; the only exception to this is during move-in, where students will be permitted to have a maximum of 2 family members/helpers for the duration of their move-in only. All students, including helpers, must wear mask at all times (except within your own room).  Helpers must not have been outside the country within the past 14 days, be experiencing symptoms of illness, or have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for covid-19 in the past 14 days. Helpers should not come to campus if they have symptoms or answer yes to any of the self-screening questions. Please note that we will need to record the names and phone numbers of any helpers you bring with you to residence for contact tracing purposes.

In accordance with the City of Toronto by-law, we ask that all persons entering or remaining in these premises wear a mask or face covering which covers the nose, mouth and chin when in common spaces (including Lobby, Elevators, Lounges, Laundry Room, etc). Exceptions include people who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, or children under two years old, or those who require accommodation in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code. Proof of a medical condition is not required. 2 masks and 1 touchless safety tool will be provided to residents when they check-in at the Front Desk on their move-in day

Signage that promotes physical distancing, hand washing, and other health and safety reminders.

Additional hand sanitizing dispensers have been installed.

Foot door pulls have been added to decrease the amount of high touch points when opening doors.

Residence staff members have been trained on health and safety measures.

All spaces including high touch areas are cleaned on a more rigorous schedule.

Enhanced cleaning protocols that include disinfecting.

Additional physical distancing equipment, such as plexiglass barriers, are in place in high traffic areas following public health guidelines.

Have you done a self-assessment?

The University of Toronto, in partnership with Thrive Health, has launched the UCheck self-assessment web portalto support the health & safety of the entire U of T community. Students living in residence are asked to generate a COVID-19 risk status daily by completing a quick and thorough self-assessment. UCheck allows students to complete a symptom check survey and generates a “green status”  if you are safe to attend campus or a “red status” if you may not be safe to attend campus. If you receive a red status result from the assessment, we recommend that you follow the instructions given in the assessment tool and also contact us at to let us know.
ALL students who are feeling sick are asked to self-report and self-isolate.
  • You should also record your absence through ACORN. Please remember that no student is required to have a doctor’s note or medical certificate for cold or flu-related absences or for self-isolation. To receive academic consideration, students need to record all cold or flu-related absences or absences for self-isolation through ACORN. Some Faculties have alternate or supplementary requirements when reporting absences, so please contact your Registrar’s Office if you have questions. Student absences for other illnesses or reasons should continue to be documented through the Verification of Illness (VOI) form and normal Faculty processes.
I am a new incoming student - will I still be able to live at Chestnut in the Fall?

Yes, we’re planning to have students in residence this fall. We know that for many students, residence is an important part of the university experience and we look forward to welcoming you.

We are currently awaiting information on the University’s plans for Fall 2020 to be able to determine how residences will operate in the Fall. Students are encouraged to check regularly for updates related to COVID-19 on the main University of Toronto or Join U of T sites.

Are you offering any tours of the residence?

Yes (virtually)! Check out a replay of our live residence tour on the official Chestnut Residence Instagram account! Check out what could be (or will be!) your new home away from home. We tour the building, answer your questions, and share helpful tips on residence life. Hosted by Kadija, Chestnut Don, this sneak peak of the building also includes one of our residence rooms.

I'm worried about sharing a room due to concerns with COVID-19 transmission. Can you guarantee me a single room?

Yes. We’re reducing our capacity so that we can assign single rooms to all incoming students for at least the first semester, in consultation with our local public health unit. Requests from siblings and close friends who wish to share a double room will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

I'm an international student planning to move into residence - will I need to quarantine for 2 weeks when I first arrive?

Yes. The University has developed Principles for 14-day mandatory quarantine for students entering Canada as part of the broader UTogether2020: Roadmap for U of T.

The University’s Mandatory Quarantine Accommodation program will start August 15th. If you will be arriving sooner, please contact

As part of this program, the University will provide:

  • Transportation from the airport to the quarantine location
  • Private room with washroom at a hotel or at a U of T residence (depending on availability)
  • 3 meals/day delivered to your door
  • Other supports (daily check in/nurse monitoring, quarantine supplies including personal thermometer, residence life staff, and connections with your academic division for information on programming, orientation, etc. during your quarantine)

Students will need to sign-off on self-isolation protocols aligned with relevant government guidance, and remain in their rooms for the 14-day period. Guests will not be allowed during this time.

More information is outlined in the Frequently Asked Questions section on the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students website.

I still have questions about fall residence, where can I find more information?

We are working to keep our website updated as much as possible, however, additional information related to COVID-19 and residence can be found on the following sites:

Is the Front Desk still open?

Yes! The Front Desk is open and operating on reduced hours of 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily.

Is the Residence Life Office still open?

Yes! Although the Residence Life Office is physically closed, we continue to operate remotely during regular business hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday (July & August Summer hours are 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM). You have the option to chat with us at our virtual drop-in office hours from 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM and 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday. These drop-in sessions will take place on Zoom. Stop by to ask questions about admissions, fees, common spaces, meal plans and much more!

To join a drop-in session, go to: Enter the meeting ID 528 940 2310 and passcode 880353. Please note that drop-in sessions are first come, first served and you may have to wait in the virtual ‘waiting room’ while another resident is being assisted.

And don’t forget – you can always connect with us by phone: 416.585.3160; our voicemail is checked several times a day. However, the best way to reach us is by Additionally, the Front Desk and Security Desk are still open and operating in order to assist you on-site.

Are the common spaces/amenities still open?

We’re implementing measures to ensure safe access to residence amenities and spaces. This includes enhanced cleaning, additional signage, limiting capacity, and spacing of furniture. We may be required to limit access to these spaces as per public health guidelines. Following guidance from Public Health, we will continue to assess the reopening of our additional amenities spaces and will share further details once available.

Students currently have access to:

  • Music Rooms
  • Individual Study Rooms
  • 28th Floor Shared Study Space
  • Urban Lounge



Students are able to book time in one of Chestnut’s Residence Bookable Common Spaces:

  • 5 Music Rooms located on the Concourse Level (one room has a drum set and four rooms have pianos)
  • 4 Study Rooms located on the 28th Floor

Students can book rooms online through StarPortal:

  • Click Manage My Housing
  • Click Book An Appointment
  • Select Bookable Common Spaces
  • Select DateTime and Room you wish to book

Please note that the current maximum capacity for these bookable rooms is 1 person. All students are expected to wear a mask in all hallways and common spaces at any given time. For individually booked spaces, such as a study room or music room, students can remove their masks while in the room.


Additionally, Urban Lounge has also reopened as a drop-in space (i.e. not bookable online). The maximum capacity for Urban Lounge is 10 people and students must wear their mask in this space.

As of October 1st, 2020, Urban Crew in Urban Lounge is operational with the following schedule:

  • Monday: 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
  • Thursday: 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
  • Friday: 5:00 PM – 12:00 MIDNIGHT
  • Saturday: 12:00 NOON – 12:00 MIDNIGHT
  • Sunday: 12:00 NOON – 12:00 MIDNIGHT

IMPORTANT: If you are self-isolating due to COVID-19 symptoms orexperiencing any cold/flu symptoms, pleaseensure you do not access any of the common spaces. Please note that all students who are feeling sick are asked to self-isolate andself-report using the ‘Students Reporting Illness’ form to report your illness to the Residence Life Office. 

There are a number of resources we’d like to share with you at this time in the hopes that they will be helpful to how you feel. Some are U of T specific resources, and some are simply resources we think could be useful during this time – including links to free exercise classes, meditation, art-based activities, and more.

Kindly keep in mind that things are constantly shifting. We will do our best to keep this information as up to date as possible, but we do advise that you reach out to specific resources to inquire about any service changes.

U of T Resources

These are resources based here at the University. Many of these you have probably already utilized in the past. Take a look through these links for updated service information or interesting articles/pages that you might find useful.

Here you can read about the updated service offerings of various key U of T departments including the Centre for International Experience, Health & Wellness, and Indigenous Student Services. The email contacts for these various departments are also highlighted below. In general, many departments are offering virtual appointments while cancelling in-person meetings and events. Kindly check specific pages for details.

Non-U of T Resources

These are resources not affiliated with the University, but ones that we found and thought might be useful or fun.

If you have any yourself that you’d like us to feature please email and let us know!