Current Job OpeningsVolunteer

Details will be posted as  opportunities become available

Details will be posted as  opportunities become available

Events, Groups, and Clubs

Upcoming EventsChestnut Groups and Clubs

Please see our COVID-19 Information & Updates page for details on our revised virtual programming & events.

For more information, contact chestnut.life@utoronto.ca

Chestnut Residence is home to many student-led groups and clubs that organize activities and are fun for students to be a part of. In addition to clubs and groups, Chestnut has many intramural teams students can take part in.

For more information, contact chestnut.life@utoronto.ca




 Student Leaders

Academic MentorsEngineering Programming Ambassadors (EPAs)Floor CouncilResidence CouncilUrban CrewResidence Affairs Committee (RAC)

Academic Mentors (AMs) are upper year student leaders in Arts & Science. They are dedicated to supporting the academic success of first year students in Arts & Science by running helpful programs, hosting monthly study sessions, and by advising and referring students to resources on campus.

Programs that the AMs run are designed to help first year students explore new resources or ideas, interact with faculty or staff as helpful networking opportunities, build transferable skills that can aid in finding summer work, and generally link students to helpful resources that can be used in upper years. Examples include workshops and sessions on cover letter/resume skills, goal setting, and utilizing academic advising and other offices on campus to support success.

AMs work closely with the Engineering Programming Ambassadors (EPAs) and Student Life Programs Coordinator.

The AMs this year are Lagan Maheshwari, Sabrina Tang, and Ken Ogata. Keep an eye out for information about their next study session! If you have questions about the AMs, AM programming, or would like to directly connect please email Sonja Smiljanic, Student Life Programs Coordinator at sonja.smiljanic@utoronto.ca

Engineering Programming Ambassadors (EPAs) are upper year student leaders in the Engineering program. They are dedicated to supporting the academic success of first year students in the Engineering program by running helpful programs, hosting monthly study sessions, and by advising and referring students to resources on campus.

Programs that the EPAs run are designed to help first year students explore new resources or ideas, interact with faculty or staff as helpful networking opportunities, build transferable skills that can aid in finding summer work, and generally link students to helpful resources that can be used in upper years. Examples include workshops and sessions on cover letter/resume skills, goal setting, and utilizing academic advising and other offices on campus to support success.

EPAs work closely with the Academic Mentors, Student Life Programs Coordinator, and Faculty in Residence.

The EPAs this year are Ernie Lee, Jayce Wang, and Andy Wang. Keep an eye out for information about their next study session! If you have questions about the EPAs, EPA programming, or would like to directly connect please email Sonja Smiljanic, Student Life Programs Coordinator at sonja.smiljanic@utoronto.ca

Run for student government! Every year, two students are elected on each floor to be the Floor President and Social Coordinator. All students living on the floor are eligible to run for positions and participate in events. Floor Councils run events on the floor and work alongside the Chestnut Residence Council and the Floor Don.

Elections are held in September, shortly after Orientation Week!

For more information, contact chestnutrescouncil@gmail.com

The Chestnut Residence Council: The Chestnut Residence Council is a Student governing body that plans social, athletic and community events and organizes:

  • The annual Chestnut semi-formal
  • Coffee houses and open mike nights
  • ski and snowboarding trips
  • The purchase equipment including the PS4, music instruments, board games etc.
  • Intramural sports tournaments and much more!

Each floor has representatives on the council along with executive members.

For more information, contact chestnut.life@utoronto.ca or chestnutrescouncil@gmail.com

Learn more about who your residence council is….

The Urban Crew is involved in the day-to-day operation of Urban Lounge, Chestnut Residence’s large, multi-use student space. Urban Crew members are responsible for a three-hour shift once a week where they help maintain a friendly and welcoming atmosphere in Urban Lounge.  They also help students use the AV equipment to watch movies, TV, or play video games as well as sign-out equipment for playing pool, table tennis, Foosball, video games and board games.

For more information, contact chestnut.life@utoronto.ca

The purpose of the Residence Affairs Committee (RAC) is to review issues that are brought to the committee by the residence community. The Residence Affairs Committee may make recommendations and provide advice on:

  • The Co-Curricular Record (CCR)
  • The Chestnut Tree and related food operations;
  • Use of the Residence’s physical facilities for student use;
  • Communications;
  • Policies relating to student issues;
  • Funding requests (where applicable); and
  • Any other matters directed to it by the Chestnut Board

The Residence Affairs Committee consists of:

  • The Building Manager
  • The Dean of Residence
  • At least one other staff member of the Residence Office
  • The Chestnut Residence Council President or a designate
  • At least one other Chestnut staff member
  • Current residents of Chestnut Residence
  • 2 Residence Dons

For more information, contact chestnut.life@utoronto.ca.

The Residence Affairs Committee shall meet twice per term or more depending on the issues that arise. For more information to attend the next RAC meeting please contact the committee via email: chestnut.life@utoronto.ca

Terms of Reference

Meeting Minutes

Do you have a new idea or initiative for the building or the Chestnut Residence community? Did you know that special funding may be available via RAC.

Please fill out the funding request form below and share your idea with RAC members.

RAC Chestnut Initiative Fund Request Form

Upcoming meetings

JOIN US! Everyone is welcome to sit in on the meetings.

  • Monday January 27th 10:30-11:30, Bay Suite
  • Monday March 9th 10:30-11:30, Armoury Suite


Residence DonsResidence Life OfficeFaculty in ResidenceHealth & Wellness CounsellorInternational Transition AdvisorCareer TeamStudent Life Programs Coordinator

Residence Dons are upper year undergraduate or graduate students who live and work in residence to offer advice and support on academic, personal, or interpersonal concerns. Dons ensure that our community standards are respected, provide campus resources as required, and work within the community to organize social and education programming for students.

2019-20 Don Team:

Thomas  – 4th Floor

Hi, my name is Thomas Goutos. I’m a first year Masters of Teaching student in OISE. Two of my biggest hobbies are movies and sports. Fun fact: I’m training to become an ordained minister. 


Mike – 5th Floor (All Male)

Mike is a student in the Sociology Department, completing a Collaborative Specialization Master’s with the Culinaria Research Centre. He is incredibly passionate about food and much of his work and down time is spent searching out new restaurants and learning about different cuisines. Mike spent several years living and travelling throughout East Africa, India and Southeast Asia prior to coming back to U of T. 


Lauren – 6th Floor

Program: Rotman Commerce. I am passionate about boxing. A random fact: I Used to be an actor in film/TV.


Jessica – 7th Floor (Intercultural Experience Community)

My name is Jessica but I prefer to be called Jessi! My academic program is Sexual Diversity Studies, but I have a minor in Visual Studies and Jewish Studies. I am very passionate about mental health and its accessibility. Random fact: I looove sloths and it is my goal to get to Costa Rica so I can volunteer at a sloth sanctuary! 

Nadine – 8th Floor

Hello! My name is Nadine Abdel-Ghafar! I’m a Master’s of Education student at OISE. I’m passionate about fitness and nutrition! I really enjoy outdoor activities, sparring, and board games!


Sumana – 9th Floor

Academic program: Life sciences (double major in biochemistry and global health, with a minor in psychology). Passionate about: stories. From novels and movies to conversations with interesting people, I’ll take stories any way I get them! Random fact about me: I am an unapologetic lover of puns. 


Cansu – 10th Floor (Woodsworth Community)

My name is Cansu, and I am a fifth-year undergraduate student studying criminology. I am passionate about nutrition and well-being. A fun fact about me: I used to be a competitive swimmer.

Andrea – 11th Floor (Engineering Community)

Andrea is a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student.  In her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing, biking and cooking. A fun fact about her is that she speaks three languages!

Amanda – 12th Floor

Hi, my name is Amanda Bayona! I am a graduate student studying in the Master of Professional Kinesiology program here at U of T. I am very passionate about all things related to health and wellness! A random fact about myself is that I have 3 other sisters. 


Kadija – 14th Floor 

I am passionate about health and wellness. Our bodies are temples and we must treat them as such. An interesting fat about me is that I love nature.


Sean – 15th Floor (Life Science Community)

My name is Sean and I am a Master’s student in the Department of Biochemistry. Although I love science, I’m also really passionate about music! I love to beatbox, write songs, and produce music! 


Joshua – 16th Floor (Engineering Community)

Academic Program: Electrical Engineering. Passionate about: Machine Learning. Random Fact: I have four siblings excluding myself.   Or.   I have been to over 8 different schools. 

Aditi – 17th Floor

Program: Economics major with a double minor in Statistics, and Digital Humanities.  I am passionate about innovating. Be it an entrepreneurship idea, or doing something fun with an acoustic guitar, I always enjoy creating something new.  A fun fact about me is that I once cycled from Seattle to San-Francisco.  


Anika – 18th Floor

My name is Anika Roberts-Stahlbrand and I’m working on my MA in Adult Education and Community Development. I’m passionate about food and its ability to build community and address equity, ecological, and economic issues with tasty and tangible solutions. Fun fact: The only pets I had growing up were worms (which I cared for lovingly, I’ll have you know) 

Peter – 19th Floor

Program: Rotman Commerce; Finance and Economics Specialist. Passion: I am very passionate about sports especially basketball and snowboarding!

Ester – 20th Floor (Arts & Culture Community)

Program: Criminology and Sociolegal Studies Specialist. Passion: I love drawing portraits of people and learning about Indigenous legal traditions!

Olivia – 21st Floor 

Music Composition, Lamination, I like to collect buttons.


Shewit – 22nd Floor (Humanities & Social Sciences Community)

I’m currently doing my Masters in Public Health, but I did my undergrad in Health Studies and Peace Studies. I love yoga and listening to podcasts (Hidden Brain is one of my faves!).


Priya – 23rd Floor (All Female)

Program: Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

I am passionate about occupational rehabilitation, sustainable fashion, and learning new things. A random fact about me is that I’m planning to study in all 42 UofT libraries before I graduate. I’ve been to 18 so far! 


Taylor – 24th Floor (Engineering Community)

Program: PhD in Chemical Engineering (air quality) .Something I’m Passionate About: I am passionate about the environment, education, and science. Random Fact About Myself: My favorite food is cheese fondue 


Mariana – 25th Floor

Academic Program: Master of Public Health, Social and Behavioural Health Sciences. Something you are passionate about: I am passionate about health promotion, STEM education, digital content creation and learning new languages! Random fact: A random fact about me is that I love board games and like to host game nights with friends! 


Sabrina – 26th & 27th Floors (Quiet Community)

My name is Sabrina. I am studying Architecture. I am proudly passionate about Harry Potter and Marvel’s Avengers and am very happy to have exciting discussions at any time. I also play hockey and have been skating since I was 4 years old.

David Kim
Dean of Residence & Director of Student Life



Eliza Davies-Greenwald
Assistant Dean Residence Administration



Emily Harrison
Residence Services Coordinator



Vithushon Thayalan
Residence Life Coordinator



Alex Humphries
Manager, Admissions & Communications



Klara Kovarova
Assistant Dean Residence Life



Sonja Smiljanic
Student Life Programs Coordinator



Kohen McBride
Marketing & Communication Assistant



Aaron Tsang
Residence Life Coordinator



Aisalyn Templin

Administration and Communications Assistant


Faculty in Residence: Chirag Variawa

Chirag Variawa is an Assistant Professor, Teaching-stream, and Director, First-year Curriculum, in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto.  Variawa received his Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in 2014, and his B.A.Sc. in Materials Science Engineering in 2009, both from the University of Toronto. Variawa is an active member of the Canadian Engineering Education Association, the founding faculty member of the First-year Engineering Education Research Group, and a former member of the Governing Council at the University of Toronto. His multi-disciplinary research uses principles from artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, higher education and aspects of neuroscience to investigate the design of engineering learning environments. In his leisure time, he enjoys tinkering with cars and electronics, and sharing this passion students interested in STEM.

This year, Chirag Variawa is living-in at Chestnut Residence as the Faculty in Residence (FiR). As the FiR, Chirag will organize programs and special events geared towards Chestnut’s Engineering student population. Through programming and connecting with students he aims to build an even stronger sense of community and support here at Chestnut residence for Engineering students. Look out for regular Dinner with Your Prof events, Coffee with your TA, and industry nights planned in collaboration with leading companies.

Health & Wellness Counsellor
Mondays and Tuesdays (by appointment only)

Are you feeling like you need the support of a professional counsellor? This year we’ve launched a partnership with Health & Wellness that brings a Health & Wellness counsellor to Chestnut two days a week for on-location appointments at Chestnut. Ashley Carr, the counsellor, will be working out of an office in Chestnut on Mondays and Tuesdays.

To get an appointment with Ashley please call Health & Wellness directly and let them know you’re a Chestnut student wishing to book an appointment with our On Location Counsellor. If you need assistance feel free to stop by the Residence Life Office and speak with one of our Residence Life Coordinators, Aaron or Vithu, or our Assistant Dean, Residence Life, Klara.

Centre for International Experience

If you’re an international student or new to Toronto, the Centre for International Experience (CIE) is available to you. Advisors at the CIE can assist students in making an effective transition to academic and cultural life at the University of Toronto and the city broadly.

Chestnut will be offering helpful workshops throughout the year in close collaboration with the CIE. Stay tuned for specific topics and dates while we work to organize them for you!

In the meantime feel free to reach out to the CIE if you wish to discuss things like: general immigration concerns, healthcare access/insurance/well-being, adjusting to academic/social/cultural changes, finding community connection on campus, searching for leadership and volunteer opportunities, or learning about the numerous global opportunities available (U of T has over 150 partnerships around the world!).

Career Exploration & Education – Peer Career Educators

Every Wednesday 5:30-7:30PM in the Chestnut Lobby 

 We’re excited to have a close connection with the Career Team at Career Exploration & Education! Every Wednesday you can find Marion and Dash, two Peer Career Advisors from the Career Centre hosting drop-in hours in the Chestnut lobby.

They can talk with you about: finding meaningful work, exploring career options, creating application materials like cover letters and resumes, interview strategies and practice, and tips for networking.

Marion Kang, Peer Career Educator

My name is Marion Kang and I am a 3rd year Life Science student majoring in Human Biology. I enjoy being a peer career advisor as I am able to help students from various programs and areas explore and learn about their career options. Aside from studies and helping students, I also take part in FLUX, a competitive dance team representing the University of Toronto St. George campus at post-secondary competitions. I look forward to helping you discover your career goals and interests!

Dash Kaur, Peer Career Educator

My name is Dashmeet Kaur and I am a 3rd year Chemical Engineering student minoring in Advanced Manufacturing.  The best part about being a Peer Career Advisor is that you get to interact with new students during the appointments and through those 20 minutes you get to build a sense of community with the students which is a value very close to my heart. I like being able to support students to help them succeed in their chosen career path. In my free time I love to dance and swim. I am very excited to connect with you and have meaningful career chats!

Sonja Smiljanic

Acting as a bridge between the academic divisions of U of T and the residence community, Sonja provides on-the-ground support to students with academic questions and needing personal support. Typical queries can include:

  • Engineering policy questions (regarding probation, repeating a course, transferring programs, or petitions)
  • Time management and study skills help
  • Referrals to supports on campus

In addition to these referral services, Sonja provides community and academic support for students, including academic sessions, extra-curricular opportunities, and employment.

Some examples include:

  • Academic Mentors – a group of upper year students, employed by the Res Life Office, who provide academic assistance and support to the Chestnut community
  • Engineering Ambassadors – a group of upper year engineering students, employed by the Res Life Office, who deliver fun and impactful programs including de-stress activities (ie therapy dogs), info sessions regarding summer research opportunities, and review sessions with engineering professors
  • Dinner with Your Profs – a catered dinner for Faculty and students to meet and connect
  • Workshops and seminars throughout the year, targeting specific skills and study habits

Sonja can be contacted through the following means:

Phone: 416-585-3154
Email: sonja.smiljanic@utoronto.ca