Current Job OpeningsVolunteer

Details will be posted as opportunities become available.

Details will be posted as  opportunities become available.


Virtual RLO Drop-In Office HoursParticipate to Win Program

Although the Residence Life Office is physically closed, we continue to operate and are available remotely during our regular business hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday (July & August Summer hours are 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM). You also have the option to chat with us at our virtual drop-in office hours!


  • Monday to Friday from 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM and 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • 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: bit.ly/30q1v0y 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 email:chestnut.residence@utoronto.ca Additionally, the Front Desk and Security Desk are still open and operating in order to assist you on-site.

Participate to Win

Get engaged for your chance to WIN!

Every time you participate in an eligible RLO virtual event, you will have the opportunity to enter to win a $25 amazon gift card.

By attending an eligible event, you’ll have the option to share your name + room number with the host. For each event/program you participate in you’ll be entered into our weekly draw. The more events you participate in, the more chances you’ll have to win!

The Participate to Win program will run for 7 weeks for a total of 7 winners!


Eligible Programs & Events:

  • Chestnut Dines (hosted daily 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM)
  • Wellness Focus Groups (February 16 & 17)
  • Buddy Program (1st connection/meeting only)
  • Dinner With Your Prof (ongoing dates tbd)
  • Speed Friending (February 23, 2021)
  • RLO student check-ins/Pop-Up events (up-coming dates: February 25 and 27, 2021)

This list will be updated as new eligible events emerge.

The program begins February 14th with the first prize winner announced on Monday February 22nd. The last draw will take place on Monday, April 5th.

Good luck in advance to the all the potential winners!

Participate to Win Weekly Winners:

  1. February 22 – Jules Franceshini & Thomas Nguyen
  2. March 1 – TBD
  3. March 8 – TBD
  4. March 15 – TBD
  5. March 22 – TBD
  6. March 29 – TBD
  7. April 5 – TBD

 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), the Residence Life Coordinator, and the Assistant Dean, Residence Life.

The AMs this year are:

  • Dania Ahmed
  • Ishika Bangari

If you have questions about the AMs or AM programming, please contact chestnut.life@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, the Faculty in Residence, the Residence Life Coordinator, and the Assistant Dean, Residence Life.

If you are interested in the EPA role, please contact chestnut.life@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 will be held in October!

For more information, contact chestnutrescouncil@gmail.com

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 mic nights
  • Ski and snowboarding trips
  • They 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 residence council and the executive members….


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

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

Wednesday March 3rd 1pm-2pm (drop-in 1:40-2:00)
From 1:40 – 2:00, the committee will host an open forum for any student to join to share their feedback.

Join the Zoom Meeting! Email us for the meeting link & access information: chestnut.residence@utoronto.ca


Residence DonsResidence Life OfficeFaculty in ResidenceHealth & Wellness CounsellorInternational Transition AdvisorCareer Team

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.

2020-21 Don Team:


Mike – Floor 5 

Mike is returning to the Don role for a second year and is beginning his PhD in Geography. His work will focus on the politics of street food vending in Thailand. He has had the opportunity to compete and coach with the Varsity Blues Badminton Team throughout his time in undergraduate studies. Prior to returning to graduate school, he had the privilege to volunteer and work internationally, throughout India, Barbados, Southeast Asia, and East Africa. He’s an avid traveller and other passions include cooking, records, cycling, and community development. He is incredibly excited to be back and working with such a diverse and interesting array of students in the Chestnut community. 


Marion – Floor 6

My name is Marion and I am super excited to build a wonderful community here at Chestnut with each and every one of you. Feel free to reach out about any questions or concerns you may have during the school year, or even stop by just to say hello!

Program: Biology Major, Psychology and Sociology Minor

Hobbies: Dancing and drawing

Fun fact: I love watching baking videos but I don’t know the first thing about baking.


Nadine – Floor 7 

Hi folks! I am so excited to meet you and to welcome you to Chestnut Residence! In time, I hope this space becomes your home away from home, and that you find a second family within the Chestnut community! I am so stoked to meet and connect with you and to support you through your personal, professional, and academic endeavors! 

Program: Master of Arts in Social Justice Education with a Collaborative Specialization in Public Health Policy 

Hobbies: Martial arts, swimming, dancing, walking, jamming to music, and spending quality time with my loved ones! 

Fun Fact: I have lived across three different continents, and hold three nationalities. 


Diana – Floor 10 

Hello Everyone! My name is Diana, and I am going into my third year at U of T. I am super excited to be a Don at Chestnut this year and to get to know each of you along the way. As a fellow architecture student, I am excited to pass on tips I have learned over the last couple of years and help with your transition into post-secondary. If you see me at any time around Chestnut please feel free so say hi I’d love to chat! 

Program: A Specialist in Architectural Studies with a Double Minor in Environmental and Urban Studies 

Hobbies: I love dancing, running and working out 

Fun Fact: One fun fact about me is that I have memorized 61 digits of Pi 


Liz – Floor 11 

Hi there! My name is Liz, I’m a CIV2T0 + PEY, I just finished my PEY term and will be heading into my fourth year. I’m super excited to meet with all of you both virtually and/or possibly physically (while following Public Health guidelines). If you have any questions related to navigating first year, what PEY is like or anything else in general, feel free to reach out. I’m looking forward to being your don for the upcoming school year! 

Program: Civil Engineering 

Hobbies: Dragon boating, crafting, netflix, reading, trekking outdoors and camping 

Fun Fact: Last summer I managed to run a 10K and raced in two dragon boating competitions in the same day. It was a tiring but fun day! 


Jamie – Floor 12 

Hi there! My name is Jamie & I’ll be your don for this upcoming year. I’m so excited to meet and get to know you ☺️ I look forward to finding ways to best support & create a positive residence experience for you! 

Program: Masters of Social Work 

Hobbies: Music, sports, animals, travelling, finding new food places 

Fun Fact: I write and perform music 


Ben – Floor 14 

Hi 14th floor! My name’s Ben and I’m gonna be your don this year. I know that this school term is really unprecedented and weird due to COVID, but I’m really excited to think of unique and creative ways we can cultivate an amazing floor community despite that. Don’t hesitate to knock on my door and come say hi! Can’t wait to meet you all 🙂 

Program: Computer Engineering 

Hobbies: Weightlifting, and (very very amateur) guitar playing 

Fun Fact: I’ve never had coffee before! 


Owen – Floor 15 

Welcome Chestnut Residence! Welcome to the 15th floor! I am your Don, Owen. I’m a fourth year student in Kinesiology and physical education. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any question. I am here for you! Stay healthy and stay active! 

Program: Kinesiology and Physical Education 

Hobbies: Karate, Cooking, Sports, Cats 

Fun Fact: I have a cat named Dumpling! 


Shreya – Floor 16 

Hello and welcome to the Arts and Culture floor! I’m Shreya, an incoming fifth year neuroscience and music student and I’ll be your don this year. I’m super excited to get to know all of you as you start your journey at U of T – ask me anything about getting involved on campus, managing coursework, homesickness, and the best ice cream places around campus (especially the last one) Looking forward to our year together! 

Program: Bachelor of Science, I just graduated my Bachelor of Music 

Hobbies: Music (of course) embroidery, running, knitting 

Fun Fact: I have an autobiographical memory condition that means I can tell you the day of the week of any date in the past 8 years on demand! 


Aysha – Floor 17 

Hello! My name’s Aysha Mohammed and I’m entering my fourth year! I am currently in the Rotman Commerce Program, specializing in Finance and Economics with a minor in Mathematics. I’m also an international student and I only experienced snow for the first time when I moved here! Please feel free to reach out about courses, university life, how to transition, or anything you need. Looking forward to meeting you all!! 

Program: Rotman Commerce 

Hobbies: Swimming, reading, shopping 

Fun Fact: I was born on Halloween 


Hannah – Floor 18 

Welcome to both the Chestnut and Skule Engineering UofT communities! I hope you are able to find a part in both of these communities that you can call home. I’m always happy to lend a (physically distant) ear, hand, or whatever body part I can to be there and help out – ask me anytime. 

Program: Mechanical Engineering 

Hobbies: Exercising (yoga, kickboxing, swimming), taking photos and making slideshows from them, FaceTiming my three younger siblings 

Fun Fact: Enthusiastic fan of wordplay, B99 and ATLA, and 20 minute power naps 


Chamique – Floor 20 

Welcome to Chestnut and the 20th floor! My name is Chamique (SHA-MEE-KA) and I’m your new community don for the upcoming school year. I’m looking to forward to meeting and getting to know each and every one of you soon. Even though these next semesters might look a little different, I hope you are as exited for this new year at U of T as I am. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out and if you need anything, have questions, or just want to chat, stop by my room (2034) anytime. 😊 

Program: Bachelor of Arts – majoring in Health Studies and Linguistics 

Hobbies: Reading is a large hobby of mine. As well, I was heavily involved in competitive dance and musical theatre but now just teach and choreograph for students when I can. 

Fun Fact: I once climbed to the top of a waterfall in Dominica and vow to never do so again. 


Kadija – Floor 21 & 22 

Hello everyone and welcome to Chestnut! My name is Kadija and I am one of the lead dons at Chestnut this year. I’m so excited to begin the school year with you all! I’m super friendly, so if you see me around Chestnut, please don’t hesitate to say hello! 

I’ve been a criminology and sociolegal studies student for some time and I really enjoy it! A fun fact about me is that I got my fitness and nutrition expert certification during the summer. You will most definitely find me participating in some form of physical activity. 


Sean – Floor 23 

My name is Sean and I’m currently doing a PhD in Biochemistry at UofT! Outside of the research lab, I love to rock climb, listen to and make music, and watch stand-up comedy. I’m looking forward to meeting you all! 





Cansu – Floor 24 

Hi! I’m Cansu, the don of the 24th floor. I am starting my Master of Education in Social Justice Education at OISE and this will be my third year donning at Chestnut! Outside of school, I love reading, doing yoga, and hanging out with my two french bulldogs. 

Program: Master of Education in Social Justice Education 

Hobbies: Reading, Yoga, Watching Films 

Fun Fact: I used to be a competitive swimmer 


Sarina – Floor 25 

Hi friend! Neither of us probably imagined being introduced to each other this way, but I’m excited to meet you nonetheless! I’m looking forward to supporting you as you start (or continue) this chapter of your life. University can be both rewarding and challenging. Things may not always go according to plan (my first year definitely didn’t!), but that’s okay. The most important thing is that you ask for help as soon as you need it. I did my undergrad at U of T too (majored in Sociology, minored in Political Science and English), so feel free to ask me any questions, whether it’s about study skills, course selection, or opportunities on campus. Welcome to Chestnut and U of T! 

Program: Master of Teaching 

Hobbies: Singing, Songwriting, Playing the Ukulele, Swimming, Badminton, Basketball, Zumba, Reading 

Fun Fact: I got to professionally record a song with my university a cappella choir! 


Olivia – Floor 26/27 

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to meet you all! This year will be a new learning experience for all of us and I embrace the challenge. I look forward to our time together! 

Program: Music 

Hobbies: I’ve just started learning how to knit! 

Fun Fact: I am the second oldest of five children. 

David Kim
Dean of Residence & Director of Student Life



Eliza Davies-Greenwald
Assistant Dean Residence Administration



Kate Milligan
Residence Services Coordinator



Vithushon Thayalan
Residence Life Coordinator

(on Secondment)


Alex Humphries
Manager, Admissions & Communications

(on leave)


Ruth Hobbis

Administration and Communications Assistant


Klara Kovarova
Assistant Dean Residence Life



Sonja Smiljanic
Student Life Programs Coordinator

(on leave)


Kohen McBride
Marketing & Communication Assistant



Aaron Tsang
Residence Life Coordinator



Aisalyn Templin

Administration and Communications Assistant

(on leave)


Logo: Chestnut leaf with building as it's shadows

Julia Goudreau

Residence Life Coordinator


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

Mental wellness is key to academic success. To support student mental health, U of T’s  Health and Wellness program has created an on-location counselling service to improve access to counselling.

Ashley Carr is the on-location counsellor for Chestnut Residence and offers confidential counselling services to Chestnut Residence students who are currently registered at U of T. Many students find it helpful to meet with a counsellor to learn how to manage stress around schedules, exams, relationships, or any unexpected challenge.

Ashley is a clinical social worker who has focused her career on working with young adults and youth to improve their well-being, repair relationships, and navigate complex mental health challenges. Ashley has worked as a counsellor in a variety of community and private settings and completed her MSW at the University of Toronto. Ashley takes a holistic approach to wellness, and provides client-centered counselling, focused on empowerment, highlighting strengths and resiliency, and skill-building.

How to Book an Appointment:

All registered full-time and part-time students can call Health and Wellness at 416-978-8030 (select Option “5”) to register and schedule their first appointment with Chestnut Residence’s dedicated counsellor. Follow-up appointments are booked directly with the Wellness Counsellor. Scheduled appointments will be held Monday through Thursday via phone or secure video conferencing.

Additional Mental Health Resources:

Call 911 if at immediate risk.

If you are: feeling desperate and hopeless, worried you might hurt yourself, someone else or having suicidal thoughts, alone with no one to talk to.

If you have: made a plan, the means to hurt yourself or someone else (e.g. pills or a weapon), attempted suicide or hurt yourself before.

U of T Services

MySSP – multilingual, real-time and/or appointment-based confidential, 24-hour support for any school, health, or general life concern, call 1-844-451-9700

Navi, your mental health wayfinder – an anonymous tool that provides you with information to help you navigate mental health resources and make decisions about seeking appropriate supports

Community Support Group – a peer-to-peer resource for students to get to know and support one another

Grief Support Sharing Circle – an informal mutual support group for students who have experienced a death, as well as students experiencing anticipatory grief

Log in to CLNx to check out the Health & Wellness calendar of events

If you need any assistance, please feel free to reach out to the Residence Life Office by emailing chestnut.residence@utoronto.ca or calling and leaving a message at 416-585-3160.

External Services

Good2Talk Student Helpline 1-866-925-5454

Assaulted Women's Helpline  416-863-0511

Centre for International Experience

2020-21 Schedule Coming Soon!

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!).

Are you looking to explore your career options? Trying to find strategies to navigate career decisions? Needs resources to improve your resume?

Book an appointment with the Career Exploration & Education Centre to find ways to meet employers, industry experts and alumni; identify goals and navigate career decisions; and improve your resume, interviews and online presence.