Get Involved!

Have a House Meeting and decide as a group what to do if .

you want to throw a party in the House, paint the kitchen fuchsia, carve some pumpkins, plant a garden in that old bathtub in the backyard; feel like reupholstering that sofa in the common room; somebody is humming Barry Manilow tunes all night in their room; the smell of that recipe your housemate prepares every Thursday night gets to you; there are long strands of hair stuck in the drain in the bathroom, or any other ideas you want to share with your house mates.

Division Meetings:

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Divisions make decisions as a group about issues that affect the whole division, such as meal plans, division-wide events and activities.  The Division Meeting is where you elect your Division Rep who will speak on your behalf and represent your division at the Board meeting.  All members of a Division will attend these meetings.

Town Hall: This is a meeting where all House Managers from the entire Co-op gather to exchange ideas and find solutions to problems. There are great discussions and we always have pizza, too.  Of course all members can attend.

 

 

 General Meeting

This is a meeting for everybody in Co-op.  The new Directors of the Board are elected here; the Board reports to the membership about what they have been working on during the past year, the membership approves the audited financial statements, appoint our auditors, approve bylaw amendments, rent and meal plan increases. All members of Co-op will attend the General Members meeting.

Yes, you too, could become a Director of the Board: think about how you would improve Co-op life for all, talk about it with a lot of people, listen to their ideas and get nominated. Yes, you can!  To read about the current Board of Directors, please go to Board.

Co-op Hours

Any constructive activity that benefits the Co-op substantially can earn you a Co-op Hour, the Co-op currency of participation.  You are expected to collect at least six Co-op hours per term. Talk to staff about how you wish to earn your Co-op Hours. Here are some of the opportunities:

        • Join a committee
        • Participate in a renovation project in the common areas of the House
        • Assist in the marketing projects of Co-op
        • Help out at Orientation or General Meetings
        • Host a potluck or holiday dinner
        • Organize an event
        • Submit photos of your event for the website

Chores

cookingNobody likes them, but everybody has to do them!  At Co-op, we supply all the household cleaning items, and members take turns to clean the common rooms of the house.  The House Manager will assign to you a chore that you need to complete every week.  If you do it well, it should not take too long. In between when assigned chores are due, members are expected to keep the house at an acceptable level of cleanliness.  This may include emptying the garbage bin in the bathroom, wiping down the bathroom sink, etc.  These types of tasks should not wait until the chore completion by date.

Oh, yes, the dishes need to be washed every night! It is up to the House to decide: you can take scheduled turns to wash the dishes every night, each member can take turns to cook for the whole house, while others will do the dishes, or, each member washes whatever dishes they used, right after the meal.  This is not rocket-science!


Did you know there is a set schedule to garbage and recyclables collecting? Ask your House Manager or staff about it, they will be delighted to chat with you about such an intriguing subject.The cleanliness of your room and your clothes is entirely your responsibility.  There are laundry machines in the basement of your house with all the soap in the world.Go check!And, did you know that returning all the empties at the end of the month can mean the difference between another snack and no snack! So, do not let them pile up.

In the winter, house members are required to clean the sidewalk around the house.We ask you to do so not only for your own safety but also to prevent neighbours and passersby from falling.It is our responsibility to keep the streets around our houses safe.

Those who live in a division with a Dining Hall will also take turns to help out with meal preparations.  Just imagine the many valuable life skills you acquire while stirring the pot, slicing the bread or emptying the dishwasher.

Fines

coyThe short story is: if you don't meet your responsibilities to your housemates, division or the co-op as a whole, you shall be fined. At Move-in, you will receive detailed information about the kinds of fines you may incur.   If you feel you have been unfairly fined, there is an appeals process juried by your fellow co-oppers.  Fines are easily avoided as long as you do your weekly chore, attend mandatory meetings, complete your 12 Co-op hours and follow the Co-op's bylaws and policies.







Meal Plans

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Lowther & North Divisions all include mandatory meal plans during the Fall/Spring school terms.  We provide a healthy and basic diet, at low cost, which Members supplement with extras as they please. Each Division has an individual monthly meal plan fee, equally billed over the eight month term. The charges are based upon the type of food service provided and the number of residents within the division. Participation in meal plans is mandatory; there is no opting out of the meal plan and no compensation for missed meals.For details on mandatory meal plan fees, please contact the Co-Op at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  




healthy foodMeal plans begin operating fully in weeks that classes are in session and generally follow the U of T Faculty of Arts & Science school term schedule.   Members are responsible for buying and preparing their own food until classes begin and during exam and holiday periods.  Meal plans are not offered during the holiday office closure or the summer term.

The North Division Dining Hall has a professional Cook to prepare the food.  Members set-up, prepare food, cook, serve & clean up the Dining Hall according to a set schedule.

Unfortunately we cannot always cater to special dietary needs, such as allergies or other medical or religious dietary requirements.



Lowther Division Meal Plan

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This meal plan provides you with an opportunity to prepare your own meals with common house food on a limited budget. You pay a set amount each month into the Meal Plan for House Food.  167 and 169 Lowther Avenue in Lowther Division elect a House Food Shopper who buys food once a week based on the House's shopping list with the House Food money. You can prepare your own meals individually or collectively as the House chooses.






North Division Meal Plan

kitchen

You get 10 meals a week 5 lunches & dinners every Monday to Friday from 12-1 and 5-6 in the North Dining Hall at 403 Huron St.  There is a vegetarian option with each meal.  You are expected to help out at the Dining Hall, with the preparation and serving of the meals according to a set schedule. There is no House food money provided within North Division, which means, you will have to buy your snacks and food for the weekend on your own. If you are unable to eat in the dining hall, you can leave a Rubbermaid type dish for saved meals.  Members have access to the dining hall 24/7 and the meals are saved in the fridge.  This is operated using the honor system - members are asked to respect this process and not take a dish that does not belong to you.  As well, the dining hall is not an all you can eat buffet.  Meal are budgeted to feed each member in the division.  Therefore, allowing friends to eat in the dining hall is not permitted - to do so, reduces the amount of food available.




Moving In

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Before you can renew and/or move into our Co-op, you will be required to pay all outstanding fees. Payment can be made via cheque, money order, travelers cheques & debit card; no cash payments are accepted. You will then be given your key(s), Members package and orientation schedule.  Reading all information provided by Co-op is your responsibility.   

When you get to your room, check it for furniture inventory/condition & maintenance issues (paint, holes in the walls, nonfunctioning windows). Notify Maintenance if there are problems.




denis and eddie

Co-op provides:

  • Basic furnishings: bed, dresser, desk, chair, bookcase, window blinds
  • Basic pots & pans, dishes, utensils and appliances
  • Free laundry and detergent
  • Basic cleaning supplies, vacuum, toilet paper & light bulbs
  • Limited personal storage space (unlocked) in your house while you live there

Co-op does not provide: Bed linens, pillows or towels; telephones and phone lines; air conditioning.


kayaMoving out

As your move out date approaches, you'll have many things to think about & get done.  Plan ahead and be ready:

            • Complete all House and Division chores
            • Clean out your food storage and fridge space
            • Clean your room well, and remove all garbage
            • Ensure your room is in good condition
            • Ensure all Co-op room furniture is present, clean & in good condition
            • Ensure walls are free from damage
            • Remove all personal items from House and storage rooms
            • Contact Maintenance to set up a room inspection appointment
            • Sign off on the inspection (with any fines or cleaning needs noted)
            • Lock your room door behind you
            • Return key to the office
            • Fill out a room deposit return request
            • Pay all outstanding fees/fines at the office
            • Provide the office with your forwarding address

Conflict Resolution

yellerIn a community of 300 people living at a residence, conflicts are bound to happen: a diversity of ages, maturity levels, cultural backgrounds, interests, life-styles, living standards, expectations, need for privacy and need for socializing will frequently test mutual levels of acceptance, tolerance, patience, empathy, compassion, the ability to compromise and live together harmoniously.

In some instances, such conflicts are worked out between the parties needing no intervention.  The Co-op has access to conflict mediation services.




sookhee loves musicIf things do not improve, we encourage you to come and talk to the staff who will provide you with information and access to conflict resolution services. Sometimes the solution is to have a behavior contract drawn where the parties agree not to repeat the offensive behavior.  You may even be moved into another room temporarily if that is the solution to the problem.   Finally, if all else fails, a member may have to undergo a Membership Review conducted by the board, which, in the most severe cases, may lead to eviction.







Diversity

A society without prejudice and discrimination that celebrates diversity, difference and inclusion is our fervent hope.  We bring people together who are sometimes very different from one another and who might otherwise never have met. We are your safe haven where you can exchange ideas and get to know each other better. Students from many cultures and from all walks of life discover one compelling truth: it is possible to foster equality by building bridges of understanding and trust.

We encourage you to:

  • Understand the impact of biases and stereotypes
  • Identify the many qualities and characteristics that define each of us
  • Appreciate how we are alike and how we are different
  • Know what others feel, think and believe
  • Share in each person's unique story
  • Have those stories heard, respected and appreciated

 

We believe the more we look at people with fresh eyes, without the preconceived notions that invariably lead to fear and bigotry, the better we can eliminate prejudice.

We must each take responsibility for breaking the cycle of prejudice; when we are open to diversity and appreciate the uniqueness of each individual, we will be one step closer to living in a world without stigma.

We hope our Members will learn about the importance of diversity and how to promote its acceptance in our world, and that the results will be nothing less than astonishing


Vegan Theme House

culture of debateThe House at 429 Brunswick, known as Toad Lane has been a student cooperative since the early 1970s, and a part of Campus Co-op since the 1990s. Activism has been a long-standing tradition, evident in the newspaper articles featuring its residents, hundreds of books about social issues in its library, and dozens of pieces of artwork in every corner of the house.  We have evolved into a vibrant vegan community, hosting weekly potlucks, fundraisers, and frequent informal discussions about social justice

What does it mean to live in our house?

  • We do not have a meal plan, but sometimes we make meals collectively. 
  • We host open vegan potlucks the last Thursday of each month attended by 10-30 people.  
  • Cleanliness and weekly house chores are taken seriously and we strive to continually improve our home with art, plants, and renovation projects. 
  • We regularly host couch surfers and use our house as meeting place for community groups. 
  • House meetings are held on a monthly basis, and often involve communally prepared food. 
  • We are very LGBTQ positive.  
  • Members of the house are expected to abstain from bringing new animal exploitation products into the house. The question of old leather and wool, or dumpster-recovered items is less a question of ethics, but more a debate of strategy and consistency, open at this time.

If you are interested in living in our House, or for more information, please contact us at 429brunswick[at]gmail[dot]com 

Graduate Theme House

porchFor the purposes of this theme house Charter, a graduate is defined as somebody who is in the process of finishing or has completed a post-secondary degree and is in their grace year at co-op, or someone who is actively pursuing a post-graduate degree, such as a professional degree (e.g., medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law, MBA, etc.), Masters, PhD, post-doctoral fellowship, or someone who is a foreign professional studying for their equivalency, Canadian license, or is taking ESL to prepare for the pursuit of Canadian university studies.





partee 2The selection criteria for acceptance in the Grad House are:

  • qualify for graduate status as per the above definition 
  • wish to engage in strong co-operative self-governance within the house 
  • plan to undertake constructive pursuits with house mates, e.g., debate, discussion, political activism, community outreach, arts, volunteer work, etc. as determined by the house 









The key value central to the Graduate Theme House is the broadening of member's intellectual horizon by way of shared learning and knowledge exchange with the academic/professional/international community.  Regular in-house discussions and debates about a diversity of topics, and other events, with the participation of outsiders and interested Co-op members from other Houses would provide networking opportunities to all, would help to improve the reputation of Co-op and attract more co-operative members. Such experiences would inspire other Co-op members to start their own theme houses, and a future Co-op where everyone can live in peace with like-minded people, while still socializing/learning/growing with a large variety of people, a key ingredient of a successful co-operative.

If you are interested in living in a Graduate Theme House, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

If you would like to start a new theme house, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Community Links


Co-op Associations

Waterloo Co-operative Residence Inc

Guelph Campus Co-op

Neill-Wycik Co-op College Hotel

Science 44 Co-op

Other Co-op Organizations:

Ontario Student Co-op Association

Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto

North American Students of Co-operation

Ontario Co-operative Association

Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada

International Co-operative Alliance

Universities and Colleges in the GTA

University of Toronto

York University

Ryerson University

Ontario College of Art and Design

Centennial College

George Brown College

Humber College

Seneca College

International students studying in Toronto