A look inside HOEM: Ryerson’s newest, state of the art housing option

All photos by Larry Heng.

Just south of Dundas Street East on Jarvis Street, Ryerson’s newest and largest residence building HOEM rises 30 storeys into the sky, dominating the older buildings in the neighbourhood that surround it.

Unlike other residence buildings at Ryerson, HOEM can be home to any student studying at Ryerson, no matter their year of study or distance from Toronto. The state-of-the-art residence building works similarly to the university’s other residence buildings; there is a check-in system for guests and students have weekly floor meetings with their designated Residence Advisors.

The front desk at HOEM, tucked in the front corner of the lobby, offers an open and inclusive space for entering and exiting residents. A large chalkboard wall projects different events and activities going on around the city and around the world. Apparently Will Smith turned 50 years old that day.

After passing through a door, accessible only with a key fob, the lobby opens up
to four elevators, some wall-bound mailboxes, and a mesmerizing green wall.

Yet, compared to Ryerson’s other residence buildings, HOEM stands out for its abstract architecture, and of course its hefty price tag. The building offers three housing options: two bedroom, three bedroom, and four bedroom units. Each unit comes equipped with a fully equipped kitchen, furnished living space, a washroom, and a furnished bedroom.

The furnished living space in a four-person unit – dubbed as a “quad” by HOEM – offers
an incredible view of the city. Lots of natural light flow into the common areas.

The fully loaded kitchen at HOEM comes equipped with all necessary appliances. HOEM also provides crockery and cutlery, which further pushes residents to cook, and offers a home-like vibe.

Each bedroom in all the units are furnished with an open closet, single bed
with storage underneath, and a small work desk.

The payment for HOEM works in six installments, paid at different times throughout a year-long housing agreement. The total, according to Ryerson’s Housing & Residence Life website, is about $17,000 not including the price of utilities, which is upon the resident to pay monthly. This averages out to over $1400 a month per room over 12 months. HOEM also does not require its residents to purchase a meal plan with them, but still encourages it.

Four bedrooms line a narrow hallway, encouraging a a closer and more intimate
living experience with roommates. (Larry Heng/Ryerson Folio)

HOEM emphasizes the community aspect of living, and looks to build an engaging living space for its residents. It resembles living in a condo, with an upscale rendition on classic university residence culture.

One long hallway connects all parts of each floor; all units line the hall along with the elevators and a common room at the end. Each floor has a different theme, and is represented by different colours.

Common rooms are elevated, chic, and host weekly floor meetings like other
residence buildings, but in an upscale environment.

Since students living at HOEM vary in age, the community it forms is diverse and offers an energetic, cooperative, and dynamic living experience. Themed floors, common rooms, and even a makerspace all support an overall collaborative and interactive environment for students.

The second-floor common room offers the largest collaborative space,
with access to the on-site gym, a massive common space, and the
makerspace which can be used to hold events.

The common room offers great natural lighting, which provides an excellent
space for group work, discussions, and hang outs.

As HOEM’s first active year as a residence building at Ryerson commences, it continues to boast an incredible contrast between home, school, and life in Toronto as a whole.