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Boarding FAQ

Boarding Overview

When did the boarding program start?
Upper Canada College’s boarding program has been in place since the College’s founding in 1829.

Where do boarding students come from?
The boarding program is home to 88 young men each academic year. Students come from across Canada (50 per cent) and internationally (50 per cent), from over 20 countries, including those in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

When does boarding begin?
Boarding is offered beginning in Grade 8 (age 13 minimum) and goes to Grade 12 (graduation).

Are guests allowed?
The Boarding Experience Program allows day friends to join boarders for up to one week. Prospective boarders are welcome to try boarding for up to five days. Contact Tricia Rankin at to inquire about the Boarding Experience Program.

How much does the boarding program cost?
Tuition and fees vary depending on the entry year and whether the student is a Domestic (Canadian passport holder) or International applicant. Please visit the Tuition & Fees page for more information about the application fee, registration fee and ongoing tuition and fees for boarding. In addition to the charges laid out on the Tuition & Fees page, there may be other additional costs, such as Legal Guardianship. Please refer to the Financial Handbook for a comprehensive look at all costs.

Daily Life

What is the dress code for students?
Students have three styles of dress: Fall/Spring Dress, Regular Dress and First Dress.

Uniforms can be purchased during the new student orientation, at the Uniform Sale during the start of school and in the Blues Shop throughout the year. Visit the Blues Shop website for detailed information about the various uniforms, including prices.

warm weather jumping boy first dress 2 jumping boy sprinter jumping boy
Fall/Spring Dress Regular Dress First Dress


How do you assign roommates?
New boarders are asked to complete a roommate survey. It’s an inventory of likes, dislikes and routine. With that information we match up students. With the importance of the international experience, typically boarders of different cultures and backgrounds share rooms during their first year. After their first year, boarders can request a roommate.Rooms are shared with the exception of our graduating seniors who have their own room. Usually Year 11s have one roommate and Year 8-Year 10 students are two or three to a room.

What furnishings are in the rooms?
Each student has the below amenities in their dormitory. Students often provide their own bedding and bring their own additional small items to personalize their rooms and make them more homey and comfortable.


How does laundry service work?
Linens are washed weekly by our laundress. Building toward university independence, students in Year 11 & Year 12, do their own laundry. The laundry facilities are in the boarding houses and all students have access to them at any time by using a swipe card. For younger boys, laundry is done once per week on an assigned day.

What are the meal arrangements?
Boarders have breakfast, lunch and dinner during the school week. On weekends there is a full brunch and dinner served at designated times. On hours where the dining room is closed, the milk and toast room is stocked with microwave, toaster, toaster oven, cereal & milk, bread, granola bars, fruits for a light meal at any time. During the school week, the cafeteria is open throughout the school day.

Where can my son buy transit tickets, school supplies, personal items?
The Sports Shop is open Monday to Friday and sells items like shampoo and laundry detergent. There you can also buy uniform items, athletic gear and UCC crested items.

Are there coffee shops, restaurants, grocery store, dry cleaners and pharmacies within walking distance of UCC?
Yes, the Forest Hill Village is within 10 minutes of campus, and includes all of the above, including a barber shop and banks.

Where can my son do his banking?
In the Forest Hill neighbourhood and at Yonge and St. Clair, the major banks have branches.  We would recommend you open an account for your son as that’s the easiest way to send pocket money, etc. Banks include CIBC, BMO, TD, HSBC, RBC.

What do the boys do in their spare time?
During the school week, students have a full routine from breakfast through to bedtime. A typical evening includes a meal, study time and house meetings. After-school activities might include a work-out in our fully-equipped training studio or playing videogames with housemates. Weekends are a time to have fun and there are tons of options in a city as big and diverse as Toronto. They include:

Being in the centre of the city our students are fortunate to have world-class opportunities available to them throughout the year.

What facilities can be used by my son?
All boarders have use of playing fields, swimming pool, tennis courts. fitness centre, training room, music practice rooms, art and film room, computer labs and more. Boarders also have ice time and indoor tennis scheduled for recreational use two to three times a week.

What should my son pack?
Outside of school hours and on weekends, residential students may wear casual attire. Students should bring a full range of comfortable casual clothing, sufficient for about eight days (to allow time for laundering).  Other suggested items include:

The uniform items below can be purchased at the start-of-school uniform sale (alterations available) and throughout the year at the Blues Shop.

These are the school supplies we also recommend you purchase at the beginning of the year:

Can my son bring his bike?
Yes, but boarding has bikes available as well.

What is your policy around cell phones?
All boarders must carry a cell phone. This is an integral communication piece between the boys and boarding staff. There are a number of providers in the neighbourhood including Bell and Rogers.

Holidays and Visits

How can I visit my son during the year?
We welcome families and friends on campus. Please let us know when you’ll be here so we can sign your son out for special meals, etc. during your stay. You are most welcome to join us for meals as well. There are many special events throughout the year that provide great opportunities to see students in action outside of regular school hours. School events such as Association Day (Homecoming) in late September, Winterfest in January and the Nuit Bleue art festival in April are alive with activity and community and good times for visiting.

What arrangements can be made for my son when the boarding house is closed during the school year?
The school is closed for four of the five designated weekends during the school year. If home is too far away, most boys stay with other boarders or with day families. Weekend programs and host families stays can be organized through ISGC. There is a fee for this service. Students who have not confirmed their plans a week in advance of long weekends will automatically be registered with ISGC for a host family stay or weekend trip. At Christmas and March Break, most boys return home with the exception of March Break when some students are involved in international service trips.

What happens to my son’s items over the summer?
Personal belongings can be stored in the boarding houses.

Support Services

My son has not studied in English before. What support do you offer?
While UCC does not offer an ELL program, support is available through our Centre for Learning beginning in the summer. Some students will have support sessions incorporated into their timetable while others will be scheduled outside of school time.

Is health insurance available?
Students not covered by provincial health insurance or private insurance plans are automatically enrolled in coverage available to UCC at a cost of approximately $700.

When it comes to my son’s progress and well-being, who do I communicate with during the year?
Each student has a Senior House Advisor. They are your connection to UCC and available by skype, phone or email at all times. They also work with your son’s Academic Advisor on academic progress and can set up parent teacher interview here at the school or by Skype.

What if my son is feeling unwell?
The Health Centre is staffed by two nurses, a school counsellor and sports injury specialist.  As well our school doctor is located close to the school for required appointments and referrals. Further, there are many world class hospitals located within 20 minutes of UCC, and boarding staff will accompany your son 24 hours per day.

Visas and Custodianship Information

Will my son need a student visa?
Visit the Canadian government’s Study In Canada information site to determine whether or not the student will require a student visa. Trips outside Canada may also require your son to have a visitor’s visa — you can discuss these opportunities with your son’s Residential Adviser at the beginning of the school year.

Will my son need a legal custodian/guardian?
Any student whose parents do not currently reside in Canada is required to have a legal custodian arrangement in place while attending Upper Canada College.

Who can fill the role of a legal custodian in Canada?
A legal custodian must be over the age of 21, a Canadian citizen, speak English well and live in reasonable proximity to the school.

What are the duties of a legal custodian?
In addition to completing a notarized Custodianship Declaration the role of a custodian includes:

The custodian is NOT financially responsible for the student.

What is the process for appointing a legal custodian?
Parents and custodians must complete the Custodianship Declaration Form. Once completed, a copy of this form must be provided to Upper Canada College. This form is also required for the initial study visa application and all renewal applications.

Can you facilitate applying for a student visa or providing a legal custodian/guardian?
To apply for a study visa, students require a Proof of Enrolment letter which we are happy to provide. If you require further help applying for a student visa or appointing a legal guardian, you can contract an outside agency such as International Student Guardianship Canada for assistance. Please contact ISGC at for further introduction to this program.