Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster Logo McMaster logo

Housing & Conference Services

Living At McMaster

Current Residents – 2020-2021

UPDATE: January 7, 2021

Effective January 7, 2021, the Government of Canada is requiring all incoming air travellers to Canada to provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their flight departure. For more information please visit 

Information for students who will be returning to residence after the December Break:

For students travelling in Ontario or within Canada

Students who will be traveling in Ontario will not be required to follow a formal quarantine upon their return. From December 26, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. a strict provincewide lockdown will be implemented in Ontario. The government is also asking that people do not leave home unless it is for an essential reason and only travel outside their own region if absolutely necessary. Follow local Public Health restrictions and stay home, avoiding close contact with anyone outside your household.

Anyone who travels outside of the province while still within Canada during the provincewide shutdown is being asked to self-isolate upon their return to Ontario. Self-isolation includes staying in your room for 14 days upon your return, not visiting with other residence students during this period, and receiving the in-room food delivery support.You must pre-select your orders at by 1pm the day prior to the delivery day. Hospitality Services will not accept orders after that time.

There are no current testing requirements at the end of this self-isolation. These measures are in addition to existing COVID-19 rules and practises in residence.

If you are unsure of restrictions in the area you are travelling to you can find them for Ontario here.

For students travelling internationally

If you are planning to travel internationally you will need to quarantine upon your return to Canada. Arrangements can be made to complete quarantine in residence. Please contact as soon as possible to develop a quarantine plan. Arrangements need to be made before you depart. This is a mandatory requirement from the Canadian government.

Students in quarantine will receive a COVID-19 test through the Student Wellness Centre before the end of their quarantine period. The test date will be part of your quarantine plan which can be arranged by contacting . Only students who have received a negative COVID-19 test will be able to complete their quarantine requirements.

Please visit the Government of Canada’s Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Travel restrictions, exemptions and advice page for more information.

For all students when returning to residence

If you are feeling unwell or develop COVID symptoms during the break, please do not return to residence. Contact your local health care provider for next steps, which could include self-isolation or testing. If you are recommended to self-isolate, please let us know your anticipated return date by emailing

Please remember to complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment at one  hour before you return to residence. Send your results to indicating a “pass” or “fail”. Anyone helping you move back into residence is also required to complete the screening.

Upon your return to residence your CA will connect with you to confirm your self-monitoring plan. If you begin to feel unwell after returning to residence, please self-isolate in your room and contact your RLAC for further instructions.

COVID-19 Screening Protocols On Campus

All students, staff and faculty visiting McMaster facilities in person will be required to follow new screening protocols. This includes residence students visiting campus buildings beyond their residences.

If you are staying within your residence building for the day or leaving campus and returning directly to your residence, you are not required to complete the additional screening.

Residence Students must:

  • Complete the province’s COVID-19 self-assessment online at within one hour of attending a McMaster facility outside of residence.
  • Email with your name and results indicating either a “pass” or “fail”.
  • If you pass you are able to enter campus.
  • If you do not pass please self-isolate in your room, contact your RLAC and seek further assessment and testing.
  • Note: The screening and email to only needs to be done once daily before leaving your residence.

Information Box Group

Service Centre

Service Centres on Campus

The Housing and Conference Service Centres are the central communication centres for the Residence Community.

Service is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week*

North Quad Service Centre (Commons Building, 1F)

The Service Centres are staffed by Housing Assistants who can help you with:

  • Access room lock-out keys
  • Place work orders
  • Acquire information about residences and residence policies
  • Learn about the university, campus resources and the Hamilton community
  • And monitor residence building security systems

If you have any questions, please call them at 905-525-9140 ext. 27222 or send an email to

*Please note that the North Quad Service Centre is closed for 1-hour periods to accommodate staff breaks (at 3:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.). The West Quad Service Centre (Mary E. Keyes Residence) will remain closed until further notice.

Students hanging out and playing games in Les Prince game room at McMaster University

Common Areas in Residence

Our custodial team is here to take care of the cleaning of communal washrooms and common areas. But remember – they don’t do dishes!

Room capacities have been reduced – please follow the appropriate signage posted on common rooms. Don’t forget to wear a mask and wash your hands regularly when using common areas. High touch points will be cleaned three times daily to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

It is everyone’s responsibility to tidy up after themselves and ensure the common areas and hallways are clean and comfortable for everyone.

What is my Mailing Address?

Let your friends and family know your proper mailing address to ensure your mail and packages get to you as soon as possible.

Your Name (First and Last)
Residence Building Name, Room Number
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario

All mail and parcels will be delivered to the North Quad Service Centre. You will be contacted via email by the Service Centre when your deliveries are ready to be picked up. Please wait until you receive an email before going to the Service Centre to collect your deliveries.

Information Box Group

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out some common questions and answers about living in Residence.

Face coverings and masks are required in all indoor public spaces on campus. This includes kitchens, common areas, study lounges, hallways, elevators, and lobbies in residence buildings. Please wear your mask when you are exiting your room. You do not need to wear a mask in your private bedroom.

Full-sized communal fridges (including freezer) are located in common area kitchens on each floor. Space is limited in these fridges and is available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Due to COVID-19 and the Fall term being held virtually, there will be no mandatory meal plans for students living in a residence building. The following two (2) optional plans are available in order to gain access to standard meal plan discounts.

Freedom Plan

The Freedom Plan allows you to determine the size of your account. It can be set up with an initial deposit of $100 or more, so you can spend as much or as little as you want. You decide how much of a deposit you want to make and when you want to add more money. This plan also gives you a 5% discount on most food purchases at our dining locations on-campus. It can also be used to dine at or order delivery from the participating local off-campus restaurants. The Freedom Plan is virtually risk-free. It is fully refundable, very flexible, and can be increased at any time.

Term Plan

Our Term Plan is designed to save you money and stretch over a designated period of time. It is a non-taxable meal plan saving you up to 13% of sales taxes, and can be purchased at a minimum rate of $260 for a period of 4 (four) consecutive weeks. You may add more weeks at the rate of $65 per week at the time of initial purchase, or prior to the expiry date of your Term Plan. This plan is designed for your personal use only and it allows you to buy only food items at the Hospitality Services locations on campus.

As the Term Plan is a non-taxable plan, under government tax regulations, it is also considered non-refundable and non-transferable (except upon complete withdrawal from the University, subject to a minimum charge of four weeks). All monies must be used by the end of the purchased term. We encourage you to monitor your purchases, as any unspent monies at the end of the purchased term will be lost.

Please visit the Hospitality Services page to learn more.

Your Service Centre will contact you by email to let you know when a package has arrived. If your item is shipped through Canada Post, there will be a delay between your arrival notification from the shipper and it arriving at the Service Centre for you to pick up. We will contact you when any package arrives.

When it’s time to get your item, please bring your Student ID to the Service Centre to pick it up. Please note, we do not accept packages or items dropped off by family or friends.

If you get locked out of your room, you are able to get a lockout key from the Service Centre. You will be granted three grace lockout keys with no questions asked!

If you find yourself locked out four times, a member of the Residence Life staff will follow-up with you to help create habits to remember your key in the future.

Click here on to find out more about missing, damaged or temporary lock-out keys.

Everything Keys

If you have lost an item, check in with the Service Centres or email The Service Centres will attempt to locate the owner of any found items.

All unclaimed items will be sent to the main Campus Lost & Found at Security Services on a weekly basis. You can complete their lost & found report here.

Indoor bike storage is not available at this time. If you are bringing a bike to residence, you can lock it to an outdoor bike rack near your building.

A reminder that bikes cannot be left in any common room, hallway, stairwell, study or other public area because of Fire Code regulations. All personal bikes on campus are the sole responsibility of the owner.

We want you to feel at home in residence and decorating is an important part of that. We just ask that you don’t damage or alter any part of your room by drilling holes, nailing, painting, etc.

We recommend using 3M Command products and sticky tabs as adhesives. Don’t use Scotch tape, duct tape, masking tape or thumbtacks as they damage the paint and you will be responsible for all damages. Need more sticky tabs? The Service Centre has them for whenever you need to hang up a new poster!

Learn more about damage-free decorating

A work order is required for any maintenance related issue in your residence room or building. Our Residence Facilities Team is present Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., to keep all of our Residence buildings in good repair. This is the team that will be handling the majority of the work orders you submit.

Learn more about work orders here.

It’s easy to do your laundry in residence as washers and dryers are located in all residence buildings.

Learn how to load your laundry card and safely do laundry at here.

Every building has a different location for garbage, recycling, and in our pilot buildings, organic waste.

Full garbage bags or cans can be emptied in the garbage room on your floor.

The custodial staff will clear these rooms on a regular basis. For Bates and Mary E. Keyes residents, you can dispose of your garbage in the garbage chutes located on your floor. Please take your garbage out regularly and be sure not to plug the chute by stuffing oversized items into it. If you notice a plugged chute, report it to the Service Centre immediately.

When unseasonable weather occurs, you may need to adjust the heating and cooling in your residence room. Different buildings have different systems, so check out the page below to see how your building’s system works.

Heating and Cooling Your Residence Room

When you first arrive in residence, you will be asked to complete a room condition form by September 15th. You can do so by logging into the Student Residence Portal. This gives you the opportunity to note any damages or missing items in your room, so that we don’t charge you for them at move-out.

Fill out your Room Condition Form here