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UVic Real Estate Strategy

UVic’s real estate strategy lays out a vision for making our campus more inclusive, connected and accessible, diversifying revenue streams to support university priorities in the years to come. 

Aerial view of UVic campus and outlying lands

Vibrant & distinct: An emerging campus community

The cost of housing in Victoria has increased drastically over the past five years, and our region is experiencing a serious housing shortage. UVic can help address these regional challenges and transform campus life by creating a vibrant and sustainable housing and commercial district. 

We are planning to create a real estate strategy that incorporates residential, commercial and other amenities on lands close to UVic’s Gordon Head (main) campus. While this phased development will take time, once completed it will:

  • help enhance our extraordinary academic environment
  • help address the housing pressures in our surrounding communities
  • diversify our revenue streams

By developing new housing and support services within walking distance of our campus, we strive to develop a connected, inclusive and accessible UVic. We will provide opportunities to live, work and play at UVic and in our surrounding communities. 


Our goal is to create a highly liveable, diverse and connected community. As such, we're focussed on high-density, mixed-use development within a short walk of the university campus.

UVic’s Board of Governors and Executive Council endorsed a strategy to:

  1. Establish a potential mixed-use University District that provides new housing opportunities to support a more vibrant campus and surrounding community.
  2. Ensure a financially sustainable model of development that generates revenue to support university priorities.


Build a connected community

We will provide much-needed new housing, enhance connectivity and accessibility, and create new ways to support community-university engagement.

Deliver new housing

Diverse and quality housing and services will support a more vibrant campus and provide housing solutions within our community. 

Generate revenue

Continuing to diversify our revenue streams provides greater resources to support long-term university objectives and the ability to adapt to change. 


The university's approach to real-estate development will incorporate the following strategies:

  • Governance: Develop a separate governance structure providing a depth of expertise in commercial real estate, development, urban planning, finance and law, while also being inclusive of university and local Indigenous perspectives
  • Revenue generation: Undertake a planning and design process to optimize the use of each property
  • Financial stability: Provide stable and predictable income over the long term
  • New housing: Develop new, diverse and quality housing and services that support a connected campus
  • Mixed-use: Incorporate a variety of different land uses within the same site to promote accessibility and convenience
  • Connectivity: Improve physical connections between the university campus, adjacent properties and the community
  • Partnerships: Explore potential new partnerships with both public and private sectors for financing, planning and project delivery
  • Reconciliation: Explore opportunities for potential partnerships and the potential creation of spaces in support of reconciliation with Indigenous communities
  • Community engagement: Connect in meaningful ways with intentions of building ongoing relationships with local Indigenous communities, neighbouring residents and elected officials
  • Sustainability: As a leader among higher-education institutions, demonstrate leadership in sustainable, resilient and accessible design.

Development lands

Diagram shows UVic campus with Ian Stewart Complex at the north west corner, Queenswood campus at the north east corner and Cedar Hill Corner to the south east.

The university’s Campus Plan designates approximately 50 acres of development lands on the edge of campus as institutional lands to serve the university’s mission. These include:

  • Ian Stewart Complex (Saanich)
  • Queenswood Campus (Saanich)
  • Cedar Hill Corner (Oak Bay)

Adopting a phased development approach is critical to the successful implementation of this strategy. 

Colour map of phase one of the university district real estate plan.

Phase one

The first property we are planning to redevelop is the Ian Stewart Complex and adjacent lands, combined to form a 14-acre parcel of land located on Gordon Head Road in the District of Saanich. 

Case studies

We are inspired by similar developments at other universities in Canada. 

Southwood Circle at the University of Manitoba
Design mockup of Southwood Circle with shops surrounding a public square

Envisioned as an extension of the existing campus, Southwood Circle will be a mixed-use live, work and play community, serving students, staff, faculty and the broader community. Southwood Circle will demonstrate leadership in large-scale community building that pushes social boundaries, design excellence, sustainability and wellbeing. The community offers a wide range of amenities and services, including restaurants and shops with daily needs easily walkable within the Southwood community. 

UniverCity at Simon Fraser University
Child skips in front of a row of townhouses

Adjacent to Simon Fraser University is the 50-acre residential and commercial development, UniverCity, atop Burnaby Mountain. UniverCity serves the SFU community by reducing commute times for students, faculty and staff at what was once known as a largely commuting campus positioned on a remote mountain top. The project now provides homes for 5,400 residents living in close proximity to SFU within a well-planned, family friendly neighbourhood.

Vikes mens track team runs race at Cedar Hill Corner

Future phases

Cedar Hill Corner and the Queenswood Campus are future sites for development. As with all our plans for redevelopment, these projects will include opportunities for community engagement.

Engage with us

Want to learn more about the real estate strategy and future opportunities to shape a master plan with UVic? Contact us at