More than 50 evacuated students still temporarily staying in Ryerson housing
Ryerson University is continuing to offer support to students affected by last week’s electrical fire at Neill-Wycik Co-operative College student residence on Gerrard Street East.
The fire started late on Nov. 2 in an electrical unit at the base of the 22-storey building, causing smoke to fill the hallways of the upper floors.
The building was evacuated and while the fire was largely extinguished about an hour after the first report, many residents did not return to their units right away. Access to the building was re-established shortly, but some residents took shelter elsewhere.
“We know that typically (Neill-Wycik) houses a great deal of Ryerson students,” said Jen McMillen, vice-provost, students. McMillen said the school reached out to over 140 students both by phone and by email asking, “How are you? Where are you? Are you OK? Is there anything we can do?”
The outreach also included social media posts and a new web page specifically for providing resources to students impacted by the fire, such as financial support, housing and counselling services, McMillen added.
Ryerson accepted more than 50 students who were displaced by the fire into temporary housing accommodations within the university’s residence buildings. The offer allowed Neill-Wycik students to stay in residence for a week after the fire, up until Nov. 11. However, as of yesterday, only three of those students had checked out of temporary housing and the offer was extended another week.
Welcoming the evacuated students into Ryerson residences did not compromise the school’s COVID-19 residence precautions, McMillen said, as the school had not reached the full capacity for bed occupancy allowed for in the guidelines.
Since Neill-Wycik is not affiliated with Ryerson, McMillen added the school does not have an exhaustive list of all Ryerson students who may reside there. Ryerson is only aware of those who have the co-operative residence as their address in the student database.
McMillen strongly encourages anyone who hasn’t heard from the school to reach out to the contact information on the web page.