89 Chestnut Residence is a university residence operated by the University of Toronto, opposite the Metropolitan Hotel at 89 Chestnut Street. Known as "The Nut" by its student residents, it was converted from the Colony Hotel in 2004 and turned into a student residence to accommodate the incoming double cohort in 2003 and 2004. It is located in downtown Toronto, just north of Toronto City Hall and near Nathan Philips Square.
The building was originally constructed as a Holiday Inn. When it opened in 1972 it was the fourth largest hotel in the city, with 749 rooms. It cost some $18 million to build and was built on the site of many small buildings of what was then the centre of Toronto's Chinatown. The hotel was purchased by Hong Kong investor Sally Aw for $73 million in 1989 and renamed the Colony Hotel. After Aw ran into financial difficulties the university purchased the hotel for $72 million in 2003, at the height of a downturn in Toronto's hotel industry.
Prior to buying the hotel the University of Toronto had rented space to house 400 students at the Primrose Hotel at Jarvis and Carlton.
It has nearly 1000 residents from the University of Toronto and the Ontario College of Art and Design University. Until September 2008, it also accepted new applicants attending George Brown College and Ryerson University.
It has a conference centre and a revolving room on the 28th floor. It is the most expensive residence of all University of Toronto residences and has a reputation of providing luxurious accommodation and food. The university retained the hotel chef after purchasing it. Chestnut is also home to a larger number of international students than any other residence.
The Chestnut Residence Council is the student governing body for social, athletic and community affairs of the Residence. It organizes activities such as: the annual Chestnut semi-formal, coffee houses and open mic nights, ski and snowboarding trips, and intramural sports tournaments.
- "Metro's Hotel Boom." Toronto Star. January 1, 1972.
- "U of T expected to turn hotel into residence." Heather Sokoloff. National Post. Feb 14, 2003. pg. A.18.
- "Prospective Students".
- "Students the stars at this grand hotel." Louise Brown. Toronto Star. Aug 8, 2003. pg. E.01
- 89 Chestnut Residence
- "U of T considering purchase of Colony Hotel." Tony Wong. Toronto Star. Feb 1, 2003. pg. F.01
- "U of T to buy Colony Hotel." Toronto Star. Feb 15, 2003. pg. A.27
- "Students the stars at this grand hotel; U of T renovated downtown Colony as overflow dorms." Louise Brown. Toronto Star. Aug 8, 2003. pg. E.01
- "Ontario: U of T buys hotel to convert to student housing." National Post. Feb 15, 2003. pg. A.11
- "It's home suite home for students." Caroline Alphonso. The Globe and Mail. Aug 12, 2003. pg. A.6