Winter Holidays

The holiday season is approaching and York University will be closed between Saturday, December 22, 2018 and Tuesday, January 1, 2019. York International in collaboration with campus and external partners has prepared the following events, activities and resources for international and exchange students.


1. York International Activities

York International has organized several events to launch the holiday season and support you as you prepare for the holiday closure.

Intl Student Holiday Party

York International will be hosting a special international student HOLIDAY PARTY on Wednesday, December 5th to launch the beginning of the holiday season.  Click here to register.

Connect with Your Fellow Students

Connect with other students through the York International Global Community Facebook page.  Go to Facebook and search for "York International Global Community".  On this page you can find out what other students are up to and stay connected.

2. Maintain Your Immigration Status

As an international student in Canada you are required to maintain valid status during your stay.

Status in Canada

You should always remember to keep your status in Canada valid even if you plan to travel back home during the holiday closure.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain the required immigration documents and maintain compliance with government regulations as an international student.  If you have any immigration concerns during the holiday closure you should contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).  You can call IRCC at 1-888-242-2100 or click here to visit their website.

Traveling to the United States

You may need to apply for a U.S. Visa if you plan to travel to the United States.  Click here to read about countries that require a U.S Visa and how to apply for a U.S. Visa.

3. Residence & Housing

If  you live either on Keele or Glendon campus, you should be aware of what happens during the holiday closure.

Keele Campus

Housing Services will provide information on how to apply to stay on campus during the closure.

Glendon Campus

  1. For residence stay during holidays,  students should have already received the relevant information.  Please contact Glendon Housing Services if you have not already applied to stay in residence:
    T: 416-487-6844
  2. Food Services - there are no food services available during the holiday closure as all Food Services will shut down from the afternoon of December 22nd.  Please click here for the food service hours of operation until early January.
  3. Campus Security will be available 24/7 and all other services and departments will close (see Glendon Campus Security contact information above under 'What You Need to Know").
  4. There may be limited access to the Glendon Athletic Club.

Food Options

Food Services' Exam & Winter Break Hours are now available online.  Click here for complete details.  Winters Dining Hall will be open from 10am-5pm during the closure; click here for their daily schedule.

4. Health & Safety

It is important for you to be aware of your options for staying safe and healthy during the holiday season.

Health Insurance (UHIP)

If you have not already done so, print out your University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) card.  In case of an emergency, it helps to have your card ready for use.

  • Visit our UHIP page here for more details.
  • Click here for information on clinics that accept the UHIP card.

Health Insurance for Travel

Traveling in Canada

If you travel outside Ontario but within Canada, UHIP provides coverage for medical expenses up to the same level of coverage provided in Ontario. Always make sure to complete a claim form and get the original receipts for your medical expenses. Please send all original receipts and invoices to the address listed on the claim form for review.

Traveling Out of Country

If you travel outside of Canada, UHIP provides minimal out-of country coverage which may not be sufficient to cover your medical expenses (see Emergency Services outside Ontario or Canada). It is strongly recommended that you purchase additional private travel insurance as significant out of pocket expenses may be incurred.

If you require any emergency service, you will be required to pay the hospital or medical provider directly. Always make sure to complete a claim form and get the original receipts for your medical expenses. You will need to send these documents to Sun Life for reimbursement.

UHIP does not endorse nor advertise any particular private coverage plan. It is your sole responsibility to research a private coverage plan that is right for you.

Caring for Your Mental Health


The holiday period can be a very lonely time especially if this is your first time away from home.  If you are feeling sad or anxious, it is important to ask for help from those around you.  You can also seek help from services such as Good2Talk.

Good2Talk is a free, confidential helpline providing professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being to post-secondary students in Ontario, 24/7/365.

Security Contacts

Campus Security & GoSafe
The York University Security Services team will be available during the holiday closure.

York University – Keele Street Campus
4700 Keele Street,
228 William Small Centre
Toronto, Ontario
York University – Glendon Campus
2275 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
M4N 3M6
- General Phone: 416-650-8000 or Ex. 58000
- Urgent Phone: 416-736-5333 or Ex. 33333
- Fax: 416-736-5377 or Ex. 55377
- E-mail:
- TTY: 416-736-5470
- General Phone: 416-650-8000 or Ex. 58000
- Urgent Phone: 416-736-5333 or Ex. 33333
- Fax: 416-736-5377 or Ex. 55377
- E-mail:
- TTY: 416-736-5470

Local Police Contacts

Call 911 in an emergency!

Local Police – 31 Division
40 Norfinch Dr,
Toronto, Ontario
M3N 1X1
Local Police – 53 Division
75 Eglington Ave W.
Toronto, Ontario
M4R 2G9
- Phone: 416-808-3100
- Urgent Phone: 416-736-5333 or Ex. 33333
- Fax: 416-808-3102
- Emergency: 911
- Phone: 416-808-5300
- Fax: 416-808-5302
- Emergency: 911

IMPORTANT: For information regarding fraud targeting international students, click here.

5. Holiday Travel

ISX Canada offers multiple trips during the holiday season.  Take some time to travel around North America.

General Trips

Click here to see all ISX trips available to you.

New Year's Eve Trips

Click here to view all New Year's Eve Trips.

  • Option 1: Depart on December 22, 2018 - NYC New Years Eve Plus (4.5 Days)
  • Option 2: Depart on December 28, 2018 - NYC New Years Eve (4.5 Days)
  • Option 3: Depart on December 29, 2018 - NYC New Years Eve (4 Days)
  • Option 4: Depart on December 30, 2018 - Ottawa & Montreal New Years Eve (3 Days)
  • Option 5: Depart on December 30, 2018 - Quebec City New Years Eve & Montreal (3 Days)

More trip information can be found on the York International events calendar.

6. Community Resources

York International encourages all international and exchange students staying in Toronto during the holiday closure to participate in events and activities in and around Toronto.

What's happening in Toronto and Surrounding Areas

Please see below all the exciting activities and events happening in November and December.


Learn how to skate at some of Toronto's main skating rinks.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Did you know that there are some skiing and snowboarding areas in the city?

If you are feeling more adventurous, you can go out of town to places like Blue Mountain and Horseshoe Resort.  Check out the blogTO recommendations.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls continues to buzz with activity during the winter.

  • Fireworks at the Falls offered EVERY FRIDAY night from November 25th to January 27th.  Note that NIGHTLY fireworks will take place from December 22nd to December 31st at 9pm.

Best Hot Chocolate in Toronto

There is no better time to treat yourself to a delicious cup of hot chocolate.  Click on the links below to view the various opinions as to who is best.

New Year's Eve Events in Toronto

**TTC is offering COMPLIMENTARY and extended service on New Year's Eve.  Free service is available on all routes from 7pm on December 31, 2017 To 7am on January 1, 2018.  Check the TTC official website for further details and to confirm exact dates and times.


Parades and Festivals

Toronto offers a number of holiday shows, fairs, parades and festivals that are geared to all audiences.

Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery Historic District
Rediscover the magic and romance of Christmas at the Toronto Christmas Market. Ranked one of the Top 10 Holiday Markets in the World.