History of Our Co-operative

Kingston Student Housing Co-operative, formerly known as Science ‘44 Co-operative Incorporated, was organized in the spring of 1941 by nine members of the Science Class of ‘44 at Queen’s University in response to the housing shortage. The first house, located at 329 Earl Street, was purchased by Mr. E.A. Collins.  He donated it to the university to be rented to Science ’44 Co-op until the Co-op was able to purchase the house outright.  All work, except cooking, was done by the 17 male members.  In 1943 and in 1944, the Co-op purchased two more houses.

In 1967, another group of students attempting to solve the ongoing student housing shortage, approached the Co-op about taking over their charter to set up a larger and more modern co-ed housing co-op.  The present Science ‘44 Co-operative Inc. was created with all current members given first opportunity to join the new Co-op which already had 150 applications for 60 spots.

In 1968, using money from the Alma Mater Society, Queen’s University and a CMHC mortgage, the Co-op purchased several houses and student membership grew to 180 members.  Each membership included a meal plan.  The Co-op had three geographical divisions and each division operated a kitchen.

In 1987, the Co-op decided to offer memberships without a meal plan.  Knowing there would be a decrease in the number of members purchasing and participating in the meal plan program and to consolidate services, the Co-op decided to renovate one house to create one deluxe kitchen and dining hall.

By 2003, the Co-op owned 17 properties with a market value of $14,000,000.  Their total debt was less than $500,000.  Through bank financing, the Co-op purchased 4 more houses in 2003 and 2010.


The Co-op now owns 21 houses which provides 171 member rooms for post secondary students.  All houses are located within a 10-minute walk to Queen’s University, known as in the “University District” and a 10-minute bus ride to St. Lawrence College.  There are 128 members participating in the meal plan program.

The organization is managed by five full time and five part-time staff and is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of nine student members.  They diligently follow their Mission Statement which is “to offer an affordable, sustainable co-operative student housing community of excellent quality”.