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OCAD U begins Winter term classes on Jan. 28

A photo of the Rosalie Sharp Centre for Design, a square building of white with black boxes that is on yellow, red and blue stilts with a bare tree in the left-hand corner

Dear members of the OCAD University community, 

OCAD University has been closely monitoring the changing landscape with the emergence of the Omicron variant in Ontario and its increasingly rapid spread within the community. We have been advised that the number of COVID-19 cases, due to this variant, will reach a peak in January.    

As a result of this evolving context, the University has had to reconsider how the Winter term will unfold. To date, our plans have focused on getting even more students back on campus, in the studios, shops and classrooms. They, like many of us, have missed the in-person connection.  

To preserve the much anticipated in-person learning experiences for students while prioritizing health and safety for all, OCAD University will be delaying the start of instructional classes and activities to Friday, January 28. This recommendation was approved by Senate Executive, following discussions with the Senior Leadership Team. 

Delaying the start of classes will allow us to safely return to the in-person learning that we have worked so hard to restore, will provide more time for our community to receive their booster doses of the vaccine and allow some of our returning international students time to settle in Toronto.  

It is important to note that this delay impacts instructional activities only. Other activities will progress as scheduled, including Senate and Senate committees, and other elements of faculty service.  

Course delivery formats remain as listed in the course catalogue. In-person courses will be delivered in person on January 28, as will remote classes and hybrid courses.

As of December 16, most administrative staff are expected to work from home until further notice and most services and supports will be delivered remotely until it is safe to return to some on-campus activity.  

As a result of the compressed term, the Winter Study Week (February 22 to 25) has been cancelled.  

Research activity that cannot be conducted remotely can continue on campus subject to health and safety protocols. 

We are assessing the impact of this change on GradEx 107 and exploring how we can best showcase the work of our graduates in a celebratory and meaningful manner. More information will be shared in the new year. 


  • Wednesday, January 5: The campus will reopen following the holiday break with some controlled access. More details will be provided in early January regarding the resources and facilities that will be accessible. 
  • Friday, January 28: Winter classes begin. This applies to undergraduate and graduate classes; online, hybrid and in-person.  
  • Monday, February 21: OCAD U will be closed on the statutory Family Day holiday.  
  • Friday, April 15: OCAD U will be closed on the statutory Good Friday holiday.
  • Monday, April 25: Winter term classes end. Final assessments (exams, critiques) will take place within the 12 weeks of classes.  
  • April 26 to May 2: A Flex Week has been established during this week for make-up classes that may be required because of faculty illness and other unforeseen circumstances. Students should prepare for course activity to continue up to and including May 2.    

To our students, I know the fall has been demanding in a variety of ways and I thank you for your ongoing commitment to your studies, your hard work, understanding and patience through the many changes you have had to experience.  

I want to thank all our faculty members who have been working so diligently since March 2020 to adjust their teaching to provide our students with the best possible learning experiences under an unprecedented situation, and to the staff and technicians who have demonstrated such creativity and flexibility in responding to each pivot in this journey.  

More details will be shared with the community, and we will be sending updates by email and post these on our website. 

Please stay safe over the holidays and limit your social activities to small groups, get your booster vaccine when you are eligible, and wear your mask.   

Take care,  

Ana Serrano
President and Vice-Chancellor