City could shut off water to York University’s Keele campus over unpaid bill

The city will consider shutting off water to York University’s largest campus after officials say they’ve yet to resolve “significant” unpaid bills.

Other options under city rules, according to a staff report released Friday, include putting the outstanding fees on the university’s property tax account and attempting to collect them through that process, or suing them in court for the costs.

City lawyers have offered confidential advice to members of council, who must choose how to go about collecting the money. The government management committee will first consider the report on April 3.

York University is one of the city’s largest water consumers, according to a staff report tabled at that committee.

York’s sprawling, 457-acre Keele Campus at Steeles Ave. West is a self-contained community with 53,000 students plus faculty. Water mains running a total 16 kilometres feed into 92 buildings, according to the university’s website.

In the 2013-14 academic year, the campus consumed 236,456 cubic metres of water, according to the school. In 2014, the city’s total residential and commercial water consumption was 3.2 million cubic metres, a public data set shows.

The city reported that the average household consumes around 265 cubic metres.

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