Universities in Vancouver and Toronto are struggling to find ways to entice professors to move to cities known for eye-popping house prices and out-of-control bidding wars.

In Ontario, schools are looking for changes to provincial laws that would allow them to build affordable long-term housing for faculty. This month, planners and senior administrators from Toronto universities, McMaster in Hamilton, the University of Ottawa and others, met to discuss the challenges of recruiting new faculty in their housing markets. Young professors want to live close to their work, but many are worried their starting salaries make a downtown home unaffordable.

“For young faculty, they want to bike or walk to work, they don’t even want a 30-minute commute, they are looking for 10,” said Ravin Balakrishnan, the chair of U of T’s computer science department.

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