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UTSC OnTap: Bottle Water Free Campus

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Since 2011, U of T stopped selling plastic bottled water across all three campuses. This was in response to a student campaign. Although they are not banned on campus, they are no longer provided at any university functions, sold in vending machines, or by any on-campus restaurant or vendors.    

In addition to this, the university installed water bottle filling stations and upgraded old water fountains across the campus to make it more accessible to staff, students, and faculty to refill their reusable water bottles. The water bottle filling stations are equipped with motion sensors to recognize when a water bottle is placed under spout. Upgraded water fountains were retro-fitted with high goose-neck spouts under which a bottle can be easily placed to be filled.  

 

FAQs

Why did you ban bottled water at the University?

  • Human right: Water should not be turned into a commodity which can be bought or sold. It is a basic human right, and should be available free for everyone.
  • Environmentally sustainable: Drinking tap water is more environmentally sustainable than the production, collection, sale and waste produced by bottled water.
  • Safer: Public sources of water are safer than bottled water. Municipal water is closely monitored and tested regularly. Bottled water, on the other hand, is not subject to municipal regulations and is tested less often.

Now that I can’t buy bottled water, what should I drink?

We encourage everyone to bring a reusable bottle with them, and fill it up with water. There are public water fountains and water bottle filling stations conviently located around campus. Click here to see a map of water fountains on campus. There are also reusable bottles available for sale across campus, such as at food outlets and the bookstore, as well as at many off campus stores.

Do the fountains on campus dispense filtered water?

No, the water fountains on campus dispense Toronto tap water. The water from the fountains is not filtered. It is important to note that the City of Toronto regularly monitors and tests its water, due to which Toronto tap water is among the safest drinkable water sources in the world!

Where can I get more information about Toronto tap water?

Start here: Toronto - Water & Environment. If you don't find what you are looking for, you can contact the City of Toronto for information about Toronto tap water.

What are bottle filling stations?

Bottle filling stations are special spouts on water fountains which can fill up bottles. As part of the decision to become bottled water free, the University of Toronto has adapted a standard water fountain/station. This standard station will be included in the construction of any new buildings, renovations, or repairs. It includes two spouts at different heights, as well as a gooseneck which fills bottles. When you place your bottle in the cavity, the machine automatically detects the bottle and fills it.