Frequently Asked Questions

How do I claim an item that I had lost but was turned in?

If you know an item you had lost was turned in to Lost & Found, either by checking yourself or if you had been contacted by the office, you can claim your item by stopping by the Lost & Found office during business hours. If you had previously been in touch with Lost & Found to confirm your item is there, please also have the ID number of the item ready to expedite the pick-up.

Photo ID is required for all pick-ups at Lost & Found. When picking up an item you will be asked to present your ID, and note your name and a piece of contact information (either phone # or e-mail address), as well as sign for the item before it will be released.

How long are found items held for?

Items are typically held for a minimum of 30 days for most items turned in.

Items that are not held for that timeframe include:

  • YU Cards (they are turned into the YU Card office at the end of the day)
  • Passports (they are given to Security, who pass them on to Toronto Police)
  • University Keys (they are given to Security)
  • University Library books (they are returned to their home library the same day)
  • Sanitary or health hazards (soiled clothing, perishable food, etc. are not stored at Lost & Found)

What happens if nobody claims a found item?

All unclaimed items are 'disposed of', either via destruction, recycling or donation.

  • Personal information is destroyed from any item containing it.
  • Cellphones are donated to the Toronto Zoo for their cell-phone recycling program (information available
  • Books are donated to the Toronto Public Library
  • Miscellaneous notes or papers are shredded and recycled if possible
  • Any other item is donated to charitable organizations

York University does not profit in any way from unclaimed items.

What if I can't get to the office to pick-up my item before it closes or within the storage timelines?

Alternative arrangements can be made on a case-by-case basis. If you have been contacted about a found item, or have confirmed that your item is at Lost & Found, but you will either not be able to make it to the office during business hours, or will not be able to pick it up within the storage timelines, you can request that alternative arrangements be made.

Alternative arrangements can include having an item left at Security Services (which operates 24 hours per day) in the event you can't pick the item up during business hours, or having the item put in longer term storage in the event you will not be at York for an extended period of time. Please note that these options must be arranged in advance, and that long-term storage is only available for a maximum of 90 days from the date the request is made.

Can I ask a friend to pick up an item for me?

Lost & Found strives to ensure that the proper owners are the ones receiving their items. In the event the rightful owner is not able to pick the item up in person, a third party is permitted to pick up the item on the owner's behalf under certain circumstances:

  • The owner must inform the Lost & Found office in advance of this request via e-mail, and have been provided the ID number of the specific item in question
  • The third party individual who is identified by the owner as authorized to pick the item up on their behalf must bring a copy of the confirmation provided to the owner by the Lost & Found office that has been signed by the owner

My department needs a pick-up from Lost & Found — how can this be arranged?

If your department has its own internal Lost & Found, and you need assistance transferring those items to us, please either contact the staff member working at Lost & Found during business hours, or e-mail — once notification has been received that a pickup is needed, we will schedule someone to assist you.


  • Put your name and e-mail address somewhere accessible on anything important — this helps us to contact you if your item is ever lost and turned into Lost & Found
  • If we don't have your item when you check, you can either check back with us in a week or check the various campus Libraries or Recreation facilities — while most items on campus end up at our office, some locations only drop items off periodically


York University regrets that it cannot be responsible for items of personal property left unattended on the grounds or within buildings.