For more than a century, the Royal Victoria Hospital was a central part of the circle of life for generations of Montrealers. Now the historic site’s vocation is changing in exciting and important ways that will benefit not just Montrealers and Quebecers, but the entire planet.
We partnered with McGill University to develop a master plan that converts this storied site into a global destination for teaching, research and innovation focused on sustainability. This future campus will bring together the university's outstanding strengths in sustainability-focused science and engineering with its social science and policy expertise to translate knowledge into real-world sustainability impact. When fully realized, it will be a knowledge district unlike any other—a destination that preserves a part of history in the most forward-thinking way possible.
In line with the hospital's original vocation as a place of healing, the new campus aims to heal the planet by tackling the great sustainability challenges that threaten it.
The university anticipates the new precinct, housed on the southern slope of the eponymous Mount Royal, will house some 600 academic staff members (principal investigators and researchers) along with approximately 900 graduate students and 400 undergraduates focused on sustainability and policy. At any given time, more than 1,000 undergraduates from across the campus may be engaged across a wide range of active-learning classrooms, study rooms and collaboration zones.
As part of our planning efforts, we completed functional programming for all the buildings—identifying the locations of activities and programs in a way that removes silos and barriers. We also formulated planning and placemaking strategies aimed at bringing people together, such as shared meeting places, open collaboration zones, teaching laboratories and informal venues like cafés and lounges where people can meet, interact and create.
The Royal Vic site is a unique opportunity to create new ways of addressing the most significant issues of our time. It will be a jewel in both Montréal’s and Québec’s crowns and an important crossroads for learning, research and innovation for people from around the world.Suzanne Fortier Vice-Chancellor of McGill University
The master plan was designed to strengthen the innovation-based infrastructure and amenities found on McGill’s downtown campus. It’s not creating something separate that exists only on this mountain site—it’s creating a destination that expands and connects what’s already happening on the main campus, making the connection seamless and hard to tell where one campus ends and the other starts.