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Campus 101

Get to Know McGill’s Campuses

Did you know that in 2012, Travel+Leisure Magazine rated McGill as one of the 16 most beautiful university campuses in the world? With its many historic buildings and expansive green spaces, it’s not hard to see why. Here are some tips to help you enjoy your time on campus.

What should I see on campus?

McGill’s downtown campus provides a symbolic and physical link from Montreal’s urban core to the green of Parc Mont-Royal. The campus provides many spaces for socialization, physical activity and reflection. Some highlights include:

  • The Y-intersection: This focal point is the symbolic centre of campus, allowing a great perspective on the campus and its surroundings;
  • Visitor’s Square: This recently redesigned square near the Milton Gate houses a number of McGill’s sculptures and serves as the entry-point for the majority of visitors;
  • Lower Field: This is one of the largest green spaces in downtown Montreal, making it an ideal place to relax or hold activities;
  • Three Bares: This sculpture & fountain is a focal point of campus and a great place to meet a friend;
  • Roddick Gates: These iconic gates mark the entrance to the campus from Sherbrooke St. and downtown;
  • McTavish Street: This street is a centre for student services and activities, housing the Service Point, the SSMU’s University Centre, and plenty of places to sit and enjoy the scenery;
  • Redpath Terrace: This terrace, outside the Redpath and McLennan Libraries, is at the heart of the action and overlooks the Lower Field;
  • Hosmer/Davis Green Space: The cozy garden north of the Hosmer House boasts beautiful landscaping and a small fruit orchard;

 Also, don’t forget to check out McGill’s Macdonald Campus, with acres of green space, a working farm, and a riverfront location in the picturesque village of Ste. Anne de Bellevue. You can easily get there by shuttle bus or public transportation. 

What is a “pedestrian zone”? 

As of May 2010, the entire downtown Lower Campus, including McTavish Street, is a pedestrian zone. By removing 200 parking spaces and limiting vehicle access, McGill is re-orienting the campus towards pedestrians. 

We encourage pedestrians to circulate freely on both the campus sidewalks and roads, but suggest that you remain alert, particularly before 11:00 a.m. when limited vehicular traffic continues to be allowed for deliveries.

Can I ride my bike on campus?

The downtown Lower Campus is a Walk-Bike Zone. McGill encourages and applauds the use of bicycles for commuting to and from the campus. In the interest of pedestrian safety, McGill asks that cyclists take a few extra minutes to dismount and either park their bikes at one of the racks provided, or walk their bikes on campus. 

The reason for making the lower campus a Walk-Bike Zone is due to the priority of pedestrian safety: thousands of pedestrians cross McGill’s downtown campus every day, sometimes in substantial numbers. The University has experienced a number of incidents involving collisions between cyclists and pedestrians in recent years.

Furthermore, the City's bylaws regarding pedestrian zones apply to McTavish St.; requiring cyclists to dismount and walk their bikes while in the pedestrian zone. This bylaw is enforceable by the City of Montréal and fines may be imposed by the City. By keeping this policy consistent across campus (and in other Pedestrian Zones across the City), it avoids confusion.

Where can I park my bike?

In recent years, McGill has doubled the number of bicycle rack spaces, encouraging the community to cycle to campus. The University currently meets LEED standards, providing a space for 10% of the McGill community.

The University asks that cyclists avoid securing their bikes to trees, as it can easily damage them, and handrails, as it restricts access for those with mobility issues.

McGill also asks that people do not use the campus for long-term bike storage; the racks are intended for short-term use.

Bikes that block access, or appear to be abandoned may be removed. McGill is not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged bicycles/locks.

Can I drive on campus?

As of May 2010, vehicular access and parking on the downtown campus was significantly restricted. 

Vehicle circulation on the Lower Campus is limited to emergency, delivery, service and certain construction vehicles, as well as those used by persons with disabilities or limited mobility. Emergency vehicles are permitted at all times.

The Milton entrance, located at the corner of Milton Street and University Street, is the main entrance for all authorized vehicles to enter campus.

Only authorized vehicles are permitted on McTavish, between Sherbrooke and Dr. Penfield Avenue.

For information on where to park, please contact Parking Services.

Can I hang out and play sports on Lower Field?

Yes, but please be smart about it. The Lower Field is the focal point for McGill’s green space. To ensure the field stays in good shape, the University asks that the community refrain from accessing the field when it is wet from rain or irrigation. By keeping the field in good condition, it allows the University to save significant resources in maintaining and replacing the grass.

I want to hold an event on campus. What should I do?

There is a wide variety of event venues available at McGill University - classrooms, reception areas, lobbies, outdoor spaces just to name a few - which can be reserved and used for both academic and extra curricular activities.

  • Indoor Events

Please visit the Events Booking website for all necessary information.

  • Outdoor Events

Please visit the Campus and Space Planning website for all necessary information.

What should I do if I see something suspicious or dangerous on campus?

If you see anything that concerns you, please contact Campus Security at 514.398.3000, or visit them at Rm 120, Burnside Hall.