rebuilding after a winter flood

There’s no better bonding experience than facing 40,000 cubic metres of rushing water. McGill showed its collective mettle in January 2013, when a city water main broke uphill from the downtown campus.

The flood caused several million dollars damage to many buildings, spurring a massive clean-up effort that lasted well into the spring. Labs, offices and teaching spaces were rebuilt, the Big Hanna composter was recalibrated, Campus Crops vegetable gardens were replanted, and those fortunate enough to stay dry opened their doors for hundreds of displaced colleagues.

The flood proved a showcase for McGill fortitude. Ingenuity, too: During the crucial early minutes, quick-thinking faculty, staff and students saved the McConnell Engineering Building from serious damage by improvising a levee using snow, garbage bags, lunchboxes and whatever was handy.

Read more about the flood, its aftermath and how the community came together to keep McGill running: