Message to students regarding safety


Sent on behalf of Linda Jacobs Starkey, Interim Dean of Students and Pierre Barbarie, Associate Director, University Safety and Head of Security Services

As we welcome students back for another year at McGill, it is a good time to remind you that personal safety is everyone’s responsibility. This is true both on and off campus.

While Montreal has a well-deserved reputation as a comparatively safe city, it is nonetheless a large urban environment that has its share of sketchy characters.

McGill Security Services works closely with the local police force to try to ensure the safety of our neighbourhoods and at this time of year, the police pay particular attention to the communities bordering the downtown campus where there have been cases of assault and other crimes in the past. Please be especially vigilant in the area around Solin Hall (near Lionel Groulx Metro) and in some areas of the Milton-Parc community east of the downtown campus.

It is very important to follow these basic safety precautions in and around McGill, especially if you live off campus:

  1. Don’t walk alone at night. If you find yourself walking home alone after dark, you can contact the WalkSafe program at 514-398-2498 and volunteers will escort you to your door. WalkSafe is a student-run service available Sunday to Thursday from 8 p.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. WalkSafe volunteers work in pairs, have reflective jackets and carry walkie-talkies. More information can be found at

    If you are walking outside of WalkSafe’s operating hours or if there is no reply, call Security Services at 514-398-3000 downtown or 514-398-7777 at Macdonald Campus and a security agent will accompany you to a place from which you can safely continue your trip home.

    It would also be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the recommended routes for crossing the campuses after dark. These better-traveled routes can be found at (please see the Night Route Map menu tab) and at for Macdonald Campus.
  2. If walking alone after dark, keep your ears open; turn off your iPod or MP3 player for the duration of your walk.
  3. Always avoid shortcuts through back alleys.
  4. To reduce the chance of theft, carry only as much cash as you need. Keep valuables (passport, visas, etc.) that you do not need on hand in a secure place at home. Make an effort to conceal your iPod and iPhone as there has been a rash of “snatch-and-grab” thefts of these devices in various areas of Montreal.
  5. It is a good idea to keep your cash, credit cards, ID card, driver’s license and other critical items separate from other items. If an individual grabs your purse or backpack, let it go. Your safety and well-being are more important than the value of your belongings.
  6. Do make a mental note of the location of emergency phones, marked with a blue light, as you cross the campuses. In case of an on-campus incident, call McGill Security Services downtown at 514-398-3000 or 514-398-7777 at Macdonald Campus as soon as possible. Security Services can often respond faster than the police. Security will then contact Montreal police.
  7. Take care to make sure your windows and doors are locked at night and that your blinds are drawn.
  8. If you are off campus, suspicious persons and events should be reported to Montreal police via 911.

Our intention is not to alarm you or make you feel that you live in an unsafe neighbourhood, however in Montreal as in any large city, it is important to be careful and vigilant, especially at night. Please follow our suggestions for staying safe and have a terrific year!


Linda Jacobs Starkey, Interim Dean of Students

Pierre Barbarie, Associate Director, University Safety and Head of Security Services