What is the New Vic?

McGill’s New Vic aims to transform a part of an iconic landmark, the former Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH), into a world-leading multidisciplinary hub for learning, research, and innovation focused on sustainable development and public policy. The cutting-edge space is designed to support multidisciplinary teaching and research activities, while fostering collaborative research activities with government, private sector, and academic partners.

Once completed, the New Vic will welcome nearly 3,000 daily users in its cutting-edge teaching and learning spaces, event spaces and state-of-the-art research laboratories.

Which part of the former RVH site will the New Vic occupy?

The New Vic will be comprised of three of the former hospital’s heritage pavilions (A, L, and E) and one new construction. The transformed academic complex will represent less than 15% of the area of the entire RVH site.

Is McGill involved with the management of the RVH site beyond the New Vic?

No. The Société québécoise des infrastructures (SQI), the government’s organization responsible for the planning and construction of public infrastructure projects, is mandated with the adaptive reuse of the former hospital’s site and is currently working on implementing a master plan which includes – but is not limited to – the New Vic.

Does McGill own the site?

No. The property will be transferred from the MUHC to the SQI in the coming weeks. Moreover, during the public consultation process held by the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) in the Fall of 2021, many citizens and civil society groups expressed their support for a project that would keep the site in the public domain. In this respect, the Government of Quebec and McGill University agreed upon a mechanism that allows the University to occupy the site long-term while maintaining its public ownership.

Why has McGill chosen to have its flagship project focus on sustainability and public policy?

Now and over the next decades, we must find solutions to pressing sustainable development issues and their economic, societal, and environmental ramifications to ensure the prosperity of our communities and future generations.

To do so, it will be imperative to forge unprecedented collaborations between different disciplines and sectors to develop solutions that are effective, practical and suitable for a wide range of socio-economic and cultural contexts. With the New Vic, McGill promotes an interdisciplinary, systems-based approach to research and learning, with a strong focus on cross-sector partnerships and collaborations. If it is true that this global approach is already in full swing at the University, the New Vic will give life to a space where we can fully implement this new way of working in an academic context.

How will McGill implement and support the project’s academic vision?

The New Vic Project includes a change management approach to strengthen change leadership and management among those involved in the project; provide training and address the concerns of faculty, staff and students who are relocating to the New Vic; and foster greater multidisciplinary collaboration within and across the project’s two academic pillars: Sustainability Systems and Public Policy.

How is McGill demonstrating its commitment to sustainable practices during construction?

McGill is proudly pursuing LEED and WELL certifications for the project. The New Vic is a model for how heritage sites can be responsibly re-purposed, revitalized and transformed, and a new building will feature the most advanced standards of sustainable design and construction. 

How has McGill included its student body, faculty, and the public in the design and planning of the project?

Since 2015, there have been ongoing meetings and design workshops with various McGill user groups and representatives across faculties and units. In 2017, the University coordinated a collaborative design session attended by over 60 architects, students, staff and faculty, external stakeholders, and community organizations. In 2020, McGill met with several community organizations, such as the Milton Parc Citizens' Committee and Les amis de la montagne, and began consultation activities with Indigenous communities in January 2021. In the Fall of 2021, McGill participated in the public consultations organized by the SQI during which over 100 stakeholders were invited to give their opinion on the future use of the site.

The New Vic project team communicates frequently with various stakeholders to ensure that the project stays true to its vision and program.

How is McGill collaborating with and including Indigenous communities in the New Vic?

For this visionary and innovative project to reach its full potential, it must be guided by the University’s commitment to reconciliation and contribute to McGill’s efforts to embed Indigeneity in the life and activities of the University.

To this end, Indigenous communities have been engaged to co-develop proposals for Indigenous physical representation throughout the New Vic design phase.

Over 50 internal and external Indigenous community members were engaged in dozens of activities in 2021 and 2022. These ranged from bilateral meetings to co-creation workshops and, most recently, reporting back sessions to validate Indigenous physical representation proposals based on Indigenous community input.

This engagement process is part of McGill’s ongoing efforts to strengthen relationships with Indigenous communities, and to ensure the University is a welcoming and culturally-safe place for Indigenous faculty, staff and students. Increased Indigenous physical representation on campus responds to Calls to Action in the 2017 Final Report of the Provost’s Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education, and the orientations articulated in McGill’s 2019 Campus Master Plan.

How will the New Vic respect Mount Royal’s history and significance to the city?

The New Vic will serve as an extension of the Mountain onto the site by increasing access to the public, reconnecting the site to the park, adding green roofs to pavilions, and restoring the view of the Mountain by reducing the overall building height by 15 meters.

Will the New Vic resolve the current space deficit at McGill?

The new academic complex will provide new cutting-edge laboratories and collaboration spaces and position the university as a hub for innovation and learning where an open, connected, and purposeful university is redefined.

Situated directly north of McGill’s downtown campus, the New Vic will help alleviate the university’s space deficit by adding nearly 50,000 sqm of gross area and approximately 800 seats in active learning classrooms.

How will the New Vic benefit the local community?

The New Vic is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to reinvent how this iconic landmark is integrated into the urban fabric of the city. The transformation of the site will increase public access to Mount Royal from downtown, protect and preserve an important heritage site, and create an international innovation hub that will attract talent from all around the world to focus on the most pressing issues of our time including climate change.

What will be the cost of the project?

The overall cost of the project, including planning, restoring, and construction, is estimated at $870M.

When will the New Vic be ready to welcome users?

Current plans call for the completion of the project in 2028.

Archeological work on the site of the former Royal Victoria Hospital

McGill University is on land which has long served and continues to serve as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. We acknowledge and thank the diverse Indigenous peoples whose presence and contribution mark this territory on which peoples of the world now gather.

Back to top