Place de l'avenue McGill College : An iconic street

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Avenue McGill College, located in the heart of downtown, is among Montréal’s most prestigious streets. It connects McGill University to the north, to Place Ville Marie to the south, and tens of thousands of students, workers and tourists travel along it every day.

In 1984, this avenue was subject to one of the first public consultations aimed at modifying a development project. Avenue McGill College, as we know it today, with its stunning views of Mount Royal, was protected thanks to the actions of Montréal residents.


An innovative and participative design process

The area around Avenue McGill College is abuzz with excitement with the redesign of Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, the arrival of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) downtown, and major private investments, notably in the revitalization of Place Ville-Marie and its esplanade and the renovation of the Eaton Centre.

In April 2018, the municipal administration announced its intention to reinvent this iconic avenue by bringing it into the 21st century and transforming it into a vast public space.

In order to achieve its vision, the municipal administration initiated a comprehensive planning and consultation process with its partners, taking into account the concerns and aspirations of residents, various local actors, as well as internal and external experts. The project planning process was carried out over a period of roughly 18 months. It included a public consultation led by the OCPM in the fall of 2018, along with various studies, a positioning exercise, and the use of an integrated design process.


The vision retained

The avenue will be transformed into an imposing public space spanning its entire length, from Rue Cathcart to Rue Sherbrooke. The new design will transform the pedestrian experience in the heart of a naturalized landscape directly in the downtown core. In this newly transformed landscape where everyday life slows down, pedestrians will be invited to soak in the sights and experience Montréal in all its authenticity.

This vision is reflected in the following five development objectives:

  • Deploy abundant vegetation within an iconic landscape on Avenue McGill College.
  • Bring out the spirit of the place by taking into account the historical and heritage dimensions of Avenue McGill College and preserving its commanding view of Mount Royal.
  • Offer a relaxing and people-friendly atmosphere adapted to the contextual variations specific to Avenue McGill College and its various users.
  • Adapt the configuration of the avenue in a way that creates a safe public space where pedestrians are front and centre and where there is coherency in relation to spaces for vehicles and cyclists.
  • Develop an exemplary urban public space in terms of the quality of the materials used and the sustainability of the infrastructures.


An avenue reinvented

A multidisciplinary international urban design competition was launched on October 31, 2019. The winning design concept will be announced in the fall of 2020. Work is slated to begin in 2023.



Avenue McGill College, located in the heart of downtown, is among Montréal’s most prestigious streets. It connects McGill University to the north, to Place Ville Marie to the south, and tens of thousands of students, workers and tourists travel along it every day.

In 1984, this avenue was subject to one of the first public consultations aimed at modifying a development project. Avenue McGill College, as we know it today, with its stunning views of Mount Royal, was protected thanks to the actions of Montréal residents.


An innovative and participative design process

The area around Avenue McGill College is abuzz with excitement with the redesign of Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, the arrival of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) downtown, and major private investments, notably in the revitalization of Place Ville-Marie and its esplanade and the renovation of the Eaton Centre.

In April 2018, the municipal administration announced its intention to reinvent this iconic avenue by bringing it into the 21st century and transforming it into a vast public space.

In order to achieve its vision, the municipal administration initiated a comprehensive planning and consultation process with its partners, taking into account the concerns and aspirations of residents, various local actors, as well as internal and external experts. The project planning process was carried out over a period of roughly 18 months. It included a public consultation led by the OCPM in the fall of 2018, along with various studies, a positioning exercise, and the use of an integrated design process.


The vision retained

The avenue will be transformed into an imposing public space spanning its entire length, from Rue Cathcart to Rue Sherbrooke. The new design will transform the pedestrian experience in the heart of a naturalized landscape directly in the downtown core. In this newly transformed landscape where everyday life slows down, pedestrians will be invited to soak in the sights and experience Montréal in all its authenticity.

This vision is reflected in the following five development objectives:

  • Deploy abundant vegetation within an iconic landscape on Avenue McGill College.
  • Bring out the spirit of the place by taking into account the historical and heritage dimensions of Avenue McGill College and preserving its commanding view of Mount Royal.
  • Offer a relaxing and people-friendly atmosphere adapted to the contextual variations specific to Avenue McGill College and its various users.
  • Adapt the configuration of the avenue in a way that creates a safe public space where pedestrians are front and centre and where there is coherency in relation to spaces for vehicles and cyclists.
  • Develop an exemplary urban public space in terms of the quality of the materials used and the sustainability of the infrastructures.


An avenue reinvented

A multidisciplinary international urban design competition was launched on October 31, 2019. The winning design concept will be announced in the fall of 2020. Work is slated to begin in 2023.


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