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MARCH 2021: Portrait of the campuses today


Concordia's Campus Master Plan is intended as a decision-making tool for planning the real estate development of the Loyola and Sir George Williams campuses over a 15-year time frame.

Currently, the university anticipates a space deficit of 115,000 square metres within 10 years. Meeting this demand will involve large-scale development projects on both campuses, addressing various urban, planning and regulatory contexts with unique challenges.

The overall vision reflects a sensitive planning approach to campus heritage and identity and to Concordia’s educational legacy. The plan must take a historical perspective for the development of the campuses and the surrounding urban environments in which they evolve.


In summary, the objectives of the plan are as follows:

  • The smart growth of Concordia and its capacity by 2030 to 2035;
  • Updates to the campus space management program in response to the changing nature of teaching and research;
  • Respect for the distinctive values and elements of large institutional properties;
  • Redevelopment of the Loyola Campus, in the context of its co-existence with the surrounding residential environment;
  • Optimization of the Sir George Williams Campus building environment in the Concordia district;
  • Endorsement of the Campus Master Plan by the university, residents and Montreal communities.

Working approach

The recommended approach for implementing the Campus Master Plan is part of a strategic, concerted and integrated process with the City of Montreal’s regulatory and planning mechanisms.

Close collaboration with the city was established at the outset of the project to align Concordia’s strategy and policies with those of Montreal regarding development projects, planning initiatives and regulations. In addition, a consultation and communication process will support the Campus Master Plan at every stage to ensure a collective vision consistent with the ambitions of the Concordia community is formulated.

The plan's development process has four main phases, with the first just completed:

Phase 1: Portrait of the campuses today

(August 2020 to March 2021)

  • This step establishes a clear diagnosis of the present environment of the university's two campuses.
  • A number of consultation activities were organized with borough representatives and City of Montreal departments to confirm the results and to inform them about the process.

Phase 2: Planning and development orientations

(March to August 2021)

  • This phase will establish planning and development guidelines for the university’s two campuses and, as such, determine the development plan.
  • This step involves a consultation period to generate collective ideas and set up a common vision statement. For this purpose, a website and a public consultation platform will be launched.

Phase 3: Campus development scenarios

(August to October 2021)

  • Three development scenarios will be presented for each campus to investigate different development options. One preferred scenario will be chosen at the end of this phase.
  • This step will involve Integrated Design Process (IDP) workshops with internal and external experts to discuss the three potential scenarios.

Phase 4: Final Campus Master Plan

(October 2021 to September 2022)

  • This phase will focus on drafting the final Campus Master Plan. This step will allow the necessary procedures to be undertaken to modify urban planning regulations that apply to both campuses.
  • Ad hoc meetings with assessment bodies and feedback from project partners will be required to announce the final version of the plan.

Activities to date

Listed below are the profile results from phase 1 of the Campus Master Plan. The results make it possible to study the current urban context of the campuses and to determine certain findings and issues.

For each site under study, the results include an urban analysis such as a portrait of its historical development, heritage, built environment and uses, its current and future projects and its mobility and landscape. They also include a review of the campus planning guidelines. They conclude with a series of challenges to be addressed in the plan.

The results outlined below were confirmed through the following external activities:

  • Workshops on March 22 and 26, 2020, with City of Montreal experts — departments and boroughs — on the following issues:
    • Sustainable development and green spaces;
    • Mobility;
    • Diversity, inclusion and Indigenous recognition;
    • Heritage, landscapes and public spaces;
    • Real estate development.
  • Meeting with the City of Montreal Steering Committee on March 26, 2020.


There are aspects specific to each campus and some that apply to both campuses.

For the Loyola Campus, highlights include:

  • Balancing increased institutional activity with the residential environment;
  • The continued growth of the campus while respecting its original architectural design and characteristics, as defined in its heritage statement;
  • Improvement of the Loyola Campus' natural landscape for future generations; 
  • Accessibility to the site through vehicular, pedestrian and cycling facilities connected to the local network;
  • Suitability of the existing regulatory framework and development objectives.

Highlights specific to the Sir George Williams Campus:

  • Planning for development consistent with the values and character-defining elements of the future SGW Campus Heritage Character Statement, as well as balancing the degree of authenticity of certain architectural features;
  • Inter-pavilion, underground and downtown connectivity as a network linking the entire campus;
  • Characterization and positioning of the campus' main zones of activities and corridors;
  • Projected use and purpose of newly acquired properties and obsolete, off-centre or underutilized properties;
  • Suitability of the existing building inventory for academic use, considering functional and technical requirements, as well as compliance with universal accessibility standards;
  • Quality of and accessibility to downtown greenspaces.

Key issues common to both campuses include:

  • Matching the unique characteristics and identities of each campus, specifically, the Loyola Campus’ pastoral nature and the Sir George Williams Campus’ urban and intersectional identity;
  • The existence of several points of contact between delivery trucks, cyclists and pedestrians;
  • Reducing the proportion of vehicular travel by promoting alternative modes of travel, in collaboration with external stakeholders;
  • Opening up outdoor spaces to the Concordia and Montreal communities, considering their social, environmental and historical qualities;
  • Upgrading and repairing heritage buildings is more expensive and complicated;
  • Concordia’s progressive stance on the energy-efficient buildings and landscaping.

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