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FEBRUARY 2024: Campus development scenarios


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.

The university anticipates a space deficit of 115,000 square metres within 10 years.1 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 in the development of the campuses and the surrounding urban environments in which they take shape.

1. Estimation based on forecasts of additional student enrolment (500 FTES/year) and calculated according to the current MES admissible space standard


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

  • Healthy growth of Concordia and its capacity from now through 2030 to 2035;
  • Updates to the physical 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 and its co-existence with the 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, the third of which has just been completed:

Phase 1: Portrait of the campuses today

(August 2020 to March 2021)

  • This step aimed to establish a clear diagnosis of the current 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 of the profile and to inform them about the process.
  • Internal Concordia partners, including professors, students, representatives of strategic initiatives and faculties and administrative staff were involved in an Integrated Design Process (IDP).

Phase 2: Planning and development orientations

(March to August 2021)

  • This phase defined the framework of the master plan by formulating the vision, guiding principles and filters.
  • This phase established the planning and development guidelines for the university's two campuses and clarified the planning concept.
  • This step involved consultation activities in the form of meetings and ideation sessions. These activities helped generate collective ideas and build a common vision statement. For this purpose, a website and a public consultation platform were launched, and a multidisciplinary working group was formed.

Phase 3: Campus development scenarios

(August 2021 to February 2024)

  • Exploratory development scenarios were presented for each campus to evaluate different options. A preferred scenario was selected, and development criteria were established.
  • This phase involved 3 IDP2 workshops, including one with internal experts and two with the multidisciplinary working group with the City of Montreal. Three participatory activities were conducted on the online public consultation platform. During these activities, the project team presented various aspects of the preferred scenario and gathered the opinions of participants to ensure the final Campus Master Plan scenario would meet their needs.
  • The Loyola Campus Master Plan scenario was presented in person and online at a public information session to more than 260 participants.
  • Meetings with the city helped to refine the phase 4 work plan to develop the management framework for implementing the university's master plan.

In collaboration with the City of Montreal and the Ville-Marie Borough, the work explored various development and densification options for the Sir George Williams Campus.

Following these discussions, Concordia and the City of Montreal agreed not to pursue the campus’ development through a regulatory framework stemming from the master plan. Instead, the preferred approach will assess individual projects based on heritage, the quality of replacement projects and other factors.

Concordia will create a master plan for the Sir George Williams Campus that does not rely on the development of a management framework with the city.

2. IDP: Integrated Design Process

Phase 4: Final master development plan

  • This phase will focus on adopting the final Campus Master Plan. This step will aim for unity with the necessary regulatory standards outlined in the new 2050 Land Use and Mobility Plan and the by-laws of the Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Borough.
  • This phase will include ad hoc meetings with assessment bodies such as the Comité Consultatif d'Urbanisme to unveil the final version of the master plan. This will incorporate feedback from project in announcing the final version of the plan.

Activities completed to date

The approach calls for constant and productive collaboration between both internal and external partners affected by the project and draws on best consulting practices to promote social acceptability by the partners and their endorsement of the plan.

  • Five IDP workshops with project partners from the Concordia community, the City of Montreal and its services and boroughs.
  • Meetings with the City of Montreal Steering Committee.
  • Activities on the online public consultation platform.
  • Meetings with campus neighbours and university partners.
  • A public information session on the Loyola Campus scenario.


Phase 3 of the Concordia Campus Master Plan defined a scenario for the Loyola Campus through an exploratory process that consisted of various consultation activities with project partners.

Exploratory approach

The exploratory approach evaluated options for future development zones on the Loyola Campus.

The scenario for discussion — the synthesis of this process — was then presented to the city and borough (IDP 4). After incorporating the city and borough working group’s comments, a preferred scenario (IDP 5) was drawn up, serving as the basis for the master plan scenario.

Master plan scenario

The master plan scenario develops guidelines and actions that will enable the sustainable development of the Loyola Campus according to the following themes:

  • Built environment and heritage
  • Sustainable mobility
  • Outdoor spaces
  • Design of outdoor and indoor spaces

General planning criteria

The general planning criteria also provided qualitative guidelines, which ensured how well the various projects would integrate with the existing built and landscape heritage. These criteria were also designed to meet guiding principles and filters identified in phase 2:

  • Health and well-being
  • Sustainability
  • Inclusivity
  • Indigenous Decolonization
  • Concordia identity

Implementation of the master plan and further studies

Implementing the master plan will enable the university to express its orientations in a concrete manner.

To this end, follow-up committees should be set up to guide future project partners in how to use the master plan, to monitor progress in the implementation of the plan and its peripheral studies and to identify any obstacles to its application. This follow-up committee will periodically revise the document to keep it up to date. The committee will also promote the tool within the university community to ensure all those involved remain committed to its implementation and financing.

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