McGill College, Reinventing the Avenue

International Multidisciplinary Urban Design Competition

October 15, 2020
Vue du Jardin d’O après une forte pluie

civiliti + Mandaworks and SNC Lavalin, in collaboration with Lasalle-NHC, UDO Design, Biodiversité Conseil, Lamontagne Consultants and EVOQ
Canada / Sweden


Et Sillon… dans les salons quatre saisons

“Part woodland, part plaza, the sillon (“furrow”) delineates clearings and passageways, spaces of comfort and ‘living rooms.’ A long bench/border unfurls over the length of the wooded beaches, linking and unifying all of the public spaces in one grand gesture. […] The Avenue Reinvented is a groove, ‘living rooms’ and a celebration of the seasons; it is water and nature in an authentic, diversified urban environment; it is the encounter of the formal and the informal for the pleasure of experiencing Montréal.”

– Excerpts from the text of the winning presentation [freely translated] 

In their report, the jury members appreciated the poetry and storytelling expressed in the service offering. They also emphasized that one of the qualities of this project is that it brings nature into the heart of downtown. It proposes to transform the space into a broad swath of green that will come to symbolize this new Montréal space. This forest representation extends the mountain all the way to Place Ville Marie, in the manner of a linear park in the heart of the city. This design concept is the one that best meets the challenge of significantly increasing the tree canopy while freeing up the sightlines from the avenue to Mount Royal.

This concept was the one that best met the objectives of greening, heat island reduction, and resilience of the plantations along the avenue as stipulated in the competition program. The jury’s attention was drawn to the idea of using plant diversity to promote ecosystems and establish a diversified landscape conducive to soil regeneration and enrichment of biodiversity.

By placing sustainability, creativity and innovation at the service of the green and social transition, the winner’s service offering aligns fully with the Montréal 2030 Agenda for Quality and Exemplarity in Design and Architecture.

For more information about the design project for Place de l’avenue McGill College and the next steps, visit:

This competition was held in compliance with the proposed Règlement type pour un concours d'architecture, pluridisciplinaire ou de design de la Ville de Montréal (Model rules for an architectural, multidisciplinary, or design competition sponsored by the Ville de Montréal) approved by the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation (MAMH).

Download the project's boards