Conversion of hospital buildings on Mount Royal


Les amis de la montagne urge Mr. Couillard and Mr. Poëti to act urgently on the experts’ report. A symposium on the issue of repurposing institutions to be held Oct. 5-7


Conversion Of Hospital Buildings On Mount Royal

Les amis de la montagne urge Mr. Couillard and Mr. Poëti to act urgently on the experts’ report. A symposium on the issue of repurposing to be held this week.


In letters to Premier Philippe Couillard and to the Minister responsible for the region of Montréal, Robert Poëti, Les amis de la montagne insist that the government act quickly to define an overall vision for the management of the Mount Royal sector that is consistent with the objectives of the Site patrimonial declaré, a status which resulted from the Cabinet ministers’ decision in 2005.

On July 8, 2014, the Quebec Government made public the second report from a group of experts concerning the conversion of historical buildings within the Mount Royal Heritage Site.  The historical buildings addressed are those which make up the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal and the Royal Victoria Hospital.  However, two and a half months after its publication, and a few months after the CHUM and the MUHC announced their moving dates, nothing seems to have been done concerning its implementation.

 “The authors of this report recommend that the government launch this conversion rapidly. It will become one of the most important construction projects in Montreal for the coming years. Moreover, it will serve as an example to all of Québec regarding the rehabilitation of heritage sites and urban redevelopment,” said Mme Sylvie Guibault, Executive Director of Les amis de la montagne. She added, “Time is against us; it is urgent that the government demonstrate leadership in this dossier.”

Les Amis de la montagne, who agree with most of the recommendations made by the experts, are worried about how they will be implemented. Considering the tight deadlines and specific expertise required to move forward and meet the expectations of the community, Les amis de la montagne strongly encourage the government to adopt a simple and transparent management and benefit from expertise in heritage matters. Les amis de la montagne feel that the Société québécoise des infrastructures does not meet these two essential requirements.

Les amis de la montagne recommend the establishment of a management structure that includes a working group assigned to monitor the process, its transparency and accountability for viable and sustainable results. This interest group also proposes to take part in such a working group, in particular as it pertains to environmental protection and enhancement of heritage buildings based on criteria established by the expert authors of the report, namely:

  • Maintain public ownership of the land and public accessibility
  • Maintain uses that benefit the entire community
  • Ensure the protection and enhancement of the natural heritage as it is, and even promote its expansion.

In addition, Les amis de la montagne agree, as stated by the expert authors of the report, that McGill University’s proposal to occupy the Royal Victoria Hospital deserves to be studied rapidly and thoroughly.

Read here the letter sent to Quebec's Prime Minister, Mr. Philippe Couillard

Read here the letter sent to the Minister responsible for Montreal, M. Robert Poëti


A special invitation for October 6th : Les amis de la montagne present an international speaker in partnership with Heritage Montreal during Les entretiens Jacques-Cartier Symposium

In April, Les amis de la montagne public forum for the mountain’s future of excess institutional buildings enabled us to discover Presidio Trust’s innovating experience.

We are pleased to invite you to meet Mr. Michael Bolland, chief planner of San Francisco’s Presidio Trust. He will be in Montreal to attend a symposium organized by Héritage Montréal as part of the Entretiens Jacques-Cartier. The topic is Metropolis and its Institutional Heritage.

A Unique Opportunity

This is a unique opportunity to see an example of managing a park by a trust and find inspiration for Mount Royal. Ask questions and have a conversation with Mr. Bolland.

Discussions will be held in English.

Date: Monday, October 6, 2014
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Place: Maison Smith, 1st floor
Please confirm your attendance by e-mail at


Presidio Trust

Presidio Trust is a former military base in San Francisco, located at the foot of Golden Gate. In 1994, Presidio swung into a surplus and was integrated into the national parks network. Management was entrusted to Presidio Trust, created specifically for this site by the federal government. Presidio Trust takes care of restoring buildings as well as the site’s environment and layout for public relaxation.

Photo: Ville de Montréal. Royal Victoria Hospital.