Where is McGill? | Ultimate University Guide

Are you a little lost with navigating where McGill is located? Thinking – “Where is McGill?”

No worries, we will walk you through the 2 great campuses that McGill has to offer! To learn more details about McGill’s campuses, keep reading

McGill University is a public institution that was founded in 1821 and is located in Quebec, Canada. The university has two campuses: the downtown campus in Montreal, and the Macdonald campus in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.

The two campuses are approximately 20 miles apart. The primary language of instruction is English, although in a recent year around 20 percent of university students said French was their mother tongue. In fact, around half of the population of Montreal speaks French as a first language!

Around one-fourth of the student body is international, with students hailing from more than 150 countries. University housing is available for both undergraduate and graduate students on both campuses, so you’ll always have a place to stay that is close to the university!

McGill’s downtown campus is a peaceful retreat from the buzz and bustle of the city.

Discover these 7 reasons why it’s a perfect place to relax, hang out and study:

  1. It’s a vibrant, multilingual city

Across the city, French and English mingle and co-exist (often even in the same conversation!) Why not take the opportunity to discover a new culture and master another language while you’re there?

  1. There’s stuff to do in every season

Summers are hot and winters are snowy, but the weather never slows us down. We love to get outside, whether that’s playing sports in winter, or hanging out on terraces and picnicking in parks when the weather warms up.

  1. It’s a safe, affordable place to live

Montreal is a progressive city in one of the safest countries in the world. This is a friendly and welcoming place for all. And Montreal has some of the lowest rent prices in Canada – no wonder they’re a top student city!

  1. It’s really easy to get around

You can bike across the city on spacious bike lanes, or take the metro for an even faster trip. Being a student makes these eco-friendly travel options even sweeter. Montreal also has great student rates for public transit and bike shares!

  1. Culture and nightlife is top-notch

Montreal is home to some of the best-rated restaurants in the world, and over 100 festivals pass through the city each year. Their arts, music and theatre scenes are vibrant and lively. Whatever you’re into, you’ll be engaged and inspired here!

  1. The city sparks innovation

Montreal is a global leader in aerospace, tech, artificial intelligence, pharmaceuticals, video game development and more. No matter what sector you’re interested in, this is the perfect place to explore and thrive.

  1. It’s historic, diverse and multicultural

Montreal is in the traditional territory of the Anishinabeg and Haudenosaunee nations. It has been a meeting place for different Indigenous groups and settlers for centuries. You’ll find a rich history across the city, and hear Montrealers speaking all kinds of languages, from Inuktitut and Spanish to Creole and Chinese.

Notable facilities on the Downtown Campus:

  • Redpath Museum
    • The Redpath Museum is an academic unit of McGill University. Its mandate is to foster understanding and appreciation of the diversity of our biological, geological, and cultural heritage through scientific research, collections-based study, and education.
    • The Redpath Museum is the oldest building in Canada built as a museum. Completed in 1882, it originally housed the collections of Sir William Dawson, then Principal of McGill. The museum currently holds extensive collections in the fields of paleontology, zoology, mineralogy, and world cultures (ethnology). It has several research labs and a Victorian teaching auditorium.
    • The museum is open to the public, and admission is free! It is a great place to study, relax, and learn from the events and exhibits that are offered.
  • Redpath Hall
    • Redpath Hall, located on McGill’s downtown campus, was originally the reading room of Redpath Library. It was repurposed in 1952 and is now used for ensemble and solo performances as well as campus events!
    • The 300 seat hall has a green room and movable chairs. It houses a French Classical style organ built by Hellmuth Wolff and installed in 1981.
    • Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue on the Island of Montreal
      • At the western tip of the island of Montreal, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue is a dynamic village just 25 minutes from downtown. Discover the commercial street lined with iconic restaurants and shops along the National Historic site of the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal.
      • Whether it’s for a gourmet stopover, enjoying the natural landscapes, stocking up on unique local products in the shops or at Marché Sainte-Anne on Saturdays, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue is the perfect destination for your free-time needs!

Notable facilities on the Macdonald Campus:

The Macdonald Campus stewards extensive collections and ecological assets, including the Lyman Entomological Museum and Research Laboratory, the McGill University Herbarium, the Macdonald Campus Farm, the Morgan Arboretum, the forests, marshes and wetlands of the 51-ha Molson Nature Reserve, the waterfront and shoreline of Lac St. Louis.

The beautifully landscaped campus with its wide-open green spaces and quiet shorelines is also home to John Abbott College, the Ecomuseum and the Canadian Aviation Heritage Centre.

Effectively a community in its own right, the Campus supplies power to its buildings, operates and maintains over 70 buildings and cares for and maintains extensive horticultural assets as well as a 12-km campus road network. It also provides housing to a third of its students. During the academic year, more than 12,000 staff and students work or study on the Macdonald Campus.

How to Get There:

Now that we’ve discussed the great aspects of both McGill campuses, it is probably important to go over how you can get to the locations yourself!

Directions to the Main Downtown campus:

This site provides information about how to get to, from, and between McGill’s campuses by:

If you’re looking for directions to McGill, try using Google Maps.

  • The campus is approximately a 22-minute drive from the Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
  • From there, it is a 49 minute transit ride, taking the 747 bus and then the train 1. It will cost around $13.50.

Directions to the Macdonald campus:

The Macdonald Campus is located in the town Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, just 30 minutes west of downtown Montreal and the McGill Downtown Campus. The campus is easily accessible by car, commuter train or city bus.

  • It’s about a 22 minute drive from the Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
  • Then, it’s about a 1 hr transit ride, taking the 204 bus and then the 211 bus. It will cost around $3.50
  • Self-Serve Bikes offers staff and students the possibility of using bikes in their free time. Bikes are available from April 5 to October 29 at Macdonald Campus between 6:00 am and 11:00 pm for a maximum of 3 hours. Bikes are available at the Security Office in Laird Hall, Room 101.

The civic address is: Macdonald Campus, McGill University 21111 Lakeshore RoadSainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9

Both campuses will take a good amount of walking to navigate! So you better get started; good luck with your way-finding!

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