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Ancien hôpital Royal Victoria
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The Quebec Government, via the Société Québécoise des infrastructures (SQI), is seeking to repurpose the site of the former Royal Victoria Hospital and Allan Memorial Institute, which has remained mostly vacant since the construction of the Glen Campus of the McGill University Health Centre in 2015. The Master Plan provides for a medium- to long-term vision, as well as guidelines and intervention strategies. The development concept and intervention strategies for the site are presented in the summary of the Master Development Plan.

 

 

The guidelines and intervention strategies of the Master Development Plan will provide a framework for, among other things, the development of the McGill University project, the New Vic, which is the first concrete project for the site.

The vision put forth by the Société Québécoise des infrastructures (SQI) for the Master Plan of the former Royal Victoria Hospital and Allan Memorial Institute is based on a rehabilitation of the site revolving around the themes of health, knowledge, and well-being. The Plan also aims to promote the appropriation and opening of exterior spaces to the public to make it a destination site.

The first concrete project for the site would be McGill University’s. Known as the New Vic, the project targets the development of research focusing on sustainable development in the areas of science, engineering, and public policy. The development project drawn up by the university involves five strategies:

  • An inclusive project for Montréal and the university;
  • Indigenous recognition;
  • Enhancing views of Mount Royal;
  • Respecting sustainable development principles;
  • Cultural heritage protection.

 

The project is described in the summary of the conceptual statement of the New Vic project.

A few questions to guide your thought process

  • What do you think of the SQI’s vision focusing on health, knowledge, and well-being for the site as a whole? In concrete terms, according to you, what could be the site’s vocation, keeping in mind these themes (health, knowledge, and well-being)?
  • In your opinion, what should the site’s vocation be?
  • What measures, in your opinion, should be taken to ensure that the site is open to the community?
  • What do you think of the redevelopment project proposed by McGill University in its New Vic project?

Theme 2: Architectural, landscape and cultural heritage

In its draft Master Development Plan, the Société Québécoise des infrastructures (SQI) recognizes that the site is of high heritage interest, in terms of landscape, social, architectural, and historical aspects. The SQI proposes a repurposing of the site respectful of the heritage value of the existing buildings and layouts, considering their link with the city and the mountain. The objective is to enhance the existing buildings through various modern additions.

The development strategy regarding the built environment and heritage is described on page 11 of the Master Plan summary.

A few questions to guide your thought process

  • What do you think of the proposed development strategy concerning heritage?
  • In your opinion, what heritage elements of the site of the former Royal Victoria Hospital are the most important and why?

 

Theme 3: Sustainable development of the site

The SQI integrates into all its project’s objectives related to major government orientations, such as the 2030 Energy Policy and the 2030 Green Economy Plan. Those documents provide a framework for, among other things:

  • The gradual replacement of fossil energy with renewable energy;
  • The reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) through developments promoting active, public and electric transportation;
  • Greening and the reduction of heat islands;
  • Efficient and eco-responsible water management;
  • The use of low environmental impact construction materials.

The development concept described on page 10 proposes, among other things, the integration of stormwater retention basins, the greening of the parvis, the reduction of spaces dedicated to automobiles, as well as the development of a wooded area.

The sustainable development strategy is described on page 16 of the Master Plan summary.

A few questions to guide your thought process

  • Do the sustainable development proposals for the site seem adequate to you? If not, how and in what areas should they be improved?
  • What do you think of the proposals aiming to consolidate the green spaces between the former Royal Victoria Hospital and Mount Royal?
  • In your opinion, what other environmental management measures should be implemented for the site of the former Royal Victoria Hospital?

 

Theme 4: Governance

One of the SQI guidelines calls for the involvement of government and municipal authorities, stakeholders, and the public in the various steps of formulating the Master Plan. Several committees have already been created and activities have been held as part of the conception of the draft Master Development Plan submitted for consultation.

The process adopted by the SQI is described on page 3 of the Master Development Plan summary.

A few questions to guide your thought process

  • What are your expectations in terms of the management approach and implementation of the Master Plan once it has been adopted?
  • How should future projects for the site be chosen?

 

Theme 5: Mobility and connection

In its draft Master Development Plan, the Société Québécoise des infrastructures proposes redevelopments aimed at creating an accessible, connected, permeable location where comings and goings are safe and enjoyable for everyone. The proposals involve:

  • Creating pedestrian paths reminiscent of historical routes;
  • Developing new stairs adapted to the topography of the site;
  • Creating new links with Mount Royal Park;
  • Transforming automobile lanes into shared roads;
  • Greening and reducing the number of parking spaces.

The mobility strategy is described on page 13 and the development concept on page 10 of the Master Development Plan summary.

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A few questions to guide your thought process

  • What do you think of the proposals involving the redevelopment and reduction in the number of parking spaces?
  • What do you think of the proposals involving the restructuring of internal roads to facilitate public access?
  • What do you think of the proposed links between the site and Mount Royal (number, location, etc.)?

 

Theme 6: Other opinions

Are there any other important elements to be considered in the Master Development Plan for the site of the former Royal Victoria Hospital and Allan Memorial Institute?

Résultats

Voici toutes les contributions reçues dans le cadre de ce questionnaire.

Veuillez noter que nous avons conservé les textes originaux sans procéder à aucune modification ou correction dans les limites de la netiquette de l'Office.

1. Opinion présentée par Kim Jardine

The Mohawk community was not consulted on the development of the project and they are the rightful owners of the land. Their elders strongly suspect that there are bodies of their people buried at different locations throughout the property - murder victims and/or victims of human experimentation. An investigation with ground penetrating radar needs to be conducted. There are also possible bodies of children on the property associated with Cold War MK ULTRA mind control experimentation at The Allan Memorial Institute. Again a search for these bodies needs to be made.

The entire property where the old Royal Victoria is located including The Allan Memorial Institute is a potential crime scene.

The Mohawks, need to be consulted before any construction goes ahead: https://mohawknationnews.com/blog/2021/09/27/mcgill-new-vic-renovation-on-unceded-mohawk-land-audio/

2. Opinion présentée par Michael Gale

I support McGill's "New Vic" proposal for refocusing the former Royal Victoria Hospital.
I am most impressed with two aspects:
1. The preservation of the historic and iconic architecture of the RVH which is one of the defining features of downtown Montreal.
2. Greatly enhancing the accessibility and mobility in and around the site as well as to Mont Royal Park itself.
The "New Vic", in my opinion, has successfully responded to both ancestoral and present day interests.

3. Opinion présentée par Helaine Helaine

MORE GREEN SPACE ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC AND INTEGRATED INTO THE MOUNT ROYAL FOREST UPON THE DEMOLITION OF THE DESIGNATED BUILDINGS

4. Opinion présentée par Sharon Lopez

This land is on UNCEDED Indigenous territory and must firstly be offered to them in its entirety, unconditionally, and immediately.

Barring this, the land in its entirety should be placed under a variety of emphyteutic leases which give the membership control of the buildings without complete ownership, thus guaranteeing NO PRIVATE OWNERSHIP, not even to a University. The membership would consist of private citizens representing all the stakeholders: representatives from the University, governments, the surrounding neighborhoods, the neighborhood organizations, the local merchants, AND the people without homes who also live in the area. Convert some buildings to different types of shelters for specific communities, staffed and managed by professionals and interns in medicine, social work, and relevant fields; others to social housing run by their tenants; social enterprises like cooperative daycares, repair shops, and artists' spaces would be managed by their workers. Let the architecture students of all the universities in the city collaborate to create paths to the mountain that don't require any demolition.

5. Opinion présentée par Al Hanyok

I personally want to see the site returned to indigenous hands. Baring that possibility, I want the site to be searched for unmarked graves before any construction is done, as has been called on by indigenous groups.

A memorial to those affected by unethical human testing at the site should be erected so that we do not forget the horrors done here.

If it will not be returned to indigenous hands, I want the site to remain public. Affordable housing, transitional housing, and wet homeless shelters are ideal. No expensive student housing or private enterprises.

6. Opinion présentée par Brasfield Hope

There should be a search for unmarked graves before any construction takes place and the land should be returned to indigenous people.

7. Opinion présentée par Aspen Ruhlin

The land should be returned to First Nations people, AND there should be a search for graves.

8. Opinion présentée par Michael Kary

The new architectural elements in the McGill plan (pages 13, 14, 16, 21 of the document <3-2-1-1_en_-_new-vic_digital-brochure_aug2021_-_digital.pdf>) are either too brutalist in style- high concrete walls for the staircases (pp.13,14,16), and for the side of the new terrace/balcony in front of the main entrance to Pavillion A (p.13, a terrible visual obstruction)- or else too much like a Griffintown glass condo tower (p.21). There should not be any large (bigger than one-half-person-height) concrete elements, and NO glass buildings, rather the new architecture should be more harmonious with the landscape and the old buildings. This can be done by using natural materials for facings (wood, stone), less simplistic designs, and keeping the glass elements to windows with detailing, rather than using glass for walls. The landscaping in front of the main entrance to Pavilion A (p.19) is too simplistic, it should not be suburban-front-lawn grass, rather suitable natural grasses and/or wildflowers, with benches. There needs to be concern for possible toxic emissions or hazardous wastes from the research laboratories working on e.g. new plastics or other new construction materials. Quebec and Canada need a new research institute dedicated to road paving materials- the asphalt we use now is neither green nor durable- will the new research plans include one? The integration of bicycle traffic with pedestrian traffic is not so simple as the plans seem to indicate, especially with downhill grades. This needs its own public consultation. Staircases should be made walkable for bicycles on the side.

9. Opinion présentée par Michael Kary

There should be NO commercial, business, residential, or office space on the site, ever.

10. Opinion présentée par Donovan King

There should be a commemorative monument to all of the victims of the Allan Memorial Institute under Dr. Ewen Cameron's leadership. He destroyed the lives of over 300 people with his CIA-funded brainwashing experiments, ruining entire families. The Survivors still have not been compensated and McGill has washed its hands of the sordid affair.

Furthermore, there is speculation that Indigenous children involved in the experiments were buried on the site:

https://globalnews.ca/news/8284327/mohawk-mothers-investigation-unmarked-graves-mcgill-university/?fbclid=IwAR0H7CHrhGzurEdno1PRNQQbOduArTdg_zC8CzUlpyZwoZZCdCamRzw9p0U

To continue ignoring this scandal would do a great disservice to the site in the era of Truth and Reconciliation.

11. Opinion présentée par Jonathan McPhedran Waitzer

Please follow the recommendations of the excellent community consultation and report created by the Milton-Parc Citizen's Committee:

https://ccmp-mpcc.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Our-Royal-Vic-5.pdf

Please also respect the demands of the Mohawk Mothers to suspend development until an Indigenous-led investigation can be completed:

https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/mcgills-royal-vic-plans-prompt-call-to-check-for-unmarked-graves

Thank you!

12. Opinion présentée par Joanne Penhale

The process should prioritize the voices, interests, and wishes of the Mohawk Mothers.

13. Opinion présentée par Juniper Glass

I support the reuqests of the Kanien’kehá:ka Kahnistensera (mohawk women), “the umbilical cord connection between mother and child” and between “human race and mother earth” the caretakers of thequenondah (two mountains/mount royal).

I support their demand for the immediate suspension of all reconstruction plans for the Royal Victoria Hospital and Allan Memorial Institute sites on the campus of McGill University, for the following reasons:

1]The site is unceded kanien’kehá:ka territory;
2) The site contains archeological remains from the original precolonial Iroquoian village;
3) The grounds of the Allan Memorial Institute must be investigated for potential unmarked graves and proof of atrocities committed during the MK-Ultra program, between 1954 and 1963.

I look forward to the City's response.

Warm regards,
Juniper Glass

14. Opinion présentée par Frank Runcie

I think that the idea is well-thought out. I especially appreciate the modest height that maintains the view of the mountain from downtown. It also preserves the architectural heritage of the Royal Vic.

Although I have some reservations about the concerns put forward by the Indigenous communities, on the whole I am in favour of McGill's project.

15. Opinion présentée par Carol Smith

It is important to remember the ANGLOPHONE HISTORY associated with The Royal Victoria , as well as its original purpose : health care, wellness, sickness prevention, rehabilitation, etc. The idea of Student Residences might be useful but not a priority when considering the Vic’s original mandate. Therefore, housing for marginalized people seems more urgent. This could include low income groups, seniors on fixed incomes, single mothers escaping abuse, etc. Proximity to nature {the mountain} is and would always be an asset to anyone ! The swimming pool must be brought back ! The Heritage element must be preserved and not forgotten.

16. Opinion présentée par Robert Menzies

I've learned that the Mohawk Mothers (kanien’kehá:ka kahnistensera) are demanding the suspension of McGill University’s expansion plan for the old Royal Victoria Hospital site, and an investigation into the possibility there could be unmarked graves of Indigenous children there. This possibility needs to be taken under serious, respectful consideration. I support the position of the Mohawk Mothers and their communities, and I ask that you please do the same.

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