Residences at McGill


A student who’d just been accepted at McGill came into my office the other day to ask for my opinion about the different residences at the Montreal university. I’ve visited the residences and the McGill campus, but thought a student perspective would be helpful. So I sent off a quick email to Brenda Moore from the Class of 2009 who is just finishing her first year at McGill. Her response was immediate and filled with the kind of thoughtful detail that Brenda brought to everything she undertook at SMUS. When I wrote back thanking her and asked if she’d mind my posting her response on line for other students to see, she responded with, what she called, a “more readable” version of her thoughts.

With my thanks, to Brenda, here’s what she has to say about choosing a residence at McGill:

McGill University Downtown Housing

It is important to note that all faculties, excluding the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, are located in the heart of downtown Montreal. There are a wide variety of residences on the downtown campus, from your classic ‘party’ dorms, to more sophisticated and homey residences. If you have previous experience living on your own, you will be aware of certain ‘deciding factors’ in your residence selection, like noise levels, space, cleanliness, etc. If you wish to have your own kitchen, and cook for yourself, ‘MORE’ Housing is a good option. Please be aware that food is more expensive here than in Victoria, B.C. Meal Plans are flexible, and can be used at many locations in the downtown campus (they are not confined to your residence). Every residence mentioned below, excluding Solin, is relatively close to lecture halls, shopping, groceries, pharmacies, etc. Walking between class and residence is simple.

1.     Classic Dorm Style: ($)

Upper Residences: Gardiner, Molson, McConnell – The “party” residences. Communal bathrooms and kitchens per floor. Single or double rooming options. Large buildings, lots of people, high noise levels. Meal plan needed.

2.     ‘SMUS Style’: defined as ‘dorm style’ with emphasis on community and academic pursuits ($ + .5$)

  • Douglas Hall – Separate from Upper Residences; has single, double, and triple rooming options. It attracts a more academic crowd than Upper Residences. Douglas is very community-oriented by floor. Meal plan needed.
  • Royal Victoria College – Next year, RVC becomes a co-ed residence. They completed some renovations this year, and the building looks really nice. Single or double rooms and communal bathrooms. Activities together as a community, like a private advanced screening of New Moon last November! Meal plan needed.

3.     Apartment Style: ($$)

  • “MORE” Housing:

i.     Greenbriar – Studio, 1 bedroom, or 2 bedroom apartments available. Full kitchen and personal bathroom. Some have balconies. Older building, but rooms come furnished (ie. Bed, desk, bureau, bookshelf provided). Meal plan optional.

ii.     Solin – Variety of rooming options including studios. Full kitchen and personal bathroom. Farther from campus – must take metro daily. Meal plan optional.

iii.     Shared housing – Random houses around campus and in the McGill Ghetto that have dependable availability and can be shared with many other students. Normally have full kitchen and shared bathroom. Meal plan optional.

4.     Hotel Style: ($$$)

  • New Res – There is a lot of excitement surrounding New Res, but it is just your average residence. It is converted hotel, and the windows are locked (ie. you may never open them). It is also a party place. Single or double rooms, with personal bathrooms. Meal plan needed.
  • Sherbrooke – Newest, highest class, and most expensive residence. Absolutely gorgeous interior, with single or double rooms and personal bathrooms. Meal plan needed.

McGill University MacDonal Campus Housing

If there are students entering the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, they will find themselves at the MacDonald Campus, 1 hour from downtown Montreal. This faculty is located in the beautiful lakeside town of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, beside forest and farmland. There are two residence options on this campus, Laird Hall and Ecoresidence. Laird Hall looks exactly like SMUS boarding, with 3 communal kitchens and bathrooms per floor, and Ecores is a redbrick townhouse-style apartment block. You may share a duplex or sixplex in Ecores, where your kitchen, bathrooms, bedroom, and living rooms are within each individual apartment.


  1. Hello,

    An excellent review of residence options at dear old McGill, including MacDonald Campus!
    I am shocked, shocked, shocked to learn that Royal Victoria College (“RVC”) is becoming a co-ed residence in the Fall. Over many years, it was “home” to McGill’s studious, fastidious female students. That being said, RVC sits on one of the most desireable street corners in downtown Montreal (University @Sherbrooke) and so, has easy access to absolutely everything. A whole new lease on life for RVC!


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