On the sidewalk outside the Vendome metro station Friday, a group of McGill University urban planning students built a large cake, designed as a miniature edible replica of the surrounding neighbourhood.

"This is a chocolate Decarie," said Andrea Cohen, one of the students, as she pointed to a section of the approximately 1.5 metre cake. "Hopefully you get stuck in icing on the way to work instead of traffic."


Andrea Cohen, one of the McGill University students who built the large cake. (CBC)

From noise to congestion, the construction of the McGill superhospital has had a  significant effect on the area around the Vendome metro. Some say when the hospital opens, increased traffic could mean even more headaches for residents in the area.

Cohen said the group hoped the cake would catch people's attention and get them talking about their community's future

A table was set up next to the cake where passing people could write their hopes for the neighbourhood.

Patricia Philip was one of dozens of commuters who stopped to write what they wanted to see change.


Commuters stopped at a table, set up next to the cake, where passing people could write their hopes for the neighbourhood.

"My concern is that a lot of the area outside of the metro station is so poorly maintained," Philip said.

Commuters and organizers also said they worried about how the superhospital would affect an already busy public transit hub.

The idea for the cake came from Alex Gilliam, who runs Public Workshop, a Texas-based organization that specializes in engaging youth to shape the design of their cities. 

"Chocolate cake is an opportunity to kind of radically re-think how people talk about an issue...you just can't get upset about chocolate cake," said Gilliam.