New public health campus coming to downtown Montreal

The Norman-Bethune Public Health Campus will be the largest public health school in North America.
The first phase of the Norman-Bethune Public Health campus is expected to be completed in four years. (University of Montreal)

A portion of the site that houses Montreal’s new downtown bus terminal will soon be the site of the largest public health school in North America.

The centre, which will be called the Norman-Bethune Public Health Campus, will be built at the corner of Berri Street and de Maisonneuve Boulevard, the current site of the Îlot Voyageur.

It will be affiliated with the University of Montreal.

More than 600 students

When it’s finished, 225 professors and researchers will work at the campus and more than 600 students will study there.

A spokesperson for the University of Montreal said the new facility would bring all of the school’s medical facilities into one place. Right now, they’re scattered across different buildings.

The project will cost $160 million, the majority of that coming from the provincial government.

The government of Quebec bought the Îlot Voyageur site for $200 million after another Montreal university, the University of Quebec at Montreal, bought the building with plans to turn it into student housing.

That project was one of two that almost brought the university to the brink of bankruptcy.

The government will sell off a large portion on the north end of the site for $100 million. It will not be used for the campus.

Michelle Courchesne, head of the treasury board, admitted that deal will amount to a loss, but said it’s worth it, given the prestige the campus will bring to the new health district.

Officials hope to see phase one of the public health campus open within the next four years.