It wants to transform the area into a world-class pavilion dedicated to the study and research of sustainable development and public policy.
Various departments, including engineering, science and the humanities would work together there.
“This will maximize the exchange of ideas to help develop new innovative solutions to those complex problems,” said Louis Arseneault, McGill’s VP of communications and external relations.
The price tag of the ambitious project is pegged at $690 million.
WATCH BELOW: Revamping the Royal Vic
The plan would see all the original heritage buildings maintained and restored; some structures built after the 1950s would likely get torn down.
The university also wants to create a living laboratory and communal areas outside that the general public could enjoy.
“There will be shared spaces, discovery hubs, there will be wet and dry labs, classrooms, common spaces,” Arseneault said.
“For McGill, but also Montrealers too. This is a very exciting project for McGill and for Quebec and for Canada.”
WATCH BELOW: Housing Syrian refugees at the Royal Vic
The plan comes following an $8 million feasibility study paid for by the university and the Quebec government.
McGill says it really needs more room — in five years, it has already doubled the amount of space it’s renting downtown.
Officials hope the Quebec government will cover a large part of the massive cost of the project.
WATCH BELOW: Royal Victoria hospital in Montreal closes its doors after 122 years
“It’s a very important project and we think McGill did a good job, but we have to think more about that,” said Hélène David, Quebec’s Education Minister.
She explained the government has been studying the plans for a few weeks now; McGill is hoping for a response by the summer.
If the project is approved, the university is hoping to start construction by 2021 so it can welcome its first students onsite by 2026.