Ottawa—A new master plan for the NRC Montreal Road campus

"NRC site plan"

Note: This plan illustrates the general intentions pursued by the concept. The location of the streets, open spaces and redevelopment areas are not definitive and are indicative of possible interventions that could be imagined within the 30-year period foreseen by the master plan.

Back in February, the Real Property Planning and Management Branch presented 3 initial concepts developed as part of the new master plan for the NRC Montreal Road campus. With a 25-year vision, the goal of the 2023 master plan is to continue positioning the Montreal Road campus as a premier global research hub that facilitates leading-edge, innovative R&D solutions to improve all aspects of life for Canadians.

We evaluated 3 options based on various criteria, such as universal accessibility, people-focused design, cost, safety and heritage considerations, among others. The goal was to determine which components would encourage consensus-building and structure. After considering all 3 choices, the near-final concept draws on the best aspects of each to form a cohesive and functional concept.

The design of the campus is driven by science and ensures that we meet the evolving physical and equipment needs of scientific researchers. Highlights from the science-first design include:

  • a visual and physical main spine that will connect the north and south end of the campus through a direct and intuitive link
  • a north campus design that maintains and perpetuates the campus feel which is characterized by smaller buildings organized in a linear grid
  • an open south campus with a compact street pattern, inviting open spaces and a unifying conference center that embodies the campus' past and future
  • a network of open spaces that links the northern and southern wooded areas through a green corridor

One of the significant changes is the transformation of the M-55 building, giving it new life. This transformation would involve expanding the building to incorporate conference facilities, a cafeteria and administrative offices. Additionally, the renovation aims to improve the overall building experience by creating an inviting entrance, increasing natural light and facilitating seamless movement between the interior and new outdoor spaces.

Other key considerations include enhancing on-campus accessibility, maintaining landscape and open spaces as well as updating existing and potentially new infrastructure. The master plan will be implemented incrementally as opportunities arise over time.

The next steps towards the finalization of the Montreal Road campus master plan include engagement with Indigenous community members, presentation to the National Capital Commission and other key partners.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can send them by email to