New Cultural and Sports Hub at Collège Notre-Dame Unveiled

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Project name: Collège Notre-Dame Sports and Cultural Centre
Location: 3791 Queen Mary Road, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Client: Collège Notre-Dame
Architects: ACDF Architecture
Sector/project type: institutional

Project start: September 2019
Project completed: September 2023
Surface area: 1,825 m2
Photo credits: Adrien Williams

In the heart of Montreal, the newly unveiled Complexe Sportif et Culturel Collège Notre-Dame stands as a testament to thoughtful design and architectural excellence. This facility, designed by ACDF Architecture, integrates modern architecture with the historic ethos of the Collège Notre-Dame, an institution dating back to 1869. Here’s a closer look at the key architectural elements and the vision behind this impressive project.

A Blend of History and Modernity

The Collège Notre-Dame is part of Montreal’s Mont-Royal Heritage Site, an area rich with historic buildings and green spaces. This context posed a unique challenge: how to build a state-of-the-art facility that respects and enhances the historical surroundings. ACDF Architecture embraced this challenge by creating a design that harmonizes with the existing campus structures, which range from the 1880s to modernist additions from the 1960s. The new complex mirrors this eclectic mix, blending seamlessly into the landscape with its contemporary yet respectful design.

An Architectural Dialogue

One of the standout features of the Complexe Sportif et Culturel is its extensive use of windows. The building is designed to maintain a constant visual dialogue between its interior and the outside world. The fully glazed lower level provides transparency and openness, allowing passers-by to see the activities happening inside. This architectural choice fosters a sense of community and inclusiveness, inviting everyone into the heart of campus life. The upper level, clad in anthracite-colored aluminum panels, adds a modern touch while concealing the facility’s mechanical systems. This juxtaposition of transparency and solidity creates a dynamic visual experience.

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Designing for Community and Connectivity

At the core of ACDF’s design philosophy for this project was the idea of fostering a sense of community. The facility includes two double gymnasiums, sports team changing rooms, a training room, a running track, and multifunctional rooms for dance and theatre. These spaces are all connected by a central hall, making the building a true social epicenter. A 360-degree running track encircles the main level, providing a unique vantage point over the gymnasiums below and connecting the various functional spaces. This thoughtful design ensures that the building supports a wide range of activities, reinforcing the college’s mission to nurture the mind, heart, and body.

Sustainable and Thoughtful Design

Sustainability was a key consideration in the design of the Complexe Sportif et Culturel. The building’s green roof not only collects and recycles rainwater but also integrates the structure with the natural landscape of the Mont-Royal Heritage Site. This eco-friendly feature is visible from many of the surrounding classrooms and study halls, serving as a constant reminder of the college’s commitment to sustainability. Additionally, the use of natural stone at the building’s base pays homage to the architectural styles of the surrounding heritage buildings, further embedding the new structure into its historical context.


The Complexe Sportif et Culturel Collège Notre-Dame is more than just a new building; it’s a celebration of the college’s history, mission, and future. ACDF Architecture has created a space that respects the past while looking forward, fostering a vibrant, connected community. This new facility stands as a beacon of thoughtful design, sustainability, and architectural excellence, ready to inspire and serve generations of students to come.

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