Martin C. Barry
Elected officials in Villeray/St-Michel/Parc Extension are greeting the opening of Vanier College’s new satellite campus on Beaumont Ave. as a watershed moment in the history of the borough – one that is almost certain to contribute to the cultural and economic prosperity of VSP.
An asset for VSP
Borough Mayor Giuliana Fumagalli and Park Extension city councillor Mary Deros joined Saint-Laurent Borough Mayor Alan DeSousa along with Vanier College Director General John McMahon and other senior administrators from Vanier for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new campus on Nov. 13.
“As mayor of the Borough of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension, it’s with great enthusiasm that I welcome the arrival of the Vanier College Parc-Ex Campus that will offer continuing education and language school courses,” said Mayor Fumagalli.
“Given the great diversity in our borough, having a language school nearby is an undeniable asset for our residents,” she said. “And with its focus on new technologies, the new campus will allow people of our borough to increase their employability skills while answering the needs of new companies.”
While the opening of the University of Montreal’s new MIL campus just a short distance away in the repurposed Outremont train yard has garnered a lot of attention, Councillor Deros said in an interview with Nouvelles Parc Extension News that the new Vanier College campus will probably better serve Park Extension’s residents’ needs.
Language courses taught
“The Université de Montréal is a French institution that will be providing higher education,” she said, noting that Park Ex is more English-speaking than French. “For our local people, Vanier College will help them advance.
“We have a lot of new immigrants who speak better English than French and it will be easier for them,” added Deros. “But Vanier will also be giving English and French-language courses, which is what they need to be able to get jobs, to integrate. I’m very excited about all this.”
According to Vanier College administrators, the new Vanier Parc-Ex Campus is dedicated to Continuing Education and the Vanier Language School. As they also point out, the campus is virtually next door to the new MIL Campus of the Université de Montréal, and located at the crossroads of Outremont, Plateau Mont-Royal, Rosemont La Petite-Patrie, Villeray-St-Michel-Parc Extension and Town of Mount Royal.
Vanier College’s Parc-Ex Campus is also in the heart of a burgeoning new hub of the AI, gaming and creative industries led at the moment by MILA and other companies such as Element AI and Thales SA.
Meeting business needs
“For five decades now, Vanier College has been one of the pillars of Saint-Laurent’s community life,” said Saint-Laurent mayor Alan DeSousa. “As Mayor of Saint-Laurent and a graduate of Vanier College, I am delighted with the launch of the Vanier College Parc-Ex Campus for Continuing Education.
“Focused on new technologies, this campus perfectly meets the needs of our business community,” he continued. “This community, spurred on by our administration, has in fact embarked on the technological transition to Industry 4.0, as evidenced by the many recent companies that have recently set up operations in this sector in Saint-Laurent.”
New beginning in Park Ex
“The new Parc-Ex Campus is the start of something new for Vanier, and the beginning of Vanier’s presence in the Borough of Villeray-St-Michel-Parc-Extension – a borough to which we hope to contribute, as our main campus contributes to the borough of St-Laurent,” said Vanier Director General John McMahon.
“We hope that in the future, our college and our students will add to the vitality and creativity of Parc-Extension, and we are proud to do so.”
An opportunity for Vanier
“The campus is an extraordinary opportunity to develop continuing education in new directions and to integrate into a dynamic and rapidly changing environment that will allow us to adapt our course offerings to the needs of information and new technologies,” said Vanier College’s Dean of Continuing Education and Community Services Anne Marie Lemay. The Vanier Park Ex Campus is located on the second floor of 550 Beaumont Avenue, west of Park Avenue. The recently remodeled premises feature a large reception area, as well as two large classrooms, four large computer labs, four offices, a teacher resource room, several small study rooms, a kitchen and a large sunny student lounge.