Concordia’s greenhouse announces temporary closure

The greenhouse organized a photography event for students to capture the final moments of the space.

The Concordia Greenhouse announced on Jan. 9 that the beloved space will be closed temporarily from February 2024 until early next year. The decision to temporarily close the space  was made to allow the removal of “decommissioned equipment and asbestos from mechanical rooms in the Henry F. Hall (H) building,” according to their website

While the downtown location is being renovated, alternative places for the greenhouse will be installed temporarily in the Terrebonne (TA/TB) building and the People’s Potato community garden at Loyola. The team is also hoping for temporary offices to be installed in the downtown campus, although no location has been secured yet.

The university approached the greenhouse team at the end of November to announce that the greenhouse would need to temporarily close, giving them only three months to clear the space before renovations begin. 

To celebrate and honour the space before it closes, the greenhouse held a “Capture the Moment: Concordia Greenhouse Farewell Photography” event where students were invited to show off their photography and video skills and document the space’s beauty.

Dominique Smith, the greenhouse engagement coordinator who has worked with the space for a year, decided to hold this event to showcase the diversity of the space’s use and keep its memory alive while it’s being renovated.

“[The event] shows how versatile the space is,” said Smith. “You want to promote this to the university so they can treat it more as an academic space rather than just the extra space,” said Smith.

After the administration met with the greenhouse, Smith gave them a tour of the greenhouse in an attempt to present the importance of the space. While he does not fault the university for closing down the greenhouse, it was important for him that the university understand both its significance and the proper measures needed to protect it.

“I felt like it was very important to have them up here to experience what students experience, so they know what they’re temporarily closing down or how to properly find us a new home,” said Smith.

Yoditte Woder, a first-year art education student, heard about the greenhouse closure from a friend in the geography department. They said that they felt a strong connection to the greenhouse immediately, even if they had only discovered it recently.

“‘I come [to the greenhouse], especially during the winter, to lift my spirits, get connected with nature in any way that I can. I just find this place to be really comforting and the place where I can focus and get my work done,” said Woder. “So, knowing that it’s not going to be here for the next year is kind of upsetting.” 

As sad as Woder felt when they heard the space was closing for a while, they knew it was going to be for the best since the greenhouse is set to return in better shape than before. 

The space is known to be more than just a place to grow and care for plants, it’s a wellness space where students can reconnect with themselves, study in peace, and relieve their stress.

“I think that there is that option to socialize and interact with others around you, but it also feels like you’re very much immersed in your own [world],” said Woder. “I also just love the sounds of the water running and just feeling the life around the space.”

The greenhouse plans to do a liquidation sale on their plants to give as many as they can to good homes before relocating the rest to their new temporary locations. The team is currently in contact with specialized moving services to help relocate their larger plants. No official date has been set yet.

Briefs News

Concordia Unveils Master Plan for Campus Development

Loyola campus’ future expansion sparks concerns for residents, faculty, and students

On Feb. 23, a panel of Concordia representatives and Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough councillors gathered at the Loyola Jesuit Hall and Conference Centre to reveal their master plan for the expansion of Concordia’s Loyola Campus to residents of the area, faculty members, and students alike. 

This long-term project is aimed at enhancing campus infrastructure, interior, and exterior environments, as well as increasing mobility and the amount of green space available. 

“We are back [in-person] and need more classrooms, labs, and spaces,” said Dominique Dumont, director of strategic planning and development at Concordia. She clarified that while the team working on this project “cannot [yet] provide answers about when and where” these additional spaces will be added, the master plan is intended to serve as a guide for future endeavours. 

The master plan project first began in August 2020. “It’s been three years that we are in consultation with the city of Montreal,” said Marie-Claude Lavoie, associate vice-president of the facilities management department.  

In the first stage, the team assessed the needs for the Loyola campus and reviewed municipal regulations. The second stage focused on outlining the project’s guidelines to preserve key heritage sites across campus. Currently, the team is halfway through the third phase. At this time, they are seeking feedback for their current campus development plans. The fourth and final stage will release a finalized development plan and outline the steps moving forward to enact the plan. 

According to Rocio Carvajo Lucena, the project’s architect, the team aims to incorporate an indoor parking space for students, outdoor classrooms and fitness equipment, as well as more entry walkways for bikes and pedestrians. Project leaders are also working with key community members and upholding the University’s Indigenous Directions Action Plan by incorporating inclusive signage and planting Indigenous plants, as well as its Sustainability Action Plan through the inclusion of more green spaces, said Carvajo Lucena . 

Nonetheless, NDG residents, Concordia students, and faculty members alike have expressed their criticisms of the project. During the question period, several residents raised their concerns about the expansion of the campus. Some were concerned that the expansion could potentially reduce street parking spots. Others were concerned about the potential for noise pollution caused by the construction in an otherwise quiet neighbourhood. 

Others expressed their worries about the plan’s neglect for the Loyola daycare Centre de la Petite Enfance P’tits Profs. While the panel clarified that the daycare would not be expropriated, former Concordia student and communications advisor for the University Elena Raznovan expressed her disappointment for the lack of consultation with the daycare prior to the conference. The panel encourages all community members to provide their input via a survey they set up to complete the last part of phase three, which will remain open until March 31.

Student Life

Revamp Recollections: Making over The Concordian office

Sit the f*ck down, Property Brothers, there’s a new pair of renovators in town.

For reasons I will never fully understand, Mackenzie Lad, digital editor and production manager here at The Concordian, and I, were given permission to makeover the office. Equipped with limited knowledge and a whole lotta drive, we spent the entire reading week completing step one of this process: revamping The Concordian’s meeting room.

By the looks of it, the meeting room hadn’t been fixed up since the late 70s. The furniture alone was a dead giveaway: all burnt orange and lime green material, the chairs were so coated in dust and mysterious stains that I’m pretty sure they qualified as archeological artifacts. A series of old, rickety desks and tables were pushed into the corners of the room, their only purpose to serve as landing strips for generations of Concordian staff and their random junk: uncapped pens, broken computer keyboards, empty coffee cups, loose papers. Some of these documents dated as far back as 1979, and if that doesn’t signify the need for an update, I don’t know what does. Clearly, we had our work cut out for us.

Step One: Paint the Damn Walls

On our first day, we were graciously joined by Matthew Coyte, our managing editor, and our good pal Sean Hennegan, who doesn’t work for The Concordian but was helping us out as an act of charity.* Since Mackenzie and I are not exactly Amazons, we decided to use Matt and Sean’s height to our advantage and tackle the walls first. The plan? To revamp the navy walls with a shade of sky blue and to add a fresh coat of white paint everywhere else.

I was young and naive then (last week), so I figured that by the end of the first day, each wall would be covered in its first coat of paint. In retrospect, this was an absolute pipe dreampainting is a painstakingly tedious endeavour. Between covering the door frames with tape, filling the holes with spackle and laying the actual paint down, we put in hours and hours of work, only wrapping up at the end of day three. That said, it’s remarkable what a new coat of paint can do, leaving a room that once felt dark and drab now light, airy and open. It was worth it!

Step Two: Fix Up the Furnishings

After the painting was finished, we decided it was time to deal with the meeting room’s abundance of ancient furniture. We started by getting rid of a few things: a desk with a broken leg, a table that didn’t quite fit with the rest. Some of the remaining furniture needed a bit of TLC, so we wiped down the chairs, painted a couple of the shelving units white and stained one of the tables deep mahogany brown to match the others.

We also rearranged the layout of the room, repositioning desks and moving chairs around, and it was with this step that I saw our transformation really start to come to life. “We’re in the home stretch!” I kept repeating, like some dad at a barbeque whose burgers were nearly ready to come off the grill. Ever-so-cordial, Mackenzie endured this embarrassing aspect of my personality like an absolute champ, pitching in with enthusiastic “yeahs!” and “woo-hoos!” as much as she could bear. It was true, though: all that was left to do was the fun part.

Step Three: Sweet, Sweet Memories 

Like any media publication, The Concordian has accumulated a significant amount of archival material over the years. Decades-old, black-and-white photographs of various Stingers sporting events were scattered on the tabletops, put there who-knows-how-long-ago with the intention of hanging them on the walls. Newspaper after newspaper, many of them yellowed with age, were piled up on the shelves, and negatives of issues-past were stacked in boxes in the corner.

Sifting through the archives was like taking a trip back in time and we wanted to incorporate the material into our decor as much as we could. We framed and hung some of the Stingers photos, finally giving them their rightful place on the wall, and tacked the rest to a huge corkboard above the couch.

We also thought it might be cool to cover the main meeting room table in a collage of old publications, so we spent one afternoon breathing in Modge Podge fumes as we cut and pasted pieces of newspaper to the wood. I think it was a success!

There are two more rooms at The Concordian that we haven’t touched yet—the production office, where we design the layout of our paper each week, and the studio—so Mackenzie and I still have a ways to go. Up next, we plan to tackle those Cheez-Whiz coloured walls. I’ll keep you posted.


*Editor’s note: Sean has kindly asked that we refer to him by his chosen title of “Senior Executive Intern.” Since that position does not actually exist at this publication, we will henceforth be referring to him by his second title of choice, “Local Cool Guy.” 


Collage by Mackenzie Lad ft. the real Property Brothers

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