Polytechnique Montréal Kicks Off Its 150th Anniversary Celebrations, Which are set to Wrap Up in November 2023

Montréal – 2023 marks an important milestone in Polytechnique Montréal's history: its 150th anniversary. The occasion is an opportunity for the university to reflect on its achievements and how it wants to shape its future.

150th anniversary of Polytechnique Montréal
January 25, 2023

Polytechnique was founded in November 1873 to meet the needs of the industrial revolution, becoming the first French-language engineering university in North America. Since then, it has produced nearly 57,000 graduates who have played an important role in building modern-day Quebec and in driving many of the technological and scientific innovations that have transformed the world.

On Wednesday, January 25, Polytechnique Montréal is bringing its community together to kick off a celebration of its history and its future. During the launch event, the university will unveil the theme for its 150th anniversary, along with a video about the establishment and an interactive multimedia installation located in the tunnel that links the main pavilion to the Lassonde pavilions. The general public is welcome to join the event online via Polytechnique Montréal's social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube).

Throughout the year, Polytechnique will celebrate this key moment in its history with impactful events and meaningful moments culminating on November 20, 2023. The next few months will be an opportunity to highlight the knowledge and innovation that originated from Polytechnique Montréal, as well as the dedicated visionaries who graduated from the university. At the same time, it will be an occasion for the institution to affirm its profound commitment to Québec society.


"We want to celebrate this anniversary all year long with the Polytechnique Montréal community, our partners, the business community, all those who have supported Polytechnique's activities through its Foundation and, more broadly, with the general public. We want Polytechnique's success to be a source of pride for every member of our community as well as for Québec as a whole." — Pierre Lassonde, Chairman of the Board at Polytechnique Montréal

"Polytechnique is an outstanding institution that’s at a pivotal moment in its history. We plan on taking advantage of the 150th anniversary to ask the right questions so that we can redefine our mission and our role in society. In every era, the university has proven itself to be a pioneer in certain areas. Today's challenge is to create the best possible conditions to teach students to become citizen engineers of tomorrow capable to meet the greatest challenges of our society for the benefit of all of our communities.” — Maud Cohen, President of Polytechnique Montréal

Solutions to address the challenges of a changing society

In the second half of the 19th century, the introduction of railroads and industrialization created new needs in Québec. Politicians, businesspeople and journalists called for higher education institutions that could do more than train doctors, lawyers and priests. Engineers were needed. Québec Premier Gédéon Ouimet and Urgel-Eugène Archambault, the head of the Montreal Catholic Commercial Academy, worked together to create the École des sciences appliquées aux arts et à l'industrie, which opened its doors on November 20, 1873. It was renamed École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1875. Seven students attended the first session in January 1874. Today, the student body has grown to more than 10,000.

During the first half of the 20th century, Polytechnique graduates played a crucial role in developing public agencies at both the municipal and provincial levels, and in driving Québec's urbanization. Polytechnique became a major contributor to the province's development, particularly in the areas of hydropower, infrastructure and post-war economic growth more generally.

In the 1960s, Polytechnique Montréal broke new ground by establishing research projects with industrial partners. Polytechnique has always been at the forefront of collaborative practices between businesses and the university, and today it collaborates with more than 300 industrial partners (local, national and international companies).

Polytechnique Montréal's graduates and research teams consistently play a key role in tackling society's most pressing issues. They are currently leading several important sectors, including human health, water, energy transition, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, aerospace and other cutting-edge fields.

Find out more

A website was created for Polytechnique Montréal's 150th anniversary. It presents the key dates in the institution's history and provides exclusive content that will be updated throughout the year at polymtl150.ca. The website will become available on January 25, after the launch event.

About Polytechnique Montréal

Established in 1873, Polytechnique Montréal is one of Canada’s largest engineering education and research universities, and is located on the Université de Montréal campus – North America’s largest Francophone university campus. With nearly 57,000 graduates and over 120 academic programs, Polytechnique has trained 22% of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ)’s current membership. Polytechnique Montréal is also distinguished by its more than 300 talented professors and 10,000 students. Its overall annual budget is $300 million, including $100 million reserved exclusively for research.



Press interviews

· Maud Cohen, alumnus and President of Polytechnique Montréal
· Pierre Lassonde, alumnus and Chairman of the Board at Polytechnique Montréal



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