In 1907, the University Club of Montreal was founded by a group of McGill University professors who were joined by a broad-based group of friends who wanted an academically-oriented place to socialize. In order to join the UCM, one had to be a university graduate, although this rule was removed in 1973. The group flourished in the initial years, to the point that in December 1913, the club opened its own building on Mansfield Street, designed by founding member, Percy Nobbs, director of McGill’s School of Architecture.

The club has always had a congenial atmosphere heightened by a full program of social events. Outside speakers and members have been invited to give talks on a variety of topics in the fields of politics, history, investments, music, literature, art, and wine and food. And who will forget the assembly of four former Quebec premiers of differing political stripes, gathered at the club for a discussion on the challenges they faced in political life. Also, members of the gourmet set have ensured the UCM’s reputation for fine dining by organizing “themed” culinary or wine-tasting events.

Long, double-martini business lunches and billiard games stretching into the evening belong to the shades of the past. However, traditions have not been allowed to fall, as the club continues to hold oyster parties, a president’s cocktail, a round-table for lunch, business breakfasts, and annual dinners to celebrate exceptional members. The UCM Christmas dinners and never-ending lunches are still an integral part of the club’s festivities.

In 2007 a history of the University Club of Montreal was published in celebration of its one-hundred years. To find out more about the Club’s long and illustrious past, you can read A History of the University Club of Montreal: 1907-2007, linked here for your convenience.

Library & Arts Committee


The Club’s cultural importance was honoured in 2012 with the granting of Armorial Bearings by the Chief Herald of Canada. Below, the Coat of Arms, Badge, and Flag of the University Club of Montreal, accompanied by an excerpt from the letters patent detailing their significance.

“. . . I, the Chief Herald of Canada, do by these Presents grant and assign To the UNIVERSITY CLUB OF MONTREAL, to the following Arms. . . An owl rising Or perched on a mortarboard Azure; And for Motto: SPERARE OPTIMUM, meaning ‘’Hope for the best’’, And for Supporters: Two unicorns Or crined and Unglued Gules each gorged with a coronet Azure of maple leaves Gules and fleurs-de-lis Azure. . .”