The arms of McGill University contain three martlets, which are taken from a device adopted by (and later granted to) James McGill, the founder of the university. The dancetty division line along the bottom of the chief reflects the three hills of Montreal, while the colours are those of Canada. The book in the centre of the chief represents learning (just like the book in every other university's coat of arms); the writing in the book is "In Domino Confido" (I trust in the Lord) and is the motto of J. McGill. The crowns (bearing fleur-di-lys) represent the location of the university in "Mount Royal".
The motto reads: Grandescunt Aucta Labore ("By work all things increase and grow").
Data taken from here
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