McGill University was forced to close multiple buildings on Montreal's West Island on Wednesday and move classes online due to asbestos.

The university said asbestos was found in the Raymond building, which is under renovation at its Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue campus. 

As a precaution, the neighbouring Macdonald-Stewart and Barton buildings were also closed "effective immediately" for the next two days, according to spokesperson Shirley Cardenas.

"Extensive testing will be conducted over the next few days to find and isolate the source of the problem," Cardenas wrote in an email to CTV News.

Classes in the affected buildings will be moved to virtual learning, but in cases where this is not possible, classes will have to be cancelled.

"We will update the community as to test results and what is being done to fix the issue as soon as information becomes available, as well as firmer timelines on when buildings are expected to re-open," the spokesperson said.

Health Canada lists asbestos fibres as a cancer-causing material when inhaled.

With files from CTV News Montreal's Olivia O'Malley