The montreal metro

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The Montreal métro

a source of pride

Setting the pace in Montreal since 1966


he Montreal métro is still the pride and joy of Montrealers, more than 35 years after it was first inaugurated on October 14, 1966. Fast, pleasant and environmentally-friendly, the métro played a crucial role in the city’s recent evolution. Its arrival contributed widely to the expansion of downtownMontreal, particularly along De Maisonneuve Boulevard, pieced together when the initial network was built. The métro also accelerated development of the " indoor city, " a widespread underground network accessible year-round. Montrealers waited a long time for their métro, for more than half a century in fact. From 1910 to 1960, several underground transit projects were considered, without success. TheDepres-sion of the 1930s, the belated municipalization of public transportation, as well as excessive caution by certain elected officials delayed its arrival. It was only in 1961, with the support of Mayor Jean Drapeau and Lucien Saulnier, that the project finally materialized. Its undertaking was entrusted to the City and its Bureau du métro, headed by chief engineer Lucien L’Allier. In no time,the basic principles that would forge the métro’s reputation were set forth: the first métro to use only rubber tires, along an entirely underground network, featuring a unique architectural concept for each station. Construction began May 23, 1962, along Berri St., south of Jarry St. Three lines were planned: an east-west line, Line 1 – Green; a north-south line, Line 2 – Orange; and a lineunder Mount Royal, Line 3. In 1963, plans for Line 3 were set aside in favor of a new one running below the Saint-Lawrence River: Line 4 – Yellow, that would provide access to the 1967 Expo site. When construction was at its peak, nearly 5000 workers labored throughout the huge worksite. To avoid hindering commercial activity and circulation along the city’s busy streets, construction was mostlycarried out under adjacent, parallel streets. General euphoria greeted the opening of the first twenty stations on October 14, 1966; six more stations were completed in the following months. The Yellow line, launched March 31, 1967, was in large part responsible for Expo 67’s resounding success, with more than 50 million entries on site.

On October 14, 1971, five years to the day after its initialinauguration, work began on the métro’s extensions. Construction was awarded to the Montreal Urban Community and the Bureau de transport métropolitain, headed by Gérard Gascon. The Préfontaine – Honoré-Beaugrand section, on the Green line, was completed in June 1976, just in time for the Olympic Games held that summer, while the Lionel-Groulx – Angrignon section, in the west end, was opened to thepublic in September 1978. On the Orange line, between Lucien-L’Allier and Côte-Vertu, work was carried out over a longer period of time, ending in 1986. Finally, a new transversal line, the 5 – Blue line, gradually became operational between 1986 and 1988. With its extensions completed, the network now consisted of 65 stations spread out over 65 km of track, with 61 km dedicated to public transit.For more than 35 years, the métro has been an integral part of Montreal life. Used extensively during Expo 67, the 1976 Olympic Games and the 1984 visit by Pope John Paul II, the métro was centre stage during the " snowstorm of the century " in 1971, the famous ice storm of 1998, and many other events. Clearly, without its métro, Montreal would not be the same, especially in winter! Operated bythe Société de transport de Montréal (STM), the métro is an efficient means of transportation, and this brochure outlines its main features and characteristics.

Cover page photo
Sculptue by Michel Dernuet inside Georges-Vanier station. r
(Michel E. Tremblay - STM)

A map of the current network.

MR-63 métro cars at the Youville workshops.
(STM archives)

Angrignon station under...