Montreal Metro

Where: Montreal, PQ.

Engineer: Lucien L'Allier and Gérard Gascon

Date of construction: October 14th, 1966

Laurier Station, 1966. (Source: Société de transport de Montréal)

Site Location: Lat.: 45⁰-32’-36” N; Long.: 73⁰-37’-42” W. (GPS: 45.5434759, -73.6305981). Jarry Metro Station, 504 rue Jarry Est, Montreal. Take the Metro, Orange Line.

Plaque Location:

Plaque on corridor wall, on the trains side of the Jarry Street turnstiles. (Source: F. Brunet)

Description: The Montreal Metro subway system opened on October 14, 1966. Its smaller Parisian-style cars run on pneumatic tires, permitting relatively steep grades. It is entirely underground because of the harsh winter conditions encountered in Montreal. To design and construct the system, the City created Le Bureau du Métro. The chief engineer of the metro was Lucien L’Allier and the deputy chief engineer for the construction of the initial network was Gérard Gascon. The 26 stations of the initial network were augmented by 42 new stations between 1976 and 2007. The Metro features unique stations that display local artists’ works.

Initial Network 1966. (Source: Société de transport de Montréal)

Historic Significance: The Montreal Metro was of the largest projects in Montreal’s history, with a peak work force of more than 5,000. It uses the first tunnel dug under the St. Lawrence River, reaching 40 m below grade to pass under the Port of Montreal. It is the only subway in North America constructed entirely underground. It is the first metro in the world exclusively with cars supported on pneumatic tires, and the first metro in North America with architecturally unique stations endowed with works of art. More than 10 billion admissions have been sold since its opening.

Plaque detail. (Source: F. Brunet)

Plaque Wording: Site Historique National de Génie Civil. LE MÉTRO DE MONTRÉAL. Un hommage aux ingénieurs civils, architectes, artistes et constructeurs impliqués dans la réalisation du Métro de Montréal inauguré le 14 Octobre 1966. Construit en seulement quatre ans sous la direction de Lucien L’Allier et Gérard Gascon du Bureau du Métro, il constitue l’un des plus grands projets de génie civil entrepris au pays à cette époque. En Amérique du nord, ce métro est le seul entièrement souterrain et le premier à utiliser des roues pneumatiques. Il compte également le premier tunnel passant sous le fleuve Saint-Laurent. Chacune des stations a une conception unique et affiche des œuvres d’artistes locaux. Société canadienne de génie civil. 2019.

National Historic Civil Engineering Site. MONTREAL METRO. A tribute to the civil engineers, architects, artists and constructors involved in the building of the Montreal Metro subway system, inaugurated on October 14, 1966. Built in only four years under the direction of Lucien L’Allier and Gérard Gascon of le Bureau du Métro, this was one of the largest civil engineering undertakings in the country at that time. In North America, the Metro is the only all-underground subway and the first to use pneumatic tires. It also achieved the first tunnel crossing under the St. Lawrence River, and features unique station designs that display local artists’ works. 2019. Canadian Society for Civil Engineering.

Plaque Unveiling Ceremony: The plaque was unveiled at Jarry Station on June 13, 2019.

From left to right: Marie Plourde, STM Board Member and Borough Counsellor, Mile-End District, Marie-Claude Léonard, Executive Director Metro, STM, CSCE President Glenn Hewus and Michael Bartlett, Chair, CSCE National History Committee. (Source: Société de transport de Montréal)

From left to right: Constantine Katsanis (CSCE), Marie Plourde (STM), Michael Bartlett (CSCE), Benoît Clairoux (STM), Glenn Hewus (CSCE), Jean-Luc Martel (CSCE), Marie-Claude Léonard (STM), Frédéric Brunet (CSCE), Mathieu Doyer (CSCE), Michel Théorêt (STM). (Source: Société de transport de Montréal)

Links to Online Documentation:

“50 years of old photos of métro stations”, Société de transport de Montréal.

«Le métro de Montréal devient un site historique national de génie civil»