Everything We Know About The Montreal Metro's Blue Line Extension
Where it will go, what the stations will look like and when it will open.
The Montreal metro's blue line extension is coming — more slowly than the 24 bus during rush hour, but it's coming! For years, Montrealers have suffered the slow drip of information about the transformative project. The first metro extension in decades, it's set to reshape transportation along a huge swath of the city.
Now, finally, it appears the final pieces of the extension-planning puzzle are falling into place.
Here's everything we know about the STM blue line extension so far.
Where will the Montreal metro blue line extension go?
A map showing the planned route of the Montreal blue line extension.
The blue line's current eastern terminus is at Saint-Michel station near the intersection between rue Jean-Talon E. and boulevard Saint-Michel.
The six-kilometre extension will include five new stations, four along rue Jean-Talon at the intersections with boulevards Pie-IX, Viau, Lacordaire, and Langelier.
The new terminus station will be in the borough of Anjou. Initially, the extension was going to bring the blue line just 5.8 kilometres east to a terminus station near the boulevard des Galeries d'Anjou. But officials announced in March 2022 that tracks would extend an additional few hundred metres to bring the terminus closer to Autoroute 25 with entry buildings straddling the highway near boulevard Châteauneuf.
Then-Minister responsible for the Montreal Region Chantal Rouleau said the decision to bring the extension further east would "open up a whole population" otherwise cut off from rapid transit by the highway.
In February 2023, the STM announced it had reached an agreement with the owner of the Galeries d'Anjou shopping mall, Ivanhoé Cambridge, to purchase the land necessary to build the planned terminus metro and bus station.
Will the Montreal metro blue line extension connect to other transit lines?
Yes. There will be an underground pedestrian connection between the blue line and the Pie-IX bus rapid transit line (SRB), centre-running, bus-only lanes stretching almost the entire width of Montreal Island. The SRB also meets the green line at its own Pie-IX station.
There are also more vague plans to connect the blue line with a future light-rail transit system in Montreal's East End. That project was initially pitched as a sister network to the under-construction Réseau express métropolitain (REM) called the REM de l'Est. It was to run between downtown Montreal, Montréal-Nord and the Pointe-aux-Trembles neighbourhood with a blue line connection at the future station on boulevard Lacordaire.
But CDPQ Infra, the company behind the REM de l'Est, officially abandoned the project in May 2022 due in part to intense public opposition to its planned elevated tracks downtown.
The City of Montreal and Government of Quebec have taken over planning for an East-End light-rail system, but haven't released concrete details about its route. As far as we know, a blue line connection is still on the table.
What will the Montreal metro blue line extension stations look like?
The STM hasn't released architectural renderings or even confirmed official names for the stations. In a now-deleted section of the project website, the transit company said a committee "made up of members from various backgrounds and organizations" was on track to announce the station names "by the end of 2022." That didn't happen.
That section also specified the committee would give "a large place to women" in station name proposals and include names reflecting "multicultural and Indigenous realities."
Otherwise, the STM has publicly committed to making new metro structures climate change-resilient and to greening their lots with new plantings.
We also know each station will be universally accessible with elevators.
In January 2023, the STM released the names of the Quebec artists who will design a work of art for each new station. They are Ludovic Boney (for the station along boulevard Pie-IX), Jocelyne Alloucherie (Viau), Alain Paiement (Lacordaire), Marc Séguin (Langelier) and Nadia Myre (Anjou).
When will the Montreal blue line extension open?
A map showing the planned route of the Montreal blue line extension and the planned locations of entrances at the new terminus station in Anjou.
In its latest update, the STM said it doesn't expect to launch metro service along the extension until the fall of 2029.
Preparatory construction work (building demolitions, underground pipe relocation, etc.) is underway at several future station sites. The STM expects to begin station excavations in late 2023 or early 2024.
The actual tunnel-digging will be done with a tunnel-boring machine, which operates entirely underground by scooping out bedrock, instead of the traditional, open-air "cut and cover" method of digging trenches and burying new tunnels. According to the STM, the boring machine will proceed at a rate of 13 to 15 metres a day.