They imagined five metro lines!
Oh, to dream about what could have been. A memo sent to Mayor Jean Drapeau in 1966 includes a Montreal metro map showing how planners initially imagined future line extensions.
The network map looks totally different from the map we know today.
In the memo, then-assistant chief engineer for the Bureau du métro Gérard Gascon describes the design and service challenges he envisioned as the metro system grew.
"I think that it is useful to start thinking about a network configuration serving the whole of Montreal Island," Gascon wrote.
He called the plan in the memo a "preliminary project that will undergo numerous modifications," but explained that its purpose was to "raise numerous problems that must be considered when we proceed with a study" on extensions.
The city finished the first phase of the metro in 1967. It had three lines: Line 1 (green line) from Frontenac to Atwater; Line 2 (orange) from Henri-Bourassa to Bonaventure, and Line 4 (yellow) from Longueuil to what was then called Berri-de-Montigny station — initially the only transfer station in the network.
Gascon told Drapeau in the memo it was "vital" to create another transfer between Lines 1 and 2 west of downtown. Today, that's at Lionel-Groulx station.
But Gascon imagined a transfer station further west, at Saint-Henri's Place Sir Georges Étienne Cartier. To get there, Line 2 would have turned south after Bonaventure instead of continuing west.
Line 1 would have had another stop in Westmount after Atwater before itself turning south.
From Place Sir Georges Étienne Cartier, Line 2 would have turned north like it does today, running through Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Saint-Laurent.
Line 1, meanwhile, would have continued southwest along the Canal de l'Aqueduc to serve more of what's now the Sud-Ouest and Verdun. The green line still serves these areas today but actually heads east out of Lionel-Groulx before snaking through Pointe-Saint-Charles, Verdun and Ville-Émard on its way to the terminus at Angrignon.
Where we now have the blue line, Gascon imagined an extension of Line 4, today's yellow line. His plan shows the line continuing north from Berri through the Plateau and veering west in Outremont.
What's perhaps most interesting are the ideas for lines that never ended up happening.
For the east end, Gascon called for a "bell-shaped" Line 5, which would swoop down through Montréal-Nord, Villeray and Rosemont to meet Line 1 at a station that would "serve a stadium" (sound familiar?). It would then turn north again into Saint-Léonard.
Finally, a teeny, 3-mile Line 6 would zig-zag through NDG and link up with Line 2.
Montrealers are still waiting for some of these projects.
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