- The Montreal metro is more than just a way to get around, it's a lifestyle with a deeply embedded history, which has resulted in some architectural wonders.
- The STM has existed in some form for over 150 years and has continued to improve since its beginning.
- The artists involved in creating the metro stations we use every day deserve recognition, and this article is here to get it to them.
Sure, the Montreal metro is a mode of transportation, but it is also inevitably a way of life for those that use it day in and day out, from one end of the city to the other. And while it's easy to complain, we're really quite lucky that the metro stations are more than just staircases into the ground. They are tiny little worlds in themselves.
Yes, some of the metro stations are older than 50 years now, seemingly elders in the world of public transportation, but the STM has been around in some form for over 150 years, operating the first horse-drawn tramways in 1861.
However, many metro stations have been added since the initial inauguration in 1966. These stations were all designed by artists and architects who considered the neighbourhood and the people who lived there when building the structures and creating the art to go within it.
Because Montreal's metro really is also an extension of our extensive underground art exhibit, and whether you've stopped to think about it or not, some amazing artists and creators are now a part of your everyday commute.
To celebrate World Architecture Day, the STM decided to pay homage to the architects that worked to make our metro network the gallery of art and architecture that it is today.
In that spirit, we wanted to look at some of the stations that prove Montreal's metro truly is a living, breathing work of art.
In no particular order, here they are...
Address: 940 Rue Sanguinet
Champ-de-Mars was one of the original 20 stations to open in 1966, designed by Adalbert Niklewicz with stained glass by Marcelle Ferron.
Address: 5455 Ave Gaspe
Angrignon opened in 1978 and was designed by the architect Jean-Louis Beaulieu. The metro is found in a park named after this architect.
Address: 555 Rue Saint-Ferdinand
Place-Saint-Henri was part of the first Orange line extension in 1980 and was designed by architects Julien Hébert and Jean-Louis Lalonde. The mural that reads "Bonheur d'occasion" pays homage to the novel of the same name, written by the famous Québécoise author Gabrielle Roy.
Address: 8261 Blvd Décarie
De La Savane opened in 1984 and was designed by architects Guy de Varennes and Almas Mathieu. The murals play off the metro's namesake, as Rue de la Savane has been called so since 1778.
Address: 2600 Rue Centre
Charlevoix metro station opened in 1978 and was designed by architects Ayotte & Bergeron. The massive stained-glass installation was created by Marlo Merola and Pierre Osterrath with over 15,000 pieces in over 800 colours. (Can this be my metro?)
Address: 1 Rue de Castelnau Ouest
De Castelnau opened in 1986 and was designed by Jean-Charles Charuest to reflect the Italian community that surrounds the station.
Address: 1400 Ave Van Horne
Designed to look like the street indoors, Outremont station opened in 1988. Architects Dupuis, Chapuis & Dubuc worked alongside artist Gilbert Poissant to create the underground Outremont, complete with a bunch of artwork from the former ville.
Address: 2810 Blvd Édouard-Montpetit
This station, which opened in 1988, is located on the U de M campus and was designed by André Léonard. It is laid out in the natural slope of the land so that it blends perfectly into Mount Royal and sits as an extension to the silhouette of Pavillion Roger-Gaudry.
Address: 7405 Blvd Décarie
Namur opened in 1984 and was designed by the architecture firm Labelle, Marchand et Geoffroy. The giant hanging sculpture, designed by Quebec artist Pierre Granche, is comprised of 28 geometric shapes that are made of aluminum and each spans 3.3 metres across.
Address: 133 Rue de l'Eglise
Opening in 1978, De l'Eglise was designed by architects Lemay & Leclerc along with artist Claude Théberge as a continuation of Verdun station.
Line: Blue / Orange
Address: 5111 Chemin Queen Mary
Snowdon opened to the Orange line in 1981 and to the Blue line in 1988. In order to avoid demolition for building, the station is designed like a network of tunnels. The architecture was done by Jean-Louis Beaulieu, who also created art for the Orange line in 1981, and art for the Blue line was done by Claude Guité.
Address: 4525 Rue Verdun
Opened in 1978, Verdun station was designed by architect Jean-Maurice Dubé with art by Antoine Lamarche. The reliefs that create the diamond motif on the walls were actually created while the concrete was being poured, requiring dozens of plywood moulds.
Address: 301 Ave Caisse
LaSalle metro station opened in 1978 and was designed by architects Didier Gillon and Pierre Larouche and artist Peter Gnass. The skylight reaches 3.3 metres tall and is made of stainless steel.
Address: 2030 Blvd Édouard-Montpetit
The outside of this metro also works to blend into the natural surroundings as much as possible, staying low with round lines and glass walls. This station, which also sits on boulevard Édouard-Montpetit and serves the university, was designed by Patric Gauthier and opened in 1988.
Did we skip your favourite metro station? Do you have a picture that captures it perfectly?
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