Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Mount Royal metro - it's time to build the building that never got built

  Back at the dawn of 1960s metro construction, every station pretty earned a commercial structure upstairs, as all knew that the traffic in and out would lead to hefty sales in a win-win slam-dunk extravaganza bonanza.
    Victor Prus was the architect darling who came up with this structure at the Mount Royal metro, approved by Montreal executive council in 1963, a few years before the station opened.
   Prus, born in Poland in 1918, didn't get his Mount Royal metro building plan but a number of other structures he dreamed up became real, so he - unlike so many other architects - didn't end up weeping into his Canadian Club when he died in Montreal in January 2017 at the age of 99.
    This tiny bit of green space on the west side of the current metro is known as Gerard Godin Square, named after a separatist poet who was a Plateau media darling of in the Parti Quebecois cabinet before dying of brain cancer.
   Around 15 triplex/duplex residential structures on Rivard and Berri were demolished for the metro as well as a number of a series of larger buildings and storefronts along Mount Royal, which included Quebecois-owned businesses like Bernard Lemaire and Brothers, Pineau and Son, Mutuel Lucerne Adjusting, Laurentide Insurance and Pastor Patisserie, according to the 1958 Lovells Director.
   Various activities now take place where those buildings once stood, including the occasional mini farmers market and so forth.
   But seems that the area got a little shortchanged considering it's the most notable metro station in the booming artsy-district, now one of the city's hottest real estate markets.
    Mayor Jean Drapeau, one might have assumed, might have made it a priority to see something more dynamic built on his beloved east-side property.
    Now that a Plateau-friendly municipal administration has taken power in Montreal, one might well revive a multi- floor building at this site, which could provide amplified space for do-gooder initiatives, giving space from everything woke, ranging from poncho-clad juggler buskers, to bike repairmen who take time to adjust your spokes before setting you free to roll.
   Provincial Public Security Minister Robert Perrault proposed building a tunnel from the Caisse Populaire to the metro from the northwest corner of Rivard and Mount Royal. But that $6 million proposal never bore fruit. *

1997 proposal to create a tunnel under Mount Royal
*La Presse 26 May 1997 A-7

Stories like this fill the must-read Montreal: 375 Tales of Eating, Drinking, Living and Loving, order your paper copy here now or buy it at Indigo or Paragraph.



  1. I will assume that city planners foresaw various Metro stations becoming absorbed by larger buildings such as what eventually at others such as what occurred at de Castelnau on the Blue Line?

    The Green Line's St. Laurent Metro has looked so forlorn for so long that it is virtually begging to be incorporated into some appropriate edifice to fill the empty space around it.

    Dollarama--are you reading this? :-)

  2. To those who whine about the relatively infrequent breakdowns in our Metro, we have it easy when compared to other cities. See:



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