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Artworks in the future stations of the Blue line extension: Artists have been selected!
A key step in the Blue line extension project has been achieved: Selecting the artists who will create unique artworks for each of the five stations of the extension.
These five artists will work closely with the station design architects to integrate their artworks into the new stations. This collaborative approach follows the principles of the network’s original design, which helped make the Montreal métro a unique, internationally admired underground network.
Here are the five selected artists*:
- Ludovic Boney, artist of Pie-IX station
- Jocelyne Alloucherie, artist of Viau station
- Alain Paiement, artist of Lacordaire station
- Marc Séguin, artist of Langelier station
- Nadia Myre, artist of Anjou station
To learn more about the selected artists, the value of art in the métro, and how the artists were chosen, see the Architecture and artworks section on this page.
Locations of the infrastructures in Anjou
Following efforts to optimize the Blue line extension project, the locations of certain operational infrastructure have changed. The Anjou terminal station will have two entrance buildings to serve the areas located west and east of Highway 25. We reviewed the locations of the infrastructure needed to operate the métro in Anjou and created a final plan after studying several scenarios with the project partners.
Work in Anjou is currently expected to begin in 2024. Traditional excavation methods will be used east of Highway 25, as the tunnel boring machine will exit the ground west of the highway. Between now and the start of the work, surveys or drilling could be required to help engineers complete the plans and specifications. This work would be occasional and not very disruptive.
A large-scale project
- 5 new accessible métro stations
- about 6 kilometres of tunnel
- 2 bus terminals
- 1 underground pedestrian tunnel providing a link to the future Pie-IX BRT
- Several equipments and operational infrastructures:
- 7 auxiliary structures housing operational equipment
- 1 power station
- 1 service centre for infrastructure maintenance
- 1 métro garage
Architecture and artworks
The value of art
A process was carried out with the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications to identify five artists whose work would enrich the environment and customer experience of each of the new stations. The selected artists will work in collaboration with the architects to ensure that their work fits harmoniously into the new stations.
Here are the artists who will create unique artworks for each of the five stations of the extension.
Born in 1981 in the Huron-Wendat community of Wendake, near Quebec City, Ludovic Boney was raised and went to school in the province’s capital. The artist has long been drawn to public art, namely “art that is accessible to the users of our parks, streets and cities.” Since 2015, he has been based in Lévis, where he works on large-scale public art projects and regularly exhibits his work in galleries and artist-run centres.
His artistic approach is often inspired by places and their prevailing atmosphere. For the future Pie-IX station, he will create a colourful piece that will be embedded into the structure of the walls. This is an uncommon practice in the public art world, and it will have its fair share of challenges. But for Boney, obstacles of this kind fuel his work. The Pie-IX station project is a dream come true for him: “This is a unique opportunity, since artists don’t usually have any say on the space intended for the work. In some cases, the building has already been completed and delivered. With this piece, I’ll be working with architects to create an artwork that will be integrated fully into the station.”
The artwork will reveal itself differently to passersby, depending on the lighting and their movements, allowing them to discover the work’s many subtleties.
Recent works of the artist
Sous l'oeil des spectateurs, Parc de la Rivière-Etchemin / Ville de Lévis
Réaction en chaîne, École de technologie supérieure
Une Cosmologie sans genèse, Musée national des beaux-arts
Marc Séguin was born in Ottawa in 1970. He received his BFA from Concordia University, where he studied under Guido Molinari. He currently lives and works in Montréal. Already in 1996, his first solo exhibition featured large-scale paintings with astonishing plastic features. He is also the author of several novels.
For the future Langelier station, Séguin will create a hand-painted cyclorama with a narrative framework. The piece will be over 100 metres long, which will make its integration into the station a major task. However, the artist, working in synergy with the architects, has already started thinking about possible strategies.
For Séguin, public art allows him to connect with customers and citizens and bring art into their lives. By creating this work of fine art, the likes of which exist almost nowhere else in métro systems worldwide, the artist is fulfilling a long-held dream: “It’s a privilege to have access to the public in an urban setting. People will live with the work. They will see a part of it in the morning, and another part in the evening coming back the other way. There’s a very interesting and inspiring immersive quality to it.”
Recent work of the artist
Alain Paiement was born in Montréal in 1960, where he currently lives and works, having spent over a decade in Europe. He is an adjunct professor at the École des arts visuels et médiatiques of the Université du Québec à Montréal. His practice has spanned painting, installation, photography and video, with an ongoing interest in geography and mapping processes.
The artist is delighted to create a project for the métro: “As a child, when taking the métro, I saw the artworks in each station, and I thought that one day I’d like to make one.”
Paiement is interested in public art because it is accessible to all and lets him reach people outside a designated cultural framework. For the Montréal métro, he will create a bright high-rise piece that will be integrated into the station. It will shift as natural light passes through it.
For him, art is a vehicle for interrelation. He aims to represent the multiplicity of cultures through the use of various forms and textures. Métro customers will be able to discover—and rediscover—the work during their visits, as the shapes and patterns will vary, appearing differently depending on their location in the station and the time of day.
Recent works of the artist
Bleu de bleu
Tessellations sans fin
Visit the artist’s website at alainpaiement.com to read his statement and learn more about his work.
Jocelyne Alloucherie lives and works in Montréal. Through complex configurations, her work explores conceptual and poetic notions of images, objects and places. Her work can be found in many art centres and galleries in New York and Montréal, but also across Canada, France, Italy and Spain, to name a few. She was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2008.
For the future Viau station, she aims to create a clear, open piece, that lets everyone feel engaged in their own way. It will be integrated harmoniously with the unique architecture of the station.
Alloucherie’s artistic approach also draws on the concept of a journey. Conscious that métro customers are always walking and on the go, she wants the artwork to provide them with special moments as they pass through the station.
The artist will use photography as a starting point for her work, but the images will be reworked to evoke landscapes that do not belong to any specific place and that are open to interpretation.
Recent works of the artist
Terre de sable
Regarder les pommetiers
To learn more about the artist, visit jocelynealloucherie.com
Born in 1974 in Montréal, Nadia Myre is an Indigenous visual artist from Quebec. Her practice has been inspired by participant involvement to initiate dialogues on identity, resilience and politics of belonging. She has received many awards, and her work can be found in the permanent exhibitions of several museums. Myre is also the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts Practice.
Her art focuses on the point of contact between different cultures and on indigenousness. The métro is a strong cultural symbol. By creating a piece for the future Anjou station, she aims to express the complexity of the multicultural social fabric of Montréal.
For this piece, Myre draws her inspiration from the history of the place, people of the neighbourhood, and symbols—both individual and collective: “I’m interested in symbols that are repeated from one person to another, no matter where they are in the world. Symbols can be a language of universality.”
The artist has done extensive research on weaving and beading on large surfaces. In the coming months, we will learn more about her plans for the artwork and its integration into the station’s architecture.
Recent works of the artist
Tree of Shifting Forms
Incorporating artworks into the network is a core value and adds to the distinctive identity of the Montréal métro.
Since the late 1970s, any building or extension of a public building financed by the Quebec government must include an artwork by a Quebec artist, valued at roughly 1% of the construction budget. As such, each new station on the Blue line will include an original Quebec artwork.
To be considered, artists had to be registered in the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications artist database. A committee created by the Ministry first narrowed down the list of more than 600 applicants to 20 names. These artists were then asked to submit a proposal outlining their artistic vision for the new stations, remaining anonymous in the process. For each station, the jury, which included the station’s design architect, selected one artist.
Montrealers already know that every station in the Montreal métro is unique. But did you know that it is a global trailblazer in terms of integrating artworks in its stations? Since its opening, the network has had a long tradition of inviting artists to work with design architects to create artworks that reflect the identities of the stations, making our network a true underground museum!
According to Art Public Montréal, public art “refers to all works of art in public spaces, whether outdoors or indoors. The works are permanent and installed in common public areas. Public artworks are presented in more or less discreet ways, affirming their formal, conceptual or temporal characteristics. They can relate or not to their site, adapt harmoniously to their environment or contrast with it, depending on the artist’s intention.”
Architectural direction of the project
The Montréal métro is known around the world for the diversity of its stations. Each station is the outcome of a unique architectural design. This was how the original network was designed, and the Blue line extension will be no exception.
A thorough selection process was carried out to mandate specialized and recognized architecture firms to design the buildings. Beyond meeting the functional and safety requirements of a métro station, the architectural design plays a role in creating harmonious, attractive and sustainable environments.
In addition to the five new stations, seven auxiliary structures must be built to support network operations. Architecturally, the structures will be developed with as much care as the stations themselves. An integrated strategic thinking process, a heritage analysis, and study of the urban fabric will ensure optimal integration of these structures into their surroundings.
The architectural directions for all buildings will be announced to the public in 2023.
The process to select the names of the five future stations is in progress. In 2021, a naming committee was formed, made up of elected officials, borough representatives, specialists in history, toponymy and urban planning, and cultural group representatives. They recommended a few options for each station. The selection criteria reflected the recommendations made by the commissioners following the public consultation held in winter 2020. In analyzing the name proposals, the committee decided to prioritize women and set an intention to ensure that the final choices represent multicultural and Indigenous realities.
The naming process for the new stations is underway, and we are working with the Commission de toponymie, the City of Montréal and other project partners. We must also contact the relevant families before we can announce the names of the stations publicly. We hope to share the names in 2023.
Pursuing Envision sustainability verification
In line with our commitment to integrating sustainability best practices, we are pursuing Envision verification for this project. The Envision reference framework was developed to cover all the sustainable development aspects of an infrastructure project and each phase of its life cycle (planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance, and end-of-life). It is the top sustainable development tool in North America for major infrastructure projects such as metro and streetcar systems.
Verifying the project will allow us to:
- Consult and involve stakeholders
- Mitigate construction impacts on our community and environment
- Reduce the impacts of materials used (resource consumption and manufacturing emissions)
- Rehabilitate contaminated land
- Reduce operational impacts (residual materials, water and energy savings, noise and vibration reduction, etc.)
- Improve vegetation cover
- Improve the project’s resilience to climate change
To learn more, visit the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure Website.
Frequently asked questions
The STM will act as the principal contractor and project manager. As operator of the Montréal métro for the past 50 years, the STM has expertise and experience that will benefit the project.
These decisions were made by the métro extension project office, made up of the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT) and the Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ), from 2011 to 2015. Their analyses led to the finalized design plan regarding:
- Locations of entrance buildings
- Bus terminals
- Park-and-ride lot
They used a method called multidisciplinary analysis (MDA), allowing them to examine the pros, cons and limitations of each option, from the perspective of each of the following disciplines:
- Métro operations
- Public transit and station access
- Urban integration and environment
- Work impact management
- Urban development
These in-depth analyses brought together the various stakeholders (the MTQ, the AMT, the City of Montréal and its relevant boroughs, and the STM) to finalize the design plan that we have today.
For more information and to see the benefits of the chosen options, see our summary (french only).
In February and March 2020, a public consultation process took place in the form of several information evenings and input sessions. The goal of this community dialogue was to design a project that would integrate seamlessly into the lives of Montrealers.
The Commission leading this process has submitted its report and issued 43 recommendations that will allow us to enrich the project and produce infrastructure that meets the expectations of our customers and citizens. Read the report and the action plan.
Azur trains will run on the entire Blue line as soon as the five new stations are commissioned. We must replace the train control system on the current Blue line to ensure that it matches the new technology that will be used on the extension. This is because MR-73 trains are not compatible with the new equipment.
Additionally, since Azur trains must have nine cars, we will redesign the platforms at Saint-Michel station to ensure that they are long enough to accommodate these trains.
Yes, the new stations will be universally accessible and consequently equipped with elevators.
Yes. This is a first for the Montréal métro network. A tunnel boring machine (TBM) is a piece of equipment that digs and builds underground structures. More specifically, it is a massive rotating drill designed to dig and apply concrete in circular tunnels, galleries and shafts.
The cutterhead grinds away the bedrock. This construction method gets the work done faster, provides longer-lasting results and is better for the environment. The TBM also has the advantage of being less noticeable to residents than traditional excavation methods, such as cutting machines and blasting, since it generates less noise and vibration.
In due time, you will be invited to help us choose a name for the tunnel borer by voting on suggestions from our employees.
No, that is not part of the plan.
With the acquisition of the AZUR métro cars and the construction of the Côte-Vertu garage, there will be an increase in the service offer on the Orange line in terms of capacity and frequency. The interval between trains on the Orange line will be two minutes instead of two minutes and 30 seconds during peak periods. Additionally, other major projects should mitigate the impact for Orange line users:
- The Pie-IX BRT, when completed, should provide a connection between the extension of the Blue line and the Green line.
- A connection with the REM is planned for Édouard-Montpetit station to ensure a link with downtown.
This month, we will begin preparatory work for the construction of the future Viau station. The work will first take place mainly on Viau Boulevard, where teams will demolish the central median. Then, all southbound lanes will be closed between Jean-Talon and De Paisley streets. Between now and fall 2023, this major work will allow us to relocate underground utilities (water, sewage and cabling) out of the way of the future station excavation site.
For full information on this worksite, check the web page for the future Viau station.
This is a first for the Montréal métro network. This construction method gets the work done faster, provides longer-lasting results and is better for the environment.
In due time, you will be invited to help us choose a name for the tunnel borer by voting on suggestions from our employees.
The cutterhead grinds away the bedrock
Following the expert committee’s work to optimize the project budget, some parameters have been revised.
- Construction of all five new universally accessible stations up to Anjou as planned
- Reconfiguration of the Pie-IX station bus terminal
- Removal of lower-traffic secondary entrance buildings (Viau and Langelier)
- Sharing of the planned secondary entrance building at Lacordaire station with CDPQ Infra to be integrated with the REM de l’Est.
- Repositioning of the Anjou station with entrance buildings on each side of Highway 25.
- Removal of park-and-ride lot in the Anjou area
- Use of a tunnel boring machine to build the tunnel
- Preparatory work in the Viau area in summer 2022
- Commissioning of the extension in 2029
In the spirit of agility and collaboration, every effort has been made to make this project the best that it can be and to bring us closer to this long-awaited asset for the east end of Montréal.
The STM is now the owner of Le Boulevard shopping centre, having completed the expropriation process started earlier in the project timeline. The mall will be able to remain in operation during the expected construction period of the new Pie-IX station.
This month, the second preparatory worksite for the extension of the Blue line will get up and running at the intersection of Jean-Talon Street and Lacordaire Boulevard. Between now and the spring of 2022, this major work will make it possible to relocate underground utilities (water, sewage and cabling) out of the way of the future station excavation site. Two other locations, namely Viau and Langelier, will undergo similar work later this year.
To learn all the details on this worksite, check the web page of the future Lacordaire station.
The chosen station names will go down in history as a mark of Montrealers’ collective imagination. They should be announced later this year.
The naming committee is composed of several STM representatives, a City of Montréal elected official, representatives from boroughs where the extension is being built and experts in place naming and urban planning. Montréal’s women, cultural communities and Indigenous peoples are also represented on the committee, and proposals from these groups will be given particular consideration.
The beginning of this process marks one more step toward the project’s completion!
In February and March, a public consultation process took place in the form of several information evenings and input sessions. The goal of this community dialogue was to design a project that would integrate seamlessly into the lives of Montrealers.
The Commission leading this process has submitted its report and issued 43 recommendations that will allow us to enrich the project and produce infrastructure that meets the expectations of our customers and citizens. Both the Commission’s report and the STM’s action plan in response to it are available at www.stm.info/consultation.
There’s no doubt about it—the Blue line extension project is right on track!
This is it!
This fall, we will begin preparatory work for the Blue line extension in the area around the future de la Villanelle auxiliary structure. This marks an important milestone in the project’s progress.
The work will mainly involve relocating urban public utilities, giving us free rein to begin the massive excavation that will be needed to build the new infrastructure.
Other target areas
In the next few months, we will also begin work in three other locations, near the future Viau, Lacordaire and Langelier stations. Information on these worksites will be available a few weeks before the start of the work.
The information evenings and input sessions are now closed. We would like to thank you warmly for your relevant and useful comments. This dialogue with the community is essential to helping us design a project that will integrate seamlessly into the lives of Montrealers.
The Commission’s report will be available at stm.info/consultation this summer.
Two new teams of architects have started working on the drawings for the buildings of the future Viau and Lacordaire stations. These complete the design brigade which started work at the end of 2019. An initial draft of the architectural design of these stations will be presented to the public in spring 2020.
Teams of architects have started working on the drawings for the buildings of the future Pie-IX, Langelier and Anjou stations. By the end of the year, two other groups of architects will join the design team and create Viau and Lacordaire stations. An initial draft of the architectural design of these stations will be presented to the public in spring 2020.
In addition to conducting ongoing above-ground seismic surveys and boring tests all along the Blue line extension route, we are collecting geotechnical data at Saint-Michel station.
Our teams will be conducting surveying work on the Saint-Michel tail tracks to gather highly detailed data on the existing tunnel and plan the connection to the new extented tunnel. As the heat released by the trains stationed on the tail tracks interferes with the accuracy of the laser instruments used for surveying, we will have to close the tail tracks on September 21 and 22.
Minor impact on your trips at this station
As trains will not be able to pull onto the tail tracks to turn around, customers going toward Snowdon will exceptionnally have to board on the exit platform. The train will then switch tracks when it departs toward Snowdon.
As part of the input data collection, geotechnical tests have begun along the corridor between Saint-Michel métro station and Highway 25 in Anjou.
The purpose of the tests is to classify soil and rock in the selected area in preparation for the construction of the underground tunnel and stations. The tests comprise two major phases, namely seismic surveys and boring tests.
1. Seismic surveys involve sending waves into the ground along a conducting wire connected to sensors. This non-intrusive, quick, one-time method limits the number of boring tests required for classification that will be conducted in a second phase of exploratory work.
2. Boring tests allow us to obtain more detailed data on soil and rock conditions, such as their resistance and profile. These characteristics serve as input data for the engineers who will design the plans and specifications.
The location where the tests are performed does not necessarily correspond to the locations of future métro stations or tunnels.
The current test involves extending lines over 40 to 70 metres, with sensors installed every 3 metres.
The cable is equipped with sensors that act as refraction wave receivers. The sensors are connected to the seismic line and slightly inserted into the ground or the road along the entire line.
The waves are sent into the ground every 10 metres by manually striking a 20-lb. (9-kg) sledgehammer against a steel plate on the ground. The plate and sledgehammer are connected to the seismic cable, sensors and receivers. The plate is struck several times to ensure that the waves are effectively transmitted all along the seismic line.
The geophysical technician measures the wave refraction data directly on site and ensures that the signals are clear. Subsequent interpretation of the data will help identify the characteristics of the rock.
A drilling rig is used to extract rock cores up to 60 metres underground, below tunnel level.
First, the road is cored for boring to take place. The operation is repeated at regular intervals along the six-kilometre route. The area will be restored after the tests have been completed.
Samples are taken either vertically or diagonally from the soil and rock, depending on the data sought by the geologists.
The soil samples collected are then analyzed in a laboratory to identify their properties and characteristics.
The projet in images
Travaux préparatoires dans le secteur de la Villanelle
- Travaux préparatoires dans le secteur Lacordaire
The blue line extension project follows in the wake of the Déclaration du gouvernement du Québec et de la Ville de Montréal to revitalize Montréal East. Many projects are underway to give a new impetus to this sector. Increased mobility, economic development, and improved living environments are at the heart of this ambitious project. For more information, see Québec.ca/RevitalisationEstMontreal (in French only).