Sainte-Marguerite (Richelieu) mechanical ventilation station

Construction of the Sainte-Marguerite (Richelieu) mechanical ventilation station


Project summary

As part of our program to refurbish our métro facilities and equipment, a new mechanical ventilation station is planned for the corner of Richelieu and Sainte-Marguerite Streets.


The current station is located on the next lot over. Our project involves building a new, quieter and more efficient ventilation station. It will meet the new safety standards and will also comply with City of Montréal noise by-laws.


The new building will be built further back from the road and designed to blend in with the rest of the neighbourhood’s architecture. There will be a new green space between the road and the MVS, and shrubs will be planted around the building.

Duration of the work: 

Preparatory work: August 8, 2022 to october 2022 (completed)

Construction of the new mechanical ventilation station: January 29, 2024 to spring 2027

Métro impacts: no

Bus impacts: no

What is a mechanical ventilation station?

It is an infrastructure equipped with two fans designed to extract hot air from the métro network through inlets fitted with air vents. Ventilation stations built for the original métro network extract around 160,000 cubic feet of air per minute, while the new ventilation systems extract around 240,000 cubic feet per minute. Huge noise suppressors mitigate the noise from these fans to ensure quiet for residents living close to a ventilation station.

Mechanical ventilation stations serve three essential purposes:

Comfort ventilation
Regulates the ambient temperature and supplies fresh air for transit users by exchanging air from the outside with air inside the métro network.

Night-time ventilation
Ensures a supply of fresh air for night workers carrying out routine maintenance.

Emergency ventilation
In the event of an incident, controls smoke and provides a safe evacuation route for passengers via the nearest métro station and ensures unobstructed access for emergency first responders.

  1. Worksite preparation
    1. Fencing off the worksite
    2. Demolishing the existing building and fully decontaminating the area
    3. Installing underground infrastructure and fill
  2. Ground-level excavation
    1. Fencing off the worksite
    2. Setting up the worksite and installing equipment
    3. Conducting ground-level MVS shaft excavation
  3. Bedrock excavation
    1. Open-cut ventilation shaft excavation (microblasting)
    2. Underground ventilation tunnel excavation (microblasting)
  4.  Installation of a membrane to ensure watertightness of all infrastructures
  5. Concrete work for ventilation station
    1. Concrete work for all infrastructures
  6. Installation of mechanical and electrical equipment, as well as architectural finishes and exterior design
    1. Delivery of equipment to worksite
    2. Installation of equipment
    3. Performance testing on mechanical equipment
    4. Construction of ventilation station’s external structure

Impact on local residents

Phase 1 – Preparatory work : August 8, 2022 to October 2022

Before building the new MVS, we demolished an empty building currently located on site. The next step was excavating the top layer of soil. This first phase of worksite preparation was completed in October 2022.

Temporary landscaping and greening was also done until the project is reactivated, in winter 2023. 

Phase 2 – Construction of the mechanical ventilation station : winter 2023 to spring 2027

In the second phase, teams will begin by excavating the bedrock at the site of the new MVS. They will then install a waterproofing membrane and begin concrete work on the building. Next, mechanical and electrical equipment will be installed inside the MVS, and the project will conclude with final architectural work and landscaping.


The excavation required during this phase of the work will generate occasional vibrations that may be felt by residents near the worksite. An independent consulting firm will survey (photograph) all buildings around the work site. These inspections will document the condition of the buildings before and after construction. In the unlikely event that any damage is reported, an expert opinion will help to determine whether the damage is the result of the vibrations produced by the work site. Property owners affected by this measure will be contacted before the worksite opens.


Consultation and information to the neighbourhood

The committee will allow residents living near the site to meet periodically with the people in charge of the project to receive up-to-date information and discuss their concerns during the work.

A public information session took place on January 25, 2024. You can watch the replay online, as well as the project presentation (French only).

Another public information session took place on March 12, about micro-blasting. Consult the project presentation (French only).

Before the start of the work, an independent public consultation process was held to give the community a chance to provide feedback on the new project. For more information or to read the report and action plan created in response to the consultation, please visit the public consultation web page.


Frequently Asked Questions

The worksite is a considerable size. We have to dig into the rock bed to create a vertical shaft to a depth of 21 metres. We will then excavate a 92-metre tunnel, removing a total of 9820 cubic metres of bedrock from the site. After that, we will install a waterproofing membrane over the tunnel to protect it from water infiltrations. Next comes the concrete, which will form the tunnel and underground building. Finally, fans and their accompanying electrical equipment will be installed. All of these steps vary in terms of duration and impact, such as noise and dust.

No. Essentially, a mechanical ventilation station exchanges the air inside the métro that transit users breathe with outside air, ensuring a constant supply of fresh air.

There are no contaminants in a mechanical ventilation station. Rainwater or snow falling into the ventilation shaft will be collected by the métro’s water-pumping system and released into the municipal sewage system, as is currently done throughout the métro network.

Once the ventilation station is operational, the noise it emits will comply with municipal by-laws. The fans are installed below ground level and equipped with powerful noise suppressors. The noise level outside the building will not exceed 50 decibelsl. The station’s noise level will be comparable to that of a household dishwasher. 


This work is made possible through funding from the Ministère des Transports du Québec.

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