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the montreal metro project, part 8 [the grand finale]

here at last are the final photos in my series on montreal's metro system. i hope you've enjoyed this look at what i consider in my hometown pride to be one of the most fascinating underground networks in the world. although some stops show serious signs of disrepair, each one is unique, something highly uncommon in public transit systems in the western world. [subways in former eastern block countries were often made more with aesthetics in mind, with the aim of making them testaments to the power of the workers and the state.]

to start us off, there are a few images of the cote-vertu metro station, which lies at the western terminus of the u-shaped orange line. it's one of the network's most used stations, as it serves as the hub for buses going to the suburban west island and to the western side of laval, to the north. i had to transfer to a bus from this station for over a year and in my daily rush, i can't say that i ever remarked at how striking it is. it's that sort of reaction that made me want to do this series to begin with. 






from the western prong of the orange line, we skip over to the east, to take a look at the last few stations on the other end.

below are a couple of shots of sauvé station, which is more or less parallel to cote vertu. it's one of those unassuming "we couldn't think of a theme so we went with beige" stations, but i've always thought there was something a little spooky about it's long, shadowy corridors and blind staircases. i would love to shoot a horror film in here.




and from there, we move to station henri bourassa, formerly the end of the orange line, before it was expanded into laval a few years back. the image below is actually a piece of art, which shifts as you watch it [should've taken a video], but it's also a functional piece, since it helps direct passengers. not too shabby...


 MUCH MORE AFTER THE BREAK!


as we move to the north, we come to the three newest stations on montreal's network, all located on the island of laval. these stations were opened in 2007 and it shows. all seem bright and clean and happy and display a sleek modernity both in materials and design. they're three of the loveliest stations on the network, however, since they're in laval, most city-dwellers won't get to see them. [to be perfectly honest, i didn't exit the metro at any point when i went to take these photos. i get scared when you take me out of the city.] here are a few shots of cartier station, just on the other side of the thin river that separates the island of montreal from its northern neighbour.  






and here is a look at de la concorde, my personal favourite of the three new stations. it's flooded with natural light and its geometric components give on the impression of being part of a giant, neutral lego set.







only one of my pictures of the orange line's eastern terminus at montmorency came out, which is a shame, because they've taken care to make the end of the line suitably grand. although you couldn't necessarily tell it from this picture, it's quite colourful, giving an almost playful atmosphere to something that's normally associated with dreary hours spent commuting. it also apparently has the highest ceilings within the network.
 


and finally, we'll take a quick look [which is really all you can take] at the yellow line, the tiny spur that goes from berri-uqam to the suburb of longueuil on the south shore. if city planners had extended the network further into the south shore, i firmly believe that the area would be to montreal what williamsburg is to manhattan. unlike the stations in laval, which are located at the very end of one of the lines, the yellow line emanates from a very central location, meaning that, if you live near the southern terminus, you're only 15-20 minutes from downtown, even though you're separated by water. unfortunately, the line comes to a dead halt after two stations and the south shore continues to seem far removed from the bustle of the city.

following berri, the first station one comes to is jean drapeau, named after montreal's iconic mayor who was responsible for bringing the world's fair to montreal in 1967 and the olympics in 1976. drapeau's shadow looms large over much of montreal, for his grandiose ideas transformed the city into what we see today. he made montreal a world-class destination and also came close to bankrupting it and among his many enduring projects, he was responsible for building the metro system. it's fitting that the station that bears his name sits on an island largely constructed to hold the 1967 expo. the tiny island was greatly enlarged by using the earth excavated to build the metro.




 and finally, we have the unassuming station longueiul-universitĂ©-de-sherbrooke, usually called just "longueuil". located on the edge of the south shore, it is a massive hub for public transit to all of the suburbs that line the eastern part of the st. lawrence's south bank.




thanks very much for reading! i hope you've enjoyed this ongoing series and, if you'd like to revisit the whole thing, you can find all the links conveniently assembled here. for a lot more information adn photographs, i highly recommend the bilingual site metro de montreal. you can also check out the official site for all things transit-related in montreal here. if you're planning a visit to montreal, particularly at a time when the weather might be dicey, i do highly recommend taking some time to explore the wonders of the underground. it's cheap, it's sheltered and, of course, it's easily accessible.

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i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

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dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

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