Extension of the underground workshop and refurbishment of the Viau station

Between now and March 2021, Viau station and its underground workshop will undergo major work. The station will be completely renovated and equipped with two elevators. As for the  underground workshop, its size will double.

Station Viau

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Closing of back doors :

As of mid-April, the North exit of the station will be closed for a period of approximately one year. You will have to take the exit located on the South side, overlooking Pierre-De Coubertin. To get to the StarCité cinema and neighbouring attractions, a temporary pedestrian footbrige between Leclaire and Sicard streets will be put in place and accessible.

Neighborhood plan

Underground workshop expansion

An underground workshop, also called an attachment centre, is located next to a station and is where rail vehicles required for night-time tunnel and track maintenance are parked. It also includes offices and a warehouse full of specialized rail parts. The métro network has three attachment centres, where approximately 25 to 30 employees are based. After the Viau attachment centre’s expansion, 12 to 15 extra employees will join the team.

A team of specialists working in the shadows is responsible for carrying out preventive and curative track maintenance, transporting construction materials and debris and providing assistance to external contractors. The team includes trackwalkers, who walk the tunnels and perform inspections during operating hours and section workers and mechanics who maintain and repair the tracks when the métro is closed. They perform work on the tracks, guide bars, running racks, clean the invert with a vacuum train and carry out relamping in the tunnels.

Expanding this infrastructure is part of the STM’s strategy to reduce its asset maintenance deficit. Our métro network is ageing and requires a lot of maintenance and renovation. Certain tasks related to these activities must be carried out exclusively at night on a very tight schedule. This constraint requires highly complex logistical planning.

The expansion will enable construction materials to be brought in and out of the Viau attachment centre, meaning they will no longer have to pass solely via the Youville attachment centre, located on the Orange line in the north of the city. This new gateway to the network from the Green line will not only increase the capacity of night-time worksites but also reduce the travel time of vehicles on the network and increase the flexibility of logistical planning. The STM will therefore be able to meet the increasing demand from its large worksites, which are increasing in size and number. This gain in versatility and performance will enable us to find a balance between regular network maintenance and service to external contractors.

The project includes the acquisition of six additional convoys. Each convoy is composed of a rechargeable electric locotractor and a transport platform. The Viau attachment centre will eventually house 12 work vehicles. Currently, the Viau attachment centre can accommodate six vehicles, while we have about 30 that serve the entire network. We will also take this opportunity to acquire 11 additional electric locotractors to replace vehicles that have reached the end of their service life.


The size of the excavation area necessary to carry out the work is quite impressive. Thirteen thousand cubic metres of earth will be excavated — the equivalent of 1,800 trips by 10-wheel trucks. The excavation area will be located between the métro station, the Biodôme, the Planetarium and Cinéma StarCité. This open-air excavation is required to construct the foundations of the new section of the underground centre.

Métro station refurbishment

The geometry, simple configuration and shallow depth of Viau station mean there are few technical challenges for installing elevators. In fact, only two elevators linking the street level to the platforms will be necessary. The station’s major refurbishment was therefore a perfect time to make it universally accessible. It is also surrounded by several attractions that make it the 38th busiest station in the network, with more than 2.9 million users in 2017.

The project involves refurbishment of the station’s entrance building and platforms, as well as its surrounding area. Improvements or upgrades:

  • Installation of two elevators leading to each of the platforms
  • Reconstruction of staircases
  • Upgrade of floor coverings
  • Replacement of butterfly doors and addition of a motorized door
  • Replacement of windows
  • Optimization of natural ventilation
  • Improved lighting
  • Installation of the new family of signage tools
  • Reconfiguration of turnstiles
  • Replacement of waterproofing membrane of the station’s underground roof
  • Refurbishment of mechanical rooms
  • Upgrade of station’s surrounding area (sidewalks, pavers, lighting, etc.)

Yes, the station will remain open for the duration of the work.

Project planning

As for all refurbishment projects in the métro network, replacement materials are carefully chosen so that they resemble the original materials. This ensures that the spirit and look of the station’s original architecture are preserved. You may find that the station’s appearance hasn’t changed much after the work, but that’s the idea! The black granite, brown ceramic and concrete will remain omnipresent in the station.

Two auxiliary structures will be installed near the station:

  • The first will house a loading platform, a freight elevator, a natural ventilation shaft and an emergency exit for the attachment centre.
  • The second will house a mechanical ventilation shaft.

Our architects worked hard to reduce the visual impact of these two new auxiliary structures that will be built above ground. They wanted the structures to blend harmoniously with the rest of the Olympic site. They played with volume to create a visual reminder of the station’s skylights and the current auxiliary structure, which will be demolished. The materials and textures will also echo those of the station’s. Care was also taken to limit the height of the structures as much as possible to ensure the Olympic facilities remain visible.

The new structures will be made of concrete, in tune with station’s main material. Stainless steel shutters will also be used on the natural ventilation shaft, similar to those in the entrance building. The structures will also feature a slotted texture that will reflect the station’s distinctive vertical split-block concrete strips, while integrating sections of smooth concrete for a more modern look. The mechanical ventilation shaft's angular shapes will be integrated into the geography of the site by blending into the natural slopes.

The drop-off area will be relocated behind the station and will improve pedestrian safety in front of the station and facilitate bus movements.

The doors behind the station will be closed for the majority of the project’s duration. Temporary doors will, however, be installed at the front to maintain fluid circulation. Certain areas inside the station will be closed off but will not obstruct your trips.

Yes, access to the neighbouring attractions will be maintained at all times. There will be a pedestrian footbridge over the excavation area.


Carte du secteur

No impact is expected on bus stops located near Viau station.

Maintaining the quality of life of residents living close to our facilities is very important to us. Therefore, the contractor in charge of the worksite will be required to comply with municipal noise by-laws at all times. Seismographs and sound level meters will be installed to monitor the situation in real time. An anti-dust sheet will be installed on all the fences surrounding the worksite. No blasting will be required for the excavation. Moreover, we will use hydraulic fracturing, which generates less noise and produces no vibrations.

Night-time work may be required at certain stages of the project. In this event, information will be posted on this web page and sent to residents via the electronic newsletter for this project.

The work will be spread out over a 26-month period, from January 2019 until March 2021.

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About Viau station

  • Viau station is one of two stations built to serve the main site of the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. Since Pie-IX station is more closely associated with the Olympic Stadium, Viau station is often referred to as “the other Olympic station.”
  • On the eastern wall of the entrance building, Jean-Paul Mousseau’s mural, Opus 74, catches the eyes of passersby. Made from turquoise and yellow ceramic tiles, the mural represents both the stadium’s tower and the Olympic flame.
  • The station’s architecture features two distinctive elements: a skylight located in the station’s centre enabling sunlight to reach the platforms and red ceramic tiles inserted between the vertical strips of split-block concrete above the platform benches.

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

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