Towers mechanical ventilation station for the métro

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Latest news - June 2019

Work at the construction site is well under way. We have completed all of the micro-blasting inside of the tunnel. Only a few rock excavation phases remain. They will be carried out mechanically.

Please note that although we have finished blasting, similar work is currently under way on a site that is near our site but unconnected to it.

Next steps
We have begun building the foundations of the mechanical ventilation station and are carrying out a variety of structural work in the pit (vertical section).  We will soon begin concrete work on the rafts and the walls of the mechanical ventilation station entrance building.

Construction of the Towers mechanical ventilation station for the métro

As part of our program to refurbish métro equipment, as of October 2, 2017, we will undertake construction of the Towers mechanical ventilation station, located on its namesake street between De Maisonneuve and Sainte-Catherine.

The new structure will replace the older Saint-Mathieu station, set to be dismantled once the new one becomes operational.

Will the work site interfere with pedestrian and car traffic?

A traffic plan will be implemented. Flagmen will be present during truck trips on the construction site at the intersections of Towers and De Maisonneuve streets and Sainte-Catherine and De Maisonneuve.

Car traffic:

  • Effective April 9, 2018, only local traffic will be permitted on Towers Street, between Sainte-Catherine Street and De Maisonneuve Boulevard. The cars that will enter through Ste-Catherine will have to go out by Ste-Catherine and the cars that will enter by De Maisonneuve will have to leave by De Maisonneuve
  •  The two parking lanes on Towers street will be cancelled between Sainte-Catherine and De Maisonneuve. In all, 10 on-street, permitted parking spaces for residents will be cancelled during construction. Holders of a city parking permit can find other spaces on nearby street. 
  • Part of the alleyway linking Towers and Saint-Marc streets will be closed to traffic.
  • The entrance to the private parking lot on Towers will remain accessible.
  • Moving trucks can be parked in the alleyway between Du Fort and Towers streets so they can be loaded or unloaded. They must back into the alleyway from Du Fort, and drive away using the same street.

Pedestrian traffic:

The sidewalk on the east side of Towers will be closed alongside the work site. Some sections of the route will be accessible to residents only. Entrances to buildings will be accessible at all time. We recommend that you take the sidewalk on the west side, opposite the work site.

Bicycle traffic:

In light of the size of the work site, we recommend that cyclists exercise extreme caution and avoid that stretch of Towers street.


Construction work should take a little over three years (about 39 months). According to our schedule, work will start around the beginning of October 2017 and should be completed by the end of 2020.

The ventilation station will be erected on the site where a Victorian style house currently stands. In light of the building’s heritage character, its façade will be dismantled carefully, according to a protocol developed by a specialized firm. Each component will be tagged and stored in a reserved area. Once work is over, the façade will be rebuilt. Any unsalvageable components are to be replaced by similar reproductions to respect the era’s distinct architectural style. We made sure that all necessary authorizations were obtained for this project.

1. Preparation of work site

  • Fencing off the work area
  • Installing work equipment
  • Demolishing the existing building while salvaging all elements making up its facade

Approximate timeframe: 2 months

2. Excavation at ground level

Approximate timeframe: 3 months

3. Excavation in the rock bed

  • Micro-blasting will be required to break into the rock bed

Approximate timeframe: 14  to 16 months

4. Installation of a membrane to ensure water-tightness of all infrastructure

Approximate timeframe: 3 months

5. Concrete work for ventilation station

  • Concrete work for all infrastructure

Approximate timeframe: 8 months

6. Installation of mechanical and electrical equipment, as well as architectural finishes and landscaping  

  • Delivery of equipment to work site
  • Installation of equipment
  • Performance testing on mechanical equipment
  • Construction of ventilation station’s external structure

Approximate timeframe: 4 months

  • Any construction work likely to generate noise will be scheduled between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays. In accordance with municipal regulations, some work may at times continue over the weekend, to keep up with the time frame for construction. Should that happen, notification for weekend work will appear in the Works section of the website and sent out to residents who signed up for the electronic newsletter.
  • Excavation work required for construction will produce vibrations that could be felt by residents living next to the work site. We have hired an independent consulting firm to survey all buildings (photographs) around the work site. These inspections will serve to document the condition of buildings before and after construction. In the unlikely event that any damage is reported, an expert opinion could help to determine if the damage is the result of the vibrations produced by our construction. Property owners concerned by this measure will be notified accordingly.
  • A traffic and signage plan was prepared jointly by a firm of experts with representatives from Ville-Marie borough, the City of Montréal, the Ministry of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transportation Electrification, public security and the Montréal fire department. The plan will minimize the impact of construction on the movement of cars, cyclists, pedestrians and emergency vehicles.

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, allows for smoke control and provides a safe evacuation route for passengers, by the nearest metro station, as well as unobstructed access for emergency first responders.

Yes. There is an existing station on Saint-Mathieu. Built during the second half the of the 1960s, the station has now reached the end of its service life and must be replaced. Our project consists of building a new, quieter and more efficient ventilation station that meets with new safety standards and complies with City of Montreal noise bylaws.

No. Essentially, a mechanical ventilation station serves to exchange the air breathed by transit users inside the network with outside air, ensuring a supply of fresh air.

No. There are no specific 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 already happens throughout the métro system.

No. Once the ventilation station is operational, the noise it emits will comply with municipal bylaws. Installed below ground, the ventilators are equipped with powerful noise suppressors. The noise level outside the building will not exceed 50 decibels, even when both ventilators are operating at full capacity, which is unusual. Even then, the station’s noise level would be about as much as that of a household dishwasher. In fact, it is so low that normal conversation between people or just the area’s ambient noise would easily cover it.

In this case, micro-blasting is the fastest, most efficient way to proceed. Another option would have involved jackhammers. However, in light of the amount of rock that needs to be excavated, jackhammers would not have been very efficient, would have taken more time, and been much more annoying, as their noise is constant.

No. A mechanical ventilation station does not have the necessary infrastructure to be transformed into a métro station. Besides, no such plans are ever made.

While construction work for the métro is underway on rue Towers, we ask that you please comply with the following procedure.

Moving vans and trucks can be parked in either one of two alleyways between Du Fort and Towers streets while they are being loaded or unloaded.  

  • Accessing the alleyway A will depend on the size of the moving truck.
  • For alleyway B, trucks must back into the alley from rue Du Fort and leave by Du Fort as well.

Tenants who are moving are responsible for coordinating the location and parking of moving trucks in the alleyways.

Stay informed!

Stay informed of the project’s progress and other particular events by signing up for the electronic newsletter.

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

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