Fifty-five years ago, on January 16, 1963, the symbol of the Montréal métro was presented to the city’s executive. Designed by Jacques Roy for the firm Jacques Guillon et Associés, this very simple symbol – an arrow symbolizing movement, inscribed in a circle symbolizing the tunnel – is now part of Montréal’s heritage.
Originally, its designers hoped it would be used both for the métro and the buses of the Montreal Transportation Commission. Georges Derou of the Régie autonome des transports parisiens (RATP) advised against this, and the idea was abandoned. The designers also wanted to use only the symbol, but the city’s executives insisted on adding the word MÉTRO… with an accent aigu, at the express request of mayor Jean Drapeau!
When the métro opened in 1966, the symbol was used everywhere in the network’s signage, pointing in every direction and associated with many colours, depending on the situation. Over time, the use of the symbol was refined, and today is can be found in almost all cases on a blue background, with the arrow pointing down.