Bellechasse bus garage

Construction of the Bellechasse bus garage

Project summary

We are in the process of building a new bus garage. Located in the heart of the city, close to many transportation corridors, the new partiallyun derground garage will eventually be equipped to house a fleet of fully electric buses.

Duration of the work: Spring 2019 to end of summer 2024

Description of the work: Construction of a new bus garage

Impact on local residents

Starting in July 2023, the worksite will be extended onto Saint-Dominique Street, between Bellechasse and Marmier. Excavation work is needed to replace a water main and is expected to continue until November 2023.

During work on the Bellechasse bus garage, we discovered that the rock was not in the condition we had anticipated, despite the tests carried out before the work. This discovery meant that additional rock reconstruction and consolidation work was required to allow the construction of the building according to the planned design.

During this reconstruction and consolidation in June 2022, we detected problems with the integrity of the Berliner wall (the support wall that holds up the soil). In response, we obtained two reports from external firms to assess the situation. The reports corroborated the fact that urgent corrective work was required before the next freeze-thaw cycle, and subsequently, given the condition of the support wall system, to ensure the safety of employees and residents, as well as the sustainability of the site and infrastructure.

Work is underway to ensure the safety of all

Work to secure the Berliner wall and consolidate the rock has therefore been ongoing since Auguste 2022, to correct the situation and ensure the safety of all. A monitoring plan for the temporary support infrastructure was also quickly implemented and will be in place until the corrective work is complete. The situation at and around the worksite is stable and safe, both for people and for nearby buildings.

The work announced involves:

  • Demolishing the poor-quality rock on the ledge and the rock behind the tunnel
  • Applying a bituminous membrane and spraying concrete on the exposed solid rock so as to protect it
  • Installing a compressible matt to absorb potential swelling of the rock (pyrite)
  • Installing a protective membrane and wall to protect the rock left in place; formwork to be dropped and membrane work to be modified
  • Reconstructing the ledge (formwork, reinforcement, and concrete work)
  • Drilling and installing anchors adapted to each situation

Work to consolidate the Berliner wall and reconstruct the rock has been underway since last August to correct the situation and ensure the safety of all. A monitoring plan for the temporary support infrastructure was also quickly implemented and will be in place until the corrective work is complete. The situation at and around the worksite is stable and safe, both for people and for nearby buildings.

Public information sessions

You can view the recording of this public information session (in French only).

View the recording

Here is the list of questions asked during the virtual session and the answers that were provided.


No, the bus garage was built as planned, reaching a maximum height of 13 metres near Van Horne Viaduct. The steel structure may seem massive right now, but once the green space has been fully integrated, the bus garage will blend in well with the neighbourhood.

Unlike the first phase of the work, where a single contractor was responsible for the excavation, the current work requires contracts with about sixty contractors who, in turn, have several suppliers of their own. Please note that the general contractor’s equipment, which stays on the worksite permanently, uses a low-noise alarm to limit the noise pollution caused by the trucks when they back up.

The trucks can arrive at the worksite before 7 a.m., but the work cannot start before then. You can contact the STM about the noise and parking at 514-STM-INFO.

The studies are still ongoing.

The Bellechasse bus garage should generate less noise than the Saint-Denis bus garage, as much of the bus traffic will be inside the garage, and most of the maintenance work will be carried out underground.

No, this is not included in the project and the installation of such infrastructure is not the STM’s responsibility.

That is an interesting idea. We will have to confirm internally whether or not this is possible.

Our goal is to obtain the LEED v4 Gold Certification. To do so, we will need to demonstrate the efficiency (energy and water), sustainability (operation and maintenance), and indoor environment air quality of the electromechanical systems. To become LEED certified, we are being evaluated on how we reduce water usage, tackle urban heat islands, improve site conditions, optimize building energy performance and choose materials with a lower environmental footprint (recycled materials, etc.), among other things.

You can view the recording of this public information session (in French only).

It was necessary to make the street one-way during construction to facilitate the delivery of numerous materials, given the scope of the project. This will therefore continue until the project ends in 2022. Regarding the layout of Bellechasse Street after the work, the borough is still analyzing the best layout possible for integrating the EBN by taking our operations into consideration.

Traffic studies were conducted, and it is not a good idea to have buses on Marmier or Des Carrières streets. One of the reasons justifying our position is that buses would have to pass through residential streets east of Saint-Denis to reconnect with major roads.

We have not yet completed the detailed planning regarding bus fleet management for the coming years. We must re-evaluate our needs in light of the pandemic. One thing is certain, the Saint-Denis bus garage will no longer be a priority in terms of service once the Bellechasse bus garage is operational, particularly because it will not be equipped to house buses outfitted with the latest hybrid and electric technologies.

The Saint-Denis bus garage is slated to close in 2024, and the land will, eventually, be given to the City.

Certain vehicles will be equipped with BBS-type alarms. However, it’s difficult to make this type of alarm mandatory for the next phase of the work given the significant number of contractors and the fact that their equipment will be leased. It is important to point out that the work will be carried out at the bottom of the excavation, which will thereby limit the use of backup alarms.

We’re also studying the implementation of a traffic plan to reduce the number of times vehicles back up on the worksite, which will help reduce the noise caused by the trucks equipped with standard alarms, while increasing the safety of truck traffic.

For the time being, the bike path installations are temporary, and studies are still ongoing. The final installations will be made once our work is completed, in collaboration with the borough, which is responsible for bike paths and traffic.

It is prohibited to use cross-streets since they aren’t truck routes. If you notice an increase in truck traffic on the cross-streets, we urge you to notify us of it through our customer service, so that we may notify the contractor.

During construction, there may be obstructions in the dog park at certain times. However, the dog park will be maintained after the construction of the bus garage.

The buses will enter and exit by De Gaspé Street before reconnecting with Bellechasse. Secondary exits and entrances are being planned on Saint-Dominique Street, in the event of an emergency or major obstruction on De Gaspé Street.

The plan is to install street furniture, such as picnic tables, garbage cans and benches. We’re also planning to install stands should public events be held.

Numerous construction projects in the area during 2020 have had an impact on traffic flow. Among them are the OMHM’s worksite at the Rosemont Métro station, the construction work on the Rosemont/Van Horne Viaduct, the refurbishment project of Plaza Saint-Hubert, and the installation work for the Saint-Denis EBN. We were united with our partners in setting up mitigation measures to reduce the impact of this work on our bus service.

As well, during 2021, we will continue to follow the development of the bus service operating conditions, in light of the creation of the Saint-Denis EBN, and make any modifications that may be required.


During construction, there may be obstructions in the dog park at certain times. However, the dog park will be maintained after the construction of the bus garage.

Street closures announced earlier this summer began on September 14. Two street closures will be in place until the work is completed.

  • The south side of De Bellechasse Street is now closed to vehicle traffic between Saint-Dominique and De Gaspé. De Bellechasse is now a one-way street going west between De Gaspé and Saint-Laurent. A detour was set up for drivers. This street closure is needed to allow trucks to access the worksite. Please note that parking is no longer available along this section of the street.
  • De Gaspé Street is also closed along the worksite, between De Bellechasse and Marmier. Buildings, including BIXI, will remain accessible through the parking lot next to BIXI and at other points.
  • The dog park remains accessible.

Inquiries are processed on a case by case basis. To make an inquiry, you must contact our customer service and submit an official complaint. A claim file will be opened with the contractor’s insurer.

We can make vibration data public. To access it, you can make an access to information request to the STM.

As for air quality data, we do not produce any. Air quality is monitored on the spot when workers return to the site after blasting.

There is less dust in winter, and we are evaluating which dust management method to use.

During the construction, the contractor is responsible for planning and managing parking for workers so that maximum parking is available for local residents.Most of the workers park on the worksite.

We have a traffic plan that was approved by the borough, and truck drivers have been informed of the truck routes to use. We are working with the borough and the SPVM to ensure that trucks use the approved routes. We are monitoring this closely to ensure that the instructions given are followed and that trucks do not take residential streets.

In general, the work will take place from Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It can, however, take place on the weekend in accordance with municipal by-laws. To view the borough’s by-law, click here (in French only).

Due to a lack of participation, the good neighbourhood committee will not continue its activities. However, information sessions may be held during the project.

  • We have introduced a traffic maintenance plan, established by a specialized firm, for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists in the area.
  • An inspector will be on the worksite to ensure compliance with regulations on noise levels and work hours.
  • Water spraying will be carried out during demolition and excavation to reduce dust.
  • The metal fences surrounding the worksite have been replaced by wooden partitions. The partitions have been installed on three streets: Saint-Dominique, Bellechasse and De Gaspé.

Learn more about the project

The Bellechasse bus garage will be built on the block formed by De Gaspé Avenue and Bellechasse, Marmier and Saint-Dominique streets in Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie.

The Bellechasse bus garage will be innovative, functional and unique. It will be the first bus garage in North America to make use of underground space and will eventually be equipped with the facilities to operate an entire fleet of electric buses.

The bus garage will have two connecting structures: a three-level underground building where the buses will be parked and maintained and a one-storey ring-shaped building with lots of windows where administrative offices and employee facilities will be located.

The garage’s operations (driving, maintenance and parking of buses, and employee parking) will be located inside the building to mitigate the impact on the neighbourhood.

There will also be a large green space partially accessible to the public.

The work will take place until the end of summer 2024. It will be carried out in two phases. The first phase is now completed. It involved preparatory work including building demolition, removal of materials and waste, soil decontamination and excavation of the rock bed.

We are currently carrying out the second phase, involving the actual construction of the new bus garage.

  • Putting buses on the road to provide daily transit service to customers
  •  Performing preventive maintenance and mechanical repairs on buses
  • Charging electric buses
  • Administrative offices and areas for maintenance employees and drivers

Planning the bike path network is the City of Montréal’s responsibility and not the STM’s. We do not have a confirmed design plan at this time.

For the moment, buses will enter and exit on De Gaspé. A secondary, emergency exit has been planned on Saint-Dominique.

The building will have a high-quality environmental design. We aim to obtain LEED v4 Gold certification. The complex will incorporate:

  • Natural light
  • Universal accessibility
  • Building envelope with superior energy efficiency
  • Energy efficient mechanical and heat recovery system
  • Water catchment and recycling
  • Recovery of construction materials, when possible

Once the construction is complete, there will be underground parking spaces for employees working at the new garage.

  • February 5, 2019: the project was presented to residents at an information session
  • February, 19, 2019: Participatory workshop held on the future public green space
  • May 1, 2019: Presentation of the project to the CCU for the PPCMOI
  • June 2019: The borough council of the Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie Borough held a meeting to confirm the PPCMOI and a public consultation was held by the Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie Borough.

The worksite in images

The garage is really starting to take shape

In this photo (taken in March 2022), you can see the progress that has been made on the future Bellechasse bus garage.

We have now finished building nearly three quarters of the steel structure. Inside, we are working on a variety of systems, including ventilation, plumbing, electricity and masonry. We are also preparing the areas where we will install the equipment needed for the mechanical maintenance area, where buses will be repaired.

The photo also shows the garage’s unique design and the fact that a large part of it will be underground. The curved portion visible in the photo is the ramp that buses will take to reach the different levels. Eventually, the ramp will be covered, meaning that the buses will be underground when driving on it. When the project is complete, what is currently the roof of the building will become an accessible green space.

Here is a construction progress shot of the indoor garage ramp that buses will drive on. You can also see the steel structure of the elevator shafts.

So far, more than a third of the 10,500 tonnes of steel required to build the structure have been installed. The structure is erected in three phases. First, riggers put up the steel structure. Experts then check its verticality—using techniques to ensure that it is plumb—before tightening the structure. Afterwards, the deck is laid with steel sheet panels, onto which the concrete slab is later poured.

Concrete slab

Before the concrete can be poured, however, the various trades on the worksite have to coordinate their activities. Plumbing, electrical and ventilation work (pipes, conduits, anchors) must be carried out before pouring the concrete. All these steps are meticulous, as each of them requires exact measurements. This is why everything is performed under the watchful eyes of land surveyors.

Reinforcements are then installed, as well as formwork in which the concrete is poured. In total, we expect to pour about 30,000 cubic metres of concrete—the equivalent of about ten Olympic-sized swimming pools. As soon as the concrete is cast, we level it to ensure its smoothness, and then we leave it to harden slowly. This is a delicate procedure, as the concrete needs to stay wet for a few days to reach its optimal compressive strength.

We have more concrete pouring planned in the next few weeks, and we will continue to assemble the structure in the upcoming months. Later, we will gradually integrate plumbing, ventilation and electrical elements, among others, into the structure.

March 2021 - This crawler crane is used to lift and move heavy materials weighing up to 300 tonnes.

March 2021 - The project reached a new stage in recent weeks as the first steel column was installed. This is an important symbolic milestone, as the column is the first piece of the building to be erected.

March 2021 - Formwork is currently underway at the worksite. Forms are temporary structures, often made of wood, that are used as moulds to hold material in place.

March 2021 - Easy to spot at the worksite, this imposing concrete pump has a reach of 61 metres, making it the largest in the entire Montréal area. As the name suggests, it pumps concrete through a pipe and into the concrete mixing truck, which cannot directly access the pouring site.

May 2020 - To date, as part of Phase 1 of the work, one million tonnes of rock have been removed from the 260,000 square foot area that will be the site of the Bellechasse bus garage.

Stay informed

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The project in images

This work is made possible by funding provided by the Ministère des Transports du Québec and Infrastructure Canada.

We are aware of the inconvenience that this work might cause. Rest assured that we will do what is necessary to minimize the impact on our customers.

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