Expansion of the underground workshop and refurbishment of Viau station

Work underway at Viau station

The elevators are now operational at Viau station.

Project summary

By spring 2021, Viau station and its underground workshop will undergo major work. The station will be completely renovated and equipped with two elevators. The underground workshop will double in size.

Duration of the work: January 2019 until fall 2021

Description of the work: Expansion of the underground workshop, refurbishment of the station and installation of two elevators

Métro impacts: No

Bus impacts: No

Texte important

Latest update - January, 2021

Work is completed at Viau station

Work underway since January 2019 at Viau station was completed at the end of 2021. In addition to renovating the station and expanding the underground workshop, the project involved installing the new elevators that have been in operation since November 2021.

The station’s new look

A great deal of work has been done, including:

  • Replacement of the waterproofing membrane of the station’s underground roof
  • Refurbishment of four staircases
  • Installation of new ceramic flooring
  • Redesign of the turnstiles to improve customer flow
  • Replacement of the curtain walls that make up the exterior walls
  • Replacement of all station lighting
  • Replacement of the butterfly doors, some of which are now motorized, for easier station access
  • Relocation of the wing gates to facilitate access in front of the ticket booth and customer flow for people with reduced mobility and families with strollers
  • Installation of new signage throughout the station

New elevators

The project was also taken as an opportunity to add elevators to Viau station, making it the 19th accessible station in the métro network.

New auxiliary structures

Two new auxiliary structures were built. The first structure contains two ventilation shafts and an emergency exit. The second structure, located behind the station, includes a new freight elevator, a natural ventilation shaft and various technical rooms.

Underground workshop expansion

The workshop located underneath Viau station - also called an attachment centre - was expanded during the project, doubling its operational capacity.

The workshop is mainly used to store various rail vehicles necessary for overnight métro tunnel and rail maintenance, and it is now connected to the new freight elevator. The expansion has also increased our capacity to transport materials and conduct different work-related activities that can often be done only at night. This will enable us to better meet the growing demands of our network’s many major worksites.

An overview of the expansion of the underground workshop at Viau station.

The work required an impressively large dig site. We excavated a total volume of 13,000 cubic metres of soil, the equivalent of 1,800 trips via 10-wheel truck.

Adding the elevators required major operations, from digging out the shafts between the mezzanine and platform levels to structural and concrete work inside the shafts, as well as installing the elevator mechanisms in the final phase.

Elevators now in service

Viau station has become universally accessible with the new elevators, installed as part of the station’s renovation project.

Only two elevators linking the street level to the platforms were necessary due to the station’s shallow depth, making the major refurbishment project the perfect time to make Viau métro station universally accessible.

In addition to the installation of elevators, refurbishment work was done at the station, as well as the expansion of the underground workshop. Some additional finishing touches remain to be done, and the entire renovation project at the station is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Accessible stations

With Viau métro station, 19 stations are now universally accessible across the network. Accessibility work is also underway at Angrignon, Jolicoeur, Place-des-Arts, McGill, Pie-IX, D’Iberville, Édouard-Montpetit, Outremont, Mont-Royal, Villa-Maria and Place-Saint-Henri stations.

The temporary walkway between Pierre-De Coubertin Avenue and nearby attractions will be removed this week while we replace a part of the waterproofing membrane at the walkway site.

Work is progressing at the Viau station site, resulting in a number of changes to the worksite setup.

  • The station’s back doors (north side) have been open and accessible to the public since this summer, and there is a paved walkway leading from the station to the Olympic Park facilities and nearby attractions.
  • The two staircases to the cinema have been rebuilt. Over the next few weeks, we will dismantle the temporary staircase next to the cinema access ramp.
  • While we are dismantling the temporary staircase, the new paved walkway will have to be partially closed. The cinema will remain accessible via the new staircases. However, pedestrians will have to take the temporary walkway in place to move between Pierre-De Coubertin Avenue and the Olympic Park facilities.

Once the staircase is dismantled, the paved walkway will reopen and the temporary walkway between Pierre-De Coubertin Avenue and nearby attractions will be removed while we replace a part of the waterproofing membrane at the walkway site.

We are also continuing to install the elevators and conduct all the necessary tests before their commissioning, which is slated for this fall.

We are making good progress at the worksite. Here is the latest update, a few months before the work is complete. Inside the station, on the platforms and at street and mezzanine level, you can see that:

  • The new ceramic floors have almost been entirely installed.
  • The turnstiles have been redesigned and relocated to improve customer flow.
  • All four staircases have been refurbished.
  • The curtain walls—the large windows that make up the exterior walls—have been replaced.
  • The butterfly doors have been replaced. The doors on the north side of the station will be working again during the summer, and they will be motorized to facilitate access.
  • All of the station’s lighting has been replaced.
  • New signage has been posted across the station.
  • Foot grilles have been installed in front of the entrance doors to prevent snow and water from accumulating.

What about the elevators?

  • They have been installed, and we are currently carrying out several tests and trials to have them operational by the end of summer 2021.
  • The mechanical rooms, which hold the necessary equipment for elevator maintenance, have also been built

In addition to the station’s improved accessibility and extensive refurbishing, we have also carried out important work, less visible to customers, but still essential to the métro’s operation.

Auxiliary structures

Two new auxiliary structures are under construction. The first, which is almost complete, houses two ventilation shafts and an emergency exit.

The second structure, located behind the station, will house a new 20,000-pound capacity freight elevator, a natural ventilation shaft and various technical rooms.

The underground workshop

Most of the work is completed and the underground workshop is operational. Our teams have been able to integrate the new location, which will ultimately be equipped with charging stations for electric work vehicles. This picture shows the new part (left), connected to the original one.

Latest updates - October 2020

Station exterior

  • The new bus loop on Pierre-De-Coubertin Avenue, facing Sicard Street has been operational since September 28. 
  • The new accessible pedestrian walkway is now functional as well.

Station interior

  • We have almost finished installing the new ceramic on the mezzanine level.
  • The first half of the staircase is now completely refurbished and has been open for customer use since September 28. The work area will now be rearranged so that the workers can begin refurbishing the second half. A new handrail was added, and customers will now have to descend the stairs to the right.
  • We are also continuing Universal Accessibility work with the installation of machinery inside the new elevator shafts. The elevators should be operational by summer 2021.

Work is continuing to progress

Station interior

We have rearranged the turnstiles to improve customer flow. The fare gate is now located in the centre to facilitate access in front of the ticket booth and make it easier for people with reduced mobility and families with strollers to get through.

Temporary doors have been installed while the butterfly doors are replaced with new ones. One of these will be a wider, motorized door. Once these are installed, it will be easier for people will reduced mobility to get through. We will also build a catch basin with a foot grille, which will keep the entrance cleaner.

We have finished building the two elevator’s structures and are beginning to install them in the shafts.

Station exterior

Beginning in late August, we will set up a new, universally accessible pedestrian walkway to replace the old one. We will then completely fill in the large excavated area and concentrate on interior work.

The structure of the underground workshop expansion is almost completed.

Work progressing well

Major work inside and around Viau station

The work at Viau station and the underground workshop is already halfway complete. Work on elevator construction, staircase reconstruction and ceramic tile replacement is in progress. The expansion of the underground workshop, which will double it in size, is well underway. The construction of roof slabs will allow work to continue unaffected during bad weather. 

Impact on customer trips

The station will remain open for the duration of the work. Certain areas inside the station will be closed off but will not affect your trips.

Impact on local residents

Worksite impact and mitigation measures

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 is 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. Instead, 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.

Viau PlanAccess to nearby attractions will be maintained at all times with the installation of a universally accessible pedestrian walkway.

Learn more about the project

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, as well as 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 within the network and increase the flexibility of logistical planning. The STM will therefore be able to meet the increasing demand of its large worksites, which are increasing in size and number. This gain in versatility and performance will enable the STM 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 new electric locotractors are being assembled at the plant.

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.

Project planning

As for all refurbishment projects in the métro network, replacement materials are carefully chosen so that they resemble the original ones. This ensures that the look and feel 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 point! 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 station.

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 like the station. 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 angular mechanical ventilation station will be integrated into the geography of the site, following the natural slope already present.

The unloading zone will be relocated behind the station and will improve pedestrian safety in front of the station and facilitate bus movements.

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.

  • 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.

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The project in images

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

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