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2006 01 29
Finding Lost Montreal Part 2
By David Hammonds
The second installment in a periodic adventure series for urban sleuths.

Click on the link for the complete image: Notre_Dame_Street.jpg

Lost Railways and a Viaduct

Before Windsor Station was built, the Canadian Pacific Railway, (CPR), which arrived in Montréal in the early -1880s, first took over the provincial government owned, and grandly named, Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway (QMO&O). The CPR extended the tracks from the Hochelaga terminus, two kilometres to the east, at Notre Dame and Iberville, to a new terminus in the east end of old Montreal.

Opened in Dec 1882 it was called Queen’s Gate Barracks station, and was renamed Dalhousie Square in 1890. A grander project in the late 1890s involved building Place Viger station, whose Chateau style former hotel still stands in proud isolation fronting onto rue St Antoine. That project involved the wholesale levelling of an area 600 m by 300 m, totally removing the glacial mound between rue Berri and rue St Hubert.

Such a huge excavation would have left rue Notre Dame ending in a cliff, near the George Etienne Cartier house in the west, with a second cliff in the east near Molson’s brewery. As part of the harbour and railway redevelopment, the city fathers of Montréal commissioned the design and construction of the Notre Dame Street Viaduct, refurbished a century later, which continues to carry rue Notre Dame high above over what used to be a huge rail station and freight yard.

David Hammonds has professional registrations in engineering and geology. A graduate of Imperial College he has over 40 years world-wide experience in the construction of large hydroelectric projects. He has an especial interest in the development of early canals and railway.
[email this story] Posted by Alexandra McIntosh on 01/29 at 04:23 PM

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