2022 was a big year for Montreal transit. 2023 could be even bigger. With a Montreal metro extension charging ahead, the opening of the first branch of the highly anticipated Réseau express métropolitain (REM) and several other projects either already under construction, in the planning stages or otherwise on the table, Montrealers will see some monumental changes in the next decade. Some could fundamentally reshape the city.
This map shows what the network could look like when construction is done — and if some projects in the works actually come to fruition.
- Green — Current green line of the Montreal metro
- Yellow — Current yellow line of the Montreal metro
- Orange — Current orange line of the Montreal metro
- Blue — Current blue line of the Montreal Metro
- Light green — the under-construction Réseau express métropolitain (REM)
- Dark blue — the extension of the blue line of the Montreal metro from Saint-Michel to Anjou (preparatory construction work underway)
- Pink — the proposed tramway link between Lachine and the Sud-Ouest
- Purple — the proposed REM de l’Est
- Dark orange — the proposed extension of the orange line of the Montreal metro from Côte-Vertu to Bois-Franc
Here are all the definite and planned rail network expansions in Montreal:
After delays due to the pandemic and an explosion under Mount Royal, the first branch of the new light-rail network, from Brossard to the Gare Centrale in downtown Montreal via the Samuel de Champlain Bridge, is finally set to open in spring 2023.
Two other branches, from downtown to the West Island and Deux-Montagne on the North Shore, are projected to open in 2024. The final segment to Montreal-Trudeau Airport won’t open until the late 2020s.
The Blue Line Extension
In March 2022, officials confirmed the route for the five-station blue metro line extension, which will take riders from its current eastern terminus in Saint-Michel all the way to the borough of Anjou via a tunnel that will mostly run beneath rue Jean- Talon E.
Originally planned for boulevard des Galeries d’Anjou, head houses for the new terminus station will instead straddle Autoroute 25, meaning Anjou residents east of the highway will have metro access.
“The blue line will go to Anjou,” then-Minister Responsible for Montreal Chantal Rouleau proclaimed in March. “The project has been enhanced to open up an entire population who will now have access to a public transit system worthy of the name.”
The other four stations will be at boulevards Pie-IX, Viau, Lacordaire, and Langelier.
The Tramway from Lachine to the Sud-Ouest
Officials are studying the possibility of constructing a tramway between Lachine and the Sud-Ouest. The light pink line on the map above represents one possible path presented by the borough of Lachine in 2021.
The REM de l’Est
This one’s a bit of a mess. The REM de l’Est was originally proposed as a REM sister network that would connect Montréal-Nord and Pointe-aux-Trembles with downtown Montreal via rue Notre-Dame. After much controversy about its path and design, the REM planners, CDPQ Infra, dropped the project.
The City of Montreal and Government of Quebec then took over the planning of the light-rail system. They’ve so far chopped off the downtown connection, possibly leaving the REM de l’Est as a single line between the outlying boroughs, represented by the purple line on the map above. But it’s so far unclear just what shape the REM de l’Est will take.
The government has further said it will explore extending the network to Laval in the north and Lanaudière in the east.
Another, far-fetched proposal would have the REM de l’Est run across the Plateau-Mont-Royal before splitting into east-running and north-running branches.
The Orange Line Extension to Bois-Franc
The City of Montreal has been calling for a two-station, northwestern extension of the orange line to the REM’s Bois-Franc station since early 2020. The hope is that such an extension would relieve highway traffic in the area, which could become even worse upon completion of the Royalmount mall, housing and office megadevelopment.