Railway and tramway

Railway and tramway

Arrival of the railway and the tramway

At the end of the 19th Century, Saint-Laurent was somewhat isolated from the rest of the Island and lacked the real road infrastructure that would be required in order to develop further. The installation of a widespread transit system became a priority for Saint-Laurent residents. Interestingly, in 1875 there was only one public transportation option operating between Saint-Laurent and Montréal: a car pulled by two horses departing from Saint-Martin Street, passing through the parish of Saint-Laurent and ending its route on Saint-Laurent Street in Montréal.

Tramway 1030
STM Archives 

In 1885, the construction of a railway south of collège Saint-Laurent by the Grand Trunk Company enhanced industrial activity in Saint-Laurent. In fact, the central location of Saint-Laurent Parish on the Island of Montréal coupled with the arrival of the railway, made it possible for the parish to pursue its development and progressively move away from its vocation which up until now had been strictly rural.

However, passenger transportation remained a municipal responsibility. Following negotiations between Édouard Gohier and Municipal Council and Montréal Park and Island Railway Company, an agreement was signed for the installation of an electric tramway line along today's Décarie Boulevard. This tramway was accessible to the public starting in 1896 and served the Saint-Laurent population until the end of 1959, when it was replaced by the bus system.

Tramway station
STM Archives

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