Sunday, February 6, 2011

Streetcar Sunday - Montreal, Canada

At one point, Montreal had a tram system that included 1,000 trams and 310 miles of track. The first Montreal trams were horse-drawn cars in 1861, but by 1892 the entire system ran on electric power.

As in many other places, streetcars fell out of favor in Montreal. In part this had to do with the perception that they were old technology, but as the automobile became more popular, drivers also felt that trams were inconvenient obstacles. At least a bus would move with traffic and could move out of the way, since they weren't confined to tracks.

Montreal began substituting buses for trams in 1951, with tram service ending once and for all in 1959. Well, not really once and for all, because like other cities Montreal is now planning to re-introduce trams.  The first line is scheduled for completion in 2013, with two additional lines to follow.

Andy Riga, of the Montreal Gazette, put together some interesting research on Montreal trams past and future here.

Here are some additional old views of Montreal with trams.


  1. Postcard rules...who woulda thought!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, i love seeing new faces.

  2. That is a wonderful photo. We are doing the same with trains, trying to bring back the high speed ones to save time for travelers.

  3. Sort of a wall-o-greyness in that image of St. James St... I assume it wasn't quite as oppressive in real life, nice human scale definition by the column plinths on the right though.

  4. Hallo Christine,
    wie gehts dir.
    ich hab in den Nachrichten von dem Blizzard gehört, der über euer land hinweg fegt. Ich hoffe bei euch ist alles OK-
    Liebe Grüße

  5. Telephone poles were tall in those days, weren't they?!



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