Brand-new Azur trains are filling the rails of Montreal’s underground transit network. As they do, the original MR-63 cars built in Montreal by the Canadian Vickers company are being retired one by one. Now, two Montreal designers are reusing some of the old cars to build a pavilion in Griffintown that will pay homage to the Montreal metro’s history.
Some MR-63 cars have been recycled, but the highly iconic and recognizable aesthetic of the cars was impossible to pass over when deciding what to do with the 336 vehicles that have been taken off the rails. We simply couldn’t bring ourselves to completely throw away this important piece of our history.
Below, one of the iconic MR-63 trains is pictured.
That’s why a design firm, headed by Frédéric and Etienne Morin-Bordeleau, plans on installing first a pilot project, and then a permanent pavilion, in Griffintown. These installations will prominently feature repurposed MR-63 trains.
MR-63 is building an architectural icon aimed at becoming an essential monument in the Montreal landscape. The three-storey culture complex built in 2020 will give the city’s metro cars a second life and redefine the standards for sustainable development.
Before this building is complete (by 2020), a pilot project will take place in Griffintown. Called F-MR, this project will feature a temporary setup using the first of the MR-63 wagons.
A video published by the organization on YouTube shows the old cars being transported to their new home in Montreal’s Sud-Ouest borough, and tells the story (in French) of how the Morin-Bordeleau brothers brought their ambitious project to life:
MR-63 is also a cultural project, meaning the new space will make room for visual artists, restaurants and other cultural attractions. We’re excited to pay a visit!