Montreal Geography Trivia No. 64

Montreal Geography Trivia No. 64

What is this a picture of?

UPDATE: Just about everyone guessed correctly that these are decomposing railway ties, but Frank was the first to properly guess that these are decomposing tramway ties, uncovered because of excavation work.

Exposed tramway rail and ties on Sherbrooke St. W. near Loyola, taken in September 2006.

Exposed tramway rail and ties on Sherbrooke St. W. near Loyola, taken in September 2006.

The city is littered with tramway rails that were merely paved over after the network was dismantled. Some are later exposed through potholes, others because of excavation work, and are slowly being removed. But much of the vast network still remains, just inches below the surface of the street.

28 thoughts on “Montreal Geography Trivia No. 64

  1. Clément Côté

    I’m thinking it’s one of these “holes” around Ste-Catherine where a building once stood, burnt down and was eventually demolished. Maybe the Seville or something similar, but I can’t say for sure.

    Reply
  2. Karine

    Not sure my comment went through so let me try again: Is is a rotting rail roard track? But here’s my other thought: A tramway track that is peaking though the asphalt?

    Reply
  3. Karine

    Wasn’t hard to guess, I remember when they tore Ste-Cath to repave it a few years ago. And on some stretches you can still see them peaking through…

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Fixing them would probably mean entirely replacing them, since they’ve been left rotting for half a century. It would essentially be starting from scratch.

      Reply
  4. Rich

    The BNQ has a couple of old tramway maps online if any of you history nerds are interested…

    1923: http://services.banq.qc.ca/sdx/cep/document.xsp?app=ca.BAnQ.sdx.cep&db=notice&id=0000231105&n=4&dbrf0=xtgpleintexte_fr_FR&dbrv0=tramway&qlang=fr-FR&db=notice&dbrn=1&sortfield=titre_trie&order=ascendant&col=*&chpp=20&dbrqp=search_notice&qid=sdx_q0

    1941: http://services.banq.qc.ca/sdx/cep/document.xsp?app=ca.BAnQ.sdx.cep&db=notice&id=0000335641&n=5&dbrf0=xtgpleintexte_fr_FR&dbrv0=tramway&qlang=fr-FR&db=notice&dbrn=1&sortfield=titre_trie&order=ascendant&col=*&chpp=20&dbrqp=search_notice&qid=sdx_q0

    Let me know if the links don’t work and I’ll try to repost.

    Reply
  5. ladyjaye

    In the late 1990s, I remember tripping (fortunately, not actually falling and hurting myself) on exposed streetcar tracks that had popped back on the surface in the middle of the street on Sherbrooke at the corner of Elmurst (so, a few blocks from where the above pics were taken). I don’t know if the city actually removed that bit of tracks since or just repaved over it…

    Reply

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