Montreal’s Reemerging Streetcar Tracks


Tracks

It’s the end of pothole season. That’s not to say they have all been filled, just that with seasonal change freezing then thawing then freezing shenanigans over, there will be no new potholes. But don’t assume your car is safe!

At one time Montreal, like many other cities, had a network of streetcars as its main public transportation system. By the time I became a user of public transit these urban trams had been replaced with buses and a Metro system. But relics of the old network can still be seen today. The photo above, taken yesterday at the corner of Lambert-Closse and St. Catherine Streets, clearly shows the old tracks under newer asphalt.

I’m all in favor or urban archeology, but I prefer the kind where folks have to dig to find artifacts, not the kind where the past inflicts itself on us.

I imagine that when it was decided to do away with the streetcars someone must have pointed out that the miles of track would have to be dealt with as well. Remove them? Don’t be silly, just slap a few layers of asphalt over them, cover them. There won’t be that many cars anyway.

Well, like a nasty infection, sixty or so years later these tracks are back with a vengeance. Years of snowplows and other vehicles have not only worn through the oft replaced asphalt, but have also honed the once again exposed tracks to razor sharpness. I’m all in favor or urban archeology, but I prefer the kind where folks have to dig to find artifacts, not the kind where the past inflicts itself on us. I’m sure the tire companies have some say in this as it can only be good for business.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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One thought on “Montreal’s Reemerging Streetcar Tracks

  1. Ah, pothole season in the north. In Boston, they’ve paved over trolley tracks and cobblestones. Not surprisingly, the roads are a mess. Out here, well, they paved over a lot of seasonal streams, so when snows melt or rain is heavy, guess what washes away?

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