Subway Cars Become Art Spaces in Montreal

The MR-63 subway car is being retired but, rather than send them to the junk yard, STM is sending them to artists and engineers to repurpose them and put them to work.

1 minute read

March 20, 2018, 1:00 PM PDT

By Casey Brazeal @northandclark

Société de transport de Montréal

abdallahh / Flickr

Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is retiring 366 of its MR-63 subway cars, many of those cars will go to artists and engineers who will reimagine them. The plan, which came from the brothers Frederic and Etienne Morin-Bordeleau, aims to give new life to the subway cars many in the city grew up with.

Four MR-63 cars will go to a site in southwest Montreal to become a gallery, recording studio, café, and a design showcase. Another train car will go into Jardin de Metris/Reford Gardens, to provide a unique shelter and resting place in the garden. The M-63 Project describes their mission as, "[enriching] the cultural knowledge of citizens and tourists interested in Montréal’s culture by distributing, exhibiting, trying and distributing local and emerging arts and products to Montreal." 

But not all of the cars are going to artists. "At Polytechnique Montreal, the engineering college of University of Montreal, students plan to repurpose a subway car into an interior meeting and conference space associated with the school’s fab lab, its makerspace for students, university staff and the general public," Sandra Larson writes for Next City. While the city will end up recycling a number of cars, the STM is excited to give a number of their cars new life in a different context.

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