Photo du jour: Craig Terminus

Until Montreal scrapped its streetcars in 1959, the Craig Terminus was one of the hubs of the city’s sprawling tramway network. Located near the corner of St. Urbain and Craig (now Viger St. Antoine), 14 different tram lines merged into this imposing stone building, built in 1925. It was demolished in 1970 when the Ville Marie Expressway tore through a huge swath of downtown Montreal. Everything you see above is gone.

UPDATE: Check out this 1925 photo of the building’s construction, including a floor plan. There was a pharmacy, Royal Bank, tabagie, candy shop, newsstand and bulk food store inside the terminus. Thanks, Flow!

Photo courtesy of the STM

14 comments

  1. Are we looking along Craig/Viger? So, the Terminus was standing where the Holiday Inn currently is?

  2. No, it was on the south side of the street, where the Palais des Congrès is now. The Holiday Inn would be just out of the frame to the left.

  3. Craig Street was part of what is now known as rue Saint-Antoine in its entirety, not rue Viger. From the Commission de toponymie’s website:

    “Enfin, au début du XXe siècle, on regroupe pour une première fois sous une même dénomination les rues Saint-Antoine et Craig, qui sont le prolongement l’une de l’autre, et on entreprend, en 1905, de numéroter de nouveau les immeubles en ce sens. À la suite de pressions d’une partie de la population, la dénomination unique est abandonnée et, en 1906, les deux odonymes sont repris. Cependant, depuis le 22 juin 1976, le nom de Craig est à nouveau délaissé et le nom Saint-Antoine identifie désormais l’ensemble de la voie. Le changement de nom est effectif depuis le 1er septembre 1976.”

    http://www.toponymie.gouv.qc.ca/ct/topos/odo.asp?Speci=213067

  4. Very sad. So civilised to have a proper terminal for trams, like a railway station.

    I do hope a modern version of the trams will be brought back soon, starting with bus lines such as avenue du Parc, which is completely saturated.

  5. Sorry Chris, the Holiday Inn would be off to the right. That picture is from 1932. Also visible in that shot you can almost make out Montreal’s first traffic signals, on the second pole up from the bottom.

  6. The only building that you see in the pic that remains is the MTC building that has been incorporated in the Palais.

  7. What an amazing streetscape though… when you see pics like this it really tells how Montreal was ravaged in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

  8. Thanks for the clarification, Antonio. I always get Viger and St. Antoine mixed up.

    Also, thanks to Flow for the floor plan.

  9. When they tore craig terminus down they kept the stones of the facade which were supposed to have been reused when they enlarged le palais des congres which obviously they didn t do.
    Does anyone know what happened to them.
    The same thing happened when they tore down the hotel queen on peel st. south of windsor station they kept some key elements again does anyone know what happenedto those salvaged part of of our past glory.
    Wouldn t be a way to do like in several other cities and display them in park like environment on the island or maybe somewhere on ste helen islans?

  10. Craig Terminus was Similar to a Small Cathedral of Transportation and was once one of the Streetcar Hubs of Montreal.

    You once could Travel by Streetcar from Dixie in Western Lachine to the East End of the Island by using Streetcars, and as Kids we used to Travel to the East End to watch the Ice Breakers in the St.Lawrence River Open the Channel to Prevent Flooding Upstream from Lac St. Pierre.

    The Ice MOVED under your Feet if you went out too far. The Ice Breaker ‘D’Iberville’ which, I Think, was the First Ship thru the Seaway in 1959, was new, then. The other Ice Breaker was the ‘N.B.Mc Clean’.

    The Masonary Wall at the South End of Mc Gill St. was to Prevent Flooding, and the Train Tracks South of the M&SC Station once had a Hinged Gate that was Closed if Flooding Possible.

    Back Then, the First Ocean Vessel into Montreal Harbour Received a Gold Cane from the Mayor.

    As we got Older we sometimes had to go to Terminus Craig to get Photo ID Streetcar and Bus Student Transit Passes ON SCHOOL TIME and it was like a Holiday.

    As I recall, Craig Terminus was on the North Side of the Street where the Montreal Convention Centre and the Place D’Armes Metro Station is.

    In the Photo the Trolley Wires in Bottom left of Photo are going Up the Hill to Place D’Armes another Streetcar Interchange Point Across from Notre Dame Cathedral.

    Its been many Years since I left Montreal and Memories are hazy.

  11. Brings back Memories — Been there in (between 67 – 69) as a kid

  12. The good news. Craig terminus still stands. I built an HO scale miniature replica.It was on display for the 50th anniversary of the last streetcar on August 30th 2009. I hope 1 day to display it at the CRHA museum.

  13. So cool to find this! My father worked on the corner of Bleury & Craig for many years as an Inspector for the MTC. He even met my mom there on that very corner. She worked in one of the offices and passed that corner every day. I can still see them smiling at each other.:-)

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