700, rue Saint-Antoine Est (East)
Built in 1898, the Viger rail Station carries the name of a XIXth century politician: Denis-Benjamin Viger. It was later renamed to the first Montreal’s Mayor: Mr. Jacques Viger and sat on a large green surrounding Place Viger. Built to accommodate visitors travelling to the North and East. Its counterpart was Windsor Station that served the South and West.
Not far from Viger Station was the previous local station (Dalhousie Station) which could not support the massive demand on transportation in the area and explained the need for a larger station.
It is located at the limit of the Old Montreal and it is a very imposing structure. If this architecture reminds you of another building, it the same architect as the iconic Chateau Frontenac in Quebec which presents design similarities.
While common in Europe, it is the only station in Canada that combined train station services with a luxury hotel in the image of the French Chateau style. Since the building presents a different styling, almost like if it was built on-top of a smaller building on the lower level and the upper floors were the hotel rooms.
The economic depression of 1930’ had drastic consequence on the hotel and it closed in 1935.
In 1951, it was the turn of the train station to be closed due to lack of travelers.
For a long time, the building and its surrounding were neglected and now it houses offices and the grounds are being revamped.