Project 365 – Day 46: Metro and tunnels of Bonaventure

Feb 15 2012

Despite it being much warmer out today, the light snow and drab grey sky (that even HDR processing would have difficulty to make interesting) led me to venture inside and check out the Central Railway Station on rue de la Gauchetiére.

It was just a little after 9am and I was hoping to get a shot of the steady stream of commuters exiting the trains and buses, but by the time I found a good spot and set up, the bulk of Montreal’s workforce were already sitting in their offices – so I’ll keep this idea for another day.

From the Gare Centrale I headed down to the Bonaventure Metro Station, if someone had been following me they could have taken me as being a train spotting nerd, but heck trains and metros can be quite photogenic ;)

In the end, the photo of the day happened to be of a busker playing his guitar in the fairly long tunnel that connects the metro station to the Place Bonaventure exhibition hall.

Busking for the rushed workers

Busking for the rushed workers

Montreal is known for the Underground city (La Ville Souterraine in French) and maze of tunnels that connect offices and apartment buildings to the shopping centers and transport hubs.

In all there are 32km of tunnels that spread over an area of twelve square kilometres of downtown Montreal. In 2004, the Underground city was rebranded and given the name RÉSO. The name RÉSO is a homophone for the french word réseau (meaning network).

The underground city was originally the vision of Vincent Ponte who was a modernist urban planner in Montreal. The first link of the underground city came to being in 1962 with the construction of the Place Ville-Marie office tower and underground shopping mall, with a tunnel linking it to Central Station and the Queen Elizabeth Hotel.

As a little side story…When I first came to Montreal, a guide drove us down rue Sainte Catherine informing us that Sainte Catherine was the main shopping street of Montreal. At first I was glad to see what seemed like very few stores that I imagined I would be made to visit each Saturday – shopping is not one of my pastime loves. Our tour guide then pulled over and introduced us to the maze of tunnels and large shopping centers that stretched into the bowels of the earth…There go my peaceful Saturday’s I thought. But truth has it, I now love the RÉSO and still find myself getting lost and finding new tunnels to explore.

I plan over the coming months to shoot much of the RÉSO and provide more information on what is a key tourist attraction in downtown Montreal.

Okay, back to today’s other pictures. Here are a couple more of the tunnel between Bonaventure Metro and exhibition hall.

Busker in Bonaventure tunnel

Busker in Bonaventure tunnel

Bonaventure tunnel in the RÉSO Montreal

Bonaventure tunnel in the RÉSO Montreal

As I mentioned, I did stop to take some pics in the Bonaventure Metro station.

Bonaventure Metro

Bonaventure Metro

Bonaventure Metro

Bonaventure Metro

Bonaventure Metro

Bonaventure Metro

One idea for an image I had was photographing commuters walking through the revolving doors at one of the station entrances. Although I received quite a few questioning glances from harried commuters, likely wondering what the hell was so interesting to photograph, I did fire off a couple of shots. The outcome was not quite how I envisaged the image, but will share the results nevertheless.

Revolving doors at Bonaventure Metro

Revolving doors at Bonaventure Metro

Revolving doors at Bonaventure Metro

Revolving doors at Bonaventure Metro

Revolving doors at Bonaventure Metro

Revolving doors at Bonaventure Metro

The plan for today’s shot as I mentioned at the outset was to photograph commuters at the Central Railway Station. Well here is the one image (actually made of 3 exposure – as with all the others in this post) that I did take while I was there.

Central Railway Station, Montreal

Central Railway Station, Montreal

The final shot of the day was near the entrance to the Place Bonaventure exhibition hall. I managed to take this shot just before being approached by security informing me photography wasn’t allowed…I guess I need to start being a little more clandestine when setting up my tripod and camera.

Place Bonaventure exhibition hall entrance

Place Bonaventure exhibition hall entrance

To view images in a gallery format, click on one of the images below.

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Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

– Martin

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