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STM and developer reach agreement for new Metro station at Galleries D'Anjou

Saint-Michel Metro station is the eastern terminus of the Blue line and extending the Metro line eastward would mean cutting through the Galeries d'Anjou mall. The mall's owner and the STM have now reached an agreement. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Saint-Michel Metro station is the eastern terminus of the Blue line and extending the Metro line eastward would mean cutting through the Galeries d'Anjou mall. The mall's owner and the STM have now reached an agreement. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)

After a legal battle and years of discussions, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) has come to terms with a developer to build a bus terminus and metro station at the Galleries D'Anjou, a mall in Montreal's east end.

Owner of Galeries d'Anjou Ivanhoé Cambridge and the STM announced in a joint media release Thursday that they have agreed on the area where the future bus terminus and metro station, slated as part of the long-touted Blue Line extension, will go.

The proposed five-station Blue line extension would end in the Galeries d'Anjou parking lot and will include a bus station and a 1,200-space park-and-ride lot on the mall's property.

"The agreement with Ivanhoe Cambridge is excellent news for the STM, its clients and the citizens of the east end of the city," said Eric Alan Caldwell, the head of the STM, in a statement. "This is another step forward in the completion of the Blue Line extension."

In 2020, the STM sought to expropriate lots at the Galeries D'Anjou to build the terminus, but Ivanhoé Cambridge and Cadillac Fairview, who owned the mall jointly at the time, contested the expropriation in court.

They said the STM was moving forward with the project without taking their concerns into account. The STM said it had the right to expropriate land, and it called the position of the mall's owners "absurd."

The case was dropped in 2021 after Cadillac Fairview sold its stake in the mall to Ivanhoé Cambridge.

Under the agreement announced Thursday, the STM will take control of the lots in March 2024, a timeline Ivanhoé Cambridge said will allow it to relocate businesses affected by the expropriation. The company did not specify which businesses would be affected.

The Blue Line extension is expected to be finished in 2029.

More public transit access

François Pepin, who sits on the board of directors of Trajectoire Quebec, a non-profit organization that advocates for public transit, said he was happy Ivanhoé Cambridge and the STM had reached an agreement.

The agreement will, in his opinion, give the STM the space to build a better bus terminus attached to the future metro station, which will be located next to Highway 25, at a critical junction for buses.

"The project has been improved," he said.

Luis Miranda, the mayor of Anjou, said he was pleased with the agreement between the developer and the STM. The extension of the Blue Line and its connection to the mall will improve public transit access for people who live in the borough — and for the 35,000 workers who work in the area's industrial park, he said.

"What's being done is really what Anjou requested, what's required to service our constituents the best way possible," he said. "It's important. Public transit is the way to go."

Miranda said plans were already being discussed to have some degree of student housing built near the future station.

Student housing would give young people who commute to school on the Metro the opportunity to live near businesses and restaurants where they could easily work part-time.

Miranda said he also favoured the agreement because it resulted in fewer businesses being expropriated from the mall for the construction of the station and a bus terminus.