• Short Summary

    Residents of Montreal no longer tilt their hats back to gaze u proudly at glistening high-rise structures in the midst of their booming bilingual metropolis -- skyscrapers are becoming commonplace in this largest and second-oldest of Canadian cities.

  • Description

    LS High Angle, Pan R/L from Mount Royal Look-Out across city of Montreal

    LS Street in Montreal, new building amongst old ones.

    LS Modern Apartment building next to old buildings.

    ML/S Tilt up from entrance of modern apartment building to top of building

    LS Low Angle, apartment building near completion

    LS Low angle, workers on building site.

    ML/S Low angle, 2 workmen at work

    ML/S Low Angle, carpenters at work on scaffold.

    L/S Workmen on scaffolding, working.

    MS Power shovel lifting earth and dumping into truck

    ML/S Carpenter carrying wood.

    LS Carpenter carrying wood.

    MC/S Carpenters at work.

    L/S Low angle, workers among scaffolding.


    LS Low angle, Place Ville Marie Building, camera pans to low angle BANK OF COMMERCE BUILDING

    LS Low angle, Pan R/L from Place Ville Marie to construction site, HOTEL CHATEAU CHAMPLAIN in background

    CS Quick pan up Chateau Champlain

    ML/S Low Angle, welder working on Chateau Champlain

    ZOOM out from Chateau Champlain to

    L/S Chateau Champlain, old buildings in foreground

    LS Low Angle, CANTLIE HOUSE APARTMENTS, Pan to Low Angle LE CARTIER APARTMENTS, old buildings in foreground

    LS LE CARTIER APARTMENTS, old buildings in foreground.

    ML/S Sign reading "LE CARTIER", pan up to top of building

    ML/S Metal Rods being unloaded from truck

    L/S Low angle, Pan L/R, crane lifting iron rods, PLACE VICTORIA in b/g.

    housing office buildings and the Montreal and Canadian Stock Exchanges (sequence no. 26 to 29)

    LS Pan R/L from cranes to Place Victoria

    LS Low angle, Place Victoria

    LS Low angle, pan R/L, Place Victoria

    LS Low Angle, apartment buildings half completed, old buildings in F/G.

    CS of apartment building of last shot.

    ML/S Pan R/L and tilt up MCINTYRE MEDICAL SCIENCES BUILDING, (the new McGill University Medical Building)

    LS Low Angle, McIntyre Medical Sciences Building.

    LS High Angle, McIntyre Medical Sciences Building; downtown Montreal in background.

    LS High Angle, downtown Montreal; St. Lawrence River in background


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Residents of Montreal no longer tilt their hats back to gaze u proudly at glistening high-rise structures in the midst of their booming bilingual metropolis -- skyscrapers are becoming commonplace in this largest and second-oldest of Canadian cities. most Canadian cities have experienced a fever of construction in recent years unparalleled since the early part of the century. Generally speaking, the Canadian trend in the larger cities is away from house building and to apartment construction and living. But Montreal is leading the way with a dazzling proliferation of apartment, office and hotel buildings supplemented by concert halls, department stores and university buildings throughout its urban area.

    However, there is a unique aspect of Montreal's spectacular growth which is not apparent from its burgeoning skyline. This is the development of a central complex of interlocking underground arteries which will form a hub for the life of the city. The significance of this activity below ground level is that it is being conceived not merely as a series of narrow tunnels connecting major structures above ground but as a system of broad, brightly lit, subterranean streets complete with shops, cinemas and cafes. Already partially in operation, this underground city within the city effectively demonstrates a solution to the problem of traffic congestion plaguing all large cities today. Cars, buses and trains move unimpeded on the surface and on elevated highways above it; pedestrians stroll freely along the promenades below. Moreover, the strolling shopper need never worry about rain, snow or seasonal fluctuations in temperature as he moves through the sheltered malls. It is this aspect of Montreal's building boom which is creating a new way of life for its inhabitants and which has moved a noted writer to nominate it as a model for the city of the future.

    The conception of an underground core at the centre of the metropolitan area would not have been possible though, without the impressive rise of a succession of multi-storey structures above ground. The largest of these are situated quite close to one another at the heart of the metropolis; others will be linked to the central area by subway which will be in operation in late 1966. Some of the new, high-rise buildings, which form urban sub-communities by themselves, are notable examples of modern architecture that have attracted world-wide attention.

    Centerpiece and showplace of Montreal's mid-town cluster of modern buildings is the Place Ville Marie, dominated by the 42-storey, gleaming, cruciform headquarters of the Royal Bank of canada. This building alone accommodates twelve to fifteen thousand office workers while additional thousands pass to and for among the promenades beneath it. It is flanked on the west and south by a complex of nine sizeable structures which include the Central Station of the Canadian National Railways, the International Civil Aviation Organization Building, the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, the Canadian National Railways Headquarters Building, and the International Business Machines building. Two major structures now under construction will complete the complex -- the 28-storey Terminal Tower Building and the massive Place Bonaventure which is to include trade, exhibition, convention, hotel and parking facilities, in addition to shops, recreational areas and roof gardens.

    Scarcely less impressive in scale and design are the 43-storey Canadian Imperial bank of Commerce Building and the 34-storey C.I.L. House, both nearby, to east and west of the Place Ville Marie-Central Station complex. And, a short distance south, near the old financial center of the city, the Stock Exchange Tower (Tour de la Bourse) rises 47 stories to claim the title of "tallest reinforced concrete building in the world". The building is only the first stage of a twin tower project which will be known as Place Victoria and will be the largest office structure in the British Commonwealth. When completed, the twin towers, linked by a five-story building, will fill daily with some 16,000 office workers.

    Not far to the west of Place Victoria, the Canadian Pacific Railway's Chateau Champlain, a 38-storey hotel, is under construction adjacent to a spacious plaza that will be known as the Place du Canada. This building stands directly opposite the CPR's Windsor Station.

    With these key structures forming the nucleus of Montreal's new urban centre, a rash of other building projects, large and small, are underway on all sides. Especially noteworthy is the recently announced plan for a mammoth $125,000,000 development to cover 500,000 square feet of land by interests associated with the T. Eaton Company -- Canada's huge department store chain. The plan calls for two 34-storey office towers, a retail and commercial centre, a sky-lit gallery and a host of complementary facilities. Close by, the Tour Laurier, with 39 stories, will be Canada's first circular skyscraper -- its shape is intended to relieve the uniformity of stone and glass in addition to providing more "outside" space. The city's two principle universities, McGill University and the University of Montreal, have both entered into extensive building programs to expand facilities. Radio Canada has announced plans for a giant radio and television broadcasting center in the east end of the city, where a 14-storey center for police work is now under construction and a 4-million dollar motel has lately opened.

    And so, Montreal's building boom shows no sign of slackening. The peak is expected to be reached in the next two years, since many projects have been scheduled for completion in time for the opening of Expo -- the 1967 World's Fair being held here. But, Expo alone cannot account for the astonishing flurry of construction that is changing the face of Canada's major metropolis. Some of the builders feel that the phenomenon is a visible expression of confidence in the city's future. Financial experts say it is tangible evidence of the vitality and imagination of the city's business community. Others believe it is simply a demonstration of the pride that Montrealers take in their city -- a conviction that their's is one of the "cities of the world" and deserves an appearance and character second to none.

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