|January, 1914.||70 Bond Street, Toronto, Canada||Page 9.|
The extensive additions to the Windsor Street station, Montreal, are rapidly approaching completion. A full description, with plan, of the trackage and approaches appeared in Canadian Railway and Marine World for November.
In the summer of 1910 the foundations were laid of an addition to the old building, to extend the frontage along Windsor street to a total of over 490 feet with a frontage on St. Antoine street of over 170 feet. There were two problems to be faced, one architectural, the other engineering. The architect's difficulty was to devise a facade which would look harmonious and impressive from every point of view, in spite of the fact that there was a difference in elevation on Windsor Street of 40 feet between St. Antoine and Osborne streets. The engineering problem was to find a satisfactory foundation on rather treacherous soil for the massive tower, which the architect proposed. The sinking of the foundations delayed the work considerably at the initial stages, but eventually a satisfactory base was found, and the building began to rise with a structural steel frame, all the columns of which rest upon heavy concrete foundations carried to rock by means of cylindrical caissons. The variation in levels had one satisfactory result, namely, that room was found for vast vaults beneath the main floor of the building and beneath the tracks, in which there is storage capacity sufficient to accommodate records for many years to come. These vaults cover a ground area of 66,000 square feet, still leaving room for an immigration hall covering 10,000 square feet, Chinese waiting room, covering 6,900 square feet, and third class passenger waiting room, covering 3,000 square feet.
The cubic capacity of the new portion of the building, exclusive of vaults under tracks, but including the splendid concourse, is 4,703,000 cubuc feet, while the viaducts total another 1,000,000 cubic feet, and the power houses an additional 220,500 feet. The tower is 15 stories high, or 16 including the basement, and its top is 225 feet above the level of St. Antoine St. It contains water tanks, with a combined capacity of 30,000 gallons, and is said to be the most massive tower in Canada. The general waiting room, in the main building, has a ground area of 7,800 feet.
The new addition alone contains 2,800 tons of steel, apart from the steel used in the train sheds. The building when completed will have 13 elevators, 8 for passengers (2 of which have a lifting capacity each of 7,000 pounds.), 4 for freight and baggage, and 1 for the kitchen and restaurant.
In the construction of the exterior of the building limestone from quarries in the Province of Quebec was used, and the labour employed was almost entirely native. The steel was manufactured at Lachine by the Dominion Bridge Company. As many as 600 men were employed at one time on construction, the rivetters and erectors being chiefly recruited from the Indian reservation at Caughnawaga. The stonemasons were French Canadians. The interior fittings were very fine, marble being used exclusively in the principal halls and corridors. Italy, France, Indiana, and Tennessee have each contributed from their quarries, some of the stone coming from Euville, and some of the marble from the Botticino quarries.
The train sheds have been planned to cover all the tracks, which have been increased to 11 in number. On 6 tracks the sheds are 1,000 feet long, on 2 tracks 800 feet, on 2 more 550 feet, and on track 1, intended particularly for suburban traffic, 420 feet. Over 2,000 tons of steel have been used in these sheds, exclusive of the concourse. The area covered is 205,000 square feet, or about 5 acres. The train sheds are of the Bush pattern, and special care has been taken to provide roof drainage and to ensure dry and clean platforms at all times. The skylights are designed so as to be always clear, and snow can be shovelled through slots in the roof onto cars below. A copper hood over every skylight is specially designed to allow of ventilation and yet to prevent snow or rain from drifting in. There is a system of fire protection in case of cars taking fire in the station, pipes being laid with plentiful supply of water under high pressure.