History of Place Charles-Le Moyne

The area surrounding the Longueuil metro station was developed in the mid 1960s. It includes the Sandman hotel, the Port-de-Mer apartments, the Saint-Charles complex, the Montval building, and the Bienville complex. The Place Charles-Le Moyne name honours the founder of the Seigneury of Longueuil.

Montréal South at the beginning of the century

The entire sector was part of Montreal South, a small town founded in 1911 and annexed by Vieux-Longueuil in 1961. The inauguration of the Place Longueuil shopping centre in 1966 can be considered as the starting point of the sector's development.

Place Charles-Le Moyne's first major building was of course the metro station, commissioned on March 31, 1967, and inaugurated on April 3. The 27,000 square-foot station cost $900,000 to build at the time. The station's construction was of course motivated by Expo 67 held on Sainte-Hélène and Notre-Dame islands. In 1972, a second storey was added to the building at a cost $1,300,000.

The Longueuil metro station's creation launched the area's first major developments. The site was in fact the only area in Vieux-Longueuil that could accommodate high rises at a time when the city needed this type of building.

The seven-storey Montval building was built in 1968. The Québec government is its main occupant.

The 386-unit Port-de-mer apartment complex was linked to the metro station in 1971 by a walkway designed by architect Jean Grondin. Both buildings, built in 1968, were sold to Habitations Château Lincoln in 1989.

The 298-room Sandman Hotel, located at 999 Sérigny, near the metro, was inaugurated in 1972 under the Holiday Inn banner. It became a Ramada Inn on August 15, 1994, and was sold to the Radisson chain in March 1999. It became the Sandman Hotel in 2004.

In August 1971, the monument honouring the soldiers who took part in the Dieppe Raid on August 19, 1942, was unveiled across the metro station.

In 1987, when the Louis-Braille Institute moved to the Place Charles-Le Moyne sector, the Institute also relocated André Turpin's sculpture, a full-scale bronze statue mounted on a rectangular marble slab.

The Saint-Charles complex is a seven-storey building erected in 1986 by Groupe Mercille inc., as designed by the architectural firm of Webb, Zerofa & Menkes of Montréal. This office building includes two underground parking levels that can accommodate up to 115 vehicles. A 100-foot walkway, inaugurated on December 8, 1987, links it to the metro. The complex was completed in 1989.

Other rental properties were built over the years.

Six covered and heated walkways now connect the various buildings to the metro, thus creating the longest aerial bridge system in Canada. The Metro-Bienville walkway, built at a cost of $3.9 million, is the longest at 170 metres. It was designed by architect Mario Petrone who was particularly creative in attaching blue architectural steel members resting on concrete columns of varying lengths and widths, with a grooved portion and a sandblasted portion. A panoramic view of Montréal and the floor's ceramic colour display make strolling through the walkway an enjoyable experience.

Longueuil's $23 million intermodal terminal was inaugurated on June 18, 2000. The new terminal increased the number of bus platforms from 23 to 41.

In recent years, Place Charles-Le Moyne has also become a major university centre. In September 2003, in order to better reflect the area's new academic function, the metro station was given the new name of Longueuil—Université-de-Sherbrooke.

Michel Pratt
President of the Société historique et culturelle du Marigot