Paris Métro Sign at Victoria Square – Montreal, Québec - Atlas Obscura

Paris Métro Sign at Victoria Square

The only example of a Paris Métro sign in use at a subway station outside of the French capital.  

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It’s often said that Montreal has one of the world’s most beautiful metro systems, with over 50 stations decorated with over 100 works of public art. As you travel around the city, stations are adorned with sculptures, stained glass, and murals by notable Quebecois artists. An original entryway designed by Hector Guimard in the Art-Nouveau style, arguably the most iconic of them all, can be found at Square-Victoria–OACI station.

The sign was installed in 1967 to celebrate the collaboration with Parisian engineers on the construction of the metro. The idea for bringing the iconic entrance to Montreal stemmed from a fact-finding visit by then-Mayor Jean Drapeau to Paris while the metro was being planned. He saw the Guimard entrance at Étoile station (now Charles de Gaulle–Étoile) station being demolished and suggested that a Guimard could be brought to Montreal.

During a recent restoration, it was discovered that the entranceway still had its original glass lamp globes—the only surviving examples in the world, since Paris had already replaced all its globes with plastic ones.

Know Before You Go

The sign is located on the Orange line at Square-Victoria–OACI station. Exit the station at the Saint Antoine entrance. As it is outside, a metro ticket is not required, and the sign is free to visit.

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