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Metro Roulette: The Cadillac of Metros

Posted by Jer / May 12, 2007

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Metro Roulette, Midnight Poutine's on-going feature on Montreal's Metro stops is back in full effect. The wheel for this week's random review stopped at Cadillac, so here I go

20070512cadillac2.jpgA few minutes in the Cadillac metro station is all it takes to realize the station doesn't get its name from the luxury vehicle so sassily described by the Boss in Cadillac Ranch or Pink Cadillac. Nothing about the station's drab gray concrete walls says comfort, or style. Even attempts to liven up the dullness, such as the psychedelically colourful art by Jean Cartier or the grassy knoll outside the station, seem strangely out of place. Like finding heated seats in a hyundai. One angry Wikipedian went so far as to call it one of Montreal's ugliest metro stops.

No. Cadillac station is named after rue de Cadillac, which takes its name from some random French explorer who went on to found a colony in what is now known as Detroit, Michigan. Inaugurated in June 1976, the station is made up of two symmetrical, square, above-ground kiosks which feed into an underground balcony that overlooks the tracks. The platform, three stops from the eastern tip of the green line, is small by most metro station standards, with only a tiny dépaneur inside to distract you while you wait for your train.

20070512cadillac5.jpgAt the corner of Sherbrooke and rue de Cadillac, the above ground sections of the station blend in with the low-rise strip malls and residences that make up the surrounding neighbourhood. The constant stream of traffic on Sherbrooke serves as a reminder that most people are just passing through Cadillac; perhaps a befitting homage to the explorer after which it was named. That's not to say that people don't live here. There are plenty of homes on residential streets like de Cadillac which have both charm and life. I picked one of spring's first truly bright sunshiny days for my visit and the residents of the Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough were out in full force on porches and balconies soaking up the nice weather.

The temperature triggered an immediate reaction in my brain that resulted in me needing a milkshake. Sadly, after a forty minute tour of the perimeter, I was milkshakeless. I found overpriced cafés (L'Adresse), fast-food joints (McD's, Dunkin Donuts, St. Hubert's), and random nail salons and dental offices. None of which looked enticing enough for a milkshake stop.

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One noteworthy discovery was the Sanctuaire Marie-Reine-Des-Coeurs which, incidentally, has more colour in one of its outdside tiles than most of the Cadillac Metro station. Inside, there's a great model replica of the church, and a fantastic prayer candle room, which looked divine in the afternoon sun. I considered lighting one and asking for a milkshake, figuring God might understand, but I haven't been the best of Catholics. I continued my tour without making a mockery of religion.

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200701512cadillac9.jpgBack on Sherbrooke, there are a few random Thai, Suhsi, and Greek restaurants (there's even an Arahova Souvlaki franchise out there, though the company doesn't admit to this location on their website). Not being in the mood for a 3 o'clock dinner, I can't tell you whether these places were dives or delights. If I was heading back for supper though, I'd recommend the patio at the upscale Le Saint Jacques, a block up rue de Cadillac.

In the end, I'm glad I got to see the station in the sun. It would be positively depressing if it was as gray outside as it was inside. As I was leaving, it struck me that it was a bit unfair to write a review of a metro station I'd only been to once. It's like judging sex based on the first time, or Jack Bauer from the first episode of 24. Metro stations, like sex or 24, only reveal their true selves after repeated visits and frequent use. Until next time, Cadillac.

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Discussion

19 Comments

laura / May 12, 2007 at 12:26 pm
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Your comparison of Cadillac metro to Jack Bauer is truly a literary gem. Nice photos of the church, also; that candle room looks awesome!
rrrobyn / May 13, 2007 at 12:23 pm
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i'm surprised there isn't a metro stn that doesn't double as a church. okay not surprised but i wish this were a thing b/c it wld seem to be very mtl. and some of them have such church-like proportions and light. hm, well, st henri stn is in 'jesus of montreal'...

anyway. that brings me to the more urgent point of this comment, which is that Midnight Poutine needs to a have QUEST FOR THE MILKSHAKE piece/series b/c srsly, where to find good milkshakes??
Joel / July 31, 2007 at 03:29 pm
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Born in Montreal I grew up blocks away from this metro stop until I was seven years old, then my family moved to Sunny Miami, and boy to I miss it. Thanks for this article, wish there was more, it brought back great memories.
Jer / August 2, 2007 at 11:47 am
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Joel...thanks for the comment. The best part, for me, about this whole metro roulette series of articles is getting to explore some parts of town that I otherwise might have missed. I'm glad it took you on a brief stroll down memory lane.
Mags / May 3, 2008 at 10:34 am
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I have a brother in Montreal. When I visit him I visit the station.
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