The Leaning Tower of Montreal & Other Quebec Curios

Hivernale 2015. Photo Derrick Soares. Hivernale 2015. Photo Derrick Soares.

The Olympic Stadium in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve has the reputation of being a big doughnut-shaped building, a money guzzler, or the home of the Montreal Impact, depending on which social circles one frequents. Designed and constructed by French architect Roger Taillibert in the 1970s, this Montreal landmark —or eyesore — sports the tallest inhabitable tower in the world: the Montreal Tower.

OSM performs Carmen. Olympic Stadium Espanade. 2015. Photo Sarah Bemri

OSM performs Carmen. Olympic Stadium Espanade. 2015. Photo Sarah Bemri

The Montreal Tower is an integral part of the Olympic Stadium, holding cables that can open and close the stadium’s retractable roof. However, after opening and closing the roof about eighty-eight times, the roof was closed permanently and remains in bad shape, counting more than six thousand rips in the fibreglass construction as of last year, and ever growing since. The tower is held in place by a huge underground base made of tonnes of concrete whose weight is equivalent to three aircraft carriers. While people can’t officially live in the Montreal Tower, the tower sports a hydraulic lift that can carry seventy-six people to the top, where you can see most of the Greater Montreal Region.

Hivernale 2015. Photo Derrick Soares.

Hivernale 2015. Photo Derrick Soares.

The tower is built as per the structural expression school of architecture, born of the 1970s. Its aesthetics favour bearing the very entrails of the building, and the architecture style favours building economy (a large amount of space in a small structure). With a height of 165m, intentionally inclined at a forty-five-degree angle, much more than its famous counterpart, the Leaning Tower of Pisa (a paltry five-degree angle, and unintentional, at that).

Visit the Montreal Tower, if you dare, by visiting the Olympic Stadium at 4545 avenue Pierre-De Coubertin.

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