Project 365 – Day 84: Montreal Olympic Stadium

March 24 2012

The plan had been to head to the Marché Maisonneuve, but being a bit late decided to just have a walk around the Olympic Stadium. Unfortunately I didn’t have my tripod with me as I saw quite a few HDR opportunities, so in the end, today ended being more of a location scouting trip for a future day.

Montreal Olympic Stadium

Montreal Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium is commonly referred to as the Big O, referencing both it’s name and the shape of the structure. Many also refer to it as the Big Owe in reference to the huge debt that was created by the cost overruns of the stadium construction and the 1976 Olympics as a whole. The cost was originally pegged at being $134 million, but due to strikes and delays the costs rose to $264 million. Including cost of repairs (of which there have been many), renovations, inflation and interest, the total bill for the Big O was $1.6 billion and was finally paid off in November 2006.

The Olympic Stadium is located to the east of downtown in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district and served by 2 metro stations Pie IX and Viau on the green line. There is also a large underground car park.

Olympic ring logo at the Pie IX Metro station

Olympic ring logo at the Pie IX Metro station

Pie IX Metro station

Pie IX Metro station

Olympic Stadium underground car park

Olympic Stadium underground car park

The construction of the 175 meter leaning tower (the tallest leaning tower in the world) and the reclining roof were not actually completed until 1987. The roof has been particularly problematic. The roof was difficult to retract and couldn’t be used in high winds.  In 1998 the orange kevlar roof was replaced with a blue opaque non-opening roof. This new roof has also been plagued with issues, partly collapsing in 1999 under the weight of snow and ice. A committee was set up in 2011 to study and make recommendations for the future of the stadium.

Montreal Olympic Stadium

Montreal Olympic Stadium

Montreal Olympic Stadium Tower

Montreal Olympic Stadium Tower

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I plan doing a more in-depth photo study of the Olympic Stadium in the near future. In the meantime, here are a few more images taken today.

Montreal Olympic Stadium

Montreal Olympic Stadium

Montreal Olympic Stadium

Montreal Olympic Stadium

Montreal Olympic Stadium

Montreal Olympic Stadium

To view images in gallery format, simply click on one of the images below.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

– Martin

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