Lionel-Groulx is one of the four transfer stations of the Montreal Metro, serving both the Green and Orange lines.
This station was initially going to be called Albert but following the death of Lionel Groulx, who was a Roman Catholic priest, his name was given to the station before it opened. In recent years, there have been demands to change the Lionel-Groulx name because of antisemitism comments he made. Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson has been suggested as a possible replacement because he grew up in this area.
Like most transfer stations, it has two levels of platforms, however, what is great with Lionel-Groulx is the way it is made, you can see all four trains at the same time from the top level as if you look around the escalators, you can see the lower platform and since the lower level trains are closer to the centre as the upper-level trains (the upper-level platform goes over the lower level trains), they are easy to see. Also, if you stand on the right side of the platform on the upper level, you can see trains move up the hill as they arrive, which is the only station where you can see the tires of the train you are going to board as it arrives. You can also see the train at the lower level departing by being at the same spot.
It is one of the stations where the architecture is most worth seeing. With its orange floors as well as granite walls and ceiling, it is truly a classic. It gives you an impression you are not in a subway station but in a large complex where the subway just happens to enter.
The main destination around the station is the Atwater Market. There is only one entrance, 620 Atwater Street.
The station has two central platforms, although technically each line has stacked platforms as it is made to facilitate transfers so that passengers can switch lines without taking the stairs. Passengers going downtown can switch on the lower platform and those going to the Western parts of the lines can switch on the upper platform. Transfers between Green and Orange lines (even though the stairs) are also quicker to do here than at Berri-UQAM due to the station layout, and some passengers can actually save time by going to an extra station to do their transfer here (For example, someone from the northeast part of the Orange line going to Atwater will get there quicker switching at Lionel-Groulx than Berri). Lionel-Groulx is also better arranged than Snowdon for the moment as the majority of passengers transferring at Snowdon need to take the stairs, as Snowdon was built assuming that line 5 would be expanded to the West, which never happened.
Lionel-Groulx was built as a transfer station from the start, yet it opened on the Green line first, on September 3, 1978, as opposed to April 28 1980 for the Orange line.
There is a Couche-Tard convenience store and a Cafe Depot coffee shop, and a souvenir shop selling various accessories on the upper platform, as well as a Van Houtte coffee shop and Tabatout convenience store on the lower one.
This is one of only 5 stations to have a different layout than side platforms. Also, the trains on the lower platform open their doors on the left.
The station was featured (along with Radisson) in the movie "The Jackal", where Lionel-Groulx was arranged to pass for the Metro Center station in Washington, D.C.
The artwork of the station is a wood sculpture called "The Tree of Life", by Italian sculptor Joseph Rifesser. It is on the mezzanine level and represents 5 different faces from the 5 continents, and also a pair of stainless steel mural sculptures by station architect Yves Roy, is also on the mezzanine level, which can also be seen on the higher platform.