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Silo No. 5


By virtue of its size, siting and volume, Silo No. 5 creates a monumental alignment stretching nearly 400 metres along the Pointe-du-Moulin in Montréal’s Old Port. It consists of three distinct parts linked together by aerial galleries. With its floating elevators which allowed the offloading of grain from the holds of lakers and the simultaneous loading of transatlantic vessels without ever coming into contact with the quays, the silo demonstrates the technological prowess of a bygone era.


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Published on : October 06 2015

Last modified on : May 03 2016

Silo No. 5 was completed in four stages (1906, 1913, 1924 and 1958). Construction on Silo No. 5 was begun by the Grand Trunk Railway in 1903. In the late 19th century and for several decades thereafter, grain was the main export product transiting through the Port of Montreal. Competition from U.S. ports was strong, so the decision was made to equip Montreal’s with grain elevators and make it the world’s leading grain port by 1928.


Silo No. 5 is the only extant example of the evolution of grain elevators in the 20th century. With the demolition of Silo No. 1 and Silo No. 2, it is now, along with the Old Port’s conveyor pier tower, the last vestige of Old Montreal’s 20th-century harbour panorama. Its heritage value has been recognized by the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office. The silo, now owned by the Canada Lands Corporation, has stood abandoned since 1996, and is suffering from a lack of maintenance and zero public access.


Heritage Montreal has been invited to sit on the committee that will be involved in mapping out a master plan for the site, which Canada Lands hopes to make public by 2017

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Silo No 5

  • Municipality or borough


  • Issues

    Urban Development

    Urban landscape

  • Owner(s)

    Public; governmental; federal

  • Threat(s)


    Inappropriate/incompatible use

  • Conception

    John S. Metcalfe (Elevator B, Annex 1) C.D. Howe Firm (Elevator B-1)

  • Manager(s)

    Canada Lands Company

  • Categorie(s)


  • Construction year

    Elevator « B » : 1903-1906; Annex 1: 1913-14; Annex 2: 1923-1924; Elevator B-1 : 1957-59

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