Hidden away just off Wellington Street, the decrepit and abandoned Wellington Tunnel is desolate and foreboding. Crumbling and graffiti-scrawled, the tunnel is strewn with garbage and its hidden entrance is sealed off with concrete blocks and prison-like iron bars. The place feels extremely creepy and dangerous.
The Wellington Tunnel was constructed in 1932 because the Swing Bridge from 1893 could no longer handle the heavy increase in now-motorized car traffic. The tunnel was constructed with 4 passages: two for cars, one for streetcars and one for pedestrians. Sometimes water flooded the passageways, making it dangerous, especially for the electric streetcars. On other occasions locals would dump garbage inside, creating obstacles for traffic. The Wellington Tunnel was not well-liked, with locals complaining about nasty fumes, horrible stenches and strange, foreboding noises when passing through it.
After engineers detected dangerous structural problems in 1994, the Wellington Tunnel was closed and ultimately abandoned. It was replaced with the current Wellington Bridge. The tunnel’s southern end was blocked off and its entrance buried, but the northern entrance can still be visited. Today the tunnel is used by people who know about its secret entrance. Homeless people sometimes use it for shelter and occasionally artists host clandestine vernissages (art exhibitions) and illegal rave parties. While the tunnel beneath the Lachine Canal is definitely spacious, it is also rumoured to be haunted, according to many of its users.