Hydro-Québec's Head Office

Find out about the company, discover the history of one of Montréal’s first skyscrapers and admire Jean-Paul Mousseau’s remarkable work of art in the lobby.

The following content is not accessible

Hydro-Québec’s head office opens its doors!

Hydro-Québec’s head office, one of downtown Montréal’s first skyscrapers, is a prime illustration of a pivotal period in the history of contemporary Québec. Come and discover the historical significance of an exceptional building and learn about a piece of Québec’s collective heritage!

You can also admire Jean-Paul Mousseau’s luminous mural in the lobby, find out how a major government-owned corporation has evolved over the years and take a look at one of The Electric Circuit’s charging stations.

You can pick up publications, get inside information on hydropower or ask about sites open to the public, depending on your needs and interests.

Hydro-Québec also offers free guided tours of the Maison du développement durable (Centre for Sustainable Development) in collaboration with Équiterre. Don’t miss the chance to see one of the greenest buildings in Québec and learn more about environmentally and socially responsible construction.

Top of page

Did you know?

175,000 years

You can stare at it for hours. Jean-Paul Mousseau’s mural, Lumière et mouvement dans la couleur, which features constantly moving patterns of colored lights, dominates the lobby at Hydro-Québec’s head office. You’d have to wait 175,000 years to see the ever-changing work display the same pattern again.

Cheap heat

Hydro-Québec recovers the heat given off by the underground transmission substation located behind the head office. It’s enough to heat the entire building, as long as the mercury doesn’t drop below -27°C.

100,000 answers

Any questions? The guides at head office have the answers to over 100,000 questions about electricity. Put them to the test.

Top of page

Question from: Carmen, Montréal

Answer from: Joannie, tour guide at Hydro-Québec’s head office

Why wasn’t the building made big enough to accommodate all the company’s Montréal employees?
Hydro-Québec’s head office was officially opened in 1962. That means it was designed and built before the second wave of electricity nationalization in 1963. When employees moved into the new building, they didn’t occupy all the floors. Some floors were leased to other companies. Today, Hydro-Québec has offices in about 150 buildings and facilities in Québec, and 50% of its employees work in the outlying regions.

Question from: Paul, Blainville

Answer from: Geneviève, tour guide at Hydro-Québec’s head office

How was the Mousseau mural installed?
The mural’s nine panels were designed [and built] in the head office basement. Once completed, they were carried up into the lobby from outside the building. They were so big that one of the plate-glass windows on the front of the building had to be removed. The artist then installed the panels.

Question from: Nicole, Verdun

Answer from: Louis-Philippe, tour guide at Hydro-Québec’s head office

Has Hydro-Québec taken any energy-efficiency measures in its buildings?
Of course! For instance, in the past 30 years, the head office’s energy consumption has gone down by more than 50%. What’s more, since 2008, the amount of drinking water used has been cut in half and the quantity of recovered waste has more than doubled.

Follow the guides!

Our guides know what they’re talking about. They’ve been specially trained to make sure you have a rewarding experience that meets your expectations.

Our interactive educational tours are full of facts and most of them are fun for the entire family. Don’t be shy about asking questions: our guides are very knowledgeable. Your curiosity will be satisfied!

Ask a question Top of page

School tours

School tours

Hydro-Québec’s head office opens its doors free of charge to groups of high school students.

The tour focuses on the social world, so students will discover the history of the company and modern Québec, as well as one of the first skyscrapers in downtown Montréal. They will also be able to admire Jean-Paul Mousseau’s masterpiece, an immense illuminated mural in the lobby.

Combine a tour of the head office with a visit to the nearby Centre for Sustainable Development and you’ll learn about environmental awareness as well as consumer rights and responsibilities.

If you’re interested, it is also possible to add a segment on hydropower generation or a workshop on electromagnetism.

Schedule and practical information

Maximum number of visitors

20 people, including students and escorts. 40 people when combined with a visit of the Centre for Sustainable Development.

Supervision

These are the recommended ratios for adults accompanying groups:

  • Ages 12 to 17: 1 adult for every 1 to 20 pupils

For safety’s sake, teachers and accompanying adults must remain with their charges throughout the tour and help the guides.

Tour packages

Sustainable combo

Visit the head office and the Centre for Sustainable Development. It’s twice as interesting!

Double Hydro combo

For an electrifying day, combine your visit to the head office with a tour of a generating station or trip to Hydro-Québec’s electricity interpretation centre, The Électrium.

Ask about combination tours when booking. And don’t forget to mention your preferences.

Pre-visit preparation

How about a preview before you bring your class? Just ask.

Age-appropriate tours

Tours of Hydro-Québec facilities are an excellent complement to the Québec Education Program. They reinforce the acquisition and development of several competencies in the areas of math, science and technology, social science and more.

Broad Areas of Learning

  • Personal and career planning
  • Environmental awareness and consumer rights and responsibilities

Areas of learning and competencies

  • Social Sciences: Competency 1, 2, 3
  • Arts Education: Competency 3

We tailor the tour to suit your needs.

Topics

  • The two nationalizations of electricity in Québec
  • History of Hydro-Québec
  • Construction and inauguration of the head office
  • The building’s main features
  • Appreciation of the work ofJean-Paul Mousseau
  • Conception of the work of Mousseau
  • The company today
  • Transportation electrification

We tailor the tour to suit your needs.

Topics

  • The two nationalizations of electricity in Québec
  • History of Hydro-Québec
  • Construction and inauguration of the head office
  • The building’s main features
  • Appreciation of the work of Jean-Paul Mousseau
  • Conception of the work of Mousseau
  • The company today
  • Transportation electrification

We tailor the tour to suit your needs.

Topics

  • The two nationalizations of electricity in Québec
  • History of Hydro-Québec
  • Construction and inauguration of the head office
  • The building’s main features
  • Appreciation of the work ofJean-Paul Mousseau
  • Conception of the work of Mousseau
  • The company today
  • Transportation electrification
Top of page

Visitors’ comments

Read more comments
Wow! I’ve discovered a part of history I never knew anything about.
Very interesting and instructive.
Art, history, technology: the tour covers a lot of bases!
A good, easy-to-understand tour. More people should take advantage of it.
Interesting, knowledgeable guides. A big thank-you.

Schedule and practical information

Schedule and practical information

Admission

Free

Schedule

Open year-round

Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Guided tours

Friday, 3:30 p.m.

Tours by appointment available for groups over 5.

Length of tour

75 minutes

Groups

Guided tours

Monday to Friday, reservation required
At a time of your convenience
Depending on availability

Top of page

What you should know

Free guided tours

Tours are led by qualified, dynamic guides.

Accessibility

Tours are on foot and include some stairs but can easily be adapted.

Top of page

Services

  • Accessible to people with physical limitations
  • Accessible by public transit transit
  • Near a bicycle path
  • Restrooms

Information and reservations

514 289-2316

E-mail

Reservations required at all times for groups of 5 or more.

Top of page

How to get there

Hydro-Québec's Head Office

75, boul. René-Lévesque Ouest
Montréal, Québec
H2Z 1A4


The following content is not accessible

Other sights in the area


To find out about other activities or plan your trip to the area, go to QuébecOriginal.com.

Top of page