Olympic Tower funicular revamp expected to boost tourism

The Big O's funicular needs an update and Montreal is looking to Toronto for inspiration.

Group in charge of funicular calling for proposals that use new technology

An update to the funicular would cost millions. (Radio-Canada)

The Big O's funicular needs an update and Montreal is looking to Toronto for inspiration. 

The Régie des installations olympiques (RIO) has launched a call for tenders to update the aging structure. 

The stadium itself was completed for the 1976 Olympic Games, but the funicular wasn't opened until 1987. 

The project is expected to cost a few million dollars and double the amount of visitors the site receives over a five-year period. 

The president of RIO, Michel Labrecque, said that leveraging new technology would improve the experience for visitors.

"The funicular needs to be a different experience going up and down it," Labrecque said. "We could use modern technology to incorporate projections, narration and more."

Labrecque added that other funiculars around the world are incorporating creative technologies to take their experience beyond just having tourists ascend and descend.

He said these creative approaches are being used in South Africa, Spain, and even in Toronto.

A reporter leans over the edge of the catwalk during the media preview for the "EdgeWalk" on the CN Tower in Toronto, July 27, 2011. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

EdgeWalk, the 2011 update to the CN Tower, allows thrill-seeking tourists to stand on the ledge of the Tower's main pod. 

The creative addition helped boost revenue for the CN Tower by 10 per cent.

Quebecers finally paid off their $1.5-billion debt from the 1976 Summer Games in 2006. The Olympic Stadium is expected to need $220 million in repairs over the next decade.

with files from Radio Canada's Jean-Philippe Robillard