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Stunning Photos from the Expo 1967 in Montreal that brought 50 Million Visitors

The 1967 International and Universal Exposition was held in Montreal, Quebec, to celebrate Canada’s centennial. Québec senator Mark Drouin proposed the idea of a world exhibition in Montréal for Canada’s 100th-anniversary celebrations. In late 1962, the House of Commons passed legislation creating the Canadian Corporation for the 1967 World Exhibition. The federal government would participate 50 percent in Expo 67, Québec would contribute 37.5%, and Montréal would contribute 12.5%. To select a central theme and develop a philosophy, the three governments convened a conference in Montebello, Québec.

There were many challenges to choosing a site for the exhibition, not the least of which was the lack of time. There were many proposals considered, but it was decided to expand Île Ste-Hélène, a park in the middle of the St. Lawrence River connected to Montréal by the Jacques Cartier Bridge, by using silt and rock dredged from the bottom of the river. Additionally, Île Notre-Dame would be created adjacent to Île Ste-Hélène along the St. Lawrence Seaway. Dump trucks brought landfill to the site 24 hours a day for months after river bottom sources proved insufficient. It cost $40 million to build the site instead of the original estimate of $10 million. The place was formally turned over to the exhibition corporation on July 1, 1964, despite all the problems. Ultimately, it was divided into four main areas. Aside from the port of Montréal, the entrance to Cité du Havre was formerly known as Mackay Pier. In the western section of the island Ste-Hélène, the Concordia Bridge connects the Cité du Havre to the first exhibition area. The third area was the Île Notre-Dame. Most amusement activities were located in the fourth area, La Ronde, on Île Ste-Hélène.

There were 120 government pavilions at Expo 67, and thousands of private exhibitors and sponsors participated in 53 private pavilions. During the exhibition period, 26 million individual visits were expected. From April 28 through October 27, more than 50 million paid admissions were recorded, not counting performers, the press, official visitors, and employees. Expo 67 cost Canada, Québec, and Montréal $283 million.

#12 Pavilion hostesses are seen at the opening ceremony of the Expo ’67 on April 28, 1967 in Montreal, Canada.

#13 A general view of the Expo ’67 on April 28, 1967 in Montreal, Canada.

#14 View of the British Pavilion, designed by Scottish architect Basil Spence, during an opening ceremony at Expo 67

#18 Work on the Expo 67 Rheal Benny site, December 11, 1963

#19 Views of the lighthouse and the letters EXPO 67 taken from the Jacques-Cartier-Henri Remillard bridge, 1963

#21 Slideshow on the advertising promotion of Expo 67.

#22 Slideshow on the advertising promotion of Expo 67.

#23 Slideshow on the advertising promotion of Expo 67.

#24 Slideshow on the advertising promotion of Expo 67.

#60 Glassblower in the Swiss Pavillon of the Expo 1967

#62 Glassblower in the Swiss Pavillon of the Expo 1967

#63 The pavilion of the USSR at the exhibition in Montreal, Canada, in 1967.

#64 The pavilion of the USSR at the exhibition in Montreal, Canada, in 1967.

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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