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Man And His World

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Hi All,

What was Man and His World? Was it supposed to be a annual "world's fair" operated by Montreal? One guy said in a article about his visit to Man And His World in 1970:

I have an Official Guide to Man and His World, which someone in our family bought for 75 cents in 1970, and I've been getting a big kick out of some of the descriptions it contains. Here are a few selections:

Cryogenics: "... in the last room, a film vividly describes the emotions of a man who awakes sometime in the future after having been frozen for a long period." Wow, I wonder if that film is still intact somewhere -- I'd love to see it!

Spectrafonia: "Sound becomes visible in this pavilion," it says at the start of the description of what sounds like a wonderfully trippy light show. At the end, "a final room, the 'return to calm', is provided to help bridge the gap between the experience and the world outside."

Space: Obviously, they had real space hardware on display in this pavilion, but I'm fascinated by the last part of the exhibit: "The visitor is given a look at the future, through scientific data on mars and prototypes of new space vehicles and life support systems. The 'trip through space' culminates in a room of mirrors where images flash around the visitor from all directions to convey psychedelically the infinity of worlds yet to be discovered."

Science Fiction: Again, my favorite part is the description of the ending: "...in the last section, a chill, silent world of metal, the bewildered visitor is directed toward the exit by aluminum robots." I love the assumption that the pavilion would have a "bewildering" effect on all visitors.

Strange, Strange World: "The strange, yet fascinating phenomena of the universe -- mysteries as bizarre as UFOs, voodoo dolls, and the Loch Ness Monster -- provide a bewitching presentation on the second floor of this pavilion," where "the unusual is the rule."

LSD/Pot: This is the one that really blows my mind. Here's the complete description: "Drugs in contemporary North American society are the theme of this pavilion on Ile Sainte-Helene. The history of drugs is highlighted and the pavilion's objective is to inform and educate, rather than to preach. In a psychedelic atmosphere created through the use of light, sound, and music, visitors observe displays of hallucinogenic drugs and such administering equipment as syringes and pipes. In one of the cells, visitors participate in a simulated drug 'trip'. Legal, medical, and educational approaches to drug use and misuse are explored."

Very weird! Obviously they didn't keep the oringinal pavilion names either. Here's a photo from Expo '67 of the Vermont Pavilion..

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..and here's a photo of the pavilion at Man And His World.

WorldsFairEnthusiast

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"Man and His World" was indeed the successor to Expo 67. Expo had been planned for one year and then the pavilions were to be razed, but it was so successful that they re-opened it the next year as "Man and HIs World". Over time various pavilions were renamed or removed, but it stayed open until the early 80s. I have guidebooks and maps for many of the years and want to make a chart showing the changes over the years.

I've long wished that New York had been as smart as Montreal.

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Bill,

Which pavilions were the Cryogenics, Spectrafonia, Space, Science Fiction and LSD/Pot pavilions? The British pavilion was the Montreal pavilion and the Vermont pavilion was the Poland pavilion. Was Cité du Havre used at Man And His World?

WorldsFairEnthusiast

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I'll have to dig that box out of the vault. Remind me in 2-3 days?

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I don't think that Cite du Havre was used after Expo closed although some of the pavilions remained. I visited Man and His World several times in the 1970's and it was certainly interesting but because the buildings were never meant to be permanent, they quickly began to deteriorate. By 1976, most of the pavilions on Ile Notre Dame had been abandoned (although one could still ride the Mini Train through this vacant portion of the Expo Islands) and Man and His World was basically relegated to Ile Ste. Helene. It seems that each summer I visited, the pavilions had changed.

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My family visited Man and His World in 1970, give or take a year or so. There was a grasshopper plague while we were there. They were EVERYWHERE, live and squashed. They were all over Montreal. Anyone else know of this?

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There was a grasshopper plague while we were there. They were EVERYWHERE, live and squashed. They were all over Montreal. Anyone else know of this?

I can see it now-

grasshopper.jpg

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There were a number of proposals for the Expo site as the closing of the fair approached in the autumn of 1967 including using the islands for development of an apartment complex or possibly a university and cultural centre operated by the UN. Mayor Jean Drapeau pushed to make a permanent exhibition out of the Expo structures and Man and His World was created. It actually attracted over 20 million visitors in 1968 alone. Many of the exhibitors were pleased with this decision because it meant they did not have to demolish their pavilions and they were simply given to the city of Montreal. (President Johnson "gave" Montreal the US geodesic dome in a presentation during his July, 1967 visit to Expo, for example.) This is why the pavilions were different in the years after Expo ended. Some pavilions, of course, were removed. The huge Soviet pavilion was moved to Moscow and the West German "tent" was also removed.

I have purchased many Expo postcards at flea markets over the years and I am often amazed at how many 1967 visitors wrote home urging friends to visit Expo either that summer (1967) or certainly in 1968. There was a perception, mainly among American visitors, that Expo was a two year fair as was New York's fair. Of course, that was incorrect.

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Guys,

I recently learned that a relative of mine visited Man and His World around 1972 but they claimed they took no photos. But just a few days ago I was helping them sort out all their old photos when I happened to come across....Man and His World photos! Most of them are of the Alexander Calder sculpture with the Expo Express bridge in the background but there's one photo that shows the interior of a mystery pavillion. The picture was taken looking at the ceiling. There are lights but suspended pretty much over them are hollow cubes suspended on ropes about two feet apart. I don't know what colors they were because the photos are black and white. If anybody might know what pavilion I'm talking about PLEASE tell me.

WorldsFairEnthusiast

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Not sure what the interior shots might be because most interior exhibits were vastly different than they had been in 1967. And it seems as if the exhibits in the various pavilions changed each season. The Alexander Calder sculptue of Man is still there on Ile Ste. Helene although it stands in a different spot on the island so that it is more clearly visible from Old Montreal.

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I don't think that Cite du Havre was used after Expo closed although some of the pavilions remained. I visited Man and His World several times in the 1970's and it was certainly interesting but because the buildings were never meant to be permanent, they quickly began to deteriorate. By 1976, most of the pavilions on Ile Notre Dame had been abandoned (although one could still ride the Mini Train through this vacant portion of the Expo Islands) and Man and His World was basically relegated to Ile Ste. Helene. It seems that each summer I visited, the pavilions had changed.

Most of the pavilions on Ile Notre Dame were demolished to make way for the rowing basin built for the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. There are still a few original structures standing, including part of the Canada pavilion, still wearing the Expo circle symbol.

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The pavilions on the northern end of Ile Notre Dame were cleared away for the rowing basin. However, the pavilions at the southern end of the island (Canada, Britain, France, Quebec and many others) remained in 1976. I know this because I spent one day at the Olympics in Montreal and during our trip we also visited Man and His World and I rode the Mini Train which actually took us through the empty portion of Ile Notre Dame. It was a futuristic ghost town. I still cannot believe I had that opportunity to see the ruins of a great world's fair. At that time, only the exhibits on Ile Ste Helene were still open.

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I have seen very little pictures of man and His world, but an aerial shot would really be interesting. Anyone know of these?

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A good site is the virtual Expo tour (see the link on the Parc Jean Drapeau site). Also, Expo Lounge is an excellent source of Expo history as well as information on Man And His World.

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I have seen very little pictures of man and His world, but an aerial shot would really be interesting. Anyone know of these?

Ask and ye shall receive. We have had the PTU/WFC staff scouring the far reaches of the Earth for you.

Here's a view of the site in 1980 as they were preparing for the "Les Floralies Internationales de Montreal" floral show.

man-and-world-aerial-1980.jpg

Thirteen years after the fair and quite a bit of it was still there. I can't say the Olympic rowing basin does much for me.

By the way, the staff is compiling a list of their expenses and we'll be sending the invoice shortly.

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Here's a view of the site in 1980 as they were preparing for the "Les Floralies Internationales de Montreal" floral show.

By the way, the staff is compiling a list of their expenses and we'll be sending the invoice shortly.

Way cool, thanks guys. Its cool to see the changes that Man and His World went through over the years.

"By the way, the staff is compiling a list of their expenses and we'll be sending the invoice shortly." - lol :)

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Much remained in 1980 although most of Ile Notre Dame was no longer in use. The most noteworthy missing pavilions on that island are Ontario, West germany and the Soviet Union.

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Also, its interesting to see the ruins of the US Pavilion

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In 1980, it was in ruins. Today, the former US pavilion is a very popular attraction--the Biosphere.

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If one goes to Google images and types in Parc Jean Drapeau, there are some good photographs of the Expo islands today. The change to both islands is dramatic and the scenes of the Biosphere are impressive.

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When I did that I came across this image. It is taken similar from the vantage point of the old photo Bill et. al. found during the Grand Prix a little while back:

post-4303-124673125947_thumb.jpg

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Yup...that is the image I was looking at earlier. The Biosphere is the main remaining structure on Ile Ste Helene and the Casino de Montreal is the primary structure on Ile Notre Dame.

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The French Pavilion is still a very handsome structure. Looks like the park is put to good use.

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