Rock & mineral collecting at Expo67

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Posted · Report post

I visited the Expo twice as a teenager, first in 1967, and again the next year when it must have become Man and His World. We combined these trips with rock and mineral collecting in the big quarries at Mont St. Hilaire. I think that crushed rock from these quarries was used as fill in the islands for Expo. One of the minerals we collected from there is called siderite, iron carbonate (FeCO3), which forms brown rhomboids (cubes squashed into a diamond shape) that typically range in size from a few mm to 5 cm on a side. The larger ones were considered to be quite spectacular, almost musuem specimens.

I clearly recall seeing very large siderites, maybe 12-15 inches on a side, used as decorative stones and set into concrete walls on the Expo site. At the time, I didn't think to take photos. I have done a fair amount of web surfing in the last couple of years, trying to see if anyone else remembers the same thing. But so far, no result. Can anybody help?

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Posted · Report post

This doesn't actually answer your question, but it's about the source of the fill. I've read that the fill for the islands of expo67 came from the Metro excavations that were going on about the same time.

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Posted · Report post

This doesn't actually answer your question, but it's about the source of the fill. I've read that the fill for the islands of expo67 came from the Metro excavations that were going on about the same time.

Thanks, George. That probably makes more sense than trucking it in.

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Posted · Report post

Yup, a lot of fill for the Expo site came from the metro excavation but it wasn't enough and needed more. A quarry was setup by (I presume the Hewitt company) right in the St-Lawrence river, facing Habitat 67. When the everything was done and the water flowed back it created a permanent wave which is now very popular among kayakers and surfers.

Youtube link where you can see the movement of the water:

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Posted · Report post

I visited Expos '67 as a 13-year-old and ended up living 2 hours from Montreal in Vermont USA. The St. Hillaire collecting site you mentioned is closed to the public now. I do believe the fair "fill" was from the immediate metro area and the subway excavation material sounds logical but I am not sure. FYI: Mon Royal, the city park, as well as Mont St. Hillaire and several other mound shape hills in Quebec known as the Monteregian Hills are actually the exposed, eroded remains of magma feeder chambers to long-ago eroded volcanoes (the volcanoes were miles above, and would be about a mile in the sky today; that's how much the land eroded and changed over many millions of years). Some tourist books say Mont Royal park is an extinct volcano; well, maybe not technically, but it is the magma chamber of an extinct volcano now exposed on the surface in downtown Montreal. More than you wanted to know, I am sure.

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