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Impressions Of Expo 67

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That was cool, first general overview of that fair that I have seen. I especially liked the part around 7.30 when the monorail went around the entire fair, then showing the THOUSANDS of people. Awesome, what a great find!

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Thanks for sharing the link, Sean-- and welcome to PTU! :)

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Makes me want to roll the clock back to April of 1967! Amazing quality, both video and audio. There seems to be lots of emphasis on the minirail. The last several world's fairs have had no comparable on-site transportation and from what I can see, Expo 2010 will not either. That's really a shame; it seemed a great way to get around the site while providing some hard-to-beat sightseeing and photo ops.

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I have no words to adequately convey my thoughts. I was there in April of 1967 during opening weekend. It was so joyful, so remarkable. This film brought back happy memories. I remember on my first night in Montreal standing in Westmount Park overlooking that beautiful city and the fair in the river. It was breathtaking even to a 14 year old kid.

As I viewed the Mini Train passing through the US Pavilion I saw the massive doors below. I had forgotten about them.

The film is outstanding. What a stunning, proud and successful moment in time for Montreal and all of Canada. What an exciting time in my life. I loved that fair.

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Sean, thanks for the link. Much appreciated!

I was 12 in '67 and that video does bring back fond memories.

Just a few to mention:

Both the U.S and Russian pavilions were monuments to the cold war. Quite different but each a force. We met a Czech taxi driver who claimed that one of the photos in the Russian pavilion was actually from Czechoslovakia and had some odd conspiracy theory.

The Canadian pavilion was perhaps a bit underwhelming for a host country but still interesting. I remember they had a bunch of interesting ideas about mass transit.

I do remember that Chinese boat that is in the video but my memory of it would not have been jogged if not for the video.

It is funny what you remember as a kid. I remember going to a gas station and the attendant using a wiper to clean off the windshields. Back in Connecticut, all gas stations used brown paper towels so this was quite different. It's odd what you remember ....

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I remember the Canadian pavilion as enormous in size--vast in its displays. However, the architecture was impressive beyond words. That massive inverted pyramid, the Katimavik, was iconic.

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This is a short NFB film made during Expo67. Very good quality.

http://www.nfb.ca/fi...ions_of_expo_67

I was 5 year old in 1967. I've made many visit in Expo67 with my parents and older brothers. I returned some year later and despite that some pavilons were dismantled, the remain ones were exciting. The site by itself kept the ''magic" of EXPO67.

This last summer, l've made a Parc-Jean-Drapeau tour, but, as you doubt it, there is noting remain intact from that 1967 world fair. The "Place des Nations" per example is now a total ruin (a shame). I obviously prefer to remember the EXPO67 as i seen it 42 years ago. It still today the most memorable and fantastic event even for me and many persons around me.

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Welcome, Gilles. Glad you found us. There are quite a few Expo 67 fans here and we're always glad to add to the numbers!

Bill

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I was 14 going on 18 that year. My parents both worked in Montreal and they decided I could be trusted with an annual passport.I basically lived at EXPO 67 from opening day. I skipped many Fridays from school and my passport was used almost 100 times. I never missed one single weekend. Expo was my coming out to adulthood and for my parents was a safe haven that beat the streets of my home town Laval West. I have passport stamps to every single pavillion and autographs from dozens celebrities, politicians, royalty and other VIP's from around the world.Before it was over I knew every trick in the book, had eaten at every restaurant ,rode every ride, had collected every postcard and poster and knew every pavillion inside and out.Many a security guard knew my first name. My parents labelled me Montreal's Un official Ambassador of Youth to the world. When it was all over I had been changed forever. To this day my office walls are line with Expo memorabilia of those glory days when Montreal ,Canada was the centre of the world.

post-4721-126602660336_thumb.jpg

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Welcome Allan!

How did you find us?

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What a wonderful post. I had a good friend who lived in Westmount who often told me he had similar experiences at Expo during that remarkable year. He walked a block to the new Metro and spent the day on the islands and loved every minute of it. He, too, was 14 at the time. That was my age when I visited Expo on a class trip during the opening weekend. I have never forgotten it and I have loved Montreal ever since.

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A common theme in posts here is that early-teen boys appreciate world's fairs more strongly than almost anyone else. My Dad was 16 at the time of the Chicago Century of Progress, and he thought it was the greatest thing he had ever experienced.

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That's an interesting observation, Wayne. Most of the people posting here are males. I wonder why that is?

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My guess is that the whiz-bang technology aspect fills (or filled) an interest that boys couldn't fully satisfy elsewhere. IF that's so, I wonder if it's being replaced by video games and computers. Would be interesting if some of the posters could analyze what things were the strongest attraction (or was it just that everything was out of the ordinary).

I bet Disney has plenty of market research on this topic with respect to Disney World (who likes what, and how strongly), and I also bet they aren't willing to share even a hint of what they know.

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I was looking over my Expo 67 collectables that line my office walls and decided to Google search Expo 67.Since then I have appreciated how Expo actually influenced my life.It really hit me when that comment was made about Disney. I moved my family to Celebration, Florida in 1996 to do research as a tourism consultant.Today my main client is the Walt Disney Company and the irony is our home is literally in the shadows of Disney World. Reading that comment explains why I have always wanted to live near a major theme park and immerse my family in the fantasy of it all.

On a lighter note one of my favorite souvenirs in a full copy of the Montreal Star dated April 28th,1967. It was a 144 page Opening Day special edition and is it hysterical to read again. One of my favorite pages was the rental rates for Habitat. The article features who rented the apartments and the list was a who's who of Canada including Prime minister Lester Pearson.Oner bedrooms rented for $300 a month,Two bedrooms from $420 to $500 a month. 3 bedrooms $645-$715 and the 4 bedrooms $645 to $700. The higher rents got you an apartment on the upper floors with an extra roof top balcony.If you signed a two year lease the rent dropped 40 % the second year. There were 168 apartments although 700 families applied. They came with quirky covenants and restrictions.You were allowed one extra automobile per day along with your own parking spot. If guests wanted to visit you they had to park in a parking lot off site and use a provided chauffeur service to get them to the front doors.Maid service was available but you had to use a company provided by Expo admin. Fast Food delivery could only come from Expo concessions. Washers and dryers were not provided in the units but you could use the Expo laundry service if you wanted.Although beyond the entrance gates you were not allowed to leave the fenced apartment grounds without an annual passport except to get in your car and drive in and out a manned security gate. Renters had to purchase an annual passport during the 6 months but they had to go in through the main gates along with everyone else. Other tidbits included that one American family rented for a year. Every major Expo dignitary rented an apartment but even they had to apply as Mayor Drapeau insisted that everyone was on a first come first served basis. Even the PM of Canada reported he had to make sure his secretary was waiting that first day they became available.

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That is very interesting information. It is especially revealing because Habitat was originally designed to be lower income housing. Today, of course, it is a premier location for Montreal residents. Those 1967 month rental rates are amazing by today's standards. One would have trouble getting a room for one nioght in some of Montreal's downtown hotels for rates that low!

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This is something of a post script to my previous posting. There is an excellent blog devoted to Expo. It is known as Expo Lounge and it is devoted to the great exposition and to all things related to life in 1967 in North America. The best bet is to go to google and type in Expo Lounge. It may be the first listing. It is worth a look.

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I found another excellent Expo web site that I have never really explored before today. It is a blog called Canadian Design Resource and it contains many pages of images of Expo memorabilia, video clips, textual accounts (including an excellent discussion of how the remarkable Expo logo was created and used to market the exposition).

This video on Expo appears to be homemade but is of very good quality. It has no narration but the views of the exposition are wonderful. Especially intersting are the interior scenes of the USSR and USA pavilions. It is interesting to note, as one views the NASA display in the USA pavilion, that just four months prior to the opening of Expo, we experienced that terrible Apollo 1 tragedy when astronauts Grissom, White and Chaffee were killed in the capsule during a disastrous flash fire.

The link (and I hope this works);

http://www.canadiandesignresource.ca/officialgallery/category/expo-67/page/4/

It should open. Just scroll down and you will find the video and it is a joy to view. Check out the other pages of this blog. It is intersting and insightful. Also, check out the video on the Expo Express at the bottom of that same page, It is narrated in French but that only adds to the charm of it all. If you know a little French then you will easily follow the dialogue. You should easily catch the reference to the film "To Be Alive" when you see the views of the UN pavilion. The views of Expo from the Express are impressive. And one should recall that the train was totally automated although they show an engineer. They were stationed in the trains a week after the fair opened because so many said they felt uncomfortable with a train that lacked a driver. Of course, the engineer did nothing but stand there and enjoy the view. Also, there is a remarkable scene of the Mini Train passing through the USA pavilion and the shots are taken from the moving train. This is an excellent film.

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The link (and I hope this works);

http://www.canadiand...expo-67/page/4/

Great link!!! I don't think anyone would disagree that Expo 67 was a class act all the way but it sure had its share of tacky souvenirs. On the other hand, the ad with the Soviet flag and U.S.S.R. pavilion in the background and its take on the cold war ("look at what the Russians are building . . .") is a true classic.

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I was looking over my Expo 67 collectables that line my office walls and decided to Google search Expo 67.Since then I have appreciated how Expo actually influenced my life.It really hit me when that comment was made about Disney. I moved my family to Celebration, Florida in 1996 to do research as a tourism consultant.Today my main client is the Walt Disney Company and the irony is our home is literally in the shadows of Disney World. Reading that comment explains why I have always wanted to live near a major theme park and immerse my family in the fantasy of it all.

On a lighter note one of my favorite souvenirs in a full copy of the Montreal Star dated April 28th,1967. It was a 144 page Opening Day special edition and is it hysterical to read again. One of my favorite pages was the rental rates for Habitat. The article features who rented the apartments and the list was a who's who of Canada including Prime minister Lester Pearson.Oner bedrooms rented for $300 a month,Two bedrooms from $420 to $500 a month. 3 bedrooms $645-$715 and the 4 bedrooms $645 to $700. The higher rents got you an apartment on the upper floors with an extra roof top balcony.If you signed a two year lease the rent dropped 40 % the second year. There were 168 apartments although 700 families applied. They came with quirky covenants and restrictions.You were allowed one extra automobile per day along with your own parking spot. If guests wanted to visit you they had to park in a parking lot off site and use a provided chauffeur service to get them to the front doors.Maid service was available but you had to use a company provided by Expo admin. Fast Food delivery could only come from Expo concessions. Washers and dryers were not provided in the units but you could use the Expo laundry service if you wanted.Although beyond the entrance gates you were not allowed to leave the fenced apartment grounds without an annual passport except to get in your car and drive in and out a manned security gate. Renters had to purchase an annual passport during the 6 months but they had to go in through the main gates along with everyone else. Other tidbits included that one American family rented for a year. Every major Expo dignitary rented an apartment but even they had to apply as Mayor Drapeau insisted that everyone was on a first come first served basis. Even the PM of Canada reported he had to make sure his secretary was waiting that first day they became available.

I've read that Habitat units would have had to sell for an average of $140,000 for the builders to break even on the project. That was a lot of dough in 1967. I was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1967, $40,000 would have bought a custom single-family home on a large lot in the best part of town! $420-$500/month for a two bedroom apartment in 1967!?!? I paid $330/month for my first apartment (3 bedrooms shared with two roommates and we could barely afford the rent) in 1977. Habitat is still one of the most exciting pieces of urban architecture out there but I'd say, based on those figures, it was a failure at achieving the intended goal of providing affordable low-income housing.

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I am glad that you like the two films, expoboy. I suspect every exposition had its share of tacky souvenirs. I just bought a 1964-65 NYWF ashtray with a picture of the Unisphere. That rings the tacky bell I would guess.

I am also impressed with how ubiquitous the Expo logo is. It even appears solo on many Expo souvenirs giving further evidence of how universally recognized it became during the course of 1967.

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Hi.

For all of us who remembered the Expo67 " Place des nations", i recently received a deeply sad new about it. After beeing abandoned for decades, that historical place is now jeopardy by a possible demolition project. Right now, the site is entirely surrounded by a gate avoiding any further access. The structural weekness is now too dangerous for public to get free visit told the Parc Jean Drapeau administration bureau. The Parc Jean Drapeau administion also told me they try to find a permanent solution for the site. If you are able reading between lines, it does probably mean "The place des Nations" is doomed.

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Very sad news indeed. I was glad to see it was still there the last time I was in Montral. Please keep us posted.

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Here's a different view of Habitat than usually turns up:

habitat-patio.jpg

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