When it comes to Canada, the first place that pops in our mind is usually Vancouver, Toronto, or the aurora city Yellowknife. Montreal, which lies on the east coast of Canada, may not be a common travel city among Hong Kong people, but the former French colony is scattered with arts and culture, not to mention the vibe of France resonating every minute, mixing the Canadian culture into a melting pot that drives millions of travellers visiting. The hidden reason of the cultural city Montreal is inside this music video — Expo 67 Canada.
Throughout the years of international event held in Montreal, but perhaps Expo67 — Montreal’s 1967 International and Universal Exposition — is the most remembered and successful project. As featured in the music video of ‘Dream Tonite’ by Alvvays, it is true that “Canada was at its coolest 50 years ago in Montreal at Expo67”. The retro visual in the MV marks the iconic World Fair ever with the magnificent architecture and spectacular metro that allures you to jump into the world right away.
The Biosphere (United States pavilion)
As one of the most splendid installations built in Expo 67, the United States pavilion showcased a number of objects representing American culture such as baseball bats and spaceships. The landmark had been reserved for various private hosting purposes. Yet, after a massive fire in 1967, the external skin was destroyed, though the inside remained intact. Today it houses an environmental museum. The shape of a geodesic dome is distinctive and directly related to the signature style of its creator, noted inventor and futurist Richard Buckminster Fuller.
Habitat 67 was the revolutionary housing complex at Expo 67, marking the architecture legacy of Canada. The idea of affordable and urban housing is showcased via this famed architecture. It consists of 354 individual and identical concrete blocks that are assembled to form 3 interconnected pyramids, 12 floors and 146 independent units (each made up of 1 to 5 blocks). Windows are oriented on three sides and each unit has a sizable outdoor terrace. Though the apartments had been put up for rent, it later was marked as historic monument by the Quebec government.
Pavilion of France
Once the largest building on the grounds of Expo 67, the nine story French Pavilion is now home to the Montreal Casino. The architecture featured aluminum sunbreaker strips, providing an attractive sculpture effect” and “a steel arrow.” A picture would be nice. Not to mention some entertainment inside the Casino, what’re you waiting for?
The national pavilion features an inverted pyramid. The attraction had its highest single-day attendance on Canada Day, 1967. Later the pavilion turns to a special event and banquet hall — La Toundra Hall — it is located at the heart of the stunning Floralies Gardens. Though ideal for special reservation, tourist can still walk at the outside of the hall in appreciation of the glorious architecture.
Alex Calder’s Man, Three Disks
This monumental yet abstract sculpture created by mobile sculptor Alexander Calder was actually a present from the International Nickel Company for Expo 67. ‘Alex Calder’s Man’ still stands at the old site of Expo 67, though it’s now called Parc Jean-Drapeau. Parc Jean-Drapeau, the once site of Expo 67, has quite a lot of remains of the architecture at that time. This attraction can simply not be missed!