Expo 67
December 4, 2006 7:01 AM   Subscribe

Excellent. It was such a time of optimism for Canada. I went, but unfortunately the only detail registered as memory by my 6-year-old brain was that the signs in each section of the parking lot had a different animal to enable you to find your car later.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 7:07 AM on December 4, 2006

Thank you so much for putting this online. I read about Expo 67 as a teen and was stunned by how cool it was. Wish I had more chances to play World Game.
posted by parmanparman at 7:08 AM on December 4, 2006

I was concieved at expo 67, so I guess on balance it was a good thing.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:12 AM on December 4, 2006 [2 favorites]

Thanks. Great post.

Looking at some of the pictures, I cannot imagine anyone wanting to live in such environments. The brutalist designs just don't look to be made for people to live in or even to interact with in any way.

Having said that, I think that this would have been the greatest fun ever as a kid.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 7:19 AM on December 4, 2006

Some more fun info about Expo 67 can be found over here.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:24 AM on December 4, 2006

The future was much cooler back then...
posted by lovejones at 7:24 AM on December 4, 2006

Video here
posted by horsemuth at 7:28 AM on December 4, 2006

Ahhh. Great post.

Also: a previous thread on amateur pics from Expo 67. And I have that damn Bobby Gimby song running through my head again.

Turtles, I was 6, too, and I remember the animal signs, but I also remember a lot of the pavillions and getting my (sadly lost) passport stamped over and over again. But my strongest memory is probably taking the Metro for the first time. As I approached the door, the gap looked huge to me, and I grabbed the habit of the nun ahead of me in panic. I was sure I was going to hell for that.
posted by rosemere at 7:36 AM on December 4, 2006

I remember the Cyclotron! I also had my first Metro ride. The brick tunnels impressed. I also remember my parents thinking that the American pavilion was kind of silly because it emphasized pop culture. If memory serves, the Lone Ranger's (or some other famous movie cowboy) saddle was on prominent display. The Soviet pavilion focused on technological accomplishments. After 40 years, I still recall a display of miniature gadgets that evoked the whole spy thing. Ironically, pop culture won.
The future was nearly dead in '67. In 68, it was completely dead. I miss the future.
posted by Carmody'sPrize at 7:46 AM on December 4, 2006

My parents have a picture book that goes with a 45 RPM single with the sounds of Expo 67 or somesuch. It may even be one of the square, paper-thin 45s that they used to put in magazines.

Expo 67 and the 76 Olympics seem to be the two major drivers of Montreal construction over the last century, as can be seen in the extremely poured-concrete aesthetic of most of downtown Montreal. Which is to too bad, because otherwise I think Montreal is the best city around. But Toronto's huge buildings look better than Montreal's and man, Toronto is not setting the bar very high.
posted by GuyZero at 7:49 AM on December 4, 2006

GuyZero, I think that flexi-record is the same as the sonic tour found here.

(Sorry, it's in Real format only).
posted by rosemere at 7:54 AM on December 4, 2006

CBC has archived a lot of searchable footage. Here is a 2 minute story on the United States and the Soviet Union pavilions and a piece on Moshe Safdie's Habitat '67.
posted by xod at 8:13 AM on December 4, 2006

Great post.

I've been to about a dozen Canadian Grand Prix's since 1989, so it's strange to see Ile Notre Dame in it's glory like that- before it became the venue for a world class race track.

The island has different memories for F1 fans. It's almost shocking to think it once looked so lush. There are still great gardens there, and a manmade lake with a "beach".

And of course the Casino is in the old diving pavillion- since circa 1995.
posted by wfc123 at 9:04 AM on December 4, 2006

My favourite memory of Expo 67 is... wait, I wasn't born yet. But I do ride the metro every day, which was built to begin operation by Expo time. Montreal's metro system, from the stations to the trains, is about as retro-futuristic as it comes. Can I join the reminiscence club?

And GuyZero, true, but there is also the whole height requirement thing, i.e. that no building can be taller than Mount Royal.
posted by Ricky_gr10 at 9:07 AM on December 4, 2006

I mentioned this post to my mother and she told me that the most popular animal sign in the parking lot was Phuque (seal).
posted by Turtles all the way down at 9:11 AM on December 4, 2006

I think you mean "phoque".

But that's OK. My Mum once called the Volvo building in Scarborough the Vulva building. And we never let her forget it.
posted by rosemere at 9:15 AM on December 4, 2006

I remember being five, riding my dad's shoulders onto the yellow Metro line to see the "Man and His World" exhibit back in 1980. He had a season pass which I ruined by drawing on it with crayons.

Riding the Metro there was special because it was such a long trip between stations, walking down four or five flights of stairs to get to the yellow line stop (which was a big deal for this five-year old), riding under the St. Lawrence river in this long dark subway tunnel.

Pretty much all the memories I have of Montreal start and end with taking the Metro and walking through its beautiful stations...
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:15 AM on December 4, 2006

"What's Expo 67?"
"Why are the buildings so weird-looking?"

Couldn't you have introduced the topic a little better, instead of just a 1-link FPP?
Great link and photography, but the full content for FPPs are really slipping these days...
posted by blastrid at 9:49 AM on December 4, 2006

I stand corrected, rosemere. Je vous remercie!
posted by Turtles all the way down at 10:16 AM on December 4, 2006

Great photos. Hated the website. Damn it, my ADD brain wants a "next photo" button. and maybe a description here n' there. :)
posted by drstein at 10:43 AM on December 4, 2006

There's a lot of great reading about the planning of Expo, and Expo itself, in Pierre Berton's book 1967: The Last Good Year.
posted by evilcolonel at 11:09 AM on December 4, 2006

Free the Expo 67!
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:59 AM on December 4, 2006 [2 favorites]

I lived in Montreal when I was young, starting in about 1970, and they still had kept up the Expo site as "Terre Des Hommes/Man And His World". We used to go there all the time but it started to get a little more run-down every year.

My favorite was of course "Le Monde Insolite/It's A Strange, Strange World" with UFO sightings, Bigfoot pictures and the like. Pretty solid stuff, I was introduced to the Piri Rice maps and that rusted mechanical "computer" that recently reappared in the news.

Ah, memories. Thanks for reviving things (though a little more background would have been great!)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:06 PM on December 4, 2006

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