The men behind these achievements should be proud and happy. We should be grateful to them, as we recall the skeptics who once said Expo 67 was too big a project for Montréal, Québec or Canada to accomplish in less than four years. But it was done – and well done. – Lester B. Pearson
It was 1967. The destination of the year was Montréal thanks to Expo 67: Man and His World. This was a pivotal year for Canada… for business, women, art, and technology. It was also the 100-year anniversary of the country and having the world exposition in Montréal was a focal point.
Americans called it a The Big Blast Up North because the exposition saw 50-million visitors to a city of just over 1.5-million people. The grounds cost $432-million to build but it gave Montréal two island parks in the St. Lawrence and a Metro system that was built to showcase Bombardier.
2017 was the 50-year anniversary of Expo ’67 and many museums showcased video, collectables, and stories from that year. These show a good snapshot of the thinking and Canadian sentiment of the time.
It’s interesting to watch NFB videos about the Canadian Pavilion 50-years later; Canadians were optimistic and future-focused. “Perhaps in the future science and technology may bring complete freedom from work. But already, leisure is an important part of life in Canada.”
Both my parents lived in Montréal in the 1960s and my mom still has her Expo ’67 passport. The cost for repeated entry for youth was $40, which was not cheap for 1967. The equivalent would be roughly $300 in 2017.
Canada has only hosted two World Expositions: Montréal and Vancouver.