Montreal, EXPO 67 and the van Ginkels

Library and Archives Canada
There is a great piece in today’s The Gazette on the van Ginkels who created much of what Montreal is today. Not only the development of the old Port, but a major role in the biggest urban project the city has seen – EXPO 67.

The combination of creativity and a Mayor – Jean Drapeau – who wasn’t afraid to put Montreal on the world stage resulted in one of the most successful World’s fairs ever.

In 1962, the Soviet Union backed out of the 1967 World Exhibition,leaving the field open to Canada, which two years earlier had lost its bid to hold the ’67 event in Montreal. In November, Mayor Jean Drapeau flew to Paris with a proposal by Blanche and Daniel van Ginkel in his pocket – and Expo 67 was on.

“When the matter of an exhibition was broached, everybody assumed that it was going to be somewhere on the outskirts of the city, because the nearest international show of that kind (the 1964 World Exhibition) in New York, was on Flushing Meadows,” van Ginkel remembers.

“We weren’t going to have any of that.”

Will Montreal ever see anything like that again? One can only hope!!

Categories EXPO 67, MontrealTags , ,

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