Today marks 25 years since the official opening of Expo '86, an event that thrust Vancouver onto the world's stage.

Huge crowds were on hand as Prince Charles opened the World's Fair, which attracted millions of visitors from around the world.

"We all grew together," says Bill Bennett, who was B.C. premier at the time. "Business got better, people were having fun, but they were also making more money."

Expo also changed physical aspects of the city, according to Darcy Rezak, who was on the Vancouver Board of Trade during Expo.

"The SkyTrain, infrastructure, port facilities, the cruise ship business came hard on the heels of Expo," Rezak said. "So, a terrific transformation."   But there was also a downside to the big fair, in the opinion of some. Community activist Jim Green said the downtown Eastside was devastated by Expo.

"These slum lords, when they heard that Expo was coming, began evicting whole buildings full of people. We had about 1,000 people evicted from their homes."

But, Vancouver learned a crucial lesson, Green said, and handled the 2010 Olympic Games in a much more conscientious manner.

With files from the CBC's Angie Brar