Montreal's Olympic House has officially opened

Montreal's new Olympic House opened to great fanfare today. But what's it all about? CBC's Andie Bennett has the answers.

Why those rings installed on the top of the Rene-Levesque Boulevard building are kind of a big deal

The Olympic rings were installed July 9 on the roof of the building at the corner of Rene-Levesque Boulevard and Beaver Hall Road. (CBC)

Montreal's new Olympic House opened to great fanfare today. But what's it all about? CBC's Andie Bennett has the answers. 

What is Olympic House?

Located at 500 Rene Levesque Boul. West, Olympic House will primarily act as the home offices of the Canadian Olympic Committee in Montreal. It is also being touted as a central location where sport is celebrated.

Why is it in Montreal?

Montreal holds a special place in Olympic history as the first Canadian city to host the Games in 1976. It is also the first city to take advantage of the relaxed rules regarding sponsorship and displaying the Olympic Rings. 

The COC has two major offices: Toronto houses the corporate office and the sports operations will run out of Montreal.

What's the significance of the rings?

The rings will serve as a symbol of motivation for past and current Olympians.

The fact that they appear displayed in Montreal is fitting as Montreal is the first Canadian city to host the games. But use of the rings' likeness is tightly controlled by the International Olympic Committee.

So, it's pretty significant to see them in the Montreal skyline as it's the only building outside Athens and the IOC head offices in Switzerland allowed to permanently display them.

What is open to the public?

"The House will be open to the public. People can go and visit," said Marcel Aubut, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

Later this fall, a sports science and technology centre called Olympic Experience will allow the public to interactively learn about the history of Canada's Olympians.

What's happening today?

There are a number of public events happening around Montreal today, culminating in the official unveiling of the Olympic rings at 9:30 p.m. with 200 Olympians and dignitaries. 

The party continues after that with public performances from several big names including Gregory Charles, Cirque du Soleil and Roch Voisine. See the full list here

Watch as the five Olympic rings are mounted by crane onto the top of Montreal's new Olympic House , situated at 500 René-Lévesque Blvd. West. 0:47


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