Expo 67's strange remains still exude magic across Canada's landscape

Some of the sense of wonder and possibility of that Summer of Love in Montreal still clings to remnants of Expo 67, found now as far away as Newfoundland.

Montreal's famous exposition launched 50 years ago today, but its architectural legacy makes 2017 seem old

Created by Alexander Calder, this abstract sculpture was a gift from the International Nickel Company for Expo 67. (Montreal Public Art Bureau)

Expo 67 may have opened a half century ago today, but it's 2017 that seems kind of old by comparison.

The art and architectural legacy of Montreal's 1967 International and Universal Exhibition — few, but impressive — litter Canada's landscape like the ruins of a fantastical future to which we somehow, somewhere lost the thread.

Found as far away as Newfoundland, Expo 67's remnants continue to exude some of the weird, wondrous magic of that Summer of Love in Montreal, when anything and everything seemed possible.

Here are a few:

Buckminster Fuller's U.S. Pavilion, Montreal


Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome served as the U.S. Pavilion and encapsulated Expo 67's revolutionary vision of a world made better and more livable through design and technology. 

Habitat 67, Montreal


Designed for Expo 67 by McGill-trained architect Moshe Safdie, Habitat 67 is now one of Montreal's more exclusive addresses. Safdie refutes the popular (and not a little ironic) notion that Habitat was conceived as a model for social housing. In 2012, the architect told The Walrus magazine "when we built the building, we didn't say low income, middle income, whatever. We said, 'a new model for urban living.' As a concept, I was not differentiating in my mind the idea of low and middle income as having different needs." 

Yugoslavian Pavilion, Grand Bank, Nfld.


The Yugoslavian Pavilion from Expo 67 is now the Provincial Seamen's Museum in Grand Bank, Nfld. The building was purchased for $1 after Expo 67 and its seven triangle-shaped modules are now re-imagined as the "sails of a schooner," according to the the museum's website

This Expo 67 postcard shows the Yugoslavian Pavilion as it looked in 1967.

Pavilion of France, Montreal

Montreal Casino (Getty Images/Corbis Documentary)

The French Pavilion from Expo 67 is now home to the Montreal Casino. According to the original Expo 67 description of the pavilion, it featured "aluminum sun-breaker strips, providing an attractive sculpture effect" and "a steel arrow." There was also talk of France loaning the Eiffel Tower to Montreal for Expo 67, but that didn't happen. 

Czechoslovakian Pavilion, Grand Falls, Nfld.


This postcard shows the Czechoslovakian Pavilion as it was at Expo 67.  After the world's fair, the pavilion was gifted to the people of Gander, Nfld., to thank them for their rescue efforts after a Czech airliner crashed on take-off from Gander Airport on Sept. 5, 1967, killing 37 people. Today it's known as Gordon Pinsent Centre for the Arts.

Alex Calder's Man, Three Disks, Montreal

Created by Alexander Calder, this abstract sculpture was a gift from the International Nickel Company for Expo 67. It still stands at the old site of Expo 67, now called Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Mario Armengol's The Family of Man, Calgary

(Getty Images / Michael Wheatley)

Mario Armengol's sculpture The Family of Man was moved to Calgary, Alta., after playing a prominent role at the British Pavilion during Expo 67. The sculpture now stands on the grounds of the Calgary Board of Education.

Jeunesses Musicales of Canada Pavilion, Mont Orford, Que.


Sponsored by members of the Portland Cement Association, the accordion-like cement panelled building was dismantled after Expo 67 and rebuilt in Mont Orford, Que., where it serves as part of the Orford Music campus.