Fifty-one years ago today, at 2 p.m., Expo ’67 closed its doors after hosting more than 50 million visitors over a six-month period—a record for a world’s fair.
On today’s date in 1967, then-Governor General Roland Michener declared the exhibition “officially closed.” Altogether, the exhibition hosted 50,306,648 guests; a total of 221,554 people visited that morning.
“Having lived 185 days to learn the world, Montréal has to, in a single day, learn to part from it,” said then-Mayor of Montréal Jean Drapeau.
More than double Canada’s population travelled to Montréal, Qué., for the months-long exhibition, which opened April 27, 1967.
EXPO ’67 TOKENS
In 1967, to mark the ongoing celebrations, several tokens were struck featuring the exhibition’s various pavilions – 90 in total – which represented the nations, corporations and industries of the world. Each pavilion was built by the participating nations, leading to numerous incredible architectural designs, the influence of which spanned the globe.
Consisting of several white-roofed buildings surrounding a towering inverted pyramid made of metal, the Canada pavilion was the largest at Expo 67. The central structure – an inverted pyramid called Katimavik, which means “meeting place” in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit – gave a crystalline effect that was symbolic of the minerals and metals of Canada.
The U.S. pavilion – a geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller – was commemorated on a token with a weight of 18.8 grams and a diameter of 36.5 mm. The obverse features the Expo 67 logo atop the words “expo67 / MONTREAL / CANADA”. The reverse featured the geodesic dome with the words “PAVILLON DES ETATS UNIS” above and “UNITED STATES PAVILION” below.
Expo 67 is considered a landmark moment in Canadian history with its impact told through the host city’s Major League Baseball team, the Montreal Expos, which were named in 1968, a year after the exposition.