From the now defunct newspaper, The Ottawa Journal on April 28, 1967, wrote an interesting editorial about Expo 67...

Expo is Exciting

The theme is the broad horizon of Man and His World but Expo 67 is as distinctively Canadian as the great St. Lawrence which flows by it and the exploding city of Montréal across the water.

What a summer of reckoning this is going to be for the doubting Thomases who said it couldn't happen here! This writer, after a day at the fair, is prouder than ever in being a Canadian. By summer's end the world is going to erase some of the caution and stuffiness it has placed against our name.

Photo credit: © National Archives of Canada

A crowd in front of the Canada Pavilion

Expo 67 -- even the name was ridiculed in the early days; the islands would be washed away, and a nation in search of its own identity had the nerve of a canal horse in trying to play host not only to the world but to the history of man. So it was said.

But it was wrongly said. True, the countries of the world have generously brought us their treasure -- and faith. But governments of Canada, Québec and Montréal have lived dangerously, striven anxiously, we believe, and succeeded excitingly. The Expo commissioner and his team will perhaps not dare to comprehend even now the happiest wonder they will have wrought: By the time the leaves on old Mount Royal have turned this autumn Canadians from coast to coast will walk a little taller in the discovery that they can take on a world-size test of maturity and win it -- in their own way.

In their own way? Yes. This is not a Canadian version of the fairs in New York or Seattle or Brussels. It is a new concept, an exciting mix of old world cultures and new world hopes. It links and displays science and art and history as easily as a man may dare -- and yet with a touch of self-consciousness that is as pleasing as it is natural. There is a Canadian pavilion -- federal and provincial -- the infectious delight of the child bringing forth his pail of shells or stone. The tone of the selections, the captions, the display cases and the cavorting architecture is not so much boastful as exclamatory. The element of surprise and discovery -- not unmixed with appropriate awe in some instances -- seems dominant in Expo's telling of the Canadian story.

It is an element both happy and healthy.

Perhaps this declaration of rejoicing on 12 hours examination will be regarded as premature. We are prepared to have it read again six months hence. Canadians have such a success in the making at Expo that not even our undoubted capacity of self-doubt and inferiority complex will stand in its way. Of course there will be snags and strikes and ghoulies and ghosties; and the world being what it is today we will be lucky if some clown or cad or lunatic doesn't choose Expo to make all the world his stage. But these things too are a part of Man and His World, as are such lesser and abiding ills as petty politics and racial prejudice. In face of whatever of these as may befall us it is up to the Canadian public to keep a sense of perspective and to show the world there's some truth in the lively and wholesome picture Expo gives of us.

- End of article. Copyright by The Ottawa Journal, April 28, 1967. All rights reserved.