When's Best Time To Visit Expo To Avoid Line-ups Like This?

by The Ottawa Journal Staff

What day of the week are Expo crowds smallest?

What time of day are the line-ups shortest at the most popular pavilions?

Is it smart to get up early and reach the site at 9:00 a.m. sharp?

Charting the ebb and flow of the daily crowds has been the full-time job of a group of statisticians since Expo opened.

Photo credit: © National Archives of Canada

In May, for example, the most popular day by far to visit Expo was Sunday (average 377,065) followed closely by Saturday (average 337,000).

In June, however, fewer and fewer people came at weekends although Sunday was still the most crowded day (311,911) followed by Tuesday (297,965).

By July many visitors from outside the Montréal area were taking their holidays to come to Expo and fewer people came on Sundays (278,648) and Wednesday (350,893).

In August, the trend began to swing back towards weekends, but the most crowded days were still Tuesday (371,748) and Wednesdays (363,319).

This trend has continued in September.

Throughout, the weather has not made a great deal of difference to daily attendance.

Fewer people than anticipated came to Expo on the long weekends. Seven days have so far seen more than 400,000 people on the site: Friday, April 28, 407,500; Saturday, April 29, 423,000; Sunday, April 30, 569,500; Monday, June 26, 401,288; Wednesday, Aug. 23, 416,305; Sunday, Sept 3, 425,467; and Sunday, Sept. 17. Only two of these were on long weekends.

However, even when the day's total climbs to 400,000 there are rarely more than 255,000 on the site at the same time.

The best time to visit Expo in September and October?

If you're a real misanthropist (hater of crowds) the computers and counting machines say shortly after the gates open on a cold, wet Friday.

But as any veteran visitor will tell you, crowds and sunshine are as much a part of the Expo scene as the minirail.

- End of article. Copyright by The Ottawa Journal, September 23, 1967. All rights reserved.