Some Expo 67 Pavilions That Were Never Built

Expo 67 Pavilions That Were Never Built
by Bruno Paul Stenson, M.A.

Anyone who has ever been involved in a building project, however small, knows that there is often a difference between initial plans and the finished product. Such was the case with Expo 67, and the project being such a grand and complex undertaking, it should come as no surprise that many pavilions underwent changes in design, and some were never built.

One example of a pavilion undergoing a major redesign is the Alcan Pavilion. The initial plan was for a single building incorporating both an aquarium and a dolphin pool. In the end this idea was ditched in favour of a two-building design, one housing the aquarium and a separate building serving as the dolphin pool. The initial proposal can be seen here.

Several pavilions never made it beyond the planning stage. The most famous of these is the Paris-Montréal Tower which was to sit at the easternmost tip of Île Sainte-Hélène. Another example is the World Wildlife Federation Pavilion which was to be a sort of zoo stressing animal and habitat conservation.

Because not all countries could afford to build their own pavilions, some countries combined their efforts or were given space in a common pavilion built by the Expo corporation. For example, Trinidad & Tobago teamed up with Grenada to build their pavilion. More noticeably, the sub-Saharan nations of Africa were given space in Africa Place built by the Expo corporation. Expo tried to create a similar complex for the countries of Central and South America. Of all the Latin American countries, only Mexico and Venezuela built pavilions at Expo. Guatemala had planned to build on a 10,000 square-foot (929 square-metre) lot on Île Ste-Hélène, but this never went beyond the planning stage. Argentina proposed to build on a 25,594 square-foot (2,378 square-metre) lot on Île Ste-Hélène, but this project suffered the same fate as Guatemala's. Costa Rica (9,500 sq. ft. / 883 sq. m. on Île Ste-Hélène) also never carried out their plans. In an attempt to increase participation from Latin America, the Expo corporation proposed to built the Plaza de las Americas along the same idea as generated Africa Place. Unfortunately, the countries of Central and South America either had no interest in participating, even at a significantly reduced cost, or resented the idea of being shown to be like the third-world countries of Africa, too poor to participate on their own. Thus the Plaza de las Americas was never built.

There was also a plan to build a Commonwealth Place which would have showcased the countries of the British Commonwealth. In the end, so many of the Commonwealth countries were represented in their own pavilions and in Africa Place that there was no need to build Commonwealth Place.

Among the other countries which expressed an interest in being at Expo 67 but eventually withdrew are Malaysia which had reserved a 19,983 square-foot (1,856 square-metre) lot on Île Notre-Dame, and Ireland (9,000 sq. ft. / 836 sq. m. on Île Ste-Hélène).

Corporate pavilions at Expo 67 included the Pulp and Paper Pavilion and the Steel Pavilion, both of which were built cooperatively by several companies, as was the case with the car industry's Automotive Stadium. Individual corporations that built their own pavilions included Kodak, Air Canada, and C.I.L. (the latter having built the Kaleidoscope). Corporate pavilions that were never built include those of Coca Cola Ltd, Pepsi-Cola Canada Ltd, and Simmons Ltd., none of which went far enough in their plans to have lots assigned to them on the Expo grounds.

The World Wildlife Federation

The Canadian Lumbermen
Montréal-Paris Tower Rejected Alcan Pavilion

Photographs provided by Bruno Paul Stenson, M.A.