Hostesses’ refuse


I haven’t been getting particularly lucky with my finds lately. However, a recycling bin in a nice part of town helped buck that trend. Inside was my best ever Expo 67 related haul. When I opened the bin I spotted a big stack of original 10×8″ photographs, many of which don’t look to be available anywhere on the internet.

The person who did the tossing apparently worked for Expo back in the day. It took me about a day to scan it all, and another day and a bit to get this post done. I’m sure passionate Montreal and Expo fans will really dig it, but if you’re not never fear – I’ll post more “normal” garbage soon!


Several of the photos were cool aerial views that captured the construction of the sites. This shot, which features a great backdrop of downtown Montreal might be my favourite of the bunch. In the foreground is Île Sainte-Hélène, one of the main locations for the fair. The island was greatly enlarged using fill dug out from the construction of the new subway system.


Many of the photos came with a short typewritten explanatory text. I was often unsure which text matched which photo, so I decided to just share most of the texts all together later on. It could be fun for some Expo fanatic to try to match the explanation to the photograph! Regardless, this one definitely matched the photo above.


This photo was definitely taken before the one below. The island is pretty bare here …


… but you can see buildings coming up in this one. Just a reminder, you can click on these photos and zoom in for a much better view!


These two show the emergence of the Cité du Havre buildings, including the Autostade (you can see it cut off on the left side near the bottom – it barely lasted 10 years before being demolished) and Habitat 67 (at the top of the peninsula). The latter is a Montreal landmark, and was a cool concept intended to revolutionize affordable housing.


habitat 67

For reference, this is Habitat 67 as it appeared in 2006. (Photo: Nora Vass, taken from Wikipedia).


A few photos featured actual people. This one might be the coolest because it features a Montreal sports legend (standing at right) and I couldn’t find another like it on the internet. I’ll let you guess who it is, and anyone who doesn’t know can check the comments for a quick answer. The guy at the left might be famous too for all I know – if you recognize him let us know! The woman in the centre is a Expo hostess wearing the classic uniform.


Another two featured women modelling outfits used at the British pavilion.



The majority of the photos though featured artist conceptions and models of pavilions and other Expo-related things. Some shots are better or cooler than others. I’ll share my favourite five shots in large format, and the rest (some of which are still very neat) in gallery format.

Among my favourites is the gyrotron; …


… the Ontario pavilion;


… the aforementioned Habitat 67;


La Ronde (an amusement park);


… and Katimavik (Canadian pavilion). Here’s a bunch more. I’d share them all large format, but there’s so many that it would make this blog post exceedingly long!


There were duplicates of some photos, including three different copies of this Autostade model.


This photo of a model Expo Express train car is pretty cool …


… but this one might be even cooler. For whatever reason the artist decided to depict the background city like something you’d see on the cover of a cheesy 1960s sci-fi novel. I guess they wanted to make it look like something from the future, but it’s quite a break from the realistic portrayals in the other shots.



I otherwise saved some official Expo brochures and flyers, including a few printed in German …


… and some documents (press releases?) written in German and Spanish that appear to describe Expo.


The coolest document though was probably this Hostesses’ Handbook. It seems to be a fairly uncommon piece as I couldn’t find any others for sale on the internet, eBay included. I didn’t catalogue all the pages, but I got shots of a fair number which you can see below. For the gallery view, you have to scroll down and click “view full size” to get a zoomable version of the photo.

Phew! That was a lot of work but I figured it was worth the time. There’s a lot of neat stuff here, and it seems that many of these pieces are hard if not impossible to find elsewhere.

Below are the extra typewritten texts that went along with the photos, if anyone wants to try to match them!

I’ll have another post, likely the one featuring my recent sales up in the next couple of days.