expo 67 lounge

Mid-century fashion, vintage pop culture and retro cool... from Expo 67 and beyond.

13 April 2012

The "Carrefour International"

Carrefour International
Most national pavilions at Expo 67 had integrated gift shops and restaurants to satisfy the visitor's desire for folkloric souvenirs and exotic foods.

For those that didn't want to face the hours of queuing required to enter said pavilions, another area at Expo offered a one-stop international shopping and dining experience: the "Carrefour International".

Located at the northern tip of the La Ronde amusement area, the Carrefour International was a vast plaza of shops and restaurants, operated by many of the same countries as those found in the rest of Expo 67.

Carrefour International
The complex was a series of triangular units with walls of plywood skin and pyramidal roofs; the visual emphasis was on pictorial graphics and lighting. Courtyards, fountains and trees dotted the entire area.

The Carrefour was comprised of 40 small shops and boutiques, some 400 square feet each. Sit-down restaurants included a Bavarian Beer Garden (seating 750), an English pub (seating 175), a Swiss fondue restaurant (seating 170), a Czechoslovakian restaurant (seating 150), a Dutch restaurant (seating 100), and a Hawaiian theatre-restaurant with Polynesian food and entertainment.

8 snack bars and 7 food shops specializing in foreign items completed the Carrefour's gastronomic offerings.

Carrefour International
One of the prominent features of the International Carrefour was an elaborately decorated antique carrousel, already over 100 years old by 1967. Built in Belgium, it had been completely restored to its original splendor, though the original steam power had been replaced by electricity. Visual and sound effects ensured that the old time charm of steam operation was preserved.

Carrefour International

From Expo Inside Out, a shopper's guide to Carrefour International:

Carrefour International
"The easiest and best place to shop is in Carrefour International on Ile Ronde - amidst the restaurants, merry go round, post-office and bank. The best boutiques are:

Morocco ★★★★★
– excellent leather: hassocks, shoes, purses, wallets – rugs – brass.
Iranian Handicrafts ★★★★★
– carpets – fur hats – mitts – jewelry – linens. All at very reasonable prices.
Tunisia ★★★
– Leather shoes – perfume – silver jewelry.
Cuba ★★★
– Cigars – humidors – straw bags.
Africa ★★★
– Skins - beads – wood carvings.
Yugoslavia ★★★
– Suede Coats – shoes – linens.
The following boutiques have a few interesting items: Germany ★★ has knives, dolls, and stuffed animals but most of these items can be bought in department stores in Montreal, anytime. U.S.S.R. ★★ has wooden toys and dishes and amber. The Swiss Fondue Pot ★★: after enjoying Swiss Fondue in the restaurant, you can buy fondue pots and cheese to take home. Swiss candy is also on sale. And Thailand ★★ has a selection of jewelry and silver."

The video below shows footage of this "Swiss Fondue Pot" restaurant located in the Carrefour. Legend has it that the popularity of cheese fondue in 60's Quebec is directly related to its presence at Expo. The video's narrator even states that chocolate fondue was a dessert specially created for Expo 67...!

images: (1) Dixon Slide Collection
(2 and 4) expo67.ncf.ca
(3) personal collection, from the Man and His World 1968 guide
With special thanks to DC Hillier for his retouching skills on photo 1.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason: Thank you very much for an excellent posting. I certainly enjoyed it. Snowball

4:43 pm  
Anonymous R. Mark Desjardins said...

I was 16 at the time of Expo '67 and amazingly met parents let me go to Montreal from Ottawa by myself to see DianaRoss & The Supremes perform at the Expo Theatre. I cherish those memories of the World Fair and thank you for your sharing these excellent visuals of a very special time!

7:12 pm  

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