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Place des Nations

West end of île Sainte-Hélène, parc Jean-Drapeau

Place des Nations was created as part of the major project that saw Île Sainte-Hélène and nearby islets transformed for the 1967 International and Universal Exposition, or Expo 67. This was the main international event marking the centennial of Canadian Confederation. Located near the Expo Express rail station, Place des Nations was the symbolic and ceremonial host site for foreign dignitaries and for public performances celebrating the diverse cultures of the world. Liberated from the symmetry of the classical amphitheatre, its concrete terraces serving as bleachers and gigantic laminated wood beams showcased the modern spirit emblematic of the era. The Expo 67 emblem is molded into the massive concrete wall behind the original stage area. Place des Nations is one of the most important venues to have survived past Expo and, as such, is an especially valuable testimonial to the openness to the world that characterized Montreal at the time and persists to this day.


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Published on : October 06 2015

Last modified on : May 03 2016

Now used as a storage site, Place des Nations has suffered outrageous neglect and blatant disregard for its value. In 2013, the City and the Quebec government announced that the Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau plans to restore it by 2017, in time for the 375th anniversary of Montreal and the 50th anniversary of Expo. A budget has been set aside for this purpose, but the restoration and repurposing plan has been withdrawn, leaving the fate of the amphitheatre in limbo. As Place des Nations is part of the Heritage Site of Île Sainte-Hélène, restoration projects of the like must consider heritage issues. The plan provides certain guarantees, such as maintenance of the bleachers, but the state of the enormous wooden beams, key architectural elements within this space, remains a concern.

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Place des Nations

  • Municipality or borough


  • Issues

    Urban Development

    Civic Heritage

  • Owner(s)

    Public; municipal

  • Threat(s)


    Lack of knowledge

    Inappropriate/incompatible use

  • Conception

    André Blouin, Architect

  • Manager(s)

    City of Montréal : owner; Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau : manager

  • Categorie(s)


    Public spaces / Parks / green space

  • Construction year


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