Friday 20 November 2020

EXPO 67 Urbanissimo! By CMHC

Wish I had a picture of the brochure though of course I have it for real!

Timeless story, really? Exciting? Of city growth!


(Picture on the front of the brochure)

Old man with cowboy hat, sun and town on train wheels


See the life of your time/expo 67 Montréal, Canada, April 28 – October 27, 1967







This thoroughly delightful NEW animated film

breathes fresh life and vigor into the exciting,

timeless story of City growth… Proudly

presented at Expo 67 for your enjoyment by


PORATION, and Canada’s federal housing agency.


“Urbanissimo” and its unique, colourful Expo

home – the “Enchanted City” Theatre – bring

together for the first time the talents of the

internationally known artists and film animators,

Norman McLaren of Canada and John and

Faith Hubley of New York City.


In this unusual undertaking, multiple images

by the Hubleys alternate with color experiments

using mobile sculptures created by McLaren –

the whole providing an innovation in theatrical

techniques and modern art forms.


[They] have brought their skills to the creation of a warm,

amusing and stimulating film on the formidable

subject of city growth and development. It is

an important commentary on modern urban

civilization. …


“Urbanissimo” will leave you laughing and… thinking!


Who knew that John Hubley died at 62 years in Febuary 1977 during open heart surgery. And that their films used jazz, in this case, amongst others, with Maynard Ferguson, and Ray Brown on acoustic double bass. It had Benny Carter as composer and Harry “Sweets” Edison on trumpet and Shelly Manne on drums.

     It was under six minutes long and was made in August 1966. This is the first time that the Hubleys worked in Canada.

     And, by CMHC, go figure!

But see for yourself. I found the movie on YouTube and there are more by John (who was blacklisted in the 50s) and Faith Hubley. I haven’t watched them all but I do recommend “Urbanissimo!” At Expo 67 and “Moonbird,” narrated by their two sons and which won an Oscar, and the Sesame Street letters. That last is sure to bring back memories.


You can find out more about John and Faith Hubley at


And       among many many sites.


At the Expo lounge website under the Man in the Community / Man and His Health subtitle there is a video tour of those pavilions. The first pavilion is where Urbanissimo! played and there is a bit of that film at the end of the video. There is also interesting information on those pavilions, like the fact that the wooden beams at the top were left open so that when it rained the rain fell into a pond in the middle of the pavilion.

Tuesday 28 April 2020

Expo 67 opens! Friday, April 28, 1967

Opening day of Expo 67, April 28, 1967  Montréal Canada

From the pictures that we have it was awfully cold that summer. But at seven years it was special for a lot of reasons. And now that I look back, well, the brochures and pamphlets take on a different meaning.

Toronto Star April 28, 1967  

“The cannoncade of fireworks which marked the opening of Expo may in retrospect turn out to have been one of those rare moments that changed the direction of a nation’s history … This is the greatest thing we have ever done as a nation and surely the modernization of Canada – of its skylines, of its styles, its institution – will be dated from this occasion and from this fair. … The more you see of it, the more you’re overwhelmed by a feeling that if this is possible, that is this little sub-arctic, self-obsessed country of 20,000,000 people can put on this kind of show, then it can do almost anything.”

Peter C Newman 

This is a link from Libraries and Archives Canada on everything Expo 67, well not everything

Monday 6 April 2020

The start of Expo 67 Notre Dame Park

I've gotten some solace in these times of the pandemic in working on these Expo 67 brochures. I hope you do too.

Some of the descriptions in this guide are pretty funny! And they're funny for different reasons too. 


Information Guide
Notre-Dame Park

expo67   Montréal Canada

Welcome to Expo ‘67 and British American Oil’s
Information Centre in Notre Dame Park. We hope
the Centre and the surrounding parkland will
provide a pleasant contrast to the built-up pavilion
areas – a place for relaxation and quiet enjoyment of
natural beauty and exhibits of Canadian wildlife.
No Expo exhibit can take the place of driving the
length and breadth of Canada and seeing its breath-
taking sights for yourself, but we hope you enjoy
this small sample.

[signature]   C. Hay, President
                    The British American Oil Company Limited

In the beautifully land-
scaped park are shrubs,
flowers, wildlife exhibits,
Canadiana designs in the
B-A Information Centre,
exciting bridges, wood
sculptures and a photo
tower offering a panoramic
view of the Seaway and
Expo skyline.

Park Features

Regatta Lake is the setting for a host of interesting
events including championship canoe regattas
arranged by the Canadian Canoe Association…
Water transportation is available with ferries making
regular stops around Regatta Lake; also, “Nowhere”
cruises taking a leisurely route around the shoreline.

Carved and Painted Lino Panels      Thor Hansen
Stylized Animal Illustrations            Jacques Charette
Mother Earth Sculpture                   Madame Suzanne Guite
Don Quichotte Sculpture                 Frere Bergeron



These weasel-like animals love to play, chasing
one another, wrestling, tumbling and sliding down
muddy banks. With webbed feet, they are in their
element in the water, feeding mainly on fish but
also small mammals, frogs, insects, snakes and
some birds. They live in holes in the banks of
rivers often wintering under the ice, but will travel
miles overland in search of food.

Phoque/Sea Lion

These large Pacific coast mammals are powerful
swimmers, with limbs that have developed
into flippers. Famous for its honking bark,
the sea lion has pointed ears and large eyes.
Males are much larger than the females, which
have only a single pup at a time. Females are
often captured young and trained for circus
work because of their intelligence and fine
sense of balance.

Daim a queue blange/Whitetail Deer

Startled, they bound off into the woods with
their tails wagging like signal flags. These graceful
creatures are found throughout Canada east of
the Rocky Mountains, and may even be seen
grazing in woodland areas close to the towns. The
coats of fawns are spotted, but deepen to a rich
chestnut red as the animals reach maturity.


A large type of deer found mainly in the Rocky
Mountains and other parts of Western Canada,
they prefer semi-open forests spending summers,
in the mountains and winters in the valleys. Large
stags weigh up to 900 pounds, stand five feet
high at shoulders, with antlers sometimes
branching five feet wide. Antlers are shed every
spring, but a new branch is added each year,
making as many as fifteen to twenty points.


The great shaggy buffalo of the plains is the
largest of the wild animals in North America. Big them
bulls may weigh over a ton. Huge herds totaling
60 million animals once roamed the plains. As the
railways pushed west, bison were slaughtered for
food, hides, bones, sport, and were nearly
exterminated. Now protected on reservations, their
numbers have increased to several thousands.

Chien des prairies/Prairie Dog

These small reddish-brown rodents live in burrows
on the prairies. Each borough leads from an
entrance on high ground to a series of chambers
below. Large communities sometimes band
together, creating underground cities of several
acres. With an abundance of food and the
decrease of their natural enemies such as snakes,
wolves, and birds of prey, their population growth
it’s causing problems in some areas.

More to come from this guide ...