Thursday, September 10, 2009

Stade Olympique

Yesterday my friend Bill and I went sightseeing. We took the subway to the Olympic Park where the summer games were held in 1976. I'm not much of a sports fan, so I wasn't hugely interested in seeing the stadium, the swimming facilities and all that stuff, but the complex is interesting architecturally. There's a huge slanted tower extending over the stadium, and it holds up the canvas roof via a system of cables. Pretty inventive!

You can take a cable car up the tower for a spectacular view of Montreal and the surrounding countryside.

Afterwards I took a walk around the outside of the stadium and wandered over to the botanical garden and the "insectarium," which is exactly what it sounds like. Bugs galore, including scorpions -- aack! The gardens were shady and restful -- there's some kind of lantern festival going on in the Chinese section, so there are colorful lanterns suspended everywhere. The Japanese section, as you might expect, was restrained and minimal.

Today, more sightseeing, and then the journalism conference begins this evening.


  1. This is a work trip?! Somehow I had missed that part. So glad you have some time to go exploring around the meetings and seminars. It's somehow refreshing to be able to sample new ground -- with its sights and sounds and smells.

  2. That is certainly interesting architecture. Glad you're enjoying the trip. I hope that holds true for the conference as well.

  3. That tower looks like it is about to topple over.

    Scorpion! I have an odd little curiousity about what it would feel like to get stung by one of these. I would prefer a wee babe to do the job but as a 'scorpian' myself I wonder what it feels like. Still, I hope it never happens.

  4. re the stadium: it was built for the 1976 Montréal Olympics and has cost a fortune in repairs and upkeep. (backstory: the contract was awarded to an architect who happened to be the brother of then Mayor Drapeau's mistress. No one questions the architect's own specific qualifications for the job but the appropriateness of the structure in a city experiencing eight to nine months of freezing conditions per annum? That is a different question entirely)

    cheers from an ex-Montrealer

  5. I love the insectarium-- have visited many times--the butterfly film is my fave--but the jewelry made of colorful beetle shells-- astonishingly beautiful !!! and too pricey alas for moi. maybe someday tho...