Expo 86

The 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication, or simply Expo 86, was a World's Fair held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from Friday, May 2 until Monday, October 13, 1986. The fair, the theme of which was "Transportation and Communication: World in Motion - World in Touch", coincided with Vancouver's centennial and was held on the north shore of False Creek. It was the second time that Canada held a World's Fair, the first being Expo 67 in Montreal (during the Canadian Centennial). It was also the third World's Fair to be held in the Pacific Northwest in the previous 24 years as of 1986 and as of 2019 it still stands as the last World's Fair to be held in North America.

1986 Vancouver
The Expo 86 logo
BIE-classSpecialized exposition
CategoryInternational specialized exposition
Name1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication
Motto"World in Motion - World in Touch"
BuildingBC Place Stadium, Canada Place, Expo Centre (now Telus World of Science), SkyTrain
Area70 hectares (170 acres)
VenueBC Place Stadium, Canada Place, Plaza of Nations, Expo Centre
Coordinates49°17′19.1″N 123°6′40″W / 49.288639°N 123.11111°W
AwardedNovember 1980
OpeningMay 2, 1986
ClosureOctober 13, 1986
Specialized expositions
PreviousExpo '85 in Tsukuba
NextWorld Expo 88 in Brisbane
Universal expositions
PreviousExpo '70 in Osaka
NextSeville Expo '92 in Seville
Horticultural expositions
PreviousInternational Garden Festival in Liverpool
NextExpo '90 in Osaka


Expo 86 - monorail
The monorail at Expo 86. After the site closed, it was shipped to England where it was installed at the Alton Towers theme park in 1987.

The logo of three interlocking rings to make the 86 in the logo stood for the three main modes of transportation; land, air, and water.


Up until the late 1970s, the 173 acre (0.7 km2) site on False Creek, where Expo was staged, was a former CPR rail yard and an industrial wasteland. In 1978, Sam Bawlf (then BC Minister of Recreation and Conservation) proposed an exposition to celebrate Vancouver's centennial year (1986). The proposal was submitted in June 1979, for a fair that was to be called "Transpo 86." In 1980, the British Columbia Legislature passed the Transpo 86 Corporation Act, paving the way for the fair. The transportation theme reflected the city's role in connecting Canada by rail, its status as a major port and transportation hub, and the role of transportation in communications.

The initial idea was to have "...a modest $80 million transportation exposition that would mark Vancouver's 100th anniversary."[1] It soon blossomed into a full exposition thanks to the help of the Vancouver Exposition Commissioner-General at that time, Patrick Reid. The theme of Transportation and Communication led to the conglomeration of many different exhibits of transportation networks. This included a monorail that glided over the crowds that included a trip to every zone. Other ground transports included the "SkyTrain", a High Speed Surface Transport from Japan, and a French "People Mover." The transport of the sky was the Gondola, a boxcar hovering high in the air. The water taxis moved along four different ports on the site.[2]

The fair was awarded to Vancouver by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in November 1980. However, once it became clear that the event would be a world exposition, the name was officially changed to "Expo 86" by Ambassador and Commissioner General Patrick Reid in October 1981, and, by the end of the year, Expo 86 Corporation was established as a nonprofit agency responsible in the planning and operation of the fair. Local business tycoon Jim Pattison was appointed as CEO, and would eventually also become the president of the corporation. The chief architect selected was Bruno Freschi, the Creative Director was Ron Woodall, and Bob Smith was responsible for the production and design.

Construction started in October 1983, when Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, started a concrete mixer on the future site of the Canada Pavilion, and offered the "invitation to the world."[3] However, work was disrupted by labour disputes for five months. Still, Expo Centre opened May 2, 1985, as a preview centre for the fair.

The fair was originally budgeted for a modest CAN$78 million. However, final expenditures for the expanded event totalled $802 million, with a deficit of CAN$311 million.[4]


As the city prepared to welcome an influx of visitors, more than a thousand low-income residents of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside were evicted from their long-term homes in single room occupancy (SRO) hotels, sometimes with as little as a single day's notice.[5] Because tenants were subject to British Columbia's Innkeeper's Act rather than the laws governing typical landlords and renters, the SRO owners were not required to give significant notice, or even written notice, of an eviction. Mike Harcourt, the city's mayor at the time, hoped provincial laws might be changed to protect these residents, but the provincial government refused.[5] The Patricia Hotel was among those establishments that evicted most or all of its residents, including a Norwegian man named Olaf Solheim. Solheim, who had lived at the Patricia Hotel for decades, was well known in the community but was evicted with just a week's notice. Although he was found a new home, he became despondent, stopped eating, and died within a month. Vancouver's chief medical health officer at the time, John Batherwick, publicly asserted that the sudden eviction could be the cause of Solheim's death: "He'd been moved from where he was to a place he didn't want to be, and he simply lost his will to live and he died."[5]

The Fair

Expo 86 was opened by Charles, Prince of Wales, Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney on Friday, May 2, 1986. It featured pavilions from 54 nations and numerous corporations. Expo's participants were given the opportunity to design their own pavilion or opt for the less expensive Expo module. Each module was approximately two-and-a-half stories high and had the floor space equal to a third of a city block. The design was such that any number of the square modules could be placed together in a variety of shapes. The roof design allowed the interior exhibit space to be uninterrupted by pillars.

This World's Fair was categorized as a "Class II," or "specialized exhibition," reflecting its specific emphases on transportation and communications.


Canadian provinces and territories





Not pictured: Nova Scotia Ontario Prince Edward Island Saskatchewan

Countries and international organizations

Canada Place Landing


















Not pictured: Barbados Côte d'Ivoire Hungary Kenya South Korea Malaysia Spain Yugoslavia

US states

Oregon's pavilion

Corporations and non-governmental organizations

  • Air Canada
  • BCTV set up a fully functional broadcast studio on the Expo site. The BCTV pavilion allowed visitors to see, and participate, in every step of how a television station operates, and to see how newscasts and television shows were produced. The pavilion was also used by the station for coverage of the Expo, and by visiting journalists.[6][7][8][9]
  • Canadian National
  • General Motors - Had one of the more popular exhibits in its pavilion: Spirit Lodge [10] a live show augmented with holographic effects and other special effects. It was produced by experience designer Bob Rogers (designer) and the design team BRC Imagination Arts,[11] and created with the assistance of the Kwagulth Native reserve in Alert Bay (British Columbia).
  • Via Rail Exhibit
  • Canadian Pacific - The pavilion's main feature was the film: Rainbow War.[12] As with the 'Spirit Lodge' show for the General Motors pavilion, Rainbow War was also produced by experience designer Bob Rogers (designer) and the design team BRC Imagination Arts.[13] Following the film's run at Expo '86, Rainbow War received an Oscar nomination[14] for the 'Live Action Short' category at the 58th Academy Awards. The film was played again for an international audience at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul Korea, as a part of the Olympic Arts Festival.
  • Telecom Canada - Featured a Circle-Vision 360° movie: "Portraits of Canada - Images du Canada"

Other pavilions and exhibits

  • Great Hall of Ramses II (Egypt) - containing rare treasures from the life of the pharaoh, Ramesses II.
  • Great Norwegian Explorers (Norway)
  • Pavilion of Promise (Christian pavilion)
  • Roundhouse - a renovated 1880's era railway roundhouse and turntable. Restored historic train Engine 374 was displayed here.
  • Expo Centre (later Science World, now Telus World of Science)
  • Parade of Steam - a runby of various Steam Locomotives from Canada, the US, and UK. This was part of a 2-week exhibit called "SteamExpo"

Great Hall of Ramses II


Great Norwegian Explorers


The Roundhouse

Outdoor exhibits

  • Air Plaza
  • Land Plaza
  • Marine Plaza
  • Folklife
  • Highway 86 - a sculpture/exhibit consisting of a 217m 4 lane concrete highway that contained various modes of transportation (cars, mopeds, bikes, etc.) that were frozen in time. All the real vehicles were painted a shade of light grey, and mounted in place. It was designed by 'S.I.T.E. Projects' of New York.
  • UFO H2O - a UFO inspired children's water playground.

Air Plaza


Marine Plaza


Highway 86: The Middle of the Road


  • Labatt's Expo Theatre
  • Kodak Pacific Bowl
  • Xerox International Theatre

Entertainment and famous visitors

Royalty: Prince Charles & Diana, Princess of Wales for the opening ceremonies; Crown Prince Harald & Crown Princess Sonja of Norway; Saudi-Arabian Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud[15]

Prime Minister: Brian Mulroney (Canada) Margaret Thatcher (United Kingdom) Pierre Trudeau (former Prime Minister - Canada)[15]

Vice-President: George Bush (United States)[15]

Concerts: Einstürzende Neubauten, Harry Belafonte, Anne Murray, Billy Ocean, Bruce Cockburn, Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis, Annie Lennox - Eurythmics, Julio Iglesias, Amy Grant, Loverboy, A-ha, Liberace, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Gowan, Parachute Club, Joan Baez with Don McLean, Kenny Loggins, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lou Rawls & The 5th Dimension, Idle Eyes, Honeymoon Suite, Kim Mitchell, Johnny Cash, Depeche Mode, Joe Jackson, George Thorogood + the Delaware Destroyers, Smokey Robinson, George Benson, John Denver, The Beach Boys, Air Supply, Peter, Paul & Mary, The Manhattan Transfer, The Temptations, René Simard, k.d. lang (opening for Rockin' Ronnie Hawkins), Peter Allen, Sheena Easton, Trooper, Kid Creole & The Coconuts, Test Dept, Bryan Adams, The Romaniacs, Tangerine Dream, Youssou N'Dour, Rolf Harris, Kool & The Gang, Roy Orbison, Fats Domino with Jerry Lee Lewis, Donovan[15] Leilehua High School, Layton High School Lancer Marching Band, Alta Loma High School (Chamber Singers), Rancho Cucamonga, CA College Park High School Marching Band from Pleasant Hill, CA, Gustine High School Marching, Sapulpa High School Choir (Blue Blazed Marvels), Sapulpa OK (Concert and Jazz Band from Gustine, CA, Siuslaw High School Band and Jazz Band, from Florence, Oregon at Oregon Pavilion, World Drums concert (led by John Wyre), Shannon Gunn, Skywalk, Kent-Meridian Jazz Ensemble, Images in Vogue, Peter Noone, Alvin Lee opened for Steppenwolf. Many of the concerts were hosted by Red Robinson, Vancouver DJ. These concerts were held at the Open air Expo Theatre.

The "Festival of Independent Recording Artists", a concert series promoting local bands, was cancelled on the first night after a performance by Slow devolved into a riot.[16] Other artists who had been scheduled to appear in that series included Art Bergmann.[16]

Comedians: Bill Cosby, Bob Newhart, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Joan Rivers, Howie Mandel, George Burns and Danny Kaye[15]

Dance: Mikhail Baryshnikov, The Royal Ballet,[15] Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company

Directors: Norman Jewison, George Cosmatos (Rambo: First Blood Part II)[15]

Oceanographer: Jacques Cousteau[15]

Facts and figures

1986 CPA 5710
Expo 86 Stamp Issued by the Soviet Union
  • Official Theme: "Transportation and Communication"
  • Sub Theme: "A Celebration of Ingenuity"
  • Total Attendance Number: 22,111,578
  • Operating Dates: May 2, 1986, to October 13, 1986
  • Chief Architect: Bruno Freschi
  • Official Mascot: Expo Ernie - A life-sized robot
  • Revenues: $491m
  • Expenditures : $802m
  • Deficit : $311m
  • Economic contribution :$3,700m[17]

(Note: All amounts in Canadian funds, not adjusted for inflation.)

  • Main Expo Site Size: 670,000 m3, (165 acres)
  • Canadian Pavilion Size: 24,000 m3 (6 acres), 4.5 km away from the main site connected by Vancouver's SkyTrain
  • Total Expo Site Size: 700,000 m2 (173 acres)

54 Official Participating Nations:

 Antigua and Barbuda,  Australia,  Barbados,  Belgium,  Brunei,  Canada,  China,  Cook Islands,  Côte d'Ivoire,  Costa Rica,  Cuba,  Czechoslovakia,  Dominica,  Fiji,  France,  Germany,  Grenada,  Hungary,  Indonesia,  Italy,  Japan,  Kenya,  Malaysia,  Mexico,  Montserrat,  Nauru,  Norway,  Pakistan,  Papua New Guinea,  Peru,  Philippines,  Romania,  Saint Kitts and Nevis,  Saint Lucia,  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,  Saudi Arabia,  Senegal,  Singapore,  Solomon Islands,  South Korea,  Spain,  Sri Lanka,   Switzerland,  Thailand,  Tonga,  United Kingdom,  United States,  U.S.S.R.  Vanuatu,  Western Samoa, and  Yugoslavia.


In all, 22 million people attended the expo and, despite a deficit of $311 million CAD, it was considered a tremendous success. It remains to date the second biggest event in British Columbia history and is viewed by many as the transition of Vancouver from a sleepy provincial backwater to a city with global clout. It marked a strong boost to tourism for the province.

Many have also seen the fair as being at least partially responsible for the re-election of the Social Credit party for its final term as a provincial government.

Today, the western half of the site has and is continuing to be developed into parks and high rise condominiums. The eastern portion was used for the annual Molson Indy race, until it was cancelled in late 2004. Future plans call for the eastern third of the site to be developed into parkland and condominiums. The western third of the site is presently owned by the real estate investment firm Concord Pacific, which has its primary shareholder the Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing. The redevelopment took longer than expected, "set the standard for development in 1990s."[18] "These new neighborhoods delivered substantial contributions to public infrastructure and overall livability … Integrating community amenity contributions (CACs) into the development process, thus enabling the construction of important public infrastructure as the city grows, [which] has become a signature part of 'Vancouverism', an urban development process and style for which the city has become world famous."[19] The south eastern section of the site just underneath the former Expo Center was redeveloped for use as part the Olympic Village for the 2010 Winter Olympics. After the Olympics, it will also be redeveloped into condos and park land.

"Expo 86 will be remembered for the warm, friendly spirit that existed among the exhibitors, staff, 8000 volunteers and visitors." according to Kim O'Leary[20]

State of Expo 86 attractions

Alton Towers Monorail
The former Expo 86 monorail, Swiss built Von Roll Seilbahnen AG Mark II, is now installed at Alton Towers in the United Kingdom.

Some of the lasting contributions of Expo 86 to the city of Vancouver include:

  • SkyTrain - A fully automated elevated advanced rapid transit system. The first line was built intending partially to serve Expo, with construction beginning in the autumn of 1982 and revenue service opening in December 1985. SkyTrain has since become the backbone of the city's metropolitan transit system (metro) and the system has been extended six times, including three minor expansions to the original revenue line Expo Line in 1989, 1990, and 1994. Two additional metro lines, the Millennium Line and the Canada Line, were built in 2001 and 2009, respectively, with the Millennium Line being extended to Coquitlam by the Evergreen Extension in 2016. Construction of guideway, station, and train retrofitting of the entire Expo Line are underway as of 2012. Today, SkyTrain transports over 350,000 passengers daily. SkyTrain uses its original 1985-86 Expo fleet of trains (Bombardier/UTDC Mark I) as part of daily revenue service, and newer trains that have additional capacity and more advanced technology (Mark II, Mark III).
  • Expo Centre - Science World - An interactive educational centre with an OMNIMAX cinema. It opened May 2, 1986, as the Expo Centre. Between 1989 and 1990, after much public support, the building was expanded, and in late 1990, it opened to the general public as a science museum, "Science World". In 2005 the name was changed to Science World at Telus World of Science.
  • BC Place Stadium - All-purpose domed sports stadium (primarily for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC & BC Lions), home of the opening of Expo 86. The stadium was also home of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Opening and Closing Ceremonies. BC Place opened June 19, 1983. SkyTrain's Stadium-Chinatown Station (then, "Stadium Station") was built for this landmark in 1985, and has since served all major sporting and concert events since 1986. In May 2010, the landmark teflon roof was deflated, and it was replaced with a new retractable roof as well as over all structural upgrades and a complete interior design makeover. BC Place reopened on September 30, 2011 as the world's largest cable supported retractable roof stadium.
  • Canada Place The Canada Government pavilion is now a major downtown convention centre and cruise ship docks. It has seen major use over the years and was expanded to allow for bigger cruise ships to dock in 1999. In 2009, a companion building immediately to the northwest was completed. SkyTrain's terminus Waterfront Station served Canada Place in 1986. A special shuttle train between Waterfront and Stadium Station was used throughout the duration of the fair to get patrons between the Canada Pavilion and main Expo site along False Creek.
  • Plaza of Nations - This space has been used as an outdoor concert venue and public plaza with the surrounding buildings used as office space and nightclubs. Since Expo ended, the glass canopy that was connected to the adjacent office buildings was found unsafe and torn down, while in 2007 it was decided that the office buildings will be demolished. The B.C. Pavilion structure remains, and is now the site of the Edgewater Casino. Once the offices are demolished it will leave Canada Place, the B.C. Pavilion and the Telus World of Science as the only remaining structures from Expo directly left on the Expo site.

After the fair closed, many of the attractions were auctioned off to buyers. The dispersed Expo 86 buildings include:

McBarge front
The McBarge is currently anchored derelict in Burrard Inlet next to an oil refinery
Lighthouse Pub Formerly the China Gate
The pub on the left was the China Gate Restaurant. The lighthouse on the right was a spaceship atop a McDonald's. It is now the Lighthouse Pub in Sechelt BC
  • Monorail - now located at Alton Towers Theme Park in England
  • McBarge (officially Friendship 500) - a floating McDonald's has been abandoned in the waters of Burrard Inlet, Burnaby (locally known as "McDerelict"). It can be seen when riding the West Coast Express. Moved to Maple Ridge, British Columbia in 2015 for refurbishment.
  • Space Ship McDonald's The spaceship motif from the restaurant was dismantled and the wings were removed. The remodelled pieces were then shipped to Sechelt and reconstructed as a lighthouse to go atop the Lighthouse Pub.
  • China Gate - donated by the Chinese Government to the City of Vancouver. The landmark was relocated in 1987 to Pender Street in Vancouver's Chinatown.
  • China Gate Cafe was dismantled and moved to Sechelt BC and is now the home to the Lighthouse Pub.
  • World's largest ice hockey stick - now in Duncan, British Columbia at the local hockey rink
  • Scream Machine roller coaster - now Ninja at Six Flags St. Louis
  • Spirit Catcher sculpture - now installed along the waterfront of Barrie, Ontario
  • Inukshuk - once used at the Northwest Territories Pavilion, was relocated to English Bay beach in 1988. It was an inspiration for the logo for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
  • Site Furniture - all sorts of brightly painted remnants were relocated to the Pacific National Exhibition on East Hastings Street, and to other parks and public areas in Greater Vancouver.
  • Folklife Pavilion - most of the Folklife Pavilion buildings were dismantled into pieces, shipped by barge and reconstructed as the Folklife Village, the main shopping centre on Gabriola Island, BC
  • UFO H2O - the water park is now at Mount Layton Hot Springs Resort in Terrace, British Columbia.
  • Dragon boats - the six teak wooden boats used to celebrate Hong Kong (pavilion) Day by holding a Dragon Boat racing festival were raced annually for a number of years before being put into dry dock. In 2015 the original 6, plus 3 more teak and 6 Taiwanese dragon boats, were transferred to Salmon Arm, BC and completely restored.
  • Expo building modules - Numerous former pavilion structures were disassembled and reconstructed, largely for industrial use throughout the Lower Mainland, and few have survived to 2013. They can be identified by their distinctive peaked corners with exposed tubular girders. They can be found at Tillbury Industrial Park in Delta, British Columbia.
  • Russian Pavilion - The Russian Pavilion had a special roof designed with triangles which allowed for maximum floor space coverage without any beams coming down to support it save for the outside of the building. It was dismantled and relocated now housing machinery at the Kruger Products paper plant in New Westminster British Columbia.
  • Bench Seating - iconic painted wire grid bench seating, coloured as the different zone colours of the fair, with formed concrete bases and the "86" logo branded into the sides, can be seen at various locales around the Greater Vancouver area, notably along the White Rock beach promenade.
  • Log Flume Ride - shipped across Canada on 16 large trucks and installed at Upper Clements Parks in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia.[21]
  • Pier A large steel pier constructed for use during Expo is now in use on the north side of Keats Island as the main dock for Barnabas Landing. For years it was light green and pink (the original colours), but it has been painted a uniform blue.


A group of former Expo 86 employees conducted a 20th anniversary reunion for Expo participants on May 2, 2006, at the Plaza of Nations site.

A group of former BC Pavilion employees celebrated the 20th anniversary of the close of Expo 86 at a reunion[22] on October 13, 2006, at the former Expo Centre (now renamed the Telus World of Science).

Celebrating 25 years since its opening of Expo 86, Vancouver is Awesome and Yelp teamed up and threw a party at Science World on May 6, 2011.[23]


In 1988, the site was sold to the Concord Pacific development corporation for a fraction of the original cost, a move that proved to be extremely controversial. Premier William Vander Zalm and Peter Toigo were accused of influence peddling in the sale.


While opening the World's Fair, Diana, Princess of Wales briefly fainted onto her husband in a crowded hall in the California Pavilion. She recovered quickly in the washroom, and left half an hour later. Prince Charles later said that her fainting spell was a result of heat and exhaustion. However, the Princess confessed several years later that it was actually caused by not having kept down any food for several days, the result of her eating disorder. She was chastised by her husband for not "fainting gracefully behind a door."

On May 9, 1986, 9-year-old Karen Ford of Nanaimo, BC died at the Canadian Pavilion. She was crushed while on a revolving turntable that connected two semi-circular theatres in the pavilion. The revolving table was shut down for some time after the accident, but was put back in service with a number of new safety measures.[24]

In popular media

  • The Vancouver-based indie band Said the Whale recorded a song called "False Creek Change" about the changes that Expo 86 brought to the area. The song starts: False Creek changed in 86 / The year Expo exploited her shore / It's been 22 years laying down bricks / There's no room for me here any more.
  • Death Cab for Cutie, from nearby Bellingham, Washington, also has a song entitled "Expo '86" on their album Transatlanticism.
  • Scenes from Vancouver (some of the Expo) have appeared in a video edition of the song "If I Had Wings", composed in 1986 by children's singer/songwriter Hap Palmer.
  • Cheers episode "Money Dearest" featured Cliff Claven discussing his return from Expo 86.
  • The band Wolf Parade also released an LP entitled Expo 86 in 2010.
  • Archie Comics put out a special edition where they came to Expo 86.[25]

See also


  1. ^ Peter Stoler, Rudolph, Barbara (28 April 1986). "Westward Ho to Expo 86". Time Magazine. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  2. ^ "Transportation -- EXPO 86". Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  3. ^ Archives of British Columbia: Trains, Planes and Automobiles
  4. ^ Expo 86 by Kim Patrick O'Leary
  5. ^ a b c Baker, Rafferty (5 May 2016). "Expo 86 evictions: remembering the fair's dark side". CBC.ca. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  6. ^ http://bobbea.com/expo-86/bctv.html
  7. ^ http://www.bharch.ca/projects/cat/36/id/145
  8. ^ http://www.vancouverisawesome.com/2014/05/08/archie-goes-to-expo-86-the-full-comic-book-online-cc-sarahsaysstuff/
  9. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=WaUJAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA110&lpg=PA110&dq=expo+86+BCTV+pavilion&source=bl&ots=JuN8OyBnYj&sig=EX2pinJjqsr3R968oVkN-I2hByQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rQeVVbH1DYjVsAXB9rp4&ved=0CDoQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=expo%2086%20BCTV%20pavilion&f=false
  10. ^ "Spirit Lodge". www.imdb.com.
  11. ^ "Expo '86 Vancouver: Spirit Lodge" (PDF). BRC Imagination Arts.
  12. ^ "Rainbow War". www.imdb.com.
  13. ^ "Expo '86 Vancouver: Rainbow War" (PDF). BRC Imagination Arts.
  14. ^ "Experience Required". www.fastcompany.com.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h "PROMINENT VISITORS TO EXPO 86". Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  16. ^ a b Michael Barclay, Ian A.D. Jack and Jason Schneider, Have Not Been the Same: The Can-Rock Renaissance 1985-1995. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55022-992-9.
  17. ^ Expo 86. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
  18. ^ "Canadian Cities Are in Decline". Macleans. 3 June 2002. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  19. ^ "Community Benefits from Development: Improving Neighbourhoods & Enabling Affordable Housing" (PDF). City of Vancouver. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  20. ^ O'Leary, Kim. "Expo 86 - The Canadian Encyclopedia". Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  21. ^ "The Upper Clements Park". Annapolis Valley Vacation. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  22. ^ "(untitled)". BC Pavilion. Archived from the original on December 12, 2006.
  23. ^ "Expo86 25th Anniversary Party at Science World". Miss 604. April 26, 2011.
  24. ^ Victim's father wants $100,000 from Expo, Associated Press, Spokane Chronicle - Jun 19, 1986, pg A2
  25. ^ Kronbauer, Bob (May 8, 2014). "Archie and the gang visit EXPO 86 – the full comic book, online!". Vancouver Is Awesome. Retrieved June 6, 2015.

External links


  • CBC Archives - The food of Expo 86.
  • CBC Archives Jim Pattison - a key person behind Expo 86 (from 1985) - and concerns about hosting Expo.
1986 Memorial Cup

The 1986 Memorial Cup occurred May 10–17 at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon. It was the 68th annual Memorial Cup competition and determined the major junior ice hockey champion of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). Hosting rights were originally awarded to the Queen's Park Arena and the New Westminster Bruins, but staging the tournament alongside Expo '86 in Vancouver proved logistically impossible and so the tournament was moved to Portland for the second time in three years. Participating teams were the host team Portland Winter Hawks, as well as the winners of the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League which were the Kamloops Blazers, Guelph Platers and Hull Olympiques. The Platers won their first Memorial Cup, and the city's second Memorial Cup, defeating Hull in the final game.

BC Pavilion Corporation

B.C. Pavilion Corporation (PavCo) is a Crown Corporation of the Province of British Columbia. Originally created to manage the BC Pavilion during Expo 86, PavCo operates BC Place Stadium and The Vancouver Convention Centre

BC Place

BC Place is a multi-purpose stadium located at the north side of False Creek, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is owned and operated by the BC Pavilion Corporation (PavCo), a crown corporation of the province. It is currently the home of the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL), Vancouver Whitecaps FC of Major League Soccer (MLS) and the annual Canada Sevens (part of the World Rugby Sevens Series) as well as the BC Sports Hall of Fame. The stadium also served as the main stadium for the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Paralympics which Vancouver hosted, as well as a venue for multiple matches including the championship match for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.

The stadium opened on June 19, 1983, and was built as an indoor structure with an air-supported roof, the largest of its kind in the world upon its opening. Following the 2010 Winter Olympics, BC Place was closed for 16 months as part of an extensive revitalization, the centrepiece of which was replacing the inflatable roof with a retractable roof supported by cables. Once construction was completed, the stadium's new roof was also the largest of its type.

Bruno Freschi

Bruno Freschi is a Canadian architect best known for his role as chief architect for Expo 86 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He was born in Trail, British Columbia on April 18, 1937. He studied architecture at the University of British Columbia where he received Canada's top architecture student award . He then studied in London at the Architectural Association before returning to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to work with Arthur Erickson in the 1960s. He founded his own firm, Bruno Freschi Architects, in 1970 in Vancouver. He was dean of the school of architecture and planning at the State University of New York at Buffalo, NY, USA until 2002.

Canada Place

Canada Place is a building situated on the Burrard Inlet waterfront of Vancouver, British Columbia. It is the home of the Vancouver Convention Centre, the Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel, Vancouver's World Trade Centre, and the virtual flight ride FlyOver Canada. The building's exterior is covered by fabric roofs resembling sails. It is also the main cruise ship terminal for the region, where Vancouver's famous cruises to Alaska originate. The building was designed by architects Zeidler Roberts Partnership in joint venture with Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership and DA Architects + Planners.

Canada Place can be reached via the SkyTrain line at the nearby Waterfront Station terminus or via West Cordova Street in Vancouver. The white sails of the building have made it a prominent landmark for the city, as well as drawing comparisons to the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia and the Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado.The structure was expanded in 2001 to accommodate another cruise ship berth and in 2009/10, for the 2010 Winter Olympics, Canada Place served as the Main Press Centre.

Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival

The Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival or Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival takes place every June on the waters and shoreside of False Creek in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is North America's largest and most competitive dragon boat festival with over 200 crews competing from around the world, with roots stemming from Expo 86. The Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival is run by the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society (commonly Dragon Boat BC).

The Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival is a legacy of Expo 86, where Vancouver's Chinese-Canadian community introduced the traditional annual Chinese Duanwu Festival (summer solstice) to Canada as a cultural outreach program to share Chinese culture with the city's multi-cultural population. The dragon boat festival was created to promote sport and Chinese culture, and a meeting place for Vancouver's culturally diverse population to build intercultural harmony and understanding.

Visitors experience a variety of ethnically themed food, cultural entertainment, fine arts and children's programming reflecting Vancouver's cultural diversity, and some of the world's most competitive dragon boat races. The festival has grown to become one of Vancouver's largest family summer events, attracting paddlers ranging in age from high school students to 'grand dragons' in their 80's, and visitors including families of all ages and backgrounds. The festival celebrates community, culture, and competition by connecting visitors with dragon boat racing, cultural displays, and community organizations that support accessible activity and programs.

Expo 86 (album)

Expo 86 is the third full-length album by Canadian indie rock band Wolf Parade. It was released on 29 June 2010."Expo 86" was recognized by Exclaim! as the No. 17 Pop & Rock Album of 2010. Exclaim! writer Josh O'Kane said: "Long gone are the densely layered sonic landscapes of Wolf Parade albums past ― Expo 86 marks an evolution in sound, but not a change. It's Spencer Krug's manic-pop circus meeting Dan Boeckner's twitchy Springsteen revivalism in one sprawling album that's simultaneously more disjointed and more confident than ever."

Expo Line (TransLink)

The Expo Line is the oldest line of the SkyTrain rapid transit system in the Metro Vancouver region of British Columbia, Canada. The line is owned and operated by TransLink, and links the cities of Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster and Surrey.

The line was originally known only as "the SkyTrain" from its inception in 1985 until 2002, as it was the system's only line during this time. In 2002, after the opening of the system's second line, the Millennium Line, the original line was given the name "Expo Line". The new name was in recognition of Expo 86 (the World's Fair that Vancouver hosted in 1986) as the transit system had been built in large part as a showcase and an attraction for that fair.

False Creek

False Creek is a short inlet in the heart of Vancouver. It separates downtown from the rest of the city. It was named by George Henry Richards during his Hydrographic survey of 1856-63. Science World is located at its eastern end, with the Granville, Cambie, and the Burrard (which is furthest west) Street bridges crossing False Creek. The Canada Line tunnel crosses underneath False Creek just west of the Cambie Bridge. It is one of the four major bodies of water bordering Vancouver along with English Bay, Burrard Inlet and the Fraser River. In 1986 it was the location of the Expo 86 World's Fair.

Herb Capozzi

Harold Peter "Herb" Capozzi (April 24, 1925 – November 21, 2011) was an athlete, businessman, professional sports team manager and political figure in British Columbia. He represented Vancouver Centre in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia from 1966 to 1972 as a Social Credit member.

He was born in Kelowna in 1925, the son of Pasquale "Cap" Capozzi, an Italian immigrant. Capozzi won a sports scholarship to the University of British Columbia, where he received B.A. and BComm degrees. At university, Herb was a member of the BC Alpha Chapter of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. In 1952, he moved to Calgary, where he worked for Shell Oil.Capozzi played with the Calgary Stampeders and Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. As a racketball player, he won the Canadian Masters championship in 1974 and the Canadian Golden Masters championship in 1981. Capozzi was general manager for the BC Lions from 1957 to 1966 when he was elected to the provincial assembly. The Lions won the Grey Cup in 1964.He purchased the Vancouver Canucks hockey team in 1971, helping to keep the team in Canada.Capozzi established the Vancouver Whitecaps soccer team in 1974. He served as owner, president, and board chairman for the team. Under his ownership, the team won the North American Soccer League (NASL) Soccer Bowl title in 1979.He was a member of the BC Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame and had received the Order of British Columbia in 2008.Capozzi was a director responsible for food, entertainment and housing for Expo 86.He was a founder of The Keg restaurant chain and was instrumental in bringing McDonald's restaurants to Canada. He was an owner of Calona Wines and the Capri Hotel (now the Coast Capri Hotel) and Capri Centre Mall. Capozzi was also president of Pasadena Investments, a development company based in Kelowna.He died at home in Kelowna at the age of 86 from tongue cancer.

History of the SkyTrain

The SkyTrain rapid transit system in Metro Vancouver was conceived as a legacy project of Expo 86 and the first line was finished in time to showcase the fair's theme: "Transportation and Communication: World in Motion – World in Touch".

Construction was funded by the provincial and federal governments. Vancouver had plans as early as the 1950s to build a monorail system, with modernist architect Wells Coates pencilled in to design it; that project was abandoned. The lack of a rapid transit system was said to be the cause of traffic problems in the 1970s, and the municipal government could not fund the construction of such a system. During the same period, Urban Transportation Development Corporation, then an Ontario crown corporation, was developing a new rapid transit technology known as an "Intermediate Capacity Transit System". In 1980 the need for rapid transit was great, and Ontario needed buyers for its new technology. "Advanced Rapid Transit" was selected to be built in Vancouver to showcase the Ontario project at Expo 86.

List of Vancouver SkyTrain stations

The Vancouver SkyTrain is a three-line urban mass transit system in the metropolitan area of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada managed by TransLink. The Expo Line was built for the Expo 86 World's Fair; the Millennium Line opened in 2002, followed by the Canada Line in 2009, which was built for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Expo Line and Millennium lines are operated by the British Columbia Rapid Transit Company on behalf of TransLink. The Canada Line is owned by InTransitBC, and operated by ProTrans BC, an SNC-Lavalin company. The Expo and Millennium lines use Bombardier's Advanced Rapid Transit technology, while the Canada Line technology is provided by Hyundai Rotem. The SkyTrain is the oldest and longest fully automated driverless rapid transit system in the world.The SkyTrain was conceived as a legacy project of Expo 86; its first line, the Expo Line, was finished in 1985, in time to showcase the fair's theme: Transportation and Communication. The line connected Vancouver with the cities of Burnaby and New Westminster, with the terminus stations at Waterfront and New Westminster station. In 1989, the line was extended one station east to Columbia station. The Skybridge, the only cable-stayed bridge built for transit use in the world, was completed in 1990, extending the Expo Line eastward to the city of Surrey with the addition of Scott Road station. The line was extended eastward again with the opening of Gateway, Surrey Central, and King George stations in 1994.

TransLink, which took over BC Transit's responsibility for the operation of the SkyTrain in 1998, proposed a two-phase expansion of the system: the first phase consisted of a C$1.2 billion new line from New Westminster to the Broadway campus of Vancouver Community College in Vancouver via Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby. The second phase was a C$730 million extension eastward from Lougheed Town Centre to Coquitlam Centre in Coquitlam via Port Moody and another extension westward from Vancouver Community College to Granville Street via the Broadway corridor. The expansion line, now known as the Millennium Line, began operating in 2002. The line connected to the Expo Line at Columbia and originally added eleven new stations to the system; the twelfth, Lake City Way, opened in 2003. The Millennium Line's thirteenth station and current western terminus, VCC–Clark, opened in 2006. The second phase was subsequently cancelled, later revived and eventually branded the Evergreen Extension. The extension opened in 2016, expanding service into Coquitlam via Burnaby and Port Moody with 6 new stations, adding 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) to the existing Millennium Line. The extension stretches from Lougheed Town Centre station to Lafarge Lake–Douglas station, which is located beside Lafarge Lake and across from the David Lam campus of Douglas College in Coquitlam City Centre.In 2004, TransLink approved a 19-kilometre (12 mi) line connecting Vancouver with Richmond and the Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The line, now known as the Canada Line, opened in 2009, a few months ahead of the 2010 Olympics. The line added 15 stations to the system, and has two branches that split off at Bridgeport; one branch heads south to the city of Richmond, while the other heads west toward the main terminal at YVR.

There are 53 stations on the SkyTrain system. 20 stations are served exclusively by the Expo Line, 14 exclusively by the Millennium Line, 15 exclusively by the Canada Line, 1 by both the Expo and Canada Lines, and 3 by both the Expo and Millennium Lines. Vancouver and Burnaby have a total of 31 stations, 20 and 11 respectively, consisting of 58 percent of the system's stations. Commercial–Broadway was originally two separate stations—Broadway station and Commercial Drive station; Broadway was completed with the Expo Line, while Commercial Drive was completed with the Millennium Line. The stations combined in 2009 in order to avoid confusion with Broadway–City Hall. From the Millennium Line's start of operation in 2002 until 2016, all Expo Line stations outside of Surrey were also serviced by the Millennium Line until TransLink changed the operating patterns of both lines. Since 2016, Braid and Sapperton have been serviced by the Expo Line instead of the Millennium Line via a branch from Columbia heading north towards Production Way–University, a major bus transfer point for Simon Fraser University's Burnaby campus. The Millennium Line heads east from VCC–Clark to Larfarge Lake–Douglas, connecting with the Expo Line at Production Way–University and Lougheed Town Centre stations. Waterfront is the terminus for both the Expo and Canada lines. Richmond–Brighouse and YVR–Airport are the outbound terminuses for the two Canada Line branches.

MacLaren Art Centre

The MacLaren Art Centre is an art gallery and museum, located in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. It houses many important Canadian works of art.

It is named in honour of Maurice MacLaren, who bequeathed his Victorian home, Maple Hill, to the Barrie Gallery Project in 1989. The MacLaren Art Centre later moved to the former City of Barrie library, a Carnegie building, and added to it; the new gallery opened in September 2001. The award-winning building was designed by Siamak Hariri of Hariri Pontarini Architects. The first piece in the gallery's collection is the Spirit Catcher, a sculpture by Ron Baird, first displayed at Expo '86 in Vancouver, and donated by the Peacock Foundation.


The McBarge, officially named the Friendship 500, was a McDonald's restaurant, built on a 187-foot-long (57 m) barge for Expo '86 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Moored on Expo grounds in Vancouver's False Creek, it was the second floating McDonald's location in the world (the first being in St Louis, Missouri), intended to showcase future technology and architecture. Although the floating design allowed for the barge to operate in a new location following the exhibition, the derelict McBarge was anchored empty in Burrard Inlet from 1991, amid industrial barges and an oil refinery, until it was moved in December 2015 to Maple Ridge, British Columbia.

Plaza of Nations

The Plaza of Nations was an entertainment complex located on the northeast shore of False Creek in Vancouver, British Columbia.

It was part of the British Columbia Pavilion during Expo '86, and along with Science World, Canada Place, and the Roundhouse Community Centre, it had been one of the remaining physical reminders of the Expo. The sheltered plaza had a capacity of 4,500 for performances. The Plaza had been nominated by the city's Heritage Commission to be added to the Vancouver Heritage Register. Along with the Roundhouse and Science World, Plaza of Nations was considered important for demarcating the spatial extent of the world's fair, which was a transformative event for the city in its centennial year. It was decided in 2007 that the building was to be demolished completely, leaving the Edgewater Casino the only remaining structure, although it may be rebuilt or redesigned.

Plaza of Nations consisted of Enterprise Hall, the West Building, the East Building, and the Covered Plaza. It has been owned by Canadian Metropolitan Properties since 1990. The site housed Edgewater Casino, until its relocation to Parq Vancouver in September 2017, and hosted various cultural and entertainment events, including the Dragon Boat Festival, and has been a popular events venue for various ethnic communities in Vancouver, as well as for corporate events.

Plaza of Nations was the only outdoor sheltered plaza in Vancouver, as well as the city's only cultural venue on the waterfront. It was also an important mid-size venue for popular music acts seeing artists such as Foo Fighters, Hootie & the Blowfish, Fugazi, My Morning Jacket and Garbage, among others perform sold out concerts at the venue.

The Plaza was used for a filming location for numerous projects, such as the Stargate SG-1 episode "2010", several episodes of The Outer Limits and Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century and it served as the stadium precinct in Continuum.

Planned as a temporary structure to be torn down after Expo '86, the glass roof of the plaza was found to be unsafe by city officials in November 2006, with notices to that effect being posted in the offices of the ownership on Wednesday, November 22 and subsequently the area under the canopy was fenced off for public safety. The sudden closure forced the events planned for the space to move with little or no notice (see Portobello West). In January 2007, the ownership decided that the cost of repairing the roof was too high, and opted to demolish both the roof and its two adjoining office buildings. As of November 2007, demolition of the roof has been completed and all tenants of the adjoining structures have vacated. Plans for use of the space have not been released, however the owners and the City of Vancouver are planning continued use of the plaza as a covered outdoor performance venue. As of March 2008, the west building office structure is completely demolished. The future of the site remains unclear as the east office complex has not been abandoned and the plaza concert amphitheater was rebuilt and restored with the original seating and new flooring.

Rapid transit in Canada

There are three heavy rail rapid transit systems in Canada. The Toronto subway was the first rapid transit system in Canada when it opened a 12-station line in 1954. It has since grown to encompass three heavy rail lines and one intermediate rail line and has the most number of stations of any system in Canada with 75. Montreal introduced the Montreal Metro in 1966 and has now become the most popular rapid transit system in the country with 1,263,800 daily riders. The Vancouver SkyTrain, an automated guided line, was opened in January 1986 for the Expo 86 world fair and is the longest rapid transit system in Canada with a system length of 79.6 km (49.5 mi).

Science World (Vancouver)

Science World at Telus World of Science, Vancouver is a science centre run by a not-for-profit organization in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is located at the end of False Creek, and features many permanent interactive exhibits and displays, as well as areas with varying topics throughout the years.

The building's former name, Science World, is still the name of the organization. The building's name change to the Telus World of Science became official on July 20, 2005 following a $9-million donation to the museum from Telus. The official name of the science centre was subsequently changed to "Telus World of Science", although it is still routinely referred to as "Science World" by the public. Prior to the building being handed over to Science World by the City, it was referred to as Expo Centre during Expo 86.

When Science World is operating inside the dome, it is referred to as Science World at Telus World of Science, and when it is out in the community it is simply Science World.

Transitions (film)

Transitions is the first full-colour 3D IMAX film, created for the Canada Pavilion at Expo 86, co-directed by Colin Low and Tony Ianzelo and produced by the National Film Board of Canada. It built upon We Are Born of Stars created for Expo '85 in Tskuba, Japan, which used anaglyph 3D. The film is also notable for the first use of stereoscopic computer animation.


Yaletown is an area of Downtown Vancouver approximately bordered by False Creek and by Robson and Homer Streets. Formerly a heavy industrial area dominated by warehouses and rail yards, since Expo 86 (the 1986 World's Fair) it has been transformed into one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in the city. The marinas, parks, high-rise apartment blocks, and converted heritage buildings constitute one of the most significant urban regeneration projects in North America.

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