Organization: Canada Post
Designers: Pierre Mercier, Jean Mercier
1976 Olympic Games – Site
As host of the 1976 Summer Olympic Games, Montreal has added several architectural delights to its amazing galaxy of structures. Accordingly, these stamps portray buildings from both the old and the new Montreal.
The International Olympic Committee allows only one city per country to bid for the Games. Each National Olympic Committee interested in hosting the Games selects its city. Thus, only after the Canadian Olympic Association chose Montreal did it proceed to the international level to compete with Los Angeles and Moscow. Each city answered searching questions about its ability to conduct the spectacle. On this basis, the International Olympic Committee gave its blessing to Montreal.
Montreal’s Public Works Department is developing the Olympic site. The area’s main element is the Olympic stadium. It is oriented within twelve degrees of due north in accordance with protocol. The stadium, which can be converted for football and baseball, will normally seat 56,500 but for the Games will accommodate 70,000 spectators. To the east of the stadium is the multipurpose velodrome. It incorporates a 285.74 meter cycling track encircling an arena which can be used by, among others, participants in wrestling, judo, badminton, tennis and table tennis. The Olympic stadium and velodrome were designed by architect Roger Taillibert.
Two of the most attractive non-Olympic landmarks in Montreal are Place Ville Marie and Notre-Dame Church. The former stands directly over a railway station. Place Ville Marie, with its forty-two stories and three basement floors, has been described as “the most striking edifice in the city”. When opened in 1962, the one-hundred million dollar skyscraper was the “largest and most varied business complex in Canada”.
Erected between 1823 and 1829, Notre-Dame Church was for years regarded as French Canada’s national monument. The building committee, composed of leading French Canadian merchants, imported James O’Donnell, an Irish protestant architect, from New York and gave him orders to create a magnificent looking church capable of seating eight or nine thousand people. O’Donnell, who literally worked himself to death on the project, acted as both architect and construction superintendent. The completed church, the first major Canadian example of the Gothic Revival style, was the largest building in North America. So impressive was Notre-Dame that it was second only to Niagara Falls as Canada’s top tourist attraction in the mid-nineteenth century. In the 1870’s, Victor Bourgeau substantially redecorated the building’s interior. Bourgeau was one of the most imaginative Quebec architects of the time. Despite subsequent modifications, today’s Notre-Dame is still basically O’Donnell’s and Bourgeau’s accomplishment.
These two stamps featuring the site of the Olympic Games are the work of Jean and Pierre Mercier of Cöpilia Design.
The physical version of this product is part of the federal identity archive.