Photography: Montreal Day 5 11/19/22: Stade Olympique/Parc Olympique

Built in the mid-1970s as the main venue for the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics, Olympic Stadium (Stade Olympique) is located in the Hochelaga-Maisonuve District of Montreal, a fairly residential part of town that reminds me a bit of parts of Queens and Brooklyn — Bay Ridge, near The Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Floral Park, Flushing, near Kissena Park and so on.

The stadium, which once hosted the Montreal Expos and the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes and is the largest by seating capacity in Canada. Sadly, the stadium doesn’t have a permanent tenant but the MLS CF Montreal franchise occasionally uses the stadium when ticket demand justifies the need for the stadium’s capacity — or when weather restricts outdoor play at Saputo Stadium during the early Spring months. (If you didn’t know, it can still snow in Montreal as late as May.) The stadium also still hosts special events like major concerts and trade shows.

The stadium’s history of structural and financial problems have largely branded the facility as an albatross locally. And while, I understand that, the building is a strangely gorgeous spaceship in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

Incorporated into the north base of the stadium is the Montreal Tower, the world’s tallest inclined tower at 541 feet and a 45 degree angle.

I didn’t have a chance to check out the Stadium complex back in ’19, but I was thrilled to see it this time in person — and holy shit, it’s enormous.

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Caption: Snowman at Stade Olympique.
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Caption: Olympic Swimming Pool,. State Olympique. The swimming pool happened to be in the same building as the stadium. A trippy thing to discover. Also, the smell of chlorine was overpowering. On this Saturday afternoon, regular folks were able to swim in the pool with their kids. The pool is also used for local and provincial competitions at the high school and college level.
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Caption: The Biodome is also located on the Olympic Park property. Located on the site of the Olympic Velodrome, which hosted both cycling and judo, the Biodome allows visitors to walk through replicas of four ecosystems found across the Americas — including Tropical Rainforest, Laurentian Forest, Saint Lawrence Maine ecosystem, an estuary habitant modeled on the nearby Gulf of Saint Lawrence, and the Sub-Polar Region. The sign — in both English and French — is an important reminder of our role in nature. So perhaps we need to think about how we act towards Mother Earth, right?
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Caption: Everywhere, there’s someone declaring their love for someone else. Even when it might be impermanent, it’s still somehow adorable, right?
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Caption: Speaking of nature and humanity being on a collision course, ice and rust.
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