Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

London, Then and Now

I think I’ve shared before a cool color video of London in the 1920s called “On the Road”. Well last year Simon Smith set out to reproduce every scene in that film in contemporary London and created a video of old and new side by side. It’s delightful, of course. If the video doesn’t display for you, click here. h/t Atlantic Cities

Here’s another look back in time for you. This is a four minute color video of Montreal in the 1960s by Jimmy Deschenes. If the video doesn’t display for you, click here. h/t Stéphane Dumas

1 Comment

Cities: London, Montreal

One Response to “London, Then and Now”

  1. valar84 says:

    That video of Montréal seems to have been filmed in 1967, the year of the universal exposition. Some signs: the Métro sign, which was inaugurated in 1967 for the Expo, the Turcot interchange, the monorail, which was a circuit built for the Expo and mostly torn down in 1971, save for a loop around the La Ronde amusement park. The degree of activity on the ground during the monorail shots seem to show that the Expo was on full swing.

    The universal exposition was perhaps the peak of Montréal. 50 million entries were counted. Beautiful pavilions were built, some still in use today like the American pavilion, that huge sphere you can see in the video from the monorail, and the French pavilion, which is now the casino. The event was so influential that when Montréal got a MLB baseball team, they were named “the Expos”.

    Interesting to know, in order to move people across the site, a light rail line, the Expo-Express. The frequency at peak was 5 minutes, and each train could carry 1 000 passengers, for a near-subway-like capacity of 12 000 people per hour per direction. The 6-km line was built for 18 million dollars, 125 millions in 2014 dollars. However, when the Expo wound down, there was not really any point to maintaining the service, as it connected only with a park on a small island. a park already served by a subway line, and it was entirely scrapped a few years later. The memory of this transport feat is largely forgotten. It goes to show that good light rail lines could be built at very affordable prices and with great capacity if the political will is there to do it at grade in less dense areas.

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