Snapshot: Montreal 1976

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Montreal, one of the cultural capitals of North America and the second largest French city in the world after Paris, came of age during the 1970’s. From hosting the 1976 Summer Olympics to passing tough language laws to becoming a mecca of sex tourism to rival Las Vegas on the continent, Montreal in 1976 was a happening city going through radical changes to become a world-class town. Enjoy this photo snapshot of Montreal in 1976!

Urban life in the winter of '76

Urban life in the winter of ’76

The boom years were in full swing for Montreal, as no less than 15 new skyscrapers were added to the skyline.

The boom years were in full swing for Montreal, as no less than 15 new skyscrapers were added to the skyline.

The '76 Summer Olympics were the highlight of the year, and showcased the city to the world.

The ’76 Summer Olympics were the highlight of the year, and showcased the city to the world.

The '76 Olympics opening ceremonies.

The ’76 Olympics opening ceremonies.

The Montreal Olympic Stadium.

The Montreal Olympic Stadium.

1976 was also the year of Ken Dryden, when the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup.

1976 was also the year of Ken Dryden, when the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup.

The moment the Habs won the cup.

The moment the Habs won the cup.

The 1976 Stanley Cup winners.

The 1976 Stanley Cup winners.

'76 was a good year for sports in Montreal, with Ellis Valentine taking the Montreal Expos to the playoffs.

’76 was a good year for sports in Montreal, with Ellis Valentine taking the Montreal Expos to the playoffs.

1976 was the only time Canada won more gold medals than any other country.

1976: the year Canada failed to win a single gold medal, despite hosting the Olympics (edit thanks to Jean).

1976 was the year of the American muscle car, and a special edition "Montreal" was a big hit in the city.

1976 was the year of the American muscle car, and a special edition “Montreal” was a big hit in the city.

Montreal had a large and well-funded transportation system by 1976.

Montreal had a large and well-funded transportation system by 1976.

The Montreal Metro was expanded in 1976 to accommodate the millions of tourists for the Olympics.

The Montreal Metro was expanded in 1976 to accommodate the millions of tourists for the Olympics.

By 1976 Montreal was gaining a reputation as a youthful party town with a full nightlife.

By 1976 Montreal was gaining a reputation as a youthful party town with a full nightlife.

Rolling Stone magazine called Monteal the "...second city of disco, outside of New York" in 1976,

Rolling Stone magazine called Monteal the “…second city of disco, outside of New York” in 1976,

Disco and American muscle cars were all the rage in Montreal in 1976.

Disco and American muscle cars were all the rage in Montreal in 1976.

Montreal also had a reputation as a seedy city, where prostitution was tolerated and French sexiness was on display everywhere.

Montreal also had a reputation as a seedy city, where prostitution was tolerated and French sexiness was on display everywhere.

The average Montrealer, however, went through their normal work week pretty much the same as everywhere else.

The average Montrealer, however, went through their normal work week pretty much the same as everywhere else.

The winter of '75-'76 was one of the coldest on record in Montreal!

The winter of ’75-’76 was one of the coldest on record in Montreal!

1976 was a year of language tensions between the Francophone majority and the Anglophone minority, culminating in the first election of the Parti Quebecois and the passing of anti-English language laws.

1976 was a year of language tensions between the Francophone majority and the Anglophone minority, culminating in the first election of the Parti Quebecois and the passing of anti-English language laws.

Rene Levesque and the Parti Quebecois, a radical French seperatist party, was elected government of Quebec in 1976.

Rene Levesque and the Parti Quebecois, a radical French seperatist party, was elected government of Quebec in 1976.

Clashes between French and English radicals escalated in Montreal following the PQ election victory.

Clashes between French and English radicals escalated in Montreal following the PQ election victory.

The PQ victory and the passing of strict anti-English language laws saw an exodus of Anglophone businesses from Montreal beginning in 1976, turning once thriving parts of the city in slums and ghost towns.

The PQ victory and the passing of strict anti-English language laws saw an exodus of Anglophone businesses from Montreal beginning in 1976, turning once thriving parts of the city in slums and ghost towns.

Montreal's booming economy, which had been on the rise since 1965, went into recession in 1976 following the rise of the PQ. It has never fully recovered.

Montreal’s booming economy, which had been on the rise since 1965, went into recession in 1976 following the rise of the PQ. It has never fully recovered.

But despite political unrest, economic changes, exciting sports moments and worldwide attention, life for the average Montrealer went on as normal...

But despite political unrest, economic changes, exciting sports moments and worldwide attention, life for the average Montrealer went on as normal…

Montreal's skyline that we know today was completed by 1976,

Montreal’s skyline that we know today was completed by 1976,

Montreal's famous Expo '67 dome was converted into a fully functioning biosphere in 1976,

Montreal’s famous Expo ’67 dome was converted into a fully functioning biosphere in 1976,

Some of Montreal's strangest architecture was added to the city in time for the '76 Olympics...

Some of Montreal’s strangest architecture was added to the city in time for the ’76 Olympics…

montreal-olympic-stadium (1)

By 1976 Montreal's churches, which had dominated the city skyline, were being outsized by skyscrapers.

By 1976 Montreal’s churches, which had dominated the city skyline, were being outsized by skyscrapers.

"Vielle Montreal" (Old Montreal) still held its old-world European charms in 1976,

“Vielle Montreal” (Old Montreal) still held its old-world European charms in 1976,

By 1976 Montreal was a bustling North American city, a world-class hub of culture, and a sexy and hip place to be young.

By 1976 Montreal was a bustling North American city, a world-class hub of culture, and a sexy and hip place to be young.

But daily life in Montreal went on, as it has since 1611!

But daily life in Montreal went on, as it has since 1611!

The people of Montreal in 1976, after the tourists had left.

The people of Montreal in 1976, after the tourists had left.

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2 thoughts on “Snapshot: Montreal 1976

  1. What a great pictoral slice of Montreal ’76! It brings back memories. For the sake of accuracy, I want to comment on the caption that goes with the Canadian athlete: about the gold medals. In fact, Canada didn’t win any gold medals at that olympics. I remember noting that with some bemusement: host country and no gold. I think that your picture is of the Canadian high-jumper Greg Joy. He came close! I was proud that he got the silver, and consider him a Canadian hero.

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