“I’m staying at that hotel across from the Méridien on Sherbrooke, what? no, it’s closer to Atwater, but I’ve stayed at both, this one’s better. Not bad actually, excellent room service, but you wouldn’t believe what happened last night. Maybe its because its an old house, but I’ve never been so creeped out. All night long I heard these weird creaks and cracks, though I couldn’t hear anyone in the hallway, or even in the other rooms. It was as if I was alone on the entire floor. No it’s not very big, but either way there were plenty of people in the lobby, in the restaurant, all over except my floor, which was completely void. Anyways, in the middle of the night I sort of half-wake up, that sleep-paralysis thing. Anyways, I think I see a kid walking along the edge of my bed. So weird right? I mean typically I just get the gut feeling there’s someone else in the room, but I know its not real. I woke myself up after what felt like an eternity, and turn on the light. I swear to God there were footsteps, wee little footsteps along the edge of the bed.”
This is an SN.R6 hovercraft developed by the British Hovercraft Corporation and demonstrated at Expo 67. You will also notice the British Petroleum logo in addition to the Man and His World logo on the rear fin. I don’t know if this would have been used as part of Expo’s general water-borne transit system, but either way, back in the 60s, hovercrafts and hydrofoils were being developed at a frenetic pace at home and abroad, particularly in the UK. Makes me wonder whatever happened, as it seems it what was just one of those technologies that never really took off, despite a rather prolonged period of research, development and use.
The hydrofoil HMCS Bras d’Or, built here in Québec and to this date the fastest warship ever built, was a project realized after a joint Anglo-Canadian study. Events like Expo 67 solidified international partnerships and created a milieu for cultural exchange, the kind which would in turn produce stronger relationships and the chance for business and political partnerships. The expo hovercraft and the hydrofoil are examples of daring innovation and the will to collaborate on development and share knowledge. Expos in general ought to do this, and ours was an excellent example of an Expo done right – it fostered development and strengthened Canada’s relationship with the participating nations. It put us on the map.
Remember when we used to strive for events of this type? So we could maintain our global prominence and push forward to the future, by experimenting and creating the moments of exchange?
And wouldn’t it be neat to float on a cushion of air over the choppy St-Lawrence, through the remaining canals of Ile-Notre-Dame before disembarking at the marina near La Ronde?