The long and complex history of the auto Show of Montreal
JOEL LEMAY/QMI AGENCY
Tuesday, January 9, 2018 12:28
Tuesday, January 9, 2018 12:28
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The auto Show of Montreal is preparing to open its doors for the 75th time in its history, the 19th January next.
No need to search far to remember that the history of the Show has not always been without a hitch. Who does not remember this winter of 1999, when the Stadium roof collapsed a few days of opening?
Of the plot twists, the auto Show does not lack. And even if it is entering its 75th edition, it is necessary to go back more than 100 years to trace its beginnings.
In 1914, the first auto Show montreal saw the day at the Drill Hall, a former military drill hall at the corner of the rue Saint-Antoine and Avenue de l’hôtel-de-ville. Then named the Montreal Motor Show, the Salon moved a few times over the years that were to follow, but the tradition was launched. And already, it is in the month of January that it was happening.
Apart from a sabbatical year in 1919, the Montreal Motor Show and rolled his hump until 1938. The following year, however, the Second world War came to put an end to this beautiful sequence.
During the six years of the conflict, the war effort monopolisa the automotive industry. Having not really new models to present to the public, the corporation, at the head of Salon put an end to the holding of the event.
Even after the War, Montreal had to wait a long time before being reunited with their precious auto Show. Three decades, to be exact.
The Corporation automobile dealers Montreal (CCAM) took the torch from 1969. The Salon International de l auto de Montréal adopted then the official name it still has today and moved to Place Bonaventure, where he was to stay for many years.
In 1990, after two decades under the same roof, the Lounge leaves a Place Bonaventure became too narrow and moves towards the olympic Stadium. It is besides the Point, in 1992, that the Living room was the best year in its history with 271 917 visitors.
We stayed there during the entire decade of the 90s, up to this sad event of 1999. A few days of the official opening, a portion of the roof of the Stadium collapsed under the weight of snow, forcing the ACPC to cancel the holding of the exhibition for the first time since his return in 1969.
The following year, it returned temporarily to the Place Bonaventure before heading once again to the olympic Stadium in 2001 and 2002.
And then, to his edition of 2003, we turned to the Palace of congress, which remains to this day the home of the auto Show.
For its first year at the Palace, the ACPC broke the tradition. Instead of presenting the Show in January, we decided instead to organize it in November… 2002. So there was two car shows in Montreal in 2002; a first in January and a second in November, we designated it as the 2003 edition.
Funny idea, isn’t it? The public seems to have thought the same thing. The Room 2003 was a decrease of attendance major, not friendly than 141 000 visitors, a decrease of 40 000 people compared to the 2002 edition.
The following year, in 2004, the event returned as no surprise in January. Fifteen years later, the CCAM always keeps the same formula.
More than 100 years after its first edition, the Salon de l auto de Montréal is now a well established tradition in Quebec, a must-see for tens-of-thousands of lovers of “cars”.
Strongly the next 75 editions!