Place Bonaventure: Inside One of Montreal's Largest Exhibition Halls
Place Bonaventure is Montreal's second largest exhibition centre with 315,000 square feet (29,265 square meters) of total exhibition space. Its main exhibition hall alone is sized 200,000 square feet (18,581 square meters). Some of the city's best-known annual events are held at Place Bonaventure, including Montreal's biggest wine show and Art Souterrain.
The downtown building also rents out office space, features a hotel complex and is located in the heart of Montreal's underground city, connecting to Montreal's subway system, central train station, and downtown shopping centres.
Keep scrolling for an inside look at a building complex which at the time of its completion was the largest concrete building in the world.
Getting to Place Bonaventure
Place Bonaventure History
"What Italy can do with marble and stone, we can do with wood and concrete,” uttered architect Raymond T. Affleck in reference to Place Bonaventure, his firm's then-groundbreaking project completed in time for Expo '67.
At the time, Place Bonaventure was dwarfed only by Chicago’s Merchandise Mart which claimed the title of largest commercial building in the world.
It featured a shopping mall, office space, hotel accommodations, and the largest exhibition room in Canada.
But a lot can change in a few decades.
Its shopping centre days have since fallen by the wayside and it's no longer the largest exhibition hall in Canada, but Place Bonaventure still hosts major shows and exhibits on a monthly basis as Montreal's second largest space of its kind after Palais des congrès.
Directly connected to Montreal's underground city and located in downtown Montreal, Hôtel Bonaventure is frequented by both business travelers and tourists looking for a convenient location that lets them get from Point A to Point B without having to step outside, particularly in the winter.
Incidentally, Hôtel Bonaventure's outdoor heated pool is open year-round and is one of its main winter attractions, a dreamy setting for a romantic getaway. The sensation of swimming in it on a cold day is reminiscent of natural hot springs, complete with white steam rising from the surface.
Place Bonaventure's Underground Connection
Place Bonaventure has a subway station named after it, Bonaventure Metro, representing the eleventh deepest station in Montreal's subway network.
Connected to the underground city, Bonaventure Metro is a five-minute walk to Montreal's central train station with destinations across Canada and the United States.
Place Bonaventure's Special Events
Place Bonaventure hosts conferences and public shows year-round courtesy of its exhibition hall facilities.
Certainly the most unique ievent of all to pass through its doors is Art Souterrain, an annual art exhibit spanning several kilometres across Montreal's underground city. Place Bonaventure is typically included on the itinerary, at the very least on opening night during Nuit Blanche when special performance art pieces are held throughout the night.