Schedule of the Olympic Basin

Olympic Basin & Games

A bit of history

On May 12, 1970, the International Olympic Committee announced that Montréal (and its mayor, Jean Drapeau) would be the host of the 1976 Summer Olympics.

The Games were held from July 17 to August 1, 1976. This illustrious sports event brought together 92 nations, 6,084 athletes, 2,661 chaperones, 3,195,170 spectators and 1 billion television viewers who watched the 198 events in 21 Olympic sports disciplines.

Of note: it was the first time women competed in basketball, handball and rowing, with the latter discipline taking place at Parc Jean-Drapeau's Olympic Basin!

Montréal Olympic Games' mascot, Amik the beaver.

Logo of the Games of the XXIst Olympiad - Montréal 1976.

Olympic Basin during the canoeing events.

Olympic Basin

The Olympic Basin was designed to be used for canoeing and rowing competitions during the 1976 Olympic Games in Montréal. It extends over 2.2 km in length, 110 m wide and 2.5 m deep, meeting the requirements of the international sports federations. Even today, the facility is still the largest artificial rowing basin in North America.

Some of the pavilions from the 1967 world's fair, Expo 67, had to be demolished to build the basin and the hangars where the canoes were stored; the pavilions included the German, Australian, Burma, India, Mexican and Thailand pavilions. And so, nine years after Expo 67, Parc Jean-Drapeau once again welcomed the world to its site.

Excavation of the Basin was completed in October, 1974 - almost 1,100 km of earth and rock was excavated and then used to build the sides of the Basin.

Athletes' Quarters

The Athletes' Quarters, which were built for the occasion, were used as a training site for the Olympic athletes. The facility had many specific areas, including a spacious cafeteria, locker rooms, an equipment room, rowing tanks, one for rowing and another for canoeing, were at the athletes' disposal. This unique equipment is still on the site today, and major renovations were completed in 2016, coinciding with the 40th anniversary. An interesting fact is that the Athletes' Quarters is a fully stocked facility in terms of equipment (ergometers, weight rooms, rowing tanks) for all the sports conducted at the Olympic Basin.

All of the buildings surrounding the Olympic Basin were built by the City of Montréal, under the management of the public works department.

During the Games

To get to the Olympic Basin, spectators took the subway and then walked across the Cosmos Bridge. Only dignitaries, athletes, coaches, media and a few other accredited people could get to the site by car via the Concorde Bridge.

The permanent grandstands could accommodate 3,000 people and temporary grandstands installed for the occasion provided seating for 7,000 people. Some 20,000 additional people could sit or stand alongside the Basin, to watch the events. A total of 30,000 people!

The judges were set up, 45 feet high, in the finish-line tower, as were the sound system and timing devices.

Rowing

July 18-25, 1976

Rowing competitions took place from July 18-25, 1976. Women, incidentally, competed in many events for the first time in Olympic history: coxless four oars, coxed pair, single sculls, quadruple sculls with coxswain and eight with coxswain. German rowers were the winners of most of the male and female events (East Germany).

Canoeing

July 28-31, 1976

Since the first official competition at the Berlin Olympics in 1936, canoeing has gained in popularity every year, and the number of fans has grown, as well. Canoeing competitions at the Olympic Games in Montréal took place from July 28-31, 1976. European countries were the main winners of these events at the 1976 Games: the Soviet Union, East Germany, Romania, Yugoslavia, Hungary. Canadian John Wood won a silver medal in the men's 500-metre canoeing singles.

Cover page of the rowing and canoeing programs.

Rowing and Canoeing events in 1976 in Montréal.

John Wood, proudly displaying the silver medal he won in the men's 500-metre canoeing singles.

Photo credits

Here is the credit for the photos displayed on this page.

Archives de la Ville de Montréal 1 2 3 4

Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Learn more

To obtain more details or for any request for information, do not hesitate to contact our staff.

Mobility

Getting to au Parc Jean-Drapeau

To make it easier to get around, here is the exact location of the Parc Jean-Drapeau posted on Google Maps.

Jean-Drapeau Subway Station

The Jean-Drapeau subway station is located on Île Sainte-Hélène, in the heart of Parc Jean-Drapeau. To get to the Parc easily and quickly, the subway is still the best way to go!

Subway schedule
STM promotions

River shuttle

During the summer season, Parc Jean-Drapeau visitors can use the river shuttle as a means of transportation, from the Vieux-Port de Montréal (Jacques-Cartier pier) and the city of Longueuil.

Users can also bring along their bikes and they have access to a network of cycling paths at each stop.

Covid-19 - The river shuttle service will not be operational for the 2021 summer season.

Schedule and rates
Location of the landing spot at the Parc

STM shuttle

Two STM shuttles provide a connection between the Jean-Drapeau subway station and various attractions.

767

During the summer season, the 767 shuttle stops at Jean-Doré Beach and the La Ronde amusement park.

777

Every day of the year, the 777 shuttle provides fast access to the Casino de Montréal.

Routes and schedules

Bike and BIXI

Several sectors of Parc Jean-Drapeau are part of the Great Trail and the Route verte. The Parc is one of the few places where you can cross the Saint Lawrence River on your bike.

Furthermore, a network of multiuse trails run along île Sainte-Hélène, providing a link-up to the various access routes to the facilities, installations and services.

From Montréal: take the Lachine Canal bike path, near the Vieux-Port de Montréal, or the Jacques Cartier Bridge multipurpose Path.

From the South Shore: take the Bike Link or the Jacques Cartier Bridge multipurpose Path.

BIXI

There are many BIXI stations at the Parc during the summer season.

Walking

People can enjoy many of the cycling paths to get to or pass through the Parc Jean-Drapeau, either running or walking.

With more than 25 kilometres of trails and pathways, the Parc is a pleasant spot for hiking, all year round.

Parking

Motorists can get to Parc Jean-Drapeau by taking the Jacques Cartier Bridge or the Concorde Bridge.

Nearby parking areas: P2, P4, P5, P7, P9, P10, P11, P12, P13, P15

Parking passes are available for the P2, P4 and P7.

Rates and parking areas

Taxibus service

You can reserve a taxi for your travels at the Parc by using a valid STM transport fare (ticket or OPUS card).

Schedule

September 3 to June 23
Monday to Sunday 6:30 a.m. to 7:15 p.m.
  • The service is not offered on statutory holidays

Reservation

You need to reserve 45-to-60 minutes beforehand whenever you want to use this service : 514 273-6331 or online form

Taxibus stops

Métro Jean-Drapeau, Athletes' Quarters, La Ronde, Stewart Museum, Espace Paddock, Pavillon du Canada, Pavillon des Services and Pavillon de la Tunisie.

  • Subway
    Station
  • Taxibus
    service
  • STM
    shuttle
  • River
    shuttle
  • Bike
    and BIXI
  • Walking
  • Parking