For over a century and a half, Montreal was the industrial and financial centre of Canada. The variety of buildings included factories, elevators, warehouses, mills, and refineries which today provide a legacy of historic and architectural interest, especially in the downtown area and the Old Port area.
Today there are also many historical buildings in Old Montreal still in their original form: Notre-Dame de Montréal Basilica, Bonsecours Market, and the impressive 19th-century headquarters of all major Canadian banks on Saint Jacques Street (formerly Saint James Street). Saint Joseph's Oratory, completed in 1934, Ernest Cormier's Art Deco Université de Montréal main building, the landmark Place Ville Marie office tower, the controversial Olympic Stadium and surrounding structures, are but a few notable examples of 20th century architecture.
Pavilions designed for the 1967 International and Universal Exposition, popularly known as Expo 67, featured a wide range of architectural designs. Though most pavilions were temporary structures, several remaining structures have become Montreal landmarks, including the geodesic dome US Pavilion, now the Montreal Biosphère, as well as Moshe Safdie's striking Habitat 67 apartment complex.
The Montreal Metro is filled with a profusion of public artwork by some of the biggest names in Quebec culture. The design and ornamentation of each station in the Metro system is unique.
In 2006, the city was recognized by the international design community as a UNESCO City of Design, one of the three world design capitals.
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