The design and plans for Place Bonaventure were finally settled upon in 1965
and the complex was inaugurated in 1967. In its final form,
gross area had increased by 30% to an astounding 3.1 million square feet, making
the Canada Trade Centre complex larger than the Empire State Building - indeed
the world’s largest single building!
Trade show bookings, as well as Merchandise Mart and office leasing, started
off slowly but promisingly. By the early 1970s the word had
really begun to get around: Place Bonaventure was “where it’s
In 1973, major industries, including fashion businesses, home-furnishing
representatives and toy manufacturers, had started putting down permanent roots
in the Merchandise Mart. Offering rooms overlooking a landscaped roof garden
and a four-season pool, the Hilton Bonaventure Hotel was also doing extremely
well, with over 90% occupancy year-round. The integrated concept was well on
its way to performing as envisioned ten years earlier.