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2006 03 20

The Gazette recently reported on a news conference held in what must be one of the most bizarre architectural spaces known to the the western world: a large, fully functionable but closed down airport.

A consortium of the French eurotainment company I-Parks-Oger International and Aeroports de Montreal announced they would be opening AeroDream (Reveport) in the former Mirabel airport. The developers are expecting three quarters of a million people to show up every year to what will be 'a quality, affordable, family leisure centre.'

Just how they will be converting what is largely regarded as a gem of late Moderist transportation infrastructure into a family fun center has yet to be fully disclosed. The chilling words 'themed exhibits', 'indoor skiing', and 'recreational multiplex' litter press releases.

How this building, which was ahead of itself in many ways (the total distance from your car in the parking lot to your seat on the plane was less than 100 meters; its basement is actually a train station, built to house a direct-link rail service from the center of the city and Ottawa etc) ended up as the potential site for a theme park is a long and sorted one, but we can't help but wonder that something better couldn't be imagined for its re-tooling. Why not move the Canada Aviation Museum from its rather gastly current location near Ottawa to Mirabel and host an international airshow there once a year. The thing would become the world's first museum with a fully functioning runway. Or expand the remit to include transportation in general (Bombardier, hello?). Or use it to showcase all of the contemporary art work currently languishing in storage throughout the province. Or use to house the world's first Museum of Folly, jam-packed with examples of failed dreams and ideas that almost made it.

[email this story] Posted by David Ross on 03/20 at 11:08 AM

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