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Top speed for Expo as Canada's pavilion unveiled
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Canada unveils its national pavilion design on January 22, 2008. [Photo: cns]

Expo draws closer as construction starts at the Puxi side of the Shanghai Expo site where 51 old buildings will undergo a facelift, and Canada reveals its novel pavilion design to the world.

The first phase of Puxi's Expo construction includes building three roads - Longhua Road E., Bansongyuan Road and Baotun Road - as well as a pumping station on Mengzi Road. The site is close to the Nanpu Bridge.

The Expo team will build another 53 buildings in Puxi as well as revamping the 51 old factories or historic houses, making the west bank of the Huangpu River a model of historic architecture.

The Expo's Puxi side will cover 1.35 square kilometers and will be the center for 16 corporate pavilions, cultural performances and the Urban Best Practices Area, one of the highlights of the 2010 World Expo.

The construction involves revamping the workshops at the 100-year-old Nanshi Power Plant which closed in September. When completed, this will host the Exploration of Future Cities exhibition.

Above the workshops, the organizers are planning to transform a 165-meter chimney into a state-of-the-art observation tower.

The 142-year-old Jiangnan Shipyard, also on the Puxi site, will become a performance center.

The site will also feature 22 major outdoor squares for cultural performances, an elevated pedestrian road and part of the Expo Boulevard.

And Canada unveiled its national pavilion design in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil yesterday, signing its participation contract in the city.

The 6,000-square-meter Canada Pavilion, one of the largest pavilions in the Expo, will feature an exhibition themed "The Living City: Inclusive, Sustainable, Creative."

The size of the pavilion will be equal to two and a half NHL hockey rinks, said Susan Gregson, Canada's Consul General in Shanghai. It is expected to attract up to 5.5 million people or 30,000 visitors per day during the six-month Expo period.

The pavilion consists of three large structures surrounding a large open square where visitors waiting to enter can watch performances by Cirque du Soleil, Gregson said.

The overall budget for the Canadian Pavilion will be C$45 million (US$43.57 million), she said.

Canada has given special attention to the environment in its pavilion design. Part of the pavilion's exterior walls will be covered by a special kind of greenery and rainwater will be collected for use inside the pavilion.

Canada is the 11th country to sign a participation contract for the Shanghai World Expo.

(Shanghai Daily January 23, 2008)


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