In 1932, Hermas Gibeau opened his first retail conventional storefront on St Laurent Boulevard near the Old Port of Montreal selling his delicious Orange Julep. The business was brisk on the weekdays, his Orange Julep was a hit! In response to the limited customer traffic in the area on weekends, Mr. Gibeau made a decision that would forever change the Julep experience. Keeping with the inspiration of his Orange Julep beverage, Hermas took on the bold move to make his building in the shape of an Orange fruit.
This location marked his first permanent “Big Orange”! From 1947 until 1963 his Orange became the most well known “drive in” restaurant in the region. Montrealers responded in droves making his Julep known and loved for generations. As Montreal was growing along with his business, the city was preparing for Expo ’67 . The expected traffic to the Expo required highway expansion. Sadly, his beloved Orange was expropriated for the new Decarie expressway effectively ending the Sunset Strip’s high traffic route and turning it into a service road. Undaunted and ever the promoter of his spectacular Orange Julep, Mr. Gibeau purchased a piece of land nearby at 7700 Decarie in 1964 and built what you see today as the Largest Orange Sphere in the World! His concept to go bigger was successful from his 30ft sphere in 1947 to his nearly 60ft “Big Orange” in 1964. It actually for a time glowed in the dark from its translucent panels which beamed for all to see. Commercial airline pilots would remark how they would use the Big Orange as a landing marker on approach because it was so large and visible.
Sherbrooke Street East Mid 1930s
Builds first permanent “Big Orange” 1947
Orange Julep 1963
*Reproduction of each photo is prohibited for commercial usage.