|Ville de Montréal|
Clockwise from top: Downtown Montreal as seen from the Champlain Bridge; McGill University; Saint Joseph's Oratory; the Old Montreal featuring the Montreal Clock Tower and the Jacques Cartier Bridge during the Montreal Fireworks Festival; a view of the Notre-Dame Basilica from Place d'Armes; and the Olympic Stadium.
|Nickname(s): "La Métropole du Québec" ("Quebec's Metropolis"), "The City of Saints", "La Métropole" (The Metropolis), "La Ville au Cent Clochers" ("The City of a Hundred Steeples), "Sin City"|
|Motto: Concordia Salus ("well-being through harmony")|
|Founded||17 May 1642|
|Constituted||January 1, 2002|
|• Type||Montreal City Council|
|• Mayor||Denis Coderre|
|• Prov. riding|
|• City||431.50 km2 (166.60 sq mi)|
|• Land||365.13 km2 (140.98 sq mi)|
|• Urban||1,545.30 km2 (596.64 sq mi)|
|• Metro||4,258.31 km2 (1,644.14 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||233 m (764 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||6 m (20 ft)|
|• Density||4,517.6/km2 (11,701/sq mi)|
|• Urban density||2,205.4/km2 (5,712/sq mi)|
|• Metro||4,027,100 (2nd) |
|• Metro density||898.1/km2 (2,326/sq mi)|
|• Pop 2006-2011||1.8%|
|Time zone||EST (UTC−5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC−4)|
|Postal code(s)||H (except H7 for Laval)|
|Area code(s)||514 and 438|
|GDP||US$ 155.9 billion |
|GDP per capita||US$ 38,867|
Montreal (i//; French: Montréal , pronounced [ˈmõʁeal] ( listen)) is a city in the Canadian province of Quebec. It is the largest city in the province, the second-largest in Canada and the 9th-largest in North America. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard.
In 2011 the city had a population of 1,649,519. Montreal's metropolitan area (CMA) (land area 4,259 square kilometres (1,644 sq mi)) had a population of 3,824,221 and a population of 1,886,481 in the urban agglomeration, all of the municipalities on the Island of Montreal included. Current 2014 estimates of the CMA place the metropolitan area of Montreal at 4.1 million.
French is the city's official language and is the language spoken at home, as Quebec French, by 56.9% of the population of the city, followed by English at 18.6% and 19.8% other languages (in the 2006 census). In the larger Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 67.9% of the population speaks French at home, compared to 16.5% who speak English. Montreal is one of the most bilingual cities in Quebec and Canada with 56% of the population able to speak both English and French. Montreal is the second largest primarily French-speaking city in the world, after Paris. 
Montreal was named a UNESCO City of Design. Historically the commercial capital of Canada, it was surpassed in population and economic strength by Toronto in the 1970s. It remains an important centre of commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, culture, tourism, gaming, film and world affairs. It is ranked 16th out of 140 cities in The Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Ranking.
In 2009, Montreal was named North America's leading host city for international association events, according to the 2009 preliminary rankings of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). In 2015, QS World University Rankings ranked Montreal the 8th-best place in the world to be a university student.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Architecture
- 5 Neighbourhoods
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Economy
- 8 Culture
- 9 Sports
- 10 Media
- 11 Government
- 12 Education
- 13 Transportation
- 14 Notable people
- 15 International relations
- 16 See also
- 17 References
- 18 Further reading
- 19 External links
Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. According to one theory, the name derives from mont Réal, as it was spelled in Middle French (Mont Royal in modern French), but Cartier's 1535 diary entry, naming the mountain, refers to "le mont Royal". Another argument, mentioned by the Government of Canada on its web site concerning Canadian place names, is that the name was adopted as it is written nowadays because an early map of 1556 used the Italian name of the mountain, "Monte Real".
Archaeological evidence demonstrates that First Nations native people occupied the island of Montreal as early as 4,000 years ago. By the year AD 1000, they had started to cultivate maize. Within a few hundred years, they had built fortified villages. The Saint Lawrence Iroquoians, a people distinct from the Iroquois nations of the Haudenosaunee then based in present-day New York, established the village of Hochelaga at the foot of Mount Royal two centuries before the French arrived. Archeologists have found evidence of their habitation there and at other locations in the valley since at least the 14th century. The French explorer Jacques Cartier visited Hochelaga on October 2, 1535, and estimated the population of the native people at Hochelaga to be "over a thousand people".
La Place Royale
Seventy years later, the French explorer Samuel de Champlain reported that the St Lawrence Iroquoians and their settlements had disappeared altogether from the St Lawrence valley. This is believed due to outmigration, epidemic of European diseases, or intertribal wars. In 1611 Champlain established a fur trading post on the Island of Montreal, on a site initially named La Place Royale. At the confluence of Petite Rivière and St. Lawrence River, it is where present-day Pointe-à-Callière stands. In 1639 Jérôme Le Royer de La Dauversière obtained the Seigneurial title to the Island of Montreal in the name of the Société de Notre-Dame de Montréal to establish a Roman Catholic mission to evangelize natives.
Dauversiere hired Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, then 30, to lead a group of colonists to build a mission on his new seigneury. The colonists left France in 1641 for Quebec, and arrived on the island the following year. On May 17, 1642, Ville-Marie was founded on the southern shore of Montreal island, with Maisonneuve as its first governor. The settlement included a chapel and a hospital, under the command of Jeanne Mance. By 1643, Ville-Marie had already been hit by Iroquois raids. In the spring of 1651, the Iroquois attacks became so frequent and so violent that Ville-Marie thought its end had come. Maisonneuve made all the settlers take refuge in the fort. By 1652, the colony at Montreal had been so reduced that he was forced to return to France to raise 100 volunteers to go with him to the colony the following year. If the effort had failed, Montreal was to be abandoned and the survivors re-located downriver to Quebec City. Before these 100 arrived in the fall of 1653, the population of Montreal was barely 50 people.
By 1685, Ville-Marie was home to some 600 colonists, most of them living in modest wooden houses. Ville-Marie became a centre for the fur trade and a base for further French exploration. In 1689, the English-allied Iroquois attacked Lachine on the Island of Montreal, committing the worst massacre in the history of New France. By the early 18th century, the Sulpician Order was established there. To encourage French settlement, they wanted the Mohawk to move away from the fur trading post at Ville-Marie. They had a mission village, known as Kahnewake, south of the St Lawrence River. The fathers persuaded some Mohawk to make a new settlement at their former hunting grounds north of the Ottawa River. This became Kanesatake. In 1745 several Mohawk families moved upriver to create another settlement, known as Akwesasne. All three are now Mohawk reserves in Canada. The Canadian territory was ruled as a French colony until 1760, when it was surrendered to Great Britain after the Seven Years' War.
Ville-Marie was the name for the settlement that appeared in all official documents until 1705, when Montreal appeared for the first time, although people referred to the "Island of Montreal" long before then.
Montreal was incorporated as a city in 1832. The opening of the Lachine Canal permitted ships to bypass the unnavigable Lachine Rapids, while the construction of the Victoria Bridge established Montreal as a major railway hub. The leaders of Montreal's business community had started to build their homes in the Golden Square Mile from about 1850. By 1860, it was the largest municipality in British North America and the undisputed economic and cultural centre of Canada.
Montreal was the capital of the Province of Canada from 1844 to 1849, but lost its status when a Tory mob burnt down the Parliament building to protest the passage of the Rebellion Losses Bill. For strategic reasons, the government established Ottawa as the capital, as it was located more in the interior of the nation.
After World War I, the prohibition movement in the United States led to Montreal becoming a destination for Americans looking for alcohol. Unemployment remained high in the city, and was exacerbated by the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression.
During World War II, Mayor Camillien Houde protested against conscription and urged Montrealers to disobey the federal government's registry of all men and women. The government at Ottawa was furious over Houde's stand and held him at a prison camp until 1944. That year the government decided to institute conscription to be able to expand the armed forces. (See Conscription Crisis of 1944.)
By 1951, Montreal's population had surpassed one million. The Saint Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959, allowing vessels to bypass Montreal. In time this development led to the end of the city's economic dominance as businesses moved to other areas. During the 1960s there was continued growth, including the World's Fair known as Expo 67, and the construction of Canada's tallest skyscrapers, new expressways and the subway system known as the Montreal Metro.
The 1970s ushered in a period of wide-ranging social and political changes, stemming largely from the concerns of the French-speaking majority about the conservation of their culture and language, given the traditional predominance of the English-Canadian minority in the business arena. The October Crisis and the 1976 election of the Parti Québécois, supporting sovereign status for Quebec, resulted in the departure of many businesses and people from the city. In 1976, Montreal was the host of the Olympics. During the 1980s and early 1990s, Montreal experienced a slower rate of economic growth than many other major Canadian cities.
Montreal was merged with the 27 surrounding municipalities on the Island of Montreal on January 1, 2002, creating a unified city covering the entire island. There was great resistance from the suburbs to the merger, with the perception being that it was forced on the mostly English suburbs by the Parti Québécois. As expected, this move proved unpopular and several mergers were later rescinded. Several former municipalities, totaling 13% of the population of the island, voted to leave the unified city in separate referendums in June 2004. The demerger took place on January 1, 2006, leaving 15 municipalities on the island, including Montreal. De-merged municipalities remain affiliated with the city through an agglomeration council that collects taxes from them to pay for numerous shared services. The 2002 mergers were not the first in the city's history. Montreal annexed 27 other cities, towns, and villages beginning with Hochelaga in 1883 with the last prior to 2002 being Pointe-aux-Trembles in 1982.
The 21st century has brought with it a revival of the city's economic and cultural landscape. The construction of new residential skyscrapers, two super-hospitals (the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal and McGill University Health Centre), the creation of the Quartier des Spectacles, reconstruction of the Turcot Interchange, reconfiguration of the Decarie and Dorval interchanges, gentrification of Griffintown, subway line extensions and the purchase of new subway cars, the complete revitalization and expansion of Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, the completion of Quebec Autoroute 30, and the construction of a new toll bridge to Laval are helping Montreal continue to grow; Although politics and language issue still weigh heavily on any real economic growth considering the austerity measures that need to be put in place due to bad policies undertaken during the late 1970s and early 1980s and again in the mid 1990s to late 90s on a provincial level and decades of corruption from the Municipal level.
Montreal is in the southwest of the province of Quebec. The city covers most of the Island of Montreal at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers. The port of Montreal lies at one end of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, the river gateway that stretches from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic. Montreal is defined by its location between the Saint Lawrence river to its south and the Rivière des Prairies to its north. The city is named after the most prominent geographical feature on the island, a three-head hill called Mount Royal, topped at 232 m above sea level.
Montreal is at the centre of the Montreal Metropolitan Community, and is bordered by the city of Laval to the north, Longueuil, Saint-Lambert, Brossard, and other municipalities to the south, Repentigny to the east and the West Island municipalities to the west. The anglophone enclaves of Westmount, Montreal West, Hampstead, Côte Saint-Luc, the Town of Mount Royal and the francophone enclave Montreal East are all surrounded by Montreal.
Summers are on the whole humid, during the day ranging from warm to hot, with a daily average of 26 to 27 °C (79 to 81 °F) in July; temperatures in excess of 30 °C (86 °F) occur often. Conversely, cool fronts can bring crisp, less humid and windy weather in the early and later parts of summer.
Winter usually brings cold, snowy, windy, and, at times, icy weather, with a daily average ranging from −9 to −10.5 °C (16 to 13 °F) in January. However, some winter days rise above freezing, allowing for rain on an average of 4 days in January and February each. Usually, snow covering some or all bare ground lasts on average from the first or second week of December until the last week of March. While the air temperature does not fall below −30 °C (−22 °F) every year, the wind chill often makes the temperature feel this low to exposed skin.
Spring and fall are pleasantly mild but prone to drastic temperature changes; spring even more so than fall. Whereas April tends to be tranquil and sunny much of the time, in May there is a noticeable increase in humidity and thundery rainshowers. Late season heat waves as well as "Indian summers" are possible. Early and late season snow storms can occur in November and March, and more rarely in April. Montreal is generally snow free from April 15 to November 15.
The lowest temperature in Environment Canada's books was −37.8 °C (−36 °F) on January 15, 1957, and the highest temperature was 37.6 °C (100 °F) on August 1, 1975, both at Dorval International Airport.
Before modern weather record keeping (which dates back to 1871 for McGill), a minimum temperature almost 5 degrees lower was recorded at 7am on January 10, 1859, where it registered at −42 °C (−44 °F).
Annual precipitation is around 980 mm (39 in), including an average of about 225 cm (89 in) of snowfall, which occurs from November through March. Thunderstorms are common in the period beginning in late spring through summer to early fall; additionally, tropical storms or their remnants can cause heavy rains and gales. Montreal averages 2,029 hours of sunshine annually, with summer being the sunniest season, though slightly wetter than the others in terms of total precipitation.
|Climate data for Montreal (McGill)|
|Record high °C (°F)||12.8
|Average high °C (°F)||−5.4
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−8.9
|Average low °C (°F)||−12.4
|Record low °C (°F)||−33.5
|Precipitation mm (inches)||73.6
|Rainfall mm (inches)||28.4
|Snowfall cm (inches)||45.9
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||15.8||12.8||13.6||12.5||12.9||13.8||12.3||13.4||12.7||13.1||15.0||16.2||163.9|
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||4.3||4.0||7.4||10.9||12.8||13.8||12.3||13.4||12.7||12.7||11.5||6.5||122.2|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||13.6||11.1||8.3||3.0||0.14||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.62||5.3||12.0||53.9|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||99.2||119.5||158.8||181.7||229.8||250.1||271.6||230.7||174.1||138.6||80.4||80.7||2,015.2|
|Source: Environment Canada (averages 1961–1990, records 1871-1990)|
|Climate data for Montreal|
|Average high °C (°F)||−4.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−9.9
|Average low °C (°F)||−14.8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||70
|Source: Climate-Data.org, altitude: 67m|
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. There are 50 National Historic Sites of Canada, more than any other city.
There are many historic 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 St. James Street (French: Rue Saint Jacques). Saint Joseph's Oratory, completed in 1967, 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 have become landmarks, including the geodesic dome U.S. Pavilion, now the Montreal Biosphere, and Moshe Safdie's striking Habitat 67 apartment complex.
In 2006 Montreal was named a UNESCO City of Design, only one of three design capitals of the world (the others being Berlin and Buenos Aires). This distinguished title recognizes Montreal's design community. Since 2005 the city has been home for the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (Icograda); the International Design Alliance (IDA).
The Underground City (officially RÉSO or La Ville Souterraine in French) is the set of interconnected complexes (both above and below ground) in and around Downtown.
The city is composed of 19 large boroughs, subdivided into neighbourhoods. The boroughs are: Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Outremont and Ville-Marie in the centre; Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie and Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension in the east; Anjou, Montréal-Nord, Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles and Saint-Leonard in the northeast; Ahuntsic-Cartierville, L'Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève, Pierrefonds-Roxboro and Saint-Laurent in the northwest; and Lachine, LaSalle, Le Sud-Ouest and Verdun in the south.
Many of these boroughs were previously independent cities that merged with Montreal in January 2002 following the 2002 Municipal Reorganization of Montreal.
The borough with the most neighbourhoods is Ville-Marie, which includes downtown, the historical district of Old Montreal, Chinatown, the Gay Village, the Latin Quarter, the recently gentrified Quartier international and Cité Multimédia as well as the Quartier des Spectacles which is currently under development. Other neighbourhoods of interest in the borough include the affluent Golden Square Mile neighbourhood at the foot of Mount Royal and the Shaughnessy Village/Quartier Concordia area home to thousands of students at Concordia University. The borough also comprises most of Mount Royal Park, Saint Helen's Island, and Île Notre-Dame.
The Plateau Mont-Royal borough has historically been a working-class francophone area. The largest neighbourhood is the Plateau (not to be confused with the whole borough), which is currently undergoing considerable gentrification, and a 2001 study deemed it as Canada's most creative neighbourhood because artists comprise 8% of its labour force. The neighbourhood of Mile End in the northwestern part of the borough, has historically been a very multicultural area of the city, and features two of Montreal's well-known bagel establishments, St-Viateur Bagel and Fairmount Bagel. The McGill Ghetto is in the extreme southwestern portion of the borough, its name being derived from the fact that it is home to thousands of McGill University students and faculty members.
The Sud-Ouest borough was home to much of the city's industry during the late 19th and early-to-mid 20th century. The borough historically included Goose Village and is home to the traditionally working-class Irish neighbourhoods of Griffintown and Pointe-Saint-Charles as well as the low-income neighbourhoods of Saint-Henri and Little Burgundy.
Other notable neighbourhoods include the multicultural areas of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Côte-des-Neiges in the Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough, and Little Italy in the borough of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, home of the Olympic Stadium in the borough of Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.
Old Montreal (French: Vieux-Montréal) is a historic area southeast of downtown containing many attractions such as the Old Port of Montreal, Place Jacques-Cartier, Montreal City Hall, the Bonsecours Market, Place d'Armes, Pointe-à-Callière Museum, the Notre-Dame de Montréal Basilica, and the Montreal Science Centre.
Architecture and cobbled streets in Old Montreal have been maintained or restored and are frequented by horse-drawn calèches carrying tourists. Old Montreal is accessible from the downtown core via the underground city and is served by several STM bus routes and metro stations, ferries to the South Shore and a network of bicycle paths.
The riverside area adjacent to Old Montreal is known as the Old Port. The Old Port was the former site of the worldwide Port of Montreal, but its shipping operations have been moved further east to its current larger site, leaving the former location as a recreational and historical area maintained by Parks Canada. The new Port of Montreal is now Canada's largest container port and the largest inland port on Earth.
The mountain is the site of Mount Royal Park (French: Parc du Mont-Royal), one of Montreal's largest greenspaces. The park, most of which is wooded, was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New York's Central Park, and was inaugurated in 1876.
The park contains two belvederes, the more prominent of which is the Kondiaronk Belvedere, a semicircular plaza with a chalet, overlooking Downtown Montreal. Other features of the park are Beaver Lake, a small man-made lake, a short ski slope, a sculpture garden, Smith House, an interpretive centre, and a well-known monument to Sir George-Étienne Cartier. The park hosts athletic, tourist and cultural activities.
The mountain is home to two major cemeteries, Notre-Dame-des-Neiges (founded in 1854) and Mount Royal (1852). Mount Royal Cemetery is a 165 acres (67 ha) terraced cemetery on the north slope of Mount Royal in the borough of Outremont. Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery is much larger, predominantly French-Canadian and officially Catholic. More than 900,000 people are buried there.
Mount Royal Cemetery contains more than 162,000 graves and is the final resting place for a number of notable Canadians. It includes a veterans section with several soldiers who were awarded the British Empire's highest military honour, the Victoria Cross. In 1901 the Mount Royal Cemetery Company established the first crematorium in Canada.
The first cross on the mountain was placed there in 1643 by Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, the founder of the city, in fulfilment of a vow he made to the Virgin Mary when praying to her to stop a disastrous flood. Today, the mountain is crowned by a 31.4 m-high (103 ft) illuminated cross, installed in 1924 by the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste and now owned by the city. It was converted to fibre-optic light in 1992. The new system can turn the lights red, blue, or purple, the last of which is used as a sign of mourning between the death of the Pope and the election of the next.
|Based on current city limits.
According to Statistics Canada, at the 2006 Canadian census the city had 1,620,693 inhabitants. A total of 3,635,571 lived in the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) at the same 2006 census, up from 3,451,027 at the 2001 census (within 2006 CMA boundaries), which means a population growth of +1.05% per year between 2001 and 2006. In the 2006 census, children under 14 years of age (621,695) constituted 17.1%, while inhabitants over 65 years of age (495,685) numbered 13.6% of the total population.
People of European ethnicities formed the largest cluster of ethnic groups. The largest reported European ethnicities in the 2006 census were French 23%, Italians 10%, Irish 5%, English 4%, Scottish 3%, and Spanish 2%. Some 26% of the population of Montreal and 16.5% that of Greater Montreal, are members of a visible minority (non-white) group, up from 5.2% in 1981.
Visible minorities comprised 31.7% of the population in the 2011 census. The five most numerous visible minorities are Blacks (9.1%), Arabs (6.4%), Latin Americans (4.2%), South Asians (3.3%), and Chinese (2.9%). Visible minorities are defined by the Canadian Employment Equity Act as "persons, other than Aboriginals, who are non-white in colour."
According to a recently published report by the city, the population of the island is expected to number 1,991,200 by 2012, with 3.9 million in the Greater Montreal Area, an increase of 15.8% over 2001. However, in 2009, the Greater Montreal Area is estimated to number 3.86 million people, suggesting that the area surpass the four million threshold by 2012. According to StatsCan, by 2030, the Greater Montreal Area is expected to number 5,275,000 with 1,722,000 being visible minorities.
In terms of mother language (first language learned), the 2006 census reported that in the Greater Montreal Area, 66.5% spoke French as a first language, followed by English at 13.2%, while 0.8% spoke both as a first language. The remaining 22.5% of Montreal-area residents are allophones, speaking languages including Italian (3.5%), Arabic (3.1%), Spanish (2.6%), Creole (1.3%), Chinese (1.2%), Greek (1.2%), Portuguese (0.8%), Romanian (0.7%), Vietnamese (0.7%), and Russian (0.5%). In terms of additional languages spoken, a unique feature of Montreal among Canadian cities, noted by Statistics Canada, is the working knowledge of both French and English possessed by most of its residents.
The Greater Montreal Area is predominantly Roman Catholic; however, weekly attendance in Quebec is among the lowest in Canada. Historically Montreal has been a centre of Catholicism in North America with its numerous seminaries and churches, including the Notre-Dame Basilica, the Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde, and Saint Joseph's Oratory. Some 65.8% of the total population is Christian, largely Roman Catholic (52.8%), primarily due to descendants of original French settlers, and others of Italian and Irish origins. Protestants which include Anglican, United Church, Lutheran, owing to British and German immigration, and other denominations number 5.90%, with a further 3.7% consisting mostly of Orthodox Christians, fuelled by a large Greek population. There is also a number of Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox parishes. Islam is the largest non-Christian religious group, with 154,540 members, the second-largest concentration of Muslims in Canada at 9.6%. The Jewish community in Montreal has a population of 90,780. In cities such as Côte Saint-Luc and Hampstead, Jewish people constitute the majority, or a substantial part of the population. As recently as 1971 the Jewish community in Greater Montreal was as high as 109,480. Political and economic uncertainties led many to leave Montreal and the province of Quebec.
The religious breakdown of the population of Montreal is:
- Christian: 65.8%
- No religion: 18.14%
- Muslim: 9.6%
- Jewish: 2.2%
- Buddhist: 2.0%
- Hindu: 1.4%
- Sikh: 0.03%
- Other religions: 0.3%
Montreal has the second-largest economy of Canadian cities based on GDP and the largest in Quebec. The city is today an important centre of commerce, finance, industry, technology, culture, world affairs and is the headquarters of the Montreal Exchange.
Industries include aerospace, electronic goods, pharmaceuticals, printed goods, software engineering, telecommunications, textile and apparel manufacturing, tobacco, petrochemicals, and transportation. The service sector is also strong and includes civil, mechanical and process engineering, finance, higher education, and research and development. In 2002, Montreal was the fourth-largest centre in North America in terms of aerospace jobs.
The Port of Montreal is one of the largest inland ports in the world handling 26 million tonnes of cargo annually. As one of the most important ports in Canada, it remains a trans-shipment point for grain, sugar, petroleum products, machinery, and consumer goods. For this reason, Montreal is the railway hub of Canada and has always been an extremely important rail city; it is home to the headquarters of the Canadian National Railway, and was home to the headquarters of the Canadian Pacific Railway until 1995.
The headquarters of the Canadian Space Agency is in Longueuil, southeast of Montreal. Montreal also hosts the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO, a United Nations body); the World Anti-Doping Agency (an Olympic body); the Airports Council International (the association of the world's airports – ACI World); the International Air Transport Association (IATA), IATA Operational Safety Audit and the International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (IGLCC), as well as some other international organizations in various fields.
Montreal is a centre of film and television production. The headquarters of Alliance Films and five studios of the Academy Award-winning documentary producer National Film Board of Canada are in the city, as well as the head offices of Telefilm Canada, the national feature-length film and television funding agency and Télévision de Radio-Canada. Given its eclectic architecture and broad availability of film services and crew members, Montreal is a popular filming location for feature-length films, and sometimes stands in for European locations. The city is also home to many recognized cultural, film and music festivals (Just For Laughs, Just For Laughs Gags, Montreal International Jazz Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, and others), which contribute significantly to its economy. It is also home to one of the world's largest cultural enterprises, the Cirque du Soleil.
The video game industry has been booming in Montreal since 1997, coinciding with the opening of Ubisoft Montreal. Recently, the city has attracted world leading game developers and publishers studios such as Ubisoft Montreal, EA, Eidos Interactive, Bioware, Artificial Mind and Movement, Strategy First, THQ, Gameloft mainly because of the quality of local specialized labor, and tax credits offered to the corporations. Recently, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros., announced that it would open a video game studio. Relatively new to the video game industry, it will be Warner Bros. first studio opened, not purchased, and will develop games for such Warner Bros. franchises as Batman and other games from their DC Comics portfolio. The studio will create 300 jobs.
Montreal played an important role in the finance industry. The corporate headquarters of the Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank of Canada, two of the biggest banks in Canada, were in Montreal. While both banks moved their headquarters to Toronto, Ontario, their legal corporate offices remain in Montreal. The city is home to head offices of two smaller banks, National Bank of Canada and Laurentian Bank of Canada.
Several companies are headquartered in Greater Montreal Area including Rio Tinto Alcan, Desjardins Group, Bombardier Inc., Canadian National Railway, CGI Group, Air Canada, Air Transat, CAE, Saputo, Cirque du Soleil, Quebecor, Ultramar, Kruger Inc., Jean Coutu Group, Uniprix, Proxim, Domtar, Le Chateau, Power Corporation, Bell Canada. Standard Life, Hydro-Québec, AbitibiBowater, Pratt and Whitney Canada, Molson, Tembec, Canada Steamship Lines, Fednav, Alimentation Couche-Tard, SNC-Lavalin, MEGA Brands, Aeroplan, Agropur, Metro Inc., Astral Media, Laurentian Bank of Canada, National Bank of Canada, Transat A.T., VIA Rail, Novacam Technologies, Dollarama, Rona, AXA Canada, and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. Montreal had a GDP of C$145 billion (US$148 billion) in 2008, placing it 41st city in the world.
The Montreal Oil Refining Centre is the largest refining centre in Canada with companies like Petro-Canada, Ultramar, Gulf Oil, Petromont, Ashland Canada, Parachem Petrochemical, Coastal Petrochemical, Interquisa (Cepsa) Petrochemical, Nova Chemicals, and more. Shell has decided to close the refining centre in 2010, throwing hundreds out of work and causing an increased dependence on foreign refineries for eastern Canada.
Montreal was referred to as "Canada's Cultural Capital" by Monocle magazine. The city is Canada's centre for French language television productions, radio, theatre, film, multimedia, and print publishing. Montreal's many cultural communities have given it a distinct local culture.
As a North American city, Montreal shares many cultural characteristics with the rest of the continent. It has a tradition of producing both jazz and rock music. The city has also produced much talent in the fields of visual arts, theatre, music, and dance. Yet, being at the confluence of the French and the English traditions, Montreal has developed a unique and distinguished cultural face. Another distinctive characteristic of cultural life is the animation of its downtown, particularly during summer, prompted by cultural and social events, particularly festivals. The city's largest festival is the Just for Laughs comedy festival, which is the largest in the world of its kind. Other popular festivals include the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, Les FrancoFolies de Montréal, Nuits d'Afrique, Pop Montreal, Divers/Cité, Fierté Montréal and the Montreal Fireworks Festival.
A cultural heart of classical art and the venue for many summer festivals, the Place des Arts is a complex of different concert and theatre halls surrounding a large square in the eastern portion of downtown. Place des Arts has the headquarters of one of the world's foremost orchestras, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. The Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal and the chamber orchestra I Musici de Montréal are two other well-regarded Montreal orchestras. Also performing at Place des Arts are the Opéra de Montréal and the city's chief ballet company Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Internationally recognized avant-garde dance troupes such as Compagnie Marie Chouinard, La La La Human Steps, O Vertigo, and the Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault have toured the world and worked with international popular artists on videos and concerts. The unique choreography of these troupes has paved the way for the success of the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil.
Nicknamed la ville aux cent clochers (the city of a hundred steeples), Montreal is renowned for its churches. As Mark Twain noted, "This is the first time I was ever in a city where you couldn't throw a brick without breaking a church window." The city has four Roman Catholic basilicas: Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral, the aforementioned Notre-Dame Basilica, St Patrick's Basilica, and Saint Joseph's Oratory. The Oratory is the largest church in Canada, with the second largest copper dome in the world, after Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome.
The most popular sport is ice hockey. The professional hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens, is one of the Original Six teams of the National Hockey League (NHL), and boasts an NHL-record 24 Stanley Cup championships. The Canadiens' most recent Stanley Cup victory came in 1993. They have major rivalries with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins both of which are also Original Six hockey teams. The Canadiens have played at the Bell Centre since 1996. Prior to that they played at the Montreal Forum.
The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL) play at Molson Stadium on the campus of McGill University for their regular-season games. Late season and playoff games are played at the much larger, enclosed Olympic Stadium, which also played host to the 2008 Grey Cup. The Alouettes have won the Grey Cup a total of 7 times, most recently in 2010. The McGill Redmen, Concordia Stingers, and Université de Montréal Carabins play in the CIS university football league.
Montreal has a storied baseball history. The city was the home of the minor-league Montreal Royals of the International League until 1960. In 1946, Jackie Robinson broke the baseball colour barrier with the Royals in an emotionally difficult year; Robinson was forever grateful for the local fans' fervent support. Major League Baseball came to town in the form of the Montreal Expos in 1969. They played their games at Jarry Park until moving into Olympic Stadium in 1977. After 36 years in Montreal, the team relocated to Washington, D.C. in 2005 and re-branded themselves as the Washington Nationals.
The Montreal Impact are the city's professional soccer team. They play at a soccer-specific stadium called Saputo Stadium. They recently joined North America's biggest soccer league, Major League Soccer in 2012. The Montreal games of the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup and 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup were held at Olympic Stadium, and the venue will also host Montreal games in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Montreal is the site of a high-profile auto racing event each year: the Canadian Grand Prix of Formula One (F1) racing. This race takes place on the famous Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Île Notre-Dame. In 2009, the race was dropped from the Formula One calendar, to the chagrin of some fans, but the Canadian Grand Prix returned to the Formula 1 calendar in 2010. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve also hosted a round of the Champ Car World Series from 2002–2007, and was home to the NAPA Auto Parts 200, a NASCAR Nationwide Series race, and the Montréal 200, a Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series race.
Uniprix Stadium, built in 1993 on the site of Jarry Park, is used for the Rogers Cup men's and women's tennis tournaments. The men's tournament is a Masters 1000 event on the ATP Tour, and the women's tournament is a Premier tournament on the WTA Tour. The men's and women's tournaments alternate between Montreal and Toronto every year.
Montreal was the host of the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. The stadium cost $1.5 billion; with interest that figure ballooned to nearly $3 billion, and was only paid off in December 2006. Montreal also hosted the first ever World Outgames in the summer of 2006, attracting over 16,000 participants engaged in 35 sporting activities.
Montreal was the host city for the 17th unicycling world championship and convention (UNICON) in August 2014.
|Montreal Canadiens||NHL||Ice hockey||Bell Centre||1909||24|
|Montreal Alouettes||CFL||Football||Percival Molson Memorial Stadium
|Montreal Impact||MLS||Soccer||Saputo Stadium||1992||3*|
|Montreal Jazz||NBL Canada||Basketball||Centre Pierre Charbonneau||2012||0|
|Montreal Stars||Canadian Women's Hockey League||Ice hockey||Centre Étienne Desmarteau||2007||2|
|Quebec Caribou||RCSL||Rugby union||Dollard-des-Ormeaux||1998||0|
|Quebec Saints||AFL Quebec||Australian rules football||Vanier College||2008||2|
|Montreal Shamrocks GAC||Canadian GAA||Gaelic Football, Hurling||Parc De La Verendrye||1948||5|
|Montreal Blitz||IWFL||Football||Dalbé Viau High School||2002||2|
|Montreal Royal||AUDL||Ultimate Frisbee||Percival Molson Stadium||2014||0|
Montreal is well served by media, including French and English television stations, newspapers, radio stations, and magazines. There are four over-the-air English-language television stations: CBMT-DT (CBC Television), CFCF-DT (CTV), CKMI-DT (Global) and CJNT-DT (City). There are also five over-the-air French-language television stations: CBFT-DT (Radio-Canada), CFTM-DT (TVA), CFJP-DT (V), CIVM-DT (Télé-Québec), and CFTU-DT (Canal Savoir).
Montreal has four daily newspapers, the English-language Montreal Gazette and the French-language La Presse, Le Journal de Montréal and Le Devoir. There are two free French dailies, Métro and 24 Heures. Montreal has numerous weekly tabloids and community newspapers serving various neighbourhoods, ethnic groups and schools.
The head of the city government in Montreal is the mayor, who is first among equals in the City Council. Gérald Tremblay, who is a member of the Union Montréal party, resigned as mayor on November 5, 2012. The office of acting mayor was held by city councillor Jane Cowell-Poitras until November 16, when Michael Applebaum was selected as the new mayor. Applebaum resigned on June 18, 2013 and Cowell-Poitras again assumed the office of acting mayor until the selection of Laurent Blanchard. The November 3rd, 2013 elections were won by Denis Coderre. Coderre was sworn in on November 14.
The city council is a democratically elected institution and is the final decision-making authority in the city, although much power is centralized in the executive committee. The Council consists of 65 members from all boroughs. The Council has jurisdiction over many matters, including public security, agreements with other governments, subsidy programs, the environment, urban planning, and a three-year capital expenditure program. The Council is required to supervise, standardize or approve certain decisions made by the borough councils.
Reporting directly to the Council, the executive committee exercises decision-making powers similar to those of the cabinet in a parliamentary system and is responsible for preparing various documents including budgets and by-laws, submitted to the Council for approval. The decision-making powers of the executive committee cover, in particular, the awarding of contracts or grants, the management of human and financial resources, supplies and buildings. It may also be assigned further powers by the City Council.
Standing committees are the prime instruments for public consultation. They are responsible for the public study of pending matters and for making the appropriate recommendations to the council. They also review the annual budget forecasts for departments under their jurisdiction. A public notice of meeting is published in both French and English daily newspapers at least seven days before each meeting. All meetings include a public question period. The standing committees, of which there are seven, have terms lasting two years. In addition, the City Council may decide to create special committees at any time. Each standing committee is made up of seven to nine members, including a chairman and a vice-chairman. The members are all elected municipal officers, with the exception of a representative of the government of Quebec on the public security committee.
The city is only one component of the larger Communauté Métropolitaine de Montréal (English: Montreal Metropolitan Community or MMC), which is in charge of planning, coordinating, and financing economic development, public transportation, garbage collection and waste management, etc., across the metropolitan area. The president of the CMM is the mayor of Montreal. The CMM covers 4,360 square kilometres (1,680 sq mi), with 3.6 million inhabitants in 2006.
With four universities, seven other degree-awarding institutions, and 12 CEGEPs in an 8-kilometre (5.0 mi) radius, Montreal has the highest concentration of post-secondary students of all major cities in North America (4.38 students per 100 residents, followed by Boston at 4.37 students per 100 residents).
Higher Education (French)
- Université de Montréal (UdeM) is the second largest research university in Canada and ranked as one of the top universities in Canada. Two separate institutions are affiliated to the university: the École Polytechnique de Montréal (School of Engineering) and HEC Montréal (School of Business). HEC Montreal was founded in 1907 and is considered as one of the best business schools in Canada.
- Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) is the Montreal campus of Université du Québec. UQÀM generally specializes in liberal-arts.
- Université du Québec also has three separately run schools in Montréal, notably the École de technologie supérieure (ETS), the École nationale d'administration publique (ENAP) and the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS).
- L'Institut de formation théologique de Montréal des Prêtres de Saint-Sulpice (IFTM) specializes in theology and philosophy.
- Le Conservatoire de musique de Montréal offers a Bachelor and a Master's degree in classical music.
Additionally, two French-language universities, Université de Sherbrooke and Université Laval have campuses in the nearby suburb of Longueuil on Montreal's south shore. Also, l'Institut de pastorale des Dominicains is Montreal's university center of Ottawa's Collège Universitaire Dominicain/Dominican University College. The Faculté de théologie évangélique is Nova Scotia's Acadia University Montreal based serving French Protestant community in Canada by offering a Bachelor and a Master's degrees in Theology.
Higher Education (English)
- McGill University is one of Canada's leading post-secondary institutions, and widely regarded as a world-class institution. In 2014, McGill was ranked as the top University in Canada for the ninth consecutive year by Macleans, and as the best University in Canada; 21st best University in the world, by the QS World University Rankings.
- Concordia University was created from the merger of Sir George Williams University and Loyola College in 1974. Concordia is also home to the John Molson School of Business which is recognized as one of Canada's top business schools and ranks within the top 50 worldwide.
The education system in the province of Quebec is slightly different from other systems in North America. Between the high school and university levels, there is an additional college level called CEGEP. It is at the same time a preparatory school (preparing students for admission to university) and a technical school (offering courses which lead to technical diplomas and specializations). In Montreal, seventeen CEGEPs offer courses in French and five in English.
English-language elementary and secondary public schools on Montreal Island are operated by the English Montreal School Board and the Lester B. Pearson School Board. French-language elementary and secondary public schools in Montreal are operated by the Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM), Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys (CSMB) and the Commission scolaire Pointe-de-l'Île (CSPI).
Like many major cities, Montreal has a problem with vehicular traffic congestion, especially from cities in the west island such as Pointe-Claire and Beaconsfield, and off-island suburbs such as Laval on Île Jésus, and Longueuil on the south shore. The width of the Saint Lawrence River has made the construction of fixed links to the south shore expensive and difficult. There are only four road bridges along with one road tunnel, two railway bridges, and a metro line. The far narrower Rivière des Prairies, separating Montreal from Laval, is spanned by eight road bridges (six to Laval and two directly to the north shore) and a metro line.
The island of Montreal is a hub for the Quebec Autoroute system, and is served by Quebec Autoroutes A-10 (known as the Bonaventure Expressway on the island of Montreal), A-15 (aka the Decarie Expressway south of the A-40 and the Laurentian Autoroute to the north of it), A-13 (aka Chomedey Autoroute), A-20, A-25, A-40 (part of the Trans-Canada Highway system, and known as "The Metropolitan" or simply "The Met" in its elevated mid-town section), A-520, and A-720 (aka the Ville-Marie Autoroute). Many of these Autoroutes are frequently congested at rush hour. However, in recent years, the government has acknowledged this problem and is working on long-term solutions to alleviate the congestion. One such example is the extension of Quebec Autoroute 30 on Montreal's south shore, which will serve as a bypass.
Société de transport de Montréal (STM)
Public local transport is served by a network of buses, subways, and commuter trains that extend across and off the island. The subway and bus system are operated by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM). The STM bus network consists of 197 daytime and 20 nighttime routes. STM bus routes serve 1,347,900 passengers on an average weekday in 2010. It also provides adapted transport and wheelchair-accessible buses. The STM won the award of Outstanding Public Transit System in North America by the APTA in 2010. It was the first time a Canadian company won this prize.
The Metro was inaugurated in 1966 and has 68 stations on four lines. It is Canada's busiest subway system in total daily passenger usage, serving 1,050,800 passengers on an average weekday (as of Q1 2010). Each station was designed by different architects with individual themes and features original artwork, and the trains run on rubber tires, making the system quieter than most. The project was initiated by Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau, who later brought the Summer Olympic Games to Montreal in 1976. The metro system has long had a station on the South Shore in Longueuil, and has recently been extended to the city of Laval, north of Montreal, with three new stations.
The commuter rail system is managed and operated by the Agence métropolitaine de transport, and reaches the outlying areas of Greater Montreal with six lines. It carried an average of 75,000 daily passengers in 2013, making it the sixth busiest in North America following New York City, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and Toronto.
Montreal has two international airports, one for passengers only, the other for cargo. Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (also known as Dorval Airport) in the City of Dorval serves all commercial passenger traffic and is the headquarters of Air Canada and Air Transat. To the north of the city is Montréal-Mirabel International Airport in Mirabel, which was envisioned as Montreal's primary airport but which now serves cargo flights along with MEDEVACs and general aviation and some passenger services. In 2013, Montreal-Trudeau was the fourth busiest airport in Canada by passenger traffic and by aircraft movements, behind Toronto Pearson, Vancouver and Calgary, handling 14.09 million passengers in 2013, and 207,882 aircraft movements in 2011. With 60.8% of its passengers being on non-domestic flights it has the largest percentage of international flights of any Canadian airport. Trudeau airport is served by 40 carriers to over 100 destinations worldwide.
Airlines servicing Trudeau offer flights to Europe, the United States, Western Asia, the Middle East, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Mexico and other destinations within Canada and it contains the largest duty-free shop in North America.
Montreal-based VIA Rail provides rail service to other cities in Canada, particularly to Quebec City and Toronto along the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor. Amtrak, the U.S. national passenger rail system, operates its Adirondack daily to New York City. All intercity trains and most commuter trains operate out of Central Station.
Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, was founded here in 1881. Its corporate headquarters occupied Windsor Station at 910 Peel Street until 1995. With the Port of Montreal kept open year round by icebreakers, lines to Eastern Canada became surplus, and now Montreal is the railway's eastern and intermodal freight terminus. CPR connects at Montreal with the Port of Montreal, the Delaware and Hudson Railway to New York, the Quebec Gatineau Railway to Quebec City and Buckingham, the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway to Halifax, and CN Rail. The CPR's flagship train, The Canadian, ran daily from Windsor Station to Vancouver, but all passenger services have since been transferred to VIA Rail Canada and the Canadian terminates in Toronto.
Montreal-based Canadian National Railways (CN) was formed during in 1919 by the Canadian government following a series of country-wide rail bankruptcies. It was formed from the Grand Trunk, Midland and Canadian Northern Railways, and has risen to become CPR's chief rival in freight carriage in Canada. Like the CPR, CN has divested itself of passenger services in favour of Via Rail Canada. CN's flagship train, the Super Continental, ran daily from Central Station to Vancouver, but after it was transferred to Via it was eliminated in 1990.
Twin towns and sister cities
Montreal has sister cities:
- Algiers, Algeria – 1999
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Beersheba, Israel
- Brussels, Belgium
- Bucharest, Romania
- Busan, South Korea – 2000
- Casablanca, Morocco
- Hanoi, Vietnam – 1997
- Hiroshima, Japan – 1998
- Nashik, India – 2000
- Lyon, France – 1979
- Managua, Nicaragua
- Manila, Philippines – 2005
- Milan, Italy – 1996
- Moca, Dominican Republic – 2006
- Paris, France – 2006
- Port-au-Prince, Haiti – 1995
- Rome, Italy
- San Salvador, El Salvador – 2001
- Shanghai, China – 1985
- Tunis, Tunisia
- Santo André, Brazil
- Yerevan, Armenia – 1998
- Pereira, Colombia
- Largest cities in the Americas
- List of bridges to the Island of Montreal
- List of census metropolitan areas and agglomerations in Canada
- List of communities in Quebec
- List of mayors of Montreal
- List of metropolitan areas in the Americas
- List of Montreal Metro stations
- List of Montreal music venues
- List of regions of Quebec
- List of shopping malls in Montreal
- List of tallest buildings in Montreal
- List of technology companies in Montreal
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