The area known today as Montreal had been inhabited by the Algonquins, Huron, and Iroquois for some 2,000 years, while the oldest known artifact found in Montréal proper is about 2,000 years old.
In the earliest oral history, the Algonquins were from the Atlantic coast. Together with other Anicinàpek, they arrived at the "First Stopping Place" (Montréal). There, the Nation found a "turtle-shaped island" marked by miigis (cowrie) shells.
The Iroquois or Haudenosaunee were centred from at least 1000 CE in northern New York, but their influence extended into what is now southern Ontario and the Montréal area of modern Quebec.
1535 – Jacques Cartier renames the Saint Lawrence River in honour of the Deacon Lawrence on August 10 (Feast day of the Roman martyr). Prior to this, the Saint Lawrence River had been known by other names, including the Hochelaga River and the Canada River. Cartier penetrates far into the interior for the first time, via the river.
1535 – September 19, Cartier starts his journey from Quebec City to Montréal, while in search of a passage to Asia.
1535 – Cartier visits Hochelaga on October 2, claiming the St. Lawrence Valley for France. He becomes the first European to reach the area now known as Montréal when he enters the village of Hochelega. Cartier estimates the population to be "over a thousand".
1535 – October 3, Cartier climbs up the mountain on the Île de Montréal and names it Mont Royal. He wrote: "Nous nommasmes icelle montaigne le mont Royal." (We named the said mountain Mont Royal.) The name Montréal is generally thought to be derived from "Mont Royal", the name given to the mountain by Cartier in 1535.
1575 – In his "Cosmographie Universelle de Tout le Monde", historiographer François de Belleforest is the first to use the form Montréal in reference to this area. Translated, it would read: "let us now look at Hochelaga, ... in the midst of the countryside is the village, or Cité royale, adjacent to a mountain on which farming is practiced. The Christians call this city Montreal...".
1639-49 – Sainte-Marie among the Hurons in use. The establishment of Montréal was part of a large missionary movement based in France. Over the next 40 years after Quebec's founding, dozens of missionary posts will be built in Huron territory.
1641 – On May 9, Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve and his recruits leave La Rochelle in two ships. Maisonneuve boards one with a secular priest for the Ursuline convent and twenty-five men; Jeanne Mance and another woman, the Jesuit father La Place, and 12 men are aboard the second ship. At first the two ships manage to stay together. However, after eight days they are driven apart by the winds. François Dollier de Casson writes, "the ship carrying Mademoiselle Mance experienced little other than calm weather, M. de Maison-neufve’s encountered such violent storms that it had to put back to port three times."
1641 – A third vessel is sent by the Company from Dieppe, containing ten men. It is eventually the first to reach Canada.
1643 – In March, Tessouat arrives at the new settlement of Ville-Marie, where his nephew Joseph Oumasasikweie is then living. To the surprise of all, Tessouat requests baptism and a Christian marriage. His conversion is greatly prized because of his importance as chief and because of his former hostility. Great solemnity is therefore observed in the ceremonies on March 9. Maisonneuve grants land to Tessouat and provides him with two men to help cultivate it.
1643 – On June 9, the first persons are killed at Montréal during an attack by the Iroquois. Forty Iroquois warriors surprise six Frenchmen hewing timber with gunshots to the fort. The Iroquois kill three men and take the remaining three prisoners.
1643 – At the end of August, a vessel with a reinforcement commanded by Louis d'Ailleboust de Coulonge arrives at Ville-Marie; he plays a leading role there. His wife arrives with d'Ailleboust, accompanied by her sister, Mademoiselle Philippine de Boulogne.
1643 – Jean Boisseau's map indicates the "Sault de Montreal".
1643 – La Dauversière publishes a book on Ville-Marie, The Purpose of Montreal, that raises support for the project in Paris. Written in 1643, it describes the settlement shortly after its founding: "There is a chapel there that serves as a parish, under the title of Notre Dame.… The inhabitants live for the most part communally, as in a sort of inn; others live on their private means, but all live in Jesus Christ, with one heart and soul."
1643-45 – The Iroquois harass Montréal.
1644 – Iroquois attack on March 16.
1644 – Eighty Iroquois attack on March 30. Barthélemy Vimont says that two Frenchmen were made prisoners, and burned.
1645 – Treaty with the Iroquois. The peace is broken a few months later.
1645 – In October, Huron and Algonquin Indians break into the house of Pierre Gadois (Gadoyes) (1594–1667) on several occasions to steal food from him and beat him. Pierre returns to the Quebec City area from 1646-1647.
1645-46 – Tessouat spends the winter in Montréal where he planted corn. But he eventually withdraws to Trois-Rivières, urging others to do likewise, in the face of reports that Iroquois raids are imminent. This probably results from having heard that the French had abandoned non-Christian Algonquins in the 1645 treaty with the Iroquois.
1648 – First land concession, to the Pierre Gadois and Louise Mauger (1598–1690) household on January 4; the land consists of 40 arpents or approximately 300,000 square meters and the location of the property coincides with the present rue Saint Pierre in the east, Rue McGill in the west, Rue Saint-Paul in the south and rue Ontario in the north. Prior to this, the inhabitants of Ville Marie had lived a communal life working in the fields during the day and then returning within the fortified walls of the village at night.
1648 – Adrienne Du Vivier arrives; she and her husband, Augustin Hébert, are often referred to as "Montreal's First Citizens."
1648 – The first white child is born in Ville Marie, Barbe Meusnier, on November 24.
1648 – The Iroquois invade Huronia and wipe out most of the Hurons and French missionaries living in the territory. The French settlers and Iroquois would fight many battles around the outskirts of New France.
1640s – René Menard is the confessor of the family of Sieur Charles Dailleboust des Musseaux (1621–1700) in Ville-Marie.
1651 – 40 arpents (34 acres; 14 ha) were granted to the settlers as common land. But the Iroquois threat makes living outside the fort so risky that everyone – including Jeanne Mance and her patients – come back inside the walls.
1651 – The first play performed in Montréal is Le Cid on April 16.
1651 – On June 6, 50 Iroquois attack the settlement.
1652 – May 26: A troop of 50 Iroquois kill a cowherd named Antoine Rob.
1652 – "July 29: Two Iroquois, having slipped in under the cover of the corn, attacked Martine Messier, the wife of Antoine Primot who, by defending herself courageously, gave the soldiers of the fort time to come to her aid and put the enemy to flight. She received six shots, none of which are mortal," wrote a Jesuit priest in his diary.
1653 – The Grande Recrue: Jeanne Mance takes money that was intended for the hospital and uses it to recruit a hundred people; the contingent arrives at Ville-Marie on November 16. Of the 95 who embark in Saint-Nazaire, 24 are massacred by Iroquois; 4 drown; one is burnt when his house catches fire.
1657 – On 28 January, returning from mass, Jeanne Mance falls on the ice, fractures her right arm, and dislocates her wrist. Although cured, Jeanne was unable to use her arm. Because of this infirmity she considers retiring as head of the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal. She waits for the return of Maisonneuve, who had set out for France again in 1655. He returns only at the end of July 1657, together with the first parish clergy for Ville-Marie, which consists of three Sulpicians under the leadership of Abbé Queylus.
1658 – In November, a Ville-Marie tribunal convicts René Besnard dit Bourjoly of casting a spell of impotence over Pierre (Gadoyes) Gadois, a rival for the hand of a woman he had courted. Besnard is flogged, imprisoned, and sentenced to death, although the latter punishment was reduced to banishment. In August 1660 François de Laval annuls the still-barren marriage of Pierre Gadois and Marie Pontonnier on the grounds of "permanent impotence caused by witchcraft". In their later marriages to others, this "sterile" couple had a total of 25 children.
1661 – Jacques Le Maistre, bursar of the seminary of Saint-Sulpice, iskilled by Iroquois in a field belonging to the Maison Saint-Gabriel farm, on August 29.
1661 – Guillaume Vignal, Jacques Dufresne, Claude de Brigeart and René Cuillerier Léveillé are taken prisoner by Iroquois on l'Île-à-la-Pierre, Longueuil, on October 25. Guillaume Vignal is killed by Iroquois at La Prairie, on October 27.
1661 – A boys' school is founded by Gabriel Souart, who prides himself on being the first schoolmaster of Ville-Marie.
1663 – A Ville-Marie resident is fined 10 livres for ploughing on a Sunday.
1664 – The first court is held in Montréal.
1665 – Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve returns to France. The missionary dreams of the first Montrealers had given way to the lure of money to be made in furs. Although Maisonneuve had lived in Ville-Marie for twenty-three years, he never became a landowner, choosing to dedicate himself to his religious cause. Back in Paris, he lives in a secluded cabin that he built, and remains humble and discreet until his death.
1666 – According to census of New France, Ville-Marie now has 582 inhabitants. 24 of the 111 families living in Montréal had already been formed in France. A few houses, flanked by a windmill and fort, and connected by a footpath where now runs Rue Saint-Paul, represent the beginnings of Ville-Marie.
1667 – Boucherville is founded as a seigneurial parish by Pierre Boucher. Pierre Boucher begins farming this year but does not receive his seigneury until 1672 when he builds a palisade to protect the community from the Iroquois.
1667 – Almost from its foundation, pelts were bartered in Montréal, but it was after 1667 that the town becomes a centre for trade. An annual market for pelts takes place in June on the common of Pointe-à-Callière.
1670-80 – At first trading is done in people's home, but traders soon set up stalls between Saint-Paul and the Little St. Pierre River, west of the marketplace. Natives – some 900 of them in 1672 – camp on the point, not far from the seigneurs’ gardens.
1680-85 – More and more voyageurs, coureurs des bois and missionaries were exploring the regions upriver from Montréal. As the new territory opens up, part of the fur trade shifts toward the Great Lakes. Fewer and fewer natives came to Montréal, and the annual fur fair became less popular from 1680 to 1685.
1686 – Pierre Troyes leads an overland expedition from Montreal to the shore of Hudson Bay where he takes many of the Hudson's Bay Company's forts by surprise. New France would wage several naval raids into the bay the following years and almost drives the English from this part of the continent.
1687-89 – A wooden palisade is erected to protect the town. Some years after the city was founded, the initial fort is abandoned and the town continues its development at Coteau Saint-Louis, around which wooden fortifications are built in 1687 and 1689.
1687 – An epidemic of typhus kills approximately 150 people in the autumn.
1689 – On June 13, construction was begun by the Montreal Sulpicians on a 2 km canal to support their monopoly on flour-milling. François Dollier de Casson asserts that such a canal (Lachine Canal) would supply water to Montreal's mills while simultaneously facilitating westbound navigation.
1698 – A chapel dedicated to St. Anne is founded at the south end of Murray street. Le Quartier Ste-Anne becomes infamous as a den of licentiousness, and the clergy restricts the sale of liquor around the chapel.
1698 – Bishop Saint-Vallier, returning from France, accompanies two English gentlemen, one of them a Protestant minister, on a visit to Jeanne Le Ber.
1700 – At the turn of the 18th century Montreal's population is about 1,500 souls, which gradually grows to about 7,500 in the year 1760, at the time of the British conquest.
1710-20 – Maison Quesnel (5010 boulevard Saint-Joseph, Lachine) is built by Olivier Quesnel.
1711 – The court orders the construction of a stone wall around the city.
1713 – Jurisdiction of the Government of Montreal begins to the west of Maskinongé, Quebec and Yamaska and ends at the extremity of the inhabited area, namely fort Saint-Jean, Châteauguay and Vaudreuil.
1713 – Michel Bégon decides to erect stone fortifications. The wooden walls are replaced with stone due to the threat of British attack. The project is only completed in 1744.
1717–1744 – Stone fortifications were erected according to plans by the architect Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros de Léry. The stone fortifications rise six metres in height and measure 3.5 km in circumference around the city. The fortifications correspond roughly to the present-day limits of Old Montreal, with Rue Berri to the east, Rue de la Commune to the south, Rue McGill to the west, and Ruelle de la Fortification to the north.
1731 – Orchards covered 90 arpents (76 acres; 31 ha) on the Île de Montréal, on the side of the mountain and around town. From 1731 to 1781, the surface area occupied by the orchards rise from 90 to 402 arpents (76 to 340 acres; 31 to 137 ha). The common cultivars at the time were the Calville blanc, Calville rouge, Famous, Reinette, Bourassa, Pomme blanche and Pomme grise of Montreal.
1737 – Inauguration of the Chemin du Roy on the North Shore (Laval) between Montréal and Quebec City. The road's construction takes 4 years and requires the construction of 13 bridges. After its completion, people can travel from one city to the other in 4 days.
1749-51 – De la Visitation Church (1747 Gouin Boulevard) is built to replace the small chapel at Fort Lorette. It is the oldest church in Montreal and the only one built during the old régime still standing. The church is consecrated by Henri-Marie Dubreil de Pontbriand in 1752.
1750s – A few acres of snow is one of several quotations from Voltaire that are representative of his sneering evaluation of Canada, and by extension New France's, lack of economic value and strategic importance to 18th-century France.
1760 – September 6 to September 7 - A council of war, at Montreal, favours capitulation.
1760 – Monday September 8 - Jeffrey Amherst's, Murray's, and Haviland's commands, around Montreal, are about 17,000.
1760 – The British, under General Jeffrey Amherst, march from Lachine through Nazareth Fief (the name used for Griffintown at this time), through the Recollet Gate and into the walled city of Montreal.
1760 – The Sulpicians (led by Étienne Montgolfier) negotiate a land claims settlement with the British, enabling them to remain seigneurs of Île de Montréal after the conquest. They honour King George III's consort, Charlotte, by naming the bell in the parish church after her.
1760 – On September 21, Jeffrey Amherst appoints brigadier Thomas Gage as military governor of the Montreal district; he remains governor until 1763.
1761 – July 30 - William Bewen, accused of having intoxicated soldiers and of selling rum without a licence, is found guilty, having been accessory to his associate, Isaac Lawrence, who has the habit of selling rum to the soldiers, - condemned to receive 200 stripes of the cat o'nine tails, and to be driven from the town at the beat of the drum.
1761 – July 1 - Isaac Lawrence is similarly condemned.
1761 – August 6 - Joseph Burgen, a hanger-on of the army, is accused and convicted of theft, and condemned to be hanged. The general approves the sentence, but pardons him on the condition that he leave town immediately.
1761 – August 13 - George Skipper and Bellair, bakers, accused and arraigned by Captain Disney for having sold bread which had not the requisite weight, are acquitted.
1761 – By an ordinance dated October 13, Thomas Gage divides the district of Montreal into six subdivisions, and sets up in each a "chamber of justice", composed of from five to seven militia officers, presided over by a captain. This chamber is to sit every fortnight; and it has the power of trying both civil and criminal offenders, and of inflicting corporal punishment, prison, or fine. All appeals, and all serious offences, such as theft or murder, were to go for trial before British courts-martial, one of which was to be constituted monthly for each two subdivisions. Every award was subject to the approval of the governor, who might lessen or commute, though he might not increase, the punishment.
1762 – July 26 - Governor Thomas Gage orders that six livres tournois shall be equal to eight shillings, or ten sols of Montreal money.
1762 – August 3 - Thomas Gage sees that different standards of measurements are being used, and to reduce fraud in commercial dealings, establishes that, in Montreal, the English standard yard measure should be used. He also has to decide on prices for bread.
1763 – Treaty of Paris. Montreal was already the centre of the North American Fur Trade. After the British take possession, Montréal becomes the emporium of a great traffic in the fur-fields of the north and west.
1763 – A big fire.
1763 – Col. Ralph Burton becomes governor of Montreal on October 29; he remains governor until the end of the military regime the following year.
1764 – August 10 - The end of military regime in Montreal.
1764 – August 28 - A proclamation establishes a Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace in each district of Quebec.
1764 – Thomas Walker is appointed a justice of the peace, and on December 6 he is the victim of an assault by the military in which one of his ears was cut off. The incident greatly embitters feeling in the colony, and Walker becomes the centre of a violent agitation.
1764 – Between 1764 and 1837, there are only six justices of the peace for the district of Montreal, who govern Montreal's affairs, with the office dominated by three justices, John Burke (1764–87), John Reid (1787-1811), and John (Jean-Baptiste) Delisle (1814–38).
1765 – There are 136 Protestants in Montreal, and 500 in Canada
1765 – On Saturday May 18, a fire which started on Saint-Paul Street destroys 108 houses, rendering 215 families homeless.
1765 – GovernorJames Murray authorizes the creation of the "Community of Lawyers" (Communauté des avocats) which grants commissions to its members that allow them to practice law in the triple capacity of lawyer, notary and land surveyor. The precursor of the present-day Bar of Montreal, the Community of Lawyers adopted the first-ever code of legal ethics and conduct.
1765 – After a great deal of legal wrangling the trial in the Thomas Walker case is finally held in July, but the soldiers are acquitted and the suspicion between the military and the merchant class only deepens. Thomas Walker takes the merchants' complaints to London. Murray is instructed to reinstate Walker and to "support him in that unmolested pursuit of Trade, which as a British subject, he is entitled to."
1766 – The attack on the merchant Thomas Walker on December 6, 1764 produces the chaos that resulted in the recall of both Ralph Burton and Murray to Britain.
1773 – The Fabrique of Montreal opens a college for instructing youths in arithmetic, geography, English and literature.
1773 – 7 October – the erection in Place d'Armes of a monument in thanksgiving to George III. It was the first monument to be erected in Montreal. It is no longer in existence, having suffered mutilation in May 1775.
1775 – May 1 – The bust of George III in Place d'Armes, Montreal, is found defaced – adorned with beads, cross and mitre, with the words "Pope of Canada – Sot (fool) of England", in an act to denounce the Quebec Act, which guarantees the use of French language, culture and freedom of religion. A reward of 500 guineas does not lead to apprehension of the culprit.
1775 – November 12 – General Richard Montgomery tells Montrealers that, being defenceless, they cannot stipulate terms; but promises to respect personal rights. He demands the keys of public stores, and appoints the following morning for the army's entrance by the Recollet gate.
1775 – Montreal falls without any significant fighting on November 13, as Carleton, deciding that the city was indefensible (and having suffered significant militia desertion upon the news of the fall of St. Johns), withdraws.
1775 – Richard Montgomery uses some of the captured boats to move towards Quebec City with about 300 troops on November 28, leaving about 200 in Montreal under the command of General David Wooster.
1776 – May – With only 1,765 soldiers remaining in Montreal, the colonial force is overcome by the British.
1776 – Within four hours, Benedict Arnold and the American forces garrisoned around Montreal abandon the city (but not before trying to burn it down), leaving it in the hands of the local militia. Carleton's fleet arrive in Montreal on June 17.
1787–1811 – John Reid is justice of the peace for the district of Montreal, which governs Montreal's affairs.
1788 – The Gazette, formerly a French journal, appears in English.
1789 – Lord Grenville proposes that land in Upper Canada be held in free and common soccage, and that the tenure of Lower Canadian lands be optional with the inhabitants.
1789 – May 4 – The justices of the peace, who govern Montreal's affairs, order "the price and assize of bread, for this month" to be: "the white loaf of 4lbs. at 13d., or 30 sous", etc., and that bakers of the city and suburbs do conform thereto, and mark their bread with their initials.
1789 – Christ Church opens for service on December 20.
1790 – Lower Canada is divided into three districts,instead of two.
1791 – Edmund Burke supports the proposed constitution for Canada, saying that "To attempt to amalgamate two populations, composed of races of men diverse in language, laws and habitudes, is complete absurdity. Let the proposed constitution be founded on man's nature, the only solid basis for an enduring government." Fox declares that England can retain Canada "through the good will of the Canadians alone."
1791 – The last Jesuit at Montreal, Father Bernard Well, dies towards the end of March or the beginning of April. Jean-Joseph Casot comes to Montreal and donates the Montreal Jesuits' possessions to charity. After this the Jesuit residence is used for government purposes.
1791 – On May 8, members of the Presbyterian congregation of Montreal gather to elect a committee to discuss the building of the first Presbyterian church in Canada, later to be known as the St. Gabriel Street Church.
1795 – James Monk purchases an estate in Montréal that had previously belonged to the Décarie family. The first Monk residence, built in 1803, and known as Monklands, is now the central section of the present-day Villa Maria.
1795 – A Canadian regiment is raised but disbanded, owing to Britain's unfavourable experience of training colonists to use arms.
1795 - Isaac Weld observes that the French have "an unconquerable aversion to learn English... But the English inhabitants are, for the most part, well acquainted with the French language." He also observes "the people of Montreal, in general, are remarkably hospitable and attentive to strangers; they are sociable also amongst themselves, and fond in the extreme of convivial amusements."
1796 – Attorney-General Jonathan Sewell reports the District of Montreal is satisfied with British rule, but that the French Minister to Washington, Pierre Adet, deludes the people with the statement that France had conquered Spain, Italy and Austria and will shortly attack Great Britain through her colonies.
1796 – The Montreal Library, the first public library in the city, is founded.
1796 – January – At a general election in Lower Canada, less than half the old members are returned. Some are defeated for preferring English as the language of Parliament.
1797 – January 18 – A weekly mail is established between Canada and the United States.
1797 – January 18 – This notice appears in the Quebec Gazette: "A mail for the upper counties, comprehending Niagara and Detroit, will be closed, at this office on Monday, 30th instant, at four o'clock in the evening, to be forwarded, from Montreal, by the annual winter express, on Thursday, 2nd February next."
1803 – The central section of the present-day Villa Maria is built. It was the first residence of James Monk.
1803 – June – Christ Church destroyed by fire.
1803 – Aug 2 – As result of the war between France and England, Canada renews the Alien Act.
1803-15 – With the Napoleonic Wars comes a demand for large amounts of squared timber for shipbuilding. Montreal is able to fulfil the demand, and this expansion of the city's economic base is reflected in a rise in population to 26,154 by the year 1825.
1809 – November 3 – John Molson's steamboat PS Accommodation sails from Montreal to Quebec. It is 85 feet over all, has a 6 horse-power engine, makes the distance in 36 hours, but stops at night and reaches Quebec on the 6th. The PS Accommodation is the second steam-oat in America and probably in the world. The fare for an adult is £2.10s.od =$10.
1812 – June 18 – The United States declares war against Great Britain over territorial disputes in Canada (War of 1812). There are 4,000 British troops in Canada. Four Canadian battalions are assembled.
1812 – July 11 – U.S. troops invade Canada.
1812 – August 20 – Launch of John Molson's second steamboat, the "Swiftsure", at Montreal.
1816 – May 14 – Thomas A. Turner and Robert Armour, Esq., are appointed commissioners for the improvement of internal navigation between Montreal and Lachine, under the Provincial Act 48 George III,c.19.
1821 – The British garrison starts the construction of the Fort de l'Île Sainte-Hélène. It is completed in 1823 and partially rebuilt in 1863 after a fire as a preventive measure against an eventual American attack. The garrison leaves the island in 1870.
1821 - John Molson's Mansion House Hotel on Rue St. Paul, built 1815, is rebuilt after a fire.
1822 – The first iron bridge is erected on March 8.
1822 – May 1 – The Montreal General Hospital building is completed; Medical staff: Dr. John Stevenson, A.F. Holmes, William Robertson and William Caldwell.
1822 – In September, a whale (42 feet 8 inches in length, 6 feet across the back, and 7 feet deep) finds its way up the Saint Lawrence River. It remains off the city for several days, the river being too shallow for it to go back downriver.
1824 – Recollet Convent opens as a school for Irish children.
1824 – Founding of the Medical Association of Montreal.
1825 – The Lachine Canal is opened, and new industries spring up in the St. Antoine ward area as a direct outcome of the easier transport of goods. Shipping immediately increases and, along with the destruction of the city walls, Montreal comes to be an economic, rather than military, city. Gradually, the city's harbour facilities expand. In 1830 the wharves are rudimentary and stretched for only a short distance along De la Commune Street. By 1848 the wharves are made of dressed stone and extend for over two miles along the riverfront.
1825 – Maison Joseph Dagenais built.
1825 – First permanent theatre building in Montreal, Theatre Royal, is built by John Molson to attract bigger names to the city, which lacked such a venue. It costs the magnate $30,000. The building is demolished in 1844 and the site was used for the Bonsecours Market. Another venue, also called Theatre Royal, was built not far away in Old Montreal; this building, too, no longer exists.
1837 – Lieu historique national de Sir George-Étienne Cartier built. In 1848, Cartier buys the house, where he lives until 1871. It was a hotel after 1871 and in 1973 the house was bought by the federal government.
1837 – Britain refuses to grant more home rule in Canada, which leads to the Rebellions of 1837.
1840 – April 6 – First meeting to organize the new Board of Trade, Montreal; Hon. Peter McGill in the chair. A committee is named to secure incorporation. Austin Cuvillier is the chairman and James Holmes the secretary at $100 per annum for services, room, fuel and lights.
1841 – January – Provisional directors of the Mercantile Library Association, Montreal, elected.
1841 – There are now at least 6,500 Irish Catholics in Montreal. Most of the immigrants to Montreal settle in Griffintown, particularly in the area west of McGill Street (Montreal). In this district, the area between the Lachine Railroad and the Lachine Canal becomes a slum.
1841 – West Bell Tower of Notre-Dame Basilica (Montreal), called "Perseverance" and housing the 10,900 kg bell "Le Gros Bourdon" / "Jean-Baptiste", completed.
1843 – The first labour strike in Canada occurs. The Lachine Canal was widened in the 1840s under conditions of bitter conflict between contractors and Irish labourers. Working 16 hours a day for low wages, labourers were paid in company scrip that could only be exchanged in company stores.
1843 – Superior Joseph-Vincent Quiblier authorizes construction of St. Patrick's Church for the city's English-speaking Roman Catholics. Pierre Louis Morin designs this church with the help of the Jesuit Félix Martin.
1843 – Foundation of the religious congregation of the Sisters of Providence by Émilie Gamelin.
1843 – Foundation of the religious congregation Saints-Noms-de-Jésus-et-de-Marie.
1844 – The Mercantile Library Association purchases the "Montreal Library".
1844 – Government moves from Kingston to Montreal.
1854 – St. Ann's Church is consecrated, becoming the centre of Griffintown life; it opens on December 8 (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) and was designed by John Ostell. The Sulpicians donated the land for the church and provided the Irish-born pastors: Father Michael O'Brien, Father Michael O'Farrell and Father James Hogan (priest 1867–1884). Some residents of Griffintown claim that St. Ann's ("down the hill") was actually more of a center for the Irish in Montreal than St. Patrick's Basilica, Montreal's ("up the hill") was, since most of the city's Irish lived in Griffintown.
1856 – The Allan's four steamships, between Montreal and Liverpool bring 3,031 passengers, Westward (average voyage 13 days).
1856 – June 9 – Twenty-six vessels in port at Montreal
1856 – September 16 – Balloon ascension from Griffintown, in the "Canada"
1856 – The Grand Trunk Railway begins through passenger service between Montreal and Toronto on October 27 with great celebrations being held in Kingston to celebrate this accomplishment. The first passenger train leaves Toronto and travels to Montréal in 14 hours.
1858 – January 27 – The Queen names Ottawa the seat of government
1858 – January 28 – Dorcas Society of the United Presbyterian Church is founded.
1858 – February 20 – In Griffintown, beds stand in three feet of water
1858 – A group of 158 members left the Institut canadien de Montréal to found the Institut Canadien-français de Montréal, which opted to obey the doctrine of the Catholic clergy and not to lend books judged immoral by it.
1858 – Cathédrale Saint-Jacques (now part of UQAM) built.
1858 – Édifice Edmonstone, Allan & Co. built.
1858 – Riots and street fights run rampant through Griffintown on election day when D'Arcy McGee is chosen to represent the Montreal West riding, including Griffintown, in the federal government.
1861 – Population of Montreal, with suburbs 101,602; of the city only, 91,169.; Montreal's increase in 30 years – 76%.
1861 – January – British troops ordered to Canada.
1861 – January 18 – A meeting in Montreal, respecting extradition of John Anderson, a slave charged with murder, is addressed by Hon. Messrs. Dorion, Drummond and Holton, Revds. W. Bond, Cordner, Benjamin Holmes and John Dougall, Esqrs., and Dr. Hingston, and opposes surrendering Anderson.
1861 – February – John Anderson not to be surrendered without instructions from England.
1862 – May 20 – The Montreal Water Works are commenced.
1862 – May 24 – Ministry gazetted: Hon. J.S. MacDonald, L.V. Sicotte, J. Morris, A.A. Dorion, M.H. Foley, W. McDougall, W.P. Howland, N.J. Tessier, T.D. McGee, F. Evanturel, A. Wilson and J.J.C. Abbott, Q.C., solicitor general for Lower Canada
1863 – Bounties for USA recruits and substitutes often reach $2,000, inducing kidnapping and contraventions of the British Foreign Enlistment Act, for which heavy bail is exacted. The bonds are estreated, with profit to the Canadian Treasury.
1863 – Shipbuilding at Montreal $150,000 in value.
1863 – For 16 years Montreal's harbour has been open an average of 238 days: shortest season 224, longest 252 days.
1863 – A report on the Ottawa and French River Project shows, Chicago to Liverpool, 760 miles less, by Montreal, than by New York.
1864 – April 21 – In a published letter T.D. McGee says of Fenianism:- "Even the threat of assassination, covertly conveyed, and so eminently in keeping with the entire humbug, has no terrors for me. I trust I shall outlive these threats.
1864 – September – Confederation under discussion; some prefer Union, as tending to community of sentiment.
1864 – September 21 – Six companies of Scots Fusilier Guards leave Montreal. Present: Col Dyde, Col. Routh, Major Heward, Major Lyman, and Brigade Major McPherson.
1864 – In October, delegates from across British North America developed the terms for Confederation at a three-week conference in Quebec City. After the Quebec Conference, there remained the task of selling Confederation to the citizens.
1865 – July 11–14 – Convention at Detroit to promote a new Reciprocity treaty. Montrealers attend, but only to give desired information. The Convention passes resolutions favouring a new Reciprocity treaty.
1865 – September 27 – Delegation to Montreal to form an Intercolonial Board of Trade.
1874-78 – The Harbour Commission Building is constructed.
1875 – Creation of the town of Saint-Henri.
1875 – The village of Outremont separates from the village of Côte-Saint-Louis.
1875 – September 2 – The Guibord case occasions some ill feeling in Montreal, but by the energetic action of Dr. William Hales Hingston, the Mayor, there are no riots. The body of Louis-Joseph Guibord is brought to the Protestant cemetery.
1878 – Foundation of the Royal Golf Club of Montreal.
1878 – The village Saint-Louis of Mile End separates from the village of Côte-Saint-Louis on March 9.
1879 – Mary Gallagher is murdered by jealous rival Susan Kennedy on June 27. It is a sensational story. It's said Gallagher's ghost returns every seven years to haunt Griffintown. Kennedy was convicted and sentenced to be hanged on Dec. 5, 1879, but the sentence was commuted and Kennedy was transferred to the Kingston Penitentiary.
1879 – In a strange turn of events, Michael Flanagan, cleared of all charges regarding the death of Mary Gallagher, is loading barges in the Wellington Basin when he falls and drowns on December 5, the very same day Susan Kennedy was supposed to be hanged. He is interred in Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery (section N, lot number 00764)
1886 – On July 4, the first scheduled Canadian Pacific Railway transcontinental passenger train reaches Vancouver, after travelling for five days, 19 hours. It is the first scheduled train to cross Canada from sea to sea.
1892 – March 8 – The followers of Hon. Honoré Mercier are defeated at the polls by large majorities. Montreal elects only Conservatives, Hon. J.S. Hall and Messrs. Martineau, Auge, Parizeau, Morris and Kennedy, with majorities from 132 to 2,307.
1892 – April 2 – Secret college societies are condemned at the McGill convocation.
1892 – April 3 – Bonsecours Market sustains its fourth serious fire. The uninsured loss is $20,000. Many firefighters are narrowly saved from death.
1892 – Value of Canada's registered shipping $32,510,775
1892 – April 9 – Charles Glackmeyer (1820–1892), for 40 years Montreal's City Clerk (1859–1891), dies.
1892 – June 28- July 1 The Second Congress of Chambers of Commerce of the Empire, held in London, England, at which Sir Donald A. Smith and Peter Redpath, Esq., represent the Montreal Board of Trade, while favouring closer commercial relations between the Mother Country and dependencies, regards preferential protection as impolitic and inconsistent with economic principles. The Congress favors an imperial commercial code, higher commercial education, decimal money, common weights and measures, and penny postage throughout the Empire.
1892 – July – Sir Donald Smith desires the inauguration of the Royal Hospital (costing Lord Mount-Stephen and himself $1,000,000) to be a simple taking of possession by the lame and the sick, for whom it is intended.
1892 – July 19 Montreal grants thirty years' franchise to the Montreal Street Railway Company.
1892 – December 16 Founding of the Montreal Women's Club.
1892 – December 31 – Montreal's past year expediture on roads was $959,866.79
1892 – December 31 – There have been 1,688 insolvencies with $13,766,191 of liabilities in Canada in twelve months.
1892 – The era of public transportation in Montreal begins with the inauguration of the electric tram. The trams constitute a practical way to get from one end of the city to the other, especially for workers. They also make possible the development of new neighbourhoods, since workers can now live at some distance from their workplaces.
1897 – A survey of living conditions is conducted by Mr. Herbert Brown Ames. He points out the discrepancy in living conditions between wealthy areas of Montreal ('the upper city') and the areas inhabited by the working class ('the city below the hill'): "The sanitary accommodation of 'the city below the hill' is a disgrace to any nineteenth century city on this or any other continent. I presume there is hardly a house in all the upper city without modern plumbing, and yet in the lower city not less than half the homes have indoor water-closet privileges. In Griffintown only one home in four is suitably equipped, beyond the canal (in Pointe-Saint-Charles) it is but little better. Our city by-law prohibits the erection of further out-door closets, but it contains no provision for eradicating those already in use. With sewers in almost every street, no excuse for permitting this state of affairs to continue now exists, except it lies in neglect and in greed."
1897 – Foundation of Builders' Exchange, which becomes the Montreal Construction Association,
1899 – October 30 – The First Canadian Contingent of the Boer War sets sail to South Africa on the SS Sardinian of the Allan Line, bearing Canada's initial quota of fighting men, including the men of "E Company" of Montreal.
1899 – In the afternoon of November 21, Montrealers see their first car. At the wheel of this first steam-powered automobile is Ucal-Henri Dandurand, accompanied by Mayor Raymond Préfontaine. They descend steep Côte du Beaver Hall without difficulty and climb back up through the streets in the same fashion. The first car weighs between 500 and 600 pounds and reaches the dizzying speed of 15 to 20 km per hour.
1901 – Population of Montreal city is around 267,730 inhabitants.
1901 – The city counted 1033 men and 4 women in the Chinese community. Clustered together along Saint Laurent Boulevard and De la Gauchetière Street, various Chinese establishments also serve as living quarters for the first Chinese Montrealers and, from the end of the 19th century onwards, constitute a distinctive neighbourhood: Chinatown.
1905 – A bylaw makes Saint Laurent Boulevard the dividing line between the city's eastern and western sections. Street numbers begin at the boulevard and continue outward, with street names being suffixed by West or East, depending on their orientation.
1905 – Annexation of Villeray village to Montreal on September 11.
1905 – Annexation of Saint-Henri to Montreal on November 27.
1930 – The foundation of the monument of Jean Vauquelin (1728–1772) – defender of Louisbourg and Quebec City – is laid in Montreal; sculptor Paul-Eugène Benet. The Vauquelin statue and Nelson's Column face each other, just as the French and English colonial forces did in days gone by.
1930 – Beginning of commercial flights from Montreal.
2002 – Montreal is merged with the 27 surrounding municipalities on the Île de Montréal on January 1. The merger creates a unified city covering the entire Île de Montréal. Soon, this move proves unpopular.
2002 – Official reopening of the Lachine Canal exclusively for pleasure boating, May 17.
2012 - Charbonneau Commission begins examining corruption in Montreal civic governance and collusion among major engineering and construction firms bidding for municipal contracts.
2012 - Gérald Tremblay steps down as mayor in November after allegations of serious irregularities in party financing. Michael Applebaum becomes interim mayor until municipal elections in November 2013
2013 - Michael Applebaum is arrested and indicted with 14 charges including fraud and corruption. He steps down. City councillors elect Laurent Blanchard to serve as mayor for the four months remaining before the municipal elections.