Westmount, Quebec

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"Westmount" redirects here. For other uses, see Westmount (disambiguation).
Westmount
City
Upper Westmount and Westmount Summit seen from King George Park.
Upper Westmount and Westmount Summit seen from King George Park.
Motto: Robur meum civium fides
(My strength is the faithfulness of my citizens)
Location on the Island of Montreal.  (Outlined areas indicate demerged municipalities).
Location on the Island of Montreal.
(Outlined areas indicate demerged municipalities).
Westmount is located in Southern Quebec
Westmount
Westmount
Location in southern Quebec.
Coordinates: 45°29′N 73°36′W / 45.483°N 73.600°W / 45.483; -73.600Coordinates: 45°29′N 73°36′W / 45.483°N 73.600°W / 45.483; -73.600[1]
Country  Canada
Province  Quebec
Region Montreal
RCM None
Founded 1874
Constituted January 1, 2006
Government[2][3]
 • Mayor Peter F. Trent
 • Federal riding Westmount—Ville-Marie
 • Prov. riding Westmount–Saint-Louis
Area[2][4]
 • Total 4.00 km2 (1.54 sq mi)
 • Land 4.02 km2 (1.55 sq mi)
  There is an apparent
contradiction between two
authoritative sources
Population (2011)[4]
 • Total 19,931
 • Density 4,952.8/km2 (12,828/sq mi)
 • Pop 2006-2011 Decrease 2.7%
 • Dwellings 9,452
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal code(s) H3Z
Area code(s) 514 and 438
Highways Route 138
Website www.westmount.org

Westmount is an affluent on-island suburb on the Island of Montreal. It is an enclave of the city of Montreal, in southwestern Quebec, Canada, with a population of 19,931 as of the Canada 2011 Census.

Westmount is home to schools, an arena, a pool, a public library and a number of parks, including Westmount Park, King George Park (also known as Murray Hill Park) and Westmount Summit. The city operates its own electricity distribution company Westmount Light & Power (Hydro-Westmount). The city is also the location of two Canadian Forces Primary Reserves: The Royal Montreal Regiment and 34th Signals Regiment.

Traditionally, the community of Westmount was an enclave of wealthy anglophones, having been at one point the richest community in Canada. It now competes with Rockliffe Park in Ottawa, West Vancouver outside of Vancouver, Lawrence Park, Forest Hill, Rosedale, and The Bridle Path, all in Toronto, for the title.

History[edit]

Hurtubise House.

From the moment the first French colonists settled in the area in the middle of the seventeenth century, this area was known by several names including La Petite Montagne, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Côte-Saint-Antoine. A former farmhouse from this era, Hurtubise House, still stands and is currently under renovation.

The Village of Côte St-Antoine was first incorporated in 1874. It later became the Town of Côte St-Antoine.

It was renamed Westmount, in 1895, reflecting the geographical location of the city on the southwest slope of Mount Royal and the presence of a large English-speaking population.

During the twentieth century, Westmount became a wealthy Montreal suburb; a small city dotted with many green spaces. Architect Robert Findlay, a resident in the early twentieth century, designed many municipal buildings in the city, including the library, Westmount City Hall and several other buildings of public order.

In the twentieth century, Westmount was home to some of Montreal's wealthiest families including the Bronfmans and the Molsons. This made the city a symbolic targets of Front de libération du Québec terrorist bombings in the 1960s, culminating in the 1970 October Crisis.

Following the death of former Quebec Premier René Lévesque in 1987, the city of Montreal renamed Dorchester Boulevard to René Lévesque Boulevard. After the city of Montreal changed the name, Westmount retained the name of Dorchester on their portion, as did Montréal-Est.

Merger with Montreal

In 2001, while trying to prevent Westmount from being amalgamated into the city of Montreal, Westmount Mayor Peter Trent and city council asserted that the city was a designated anglophone institution and should not be merged into francophone greater Montreal. In response to this opposition, Municipal Affairs Minister Louise Harel said that Westmount's resistance "reeked of colonialism" and that the opposition was an "ethnic project", statements for which she would refuse to apologize.[5] When asked for comment, Quebec Premier Bernard Landry said the minister had his full support and that the opposition was little more than Quebec bashing.[6] Several federalist public figures criticized Landry's statement: Jean Charest called it insulting to the intelligence of the citizens of Quebec; Joseph Gabary, president of the Quebec Chapter of the Canadian Jewish Congress, called the language "crude"; Alliance Quebec also criticized the premier for singling out the city for special criticism.[7]

On January 1, 2002, as part of the 2002–2006 municipal reorganization of Montreal, it was merged into the city of Montreal and became a borough. However, after a change of government and a 2004 referendum, it was re-constituted as an independent city on January 1, 2006. Nevertheless, it remains part of the urban agglomeration of Montreal and the bulk of its municipal taxes go to the Agglomeration Council, which oversees activities common to all municipalities on the Island of Montreal (e.g. police, fire protection, public transit) even after the demerger.

Geography[edit]

The city is roughly 4 km2 (1.5 sq mi)., and occupies an area of land on the south face of the southern peak of Mount Royal. The city, most of which is on steep terrain, extends from the summit to the end of the narrow plateau at the foot of the mountain.

Cityscape[edit]

Ascension of Our Lord Parish,
serving the English Catholic Community.
Greene Avenue in downtown Westmount.

Most of the city is residential. Homes increase in size and value toward the top of the mountain, with the largest and most expensive being on or near Summit Circle.

Notable buildings include Place Alexis Nihon and the Westmount Square complex, which was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and funded largely by Westmount resident Samuel Bronfman, the founder of the Seagram liquor empire.

There are several small commercial districts on Sherbrooke Street from the city's western boundary to the intersection of Sherbrooke Street and Victoria Avenue ("Victoria Village"), on Saint Catherine Street across from Place Alexis Nihon, on Greene Avenue and on De Maisonneuve Boulevard near the Atwater metro station.

"Westmount Adjacent" is term applied by realtors to a district in the borough of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, located in between the city of Westmount, the Décarie Expressway, De Maisonneuve Boulevard and the lands of Villa Maria private Catholic girls school.[8]

Parks[edit]

The Westmount Lawn bowling green.

There are two main parks within the city: King George Park and Westmount Park. A forest area is located at Westmount Summit, within Summit Circle.

Westmount Park

Located between Sherbrooke Street and De Maisonneuve Boulevard to the north and south, and Melville and Lansdowne Avenue to the east and west, this 1,141,002 sq ft (106,002.6 m2) park is the second largest in Westmount.

The landscaping design was undertaken in 1912 by M.J. Manning, and comprises large playing fields at the east and south sides, and Westmount Arena and adjacent swimming pool at the southesast corner. The central area contains an extensive playground, foot paths, ponds and wading pools, and tennis courts. Westmount Library, built in 1897,[9] Victoria Hall, and a large greenhouse are located on the north side.[10]

Government[edit]

Municipal

Since regaining its status as a city, Westmount is governed by a City Council made up of a mayor and eight "district" councillors. The current mayor of Westmount is Peter Trent. In addition to the local city council, Westmount is represented by its mayor on the Montreal Agglomeration Council. The Westmount Municipal Election 2013 was held on November 3, 2013 as part of the Quebec municipal elections, 2013.

Westmount City Council
District number Councillor
District 1 Patrick Martin
District 2 Philip A. Cutler
District 3 Victor M. Drury
District 4 Rosalind Davis
District 5 Christina Smith
District 6 Nicole Forbes
District 7 Cynthia Lulham
District 8 Theodora Samiotis
Provincial and Federal

Throughout Quebec, Westmount is known as an overwhelmingly Liberal riding, both federally and provincially.

On the federal level, Westmount is represented in the Westmount—Ville-Marie riding. The riding was won by Marc Garneau in the 2008 federal election.

Provincially, the city is represented in the riding of Westmount–Saint-Louis by MNA Jacques Chagnon of the Quebec Liberal Party.

Demographics[edit]

Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1966 24,107 —    
1971 23,600 −2.1%
1976 22,153 −6.1%
1981 20,480 −7.6%
1986 20,011 −2.3%
1991 20,239 +1.1%
1996 20,420 +0.9%
2001 19,727 −3.4%
2006 20,494 +3.9%
2011 19,931 −2.7%
[11]

As of the Canada 2011 Census, the population was 19,931.

The income per-capita for a household is $210,120[12] one of the highest in North America. The largest occupation categories were 33.0% employed in management occupations, 20.3% in business, finance, and administration occupations, and 15.4% in social science, education, government service and religion occupations.

There were 8,460 households out of which 26.2% had children living with them, 47.5% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female lone-parent as a householder, and 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average married-couple family size was 3.1.

In the city the population was spread out with 15.7% under the age of 15, 11.9% from 15 to 24, 22.9% from 25 to 44, 28.6% from 45 to 64, and 20.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 83.7 males. For every 100 females age 15 and over, there were 80.2 males.

About 27% of the population is foreign-born, most having immigrated since 1991. Visible minorities constitute 14% of the population (Chinese 3%, Arab 2.8%, Latin American 2.1%, West Asian 1.6%, South Asian 1.3%).[13] Residents declared their religions as Catholic (31.0%), Protestant (21.5%), Christian Orthodox (3.7%), Jewish (3.2%), Muslim (2.7%) and other Christian (1.9%).

Language
Victoria Hall in Westmount.

Westmount's residents are predominantly bilingual: 77% can speak both English and French, 20% of the population can speak only English, 2% can speak only French.

The 2011 census found that 54.9% of residents spoke English, and 20% spoke French, as their mother tongue.[14]

Mother tongue Population Percentage
English 10,835 54.94%
French 3,950 20.03%
English and French 385 1.95%
English and a non-official language 155 0.78%
French and a non-official language 90 0.45%
English, French and a non-official language 50 0.25%
Spanish 560 2.83%
Arabic 510 2.58%
Chinese 425 2.15%
German 285 1.44%
Russian 280 1.41%
Italian 265 1.33%
Mother tongue Population Percentage
Persian 225 1.14%
Hungarian 185 0.93%
Romanian 165 0.83%
Greek 150 0.76%
Polish 140 0.71%
Tagalog 100 0.50%
Yiddish 100 0.50%
Portuguese 95 0.48%
Dutch 65 0.33%
Hebrew 55 0.28%
Armenian 50 0.25%
Ukrainian 50 0.25%

Education[edit]

The city is home to two CEGEPs: the public anglophone Dawson College and the private anglophone Marianopolis College.

English-language public schools in Westmount are operated by the English Montreal School Board. These include Westmount High School, its sister elementary school Westmount Park School and Roslyn Elementary School, which is significant for introducing the first French Immersion Program on the Island of Montreal in 1968.[15]

Westmount is also home to several private schools including, including the Miss Edgar's and Miss Cramp's School, The Study and the French-language Villa Sainte-Marcelline for girls and Selwyn House School for boys.

Sports[edit]

Westmount was home of the Montreal Arena, the third arena in history to be built specifically for hockey. It was the home rink for the famous Montreal Wanderers, one of the great teams of the early hockey era, as well as the Montreal Canadiens. The arena burned down in 1918, causing the Wanderers to disband.

Westmount's Westmount Arena is part of a joint arena and pool complex built in 1959. The arena honours early Montreal ice hockey teams with replica Stanley Cup banners. It is home to the Westmount Wings and the Westmount Predators.

Westmount is also home of the oldest active rugby club in North America, the Westmount Rugby Club.

In addition, the city's swim team, the Westmount Dolphins,[16] won the 2007 Section B Alps finals.

Westmount is the birthplace of tennis star Eugenie Bouchard

Notable people[edit]

Residence

Westmount is or was the residence of:

Place of birth

Westmount is the birthplace of:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reference number 388474 of the Commission de toponymie du Québec (French)
  2. ^ a b Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l'Occupation du territoire: Westmount
  3. ^ Parliament of Canada Federal Riding History: WESTMOUNT--VILLE-MARIE (Quebec)
  4. ^ a b 2011 Statistics Canada Census Profile: Westmount, Quebec
  5. ^ "Harel refuses to apologize for colonialism comment". CBC News. June 21, 2001.
  6. ^ "Landry calls opposition to merger Quebec-bashing" Globe and Mail June 22, 2001
  7. ^ "PQ brass gang up on Westmount"; Nicolas van Praet. The Gazette. Montreal, Que.: Jun 22, 2001. pg. A.1.
  8. ^ Rachel Louise, Barry (2006–2009). "Notre-Dame-de-Grace". Retrieved 2009-06-08. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Bibliothèque publique de Westmount | Westmount Public Library". Westlib.org. 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  10. ^ "Ville de Westmount | City of Westmount". Westmount.org. 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  11. ^ "Profil sociodéographique: Ville de Westmount" (in French). Ville de Montréal. 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ "2006 Community Profile — Westmount, Quebec". Canada 2006 census. Statistics Canada. 2006. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  14. ^ "Westmount, V". Detailed Mother Tongue (103), Knowledge of Official Languages (5), Age Groups (17A) and Sex (3) for the Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Divisions and Census Subdivisions, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data. Statistics Canada. 2007-11-20. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  15. ^ Doreen Lindsay (2009-03-05), "Rothman recalls pioneering language program." Westmount Examiner (Westmount). Retrieved 2013-09-24.
  16. ^ Westmount Dolphins
  17. ^ Block, Irwin (2011-03-04). "Former Westmount mayor dies at 87". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  18. ^ Money (2010-12-07). "Westmount (Montreal) - Canada’s wealthiest neighbourhoods". Money.ca.msn.com. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  19. ^ Meagher, John (January 30, 2003). "McGuire tells it like it is". The Gazette. 

External links[edit]