Economy of Montreal

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Tour de la Bourse (Stock Exchange Tower)

The Economy of Montreal is the second largest of all cities in Canada[1] and the first in Quebec.[2] The city is today a centre of commerce, industry, technology, culture, finance, and world affairs. In 2015, Metropolitan Montreal was responsible for $193 Billion CDN of Quebec's $370 Billion CDN GDP


St. James Street was Canada's financial centre during the first three-quarters of the 20th century.

Montreal became an important centre of trade early in its history and surpassed Quebec City in importance even before their populations became comparable. When Canada became part of the British Empire in 1763, it was already the centre of the North American Fur Trade. Over the course of the 19th century Montreal grew to become the economic centre of Canada as well as its most populous city.

Montreal and Toronto[edit]

Between the end of World War II and 1971, both Montreal and Toronto grew enormously in size. Between 1941 and 1951, Montreal's population grew by 20% and Toronto's by 25%.[3] Between 1951 and 1961, Montreal grew by 35% and Toronto 45%.[4] And from 1961 to 1971, Montreal grew by a little less than 20% and Toronto 30%.[5] In the early 1970s, 30 years after Toronto had begun challenging Montreal as the economic capital of Canada, Toronto surpassed Montreal in size. Indeed, the volume of stocks traded at the Toronto Stock Exchange surpassed that traded at the Montreal Stock Exchange in the 1940s.[6]


During the 1980s and early 1990s, Montreal experienced a slower rate of economic growth than many other major Canadian cities. By the late 1990s, however, Montreal's economic climate had improved, as new firms and institutions began to fill the traditional business and financial niches.[7] As the city celebrated its 350th anniversary in 1992, construction began on its two newest and largest skyscrapers : 1000 de La Gauchetière and 1250 René-Lévesque. Montreal's improving economic conditions allowed further enhancements of the city infrastructure, with the expansion of the metro system, construction of new skyscrapers and the development of new highways including the start of a ring road around the island. The city also attracted several international organizations towards moving their secretariats into Montreal's Quartier International.


Montreal industries include aerospace, electronic goods, pharmaceuticals, printed goods, software engineering, telecommunications, textile and apparel manufacturing, tobacco 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 ranked as the 4th largest centre in North America in terms of aerospace jobs.[8]

Port of Montreal[edit]

The Port of Montreal is the largest inland port in the world, handling 26 million tonnes of cargo annually.[9] 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,[10] and was home to the headquarters of the Canadian Pacific Railway until 1995.[11]

Video Game Industry[edit]

The video game industry is also growing rapidly in Montreal since 1997, coinciding with the opening of Ubisoft Montreal.[12] Recently, the city has attracted world leading game developers and publishers studios such as Ubisoft, EA, Eidos Interactive, Artificial Mind and Movement, Bioware, and Strategy First, mainly because video games jobs have been heavily subsidized by the provincial government. Every year, this industry generates billions of dollars and thousands of jobs in the Montreal area.[13]


Montreal is also a centre of film and television production. Five studios of the Academy Award-winning documentary producer National Film Board of Canada can be found here, as well as the head offices of Telefilm Canada, the national feature-length film and television funding agency. 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.[14][15][16] The city is also home to many recognized cultural, film and music festivals (Just For Laughs, Montreal Jazz 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.[17]

In 2006 Montreal was named a UNESCO City of Design, only one of three design capitals of the world (with the others being Berlin and Buenos Aires).[18] This distinguished title recognizes Montreal's design community. Since 2005 the city has also been home for the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (Icograda),[19] and the International Design Alliance (IDA).[20]

Organizational and Corporate Headquarters[edit]

The headquarters of the Canadian Space Agency are located in Longueuil, directly east of Montreal across the Saint Lawrence River.[21] Montreal also hosts the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO, a United Nations body);[22] the World Anti-Doping Agency (an Olympic body);[23] the International Air Transport Association (IATA);[24] and the International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (IGLCC),[25] as well as some 60 other international organizations in various fields (See below).

Air Canada Centre (French: Centre Air Canada), the headquarters of Air Canada
Molson Canadian beer making headquarters as seen from Old Montreal.

Several companies are headquartered in Greater Montreal including:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Metropolitan Toronto 1st with $209 Billion US in 2005, Metropolitan Montreal 2nd with $120 Billion US also in 2005. [1]
  2. ^ In 2015, Metropolitan Montreal was responsible for $193 Billion US of Quebec's $370 Billion USD GDP
  3. ^ Census of Canada, 1941, Census of Canada, 1951
  4. ^ Census of Canada, 1961
  5. ^ Census of Canada, 1971
  6. ^ Jacobs, Jane (1980). The Question of Separatism: Quebec and the Struggle Over Sovereignty, Chapter II (Montreal and Toronto) [2]
  7. ^ Brooke, James (2000-05-06). "Montreal Journal; No Longer Fading, City Booms Back Into Its Own". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  8. ^ "AEROSPACE: Metro Montreal 2003, Strategic Profile" (PDF). Montreal, Quebec: thomas finney. 1760. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-11-18. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  9. ^ "The Port of Montreal unveils its project, which will generate $3.4 billion in annual economic spinoffs for Montreal" (PDF). Press Release. Port of Montreal. April 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  10. ^ "Contact Us - CN Mailing Addresses". Canadian National Railway. Archived from the original on 2008-04-13. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  11. ^ Nemeth, Mary; Liz Warwick (December 4, 1995). "CP Rail Leaves Montreal". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  12. ^ IGN. IGN Retrieved 4 May 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail Retrieved 5 May 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ Retrieved 5 May 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ a b CIRQUE DU SOLEIL Retrieved 5 May 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "Montreal, Canada appointed a UNESCO City of Design". UNESCO. 2006-06-07. 
  19. ^ "CONTACT". About. Icograda. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  20. ^ "The International Design Alliance Settles in Montreal.". Business Services Industry. Canadian Corporate News. May 30, 2005. Retrieved 2008-08-01. [dead link]
  21. ^ "CSA Headquarters". Contact Us. Canadian Space Agency. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  22. ^ "ICAO Premises". International Civil Aviation Organization. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  23. ^ "Regional Offices". World Anti-Doping Agency. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  24. ^ "Our Offices". About Us. International Air Transport Association. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  25. ^ "Contact Us". International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on 2008-05-03. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  26. ^ "Investors Contacts." Air Canada. Retrieved on May 18, 2009.
  27. ^ "Contact Us." Air Transat. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  28. ^ Retrieved 5 May 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ "Contact Us." Bell Canada. Retrieved on August 24, 2009.
  30. ^ . Bombardier Retrieved 5 May 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. ^ . CAE Inc. Retrieved 5 May 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. ^ Retrieved 5 May 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ "Our Offices." Air Transat. Retrieved on February 09, 2011.
  34. ^ . HydroQuebec Retrieved 5 May 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  35. ^ . Mega Brands Retrieved 5 May 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. ^ . Merck Canada Retrieved 2 Oct 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  37. ^ "Our Locations." Molson. Retrieved on February 08, 2011.
  38. ^ . National Bank of Canada Retrieved 5 May 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  39. ^ . Power Corporation Retrieved 5 May 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  40. ^ "[3]." Pratt and Whitney Canada. Retrieved on February 09, 2011.
  41. ^ . Quebecor Retrieved 5 May 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  42. ^ . Rio Tinto Alcan Retrieved 5 May 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  43. ^ . Saputo Inc. Retrieved 5 May 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  44. ^ "Contact Us." SNC-Lavalin. Retrieved on February 08, 2011.
  45. ^ . Tembec Retrieved 5 May 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  46. ^ "Contact Us." Transat A.T. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  47. ^ "Access to Information." Via Rail. Retrieved on June 9, 2009.
  48. ^ "[4]." Pfizer Canada. Retrieved on May 9, 2015.
  49. ^ "[5]." Pharmascience. Retrieved on May 9, 2015.
  50. ^ "[6]." Novartis Canada. Retrieved on May 9, 2015.
  51. ^ "[7]." L'oreal Canada. Retrieved on May 9, 2015.
  52. ^ "Valeant Pharmaceuticals." Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Retrieved on May 9, 2015.
  53. ^ "Dollarama." Dollarama. Retrieved on May 9, 2015.
  54. ^ "Garda (security company)." Garda (security company). Retrieved on June 9, 2009.