Montreal | Wikipedia audio article

Montreal | Wikipedia audio article

August 14, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Montreal ( (listen) MUN-tree-AWL; French:
[mɔ̃ʁeal] (listen); officially Montréal) is the most populous municipality in the Canadian
province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. 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 centred 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. It has a distinct four-season continental
climate with warm to hot summers and cold, snowy winters.In 2016, the city had a population
of 1,704,694. Montreal’s metropolitan area had a population
of 4,098,927 and a population of 1,942,044 in the urban agglomeration, with all of the
municipalities on the Island of Montreal included. French is the city’s official language and
is the language spoken at home by 49.8% of the population of the city, followed by English
at 22.8% and 18.3% other languages (in the 2016 census, not including multi-language
responses). In the larger Montreal Census Metropolitan
Area, 65.8% of the population speaks French at home, compared to 15.3% who speak English. The agglomeration Montreal is one of the most
bilingual cities in Quebec and Canada, with over 59% of the population able to speak both
English and French. Montreal is the second-largest primarily French-speaking
city in the world, after Paris. It is situated 258 kilometres (160 mi) south-west
of Quebec City. Historically the commercial capital of Canada,
Montreal was surpassed in population and in economic strength by Toronto in the 1970s. It remains an important centre of commerce,
aerospace, transport, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, education, art, culture,
tourism, food, fashion, gaming, film, and world affairs. Montreal has the second-highest number of
consulates in North America, serves as the location of the headquarters of the International
Civil Aviation Organization, and was named a UNESCO City of Design in 2006. In 2017, Montreal was ranked the 12th most
liveable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit in its annual Global Liveability
Ranking, and the best city in the world to be a university student in the QS World University
Rankings. Montreal has hosted multiple international
conferences and events, including the 1967 International and Universal Exposition and
the 1976 Summer Olympics. It is the only Canadian city to have held
the Summer Olympics. In 2018, Montreal was ranked as a Alpha−
world city. As of 2016 the city hosts the Canadian Grand
Prix of Formula One, the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Just for Laughs festival.==Name==
In the Mohawk language, the island is called Tiohtià:ke Tsi. It is a name referring to the Lachine Rapids
to the island’s southwest or Ka-wé-no-te. It means “a place where nations and rivers
unite and divide”.In the Ojibwe language, the land is called Mooniyaang which means
“the first stopping place” and is part of the seven fires prophecy. The city was first named Ville Marie by European
settlers from La Flèche, or “City of Mary”, named for the Virgin Mary. Its current name comes from Mount Royal, the
triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. According to one theory, the name derives
from mont Réal, (Mont Royal in modern French, although in 16th-century French the terms
réal and royal were used interchangeably); Cartier’s 1535 diary entry, naming the mountain,
refers to le mont Royal. A possibility 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; this misconception has been dismissed by the Commission de toponymie du Québec.According
to the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the Commission de toponymie du
Québec, and the Geographical Names Board of Canada, the names of Canadian cities and
towns have only one official form. Thus, Montréal is officially spelled with
an accented é in both Canadian English and French. However, the accent in both Montreal and Quebec
are often omitted in common English usage.==History=====
Pre-European contact===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, an ethnicity
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”. Evidence of earlier occupation of the island,
such as those uncovered in 1642 during the construction of Fort Ville-Marie, have effectively
been removed.===Early European settlement (1600–1760)
===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 to be due to outmigration,
epidemics 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 Riviere and St.
Lawrence River, it is where present-day Pointe-à-Callière stands. On his 1616 map, Samuel de Champlain named
the island Lille de Villemenon, in honour of the sieur de Villemenon, a French dignitary
who was seeking the viceroyship of New France. In 1639 Jérôme Le Royer de La Dauversière
obtained the Seigneurial title to the Island of Montreal in the name of the Notre Dame
Society of Montreal 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 attacked
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 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.===Modern history (1761–present)===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 (~2.6 km2) from about 1850. By 1860, it was the largest municipality in
British North America and the undisputed economic and cultural centre of Canada.In the 19th
century maintaining Montreal’s drinking water became increasingly difficult with the rapid
increase in population. A majority of the drinking water was still
coming from the city’s harbor, which was busy and heavily trafficked leading to the deterioration
of the water within. In the mid 1840s the City of Montreal installed
a water system that would pump water from the St. Lawrence and into cisterns. The cisterns would then be transported to
the desired location. This was not the first water system of its
type in Montreal as there had been one in private ownership since 1801. In the middle of the 19th century water distribution
was carried out by “fontainiers”. The fountainiers would open and close water
valves outside of buildings, as directed, all over the city. As they lacked modern plumbing systems it
was impossible to connect all buildings at once and it also acted as a conservation method. The population was not finished rising yet
however, from 58,000 in 1852 it rose to 267,000 by 1901. 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, Queen Victoria herself
established Ottawa as the capital. The reasons were twofold; as it was located
more in the interior of the nation, it was less susceptible to US attack. Perhaps more importantly, as it lay on the
border between French and English Canada, the small town of Ottawa was seen as a compromise
between Montreal, Toronto, Kingston and Quebec City, who were all vying to become the young
nation’s official capital. An internment camp was set up at Immigration
Hall in Montreal from August 1914 to November 1918.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, part of the Allied forces,
was furious over Houde’s stand and held him at a prison camp until 1944. That year the government decided to institute
conscription to expand the armed forces and fight the Nazis. (See Conscription Crisis of 1944.)Montreal
was the official residence of the Luxembourg royal family in exile during World War II.By
1951 Montreal’s population had surpassed one million. However, Toronto’s growth had begun challenging
Montreal’s status as the economic capital of Canada. Indeed, the volume of stocks traded at the
Toronto Stock Exchange had already surpassed that traded at the Montreal Stock Exchange
in the 1940s. 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 the site of the 1989 École Polytechnique
massacre, Canada’s worst mass shooting, where 25-year-old Marc Lépine shot and killed 14
people, all of them women, and wounding 14 other people before shooting himself at École
Polytechnique. 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, totalling 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, construction of the
new Réseau électrique métropolitain, gentrification of Griffintown, subway line extensions and
the purchase of new subway cars, the complete revitalization and expansion of Trudeau International
Airport, the completion of Quebec Autoroute 30, the reconstruction of the Champlain Bridge,
and the construction of a new toll bridge to Laval are helping Montreal continue to
grow.==Geography==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 metres
(761 feet) 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.===Climate===
Montreal is classified as a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification: Dfa/Dfb). Summers are, on the whole, warm and humid
with a daily maximum average of 26 to 27 °C (79 to 81 °F) in July; temperatures in excess
of 30 °C (86 °F) are common. Conversely, cold fronts can bring crisp, drier
and windy weather in the early and later parts of summer. Winter 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. 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 late
April to late October. However, snow can fall in early to mid-October
as well as early to mid-May on rare occasions. 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 (99.7 °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 7 a.m. on January 10, 1859, where it registered at −42
°C (−44 °F).Annual precipitation is around 1,000 mm (39 in), including an average of
about 210 cm (83 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 2,050 hours of sunshine
annually, with summer being the sunniest season, though slightly wetter than the others in
terms of total precipitation—mostly from thunderstorms.==Architecture==For over a century and a half, Montreal was
the industrial and financial centre of Canada. This legacy has left a variety of buildings
including factories, elevators, warehouses, mills, and refineries, that today provide
an invaluable insight into the city’s history, especially in the downtown area and the Old
Port area. There are 50 National Historic Sites of Canada,
more than any other city.Some of the city’s earliest still-standing buildings date back
to the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Although most are clustered around the Old
Montreal area, such as the Sulpician Seminary adjacent to Notre Dame Basilica that dates
back to 1687, and Château Ramezay, which was built in 1705, examples of early colonial
architecture are dotted throughout the city. Situated in Lachine, the Le Ber-Le Moyne House
is the oldest complete building in the city. In Point St. Charles visitors can see the
Maison Saint-Gabriel, which can trace its history back to 1698. There are many historic buildings in Old Montreal
in their original form: Notre Dame of Montreal Basilica, Bonsecours Market, and the 19th‑century
headquarters of all major Canadian banks on St. James Street (French: Rue Saint Jacques). Montreal’s earliest buildings are characterized
by their uniquely French influence and grey stone construction. 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 the city’s 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 Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome U.S. Pavilion, now
the Montreal Biosphere, and Moshe Safdie’s striking Habitat 67 apartment complex. The Montreal Metro has public artwork by some
of the biggest names in Quebec culture. 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 RESO) is an important tourist attraction. It is the set of interconnected shopping complexes
(both above and below ground). This impressive network connects pedestrian
thoroughfares to universities, as well as hotels, restaurants, bistros, subway stations
and more, in and around downtown with 32 kilometres (20 miles) of tunnels over twelve square kilometres
(4.6 square miles) of the most densely populated part of Montreal.==Neighbourhoods==The city is composed of 19 large boroughs,
subdivided into neighbourhoods. The boroughs are:
Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grace, The Plateau Mount 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, The South West and Verdun in the south. Many of these boroughs were independent cities
that were forced to be 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 gentrified Quartier international and Cité Multimédia
as well as the Quartier des Spectacles which is 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/Concordia U area home to thousands of students at Concordia University. The borough also comprises most of Mount Royal
Park, Saint Helen’s Island, and Notre-Dame Island. The Plateau Mount Royal borough was a working
class francophone area. The largest neighbourhood is the Plateau (not
to be confused with the whole borough), which is 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 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 South West borough was home to much of
the city’s industry during the late 19th and early-to-mid 20th century. The borough included Goose Village and is
home to the traditionally working-class Irish neighbourhoods of Griffintown and Point 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-Grace
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===Old Montreal 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 buggies 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 site of the Port of Montreal,
but its shipping operations have been moved to a larger site downstream, leaving the former
location as a recreational and historical area maintained by Parks Canada. The new Port of Montreal is Canada’s largest
container port and the largest inland port on Earth.===Mount Royal===The mountain is the site of Mount Royal Park,
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 John the Baptist Society 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.==Demographics==According to Statistics Canada, at the 2016
Canadian census the city had 1,704,694 inhabitants. A total of 4,098,927 lived in the Montreal
Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) at the same 2016 census, up from 3,934,078 at the 2011
census (within 2011 CMA boundaries), which is a population growth of 4.19% from 2011
to 2016. In the 2016 census, children under 14 years
of age (691,345) constituted 16.9%, while inhabitants over 65 years of age (671,690)
numbered 16.4% of the total population of the CMA. 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 34.2% of the population in the 2016 census. The five most numerous visible minorities
are Blacks (10.3%), Arabs, mainly Lebanese (7.3%), Latin Americans (4.1%), South Asians
(3.3%), and Chinese (3.3%). Visible minorities are defined by the Canadian
Employment Equity Act as “persons, other than Aboriginals, who are non-white in colour”.According
to a report published by the city, the population of the island was 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
was estimated to number 3.86 million people, suggesting that the area would surpass the
four million threshold by 2012. The four million landmark however, wasn’t
reached until 2014. In 2015, the Greater Montreal population was
estimated at 4,060,700. 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 (0.7%). 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 because of descendants of original French
settlers, and others of Italian and Irish origins. Protestants which include Anglican Church
in Canada, United Church of Canada, 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.==Economy==Montreal has the second-largest economy of
Canadian cities based on GDP and the largest in Quebec. In 2014, Metropolitan Montreal was responsible
for C$118.7 billion of Quebec’s C$340.7 billion GDP. The city is today an important centre of commerce,
finance, industry, technology, culture, world affairs and is the headquarters of the Montreal
Exchange. In recent decades, the city was widely seen
as weaker than that of Toronto and other major Canadian cities, but it has recently experienced
a revival. 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 transshipment 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. Montreal is also a global hub for artificial
intelligence research with many companies involved in this sector, such as Facebook
AI Research (FAIR), Microsoft Research, Google Brain, DeepMind, Samsung Research and Thales
Group (cortAIx).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 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 plays an important role in the finance
industry. The sector employs approximately 100,000 people
in the Greater Montreal Area. As of March 2018, Montreal is ranked in the
13th position in the Global Financial Centres Index, a ranking of the competitiveness of
financial centres around the world. The city is home to the Montreal Exchange,
the oldest stock exchange in Canada and the only financial derivatives exchange in the
country. 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. The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec,
an instutitonal investor managing assets totalling $248 billion CAD, has its main business office
in Montreal. Many foreign subsidiaries operating in the
financial sector also have offices in Montreal, including HSBC, Aon, Société Générale,
BNP Paribas and AXA.Several companies are headquartered in Greater Montreal Area including
Rio Tinto Alcan, 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 Château, Power Corporation, Cellcom Communications, 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., Laurentian Bank of Canada,
National Bank of Canada, Transat A.T., Via Rail, Novacam Technologies, SOLABS, Dollarama,
Rona and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. 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 decided to close the refining centre
in 2010, throwing hundreds out of work and causing an increased dependence on foreign
refineries for eastern Canada.==Culture==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 Montreal
International Jazz Festival, which is the largest jazz festival in the world. Other popular festivals include the Just for
Laughs (largest comedy festival in the world), Montreal World Film Festival, Les FrancoFolies
de Montréal, Nuits d’Afrique, Pop Montreal, Divers/Cité, Fierté Montréal and the Montreal
Fireworks Festival. There are many smaller festivals, totalling
over 100 each year in Montreal. 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.===Sports===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 has
won 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, and with
the Ottawa Senators, the closest team geographically. 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 seven
times, most recently in 2010. The Alouettes has had two periods on hiatus. During the second one, the Montreal Machine
played in the World League of American Football in 1991 and 1992. 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. Discussions about MLB returning to Montreal
remain active. The Montreal Impact are the city’s professional
soccer team. They play at a soccer-specific stadium called
Saputo Stadium. They 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 hosted
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 and the National Basketball Association
(NBA) have been in early discussions for an expansion franchise located in the city.==Media==Montreal is Canada’s second-largest media
market, and the centre of francophone Canada’s media industry. 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 three daily newspapers, the English-language
Montreal Gazette and the French-language Le Journal de Montréal, and Le Devoir; another
French-language daily, La Presse, became an online daily in 2018. 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.==Government==The head of the city government in Montreal
is the mayor, who is first among equals in the city council. 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
Montreal Metropolitan Community (Communauté Métropolitaine de Montréal, CMM), 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.Montreal is the seat of the judicial district of Montreal,
which includes the city and the other communities on the island.==Crime==
The overall crime rate in Montreal has declined, with a few notable exceptions, with murders
at the lowest rate since 1972 (23 murders in 2016). Sex crimes have increased 14.5 percent between
2015 and 2016 and fraud cases have increased by 13 percent over the same period. The major criminal organizations active in
Montreal are the Rizzuto crime family, Hells Angels and West End Gang.==Education==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 (English)===McGill University is one of Canada’s leading
post-secondary institutions, and widely regarded as a world-class institution. In 2015, McGill was ranked as the top University
in Canada for the eleventh consecutive year by Macleans, and as the best University in
Canada; 24th 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. The university has been ranked as one of the
most comprehensive universities in Canada by Macleans.===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 (UQaM)
is the Montreal campus of Université du Québec. UQaM generally specializes in liberal-arts,
although many programs related to the sciences are available. The Université du Québec network also has
three separately run schools in Montréal, notably the École de technologie supérieure
(ETS), the École nationale d’administration publique (ÉNAP) 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
both a Bachelor and a Master program 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 pastorale des Dominicains
is Montreal’s university centre 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 both a Bachelor and a Master program in theology
The education system in Quebec is different from other systems in North America. Between high school (which ends at grade 11)
and university students must go through an additional school called CEGEP. CEGEPs offer pre-university (2-years) and
technical (3-years) programs. 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).==Transportation==Like many major cities, Montreal has a problem
with vehicular traffic congestion. Commuting traffic from the cities and towns
in the West Island (such as Dollard-des-Ormeaux and Pointe-Claire) is compounded by commuters
entering the city that use twenty-four road crossings from numerous off-island suburbs
on the North and South Shores. The width of the Saint Lawrence River has
made the construction of fixed links to the south shore expensive and difficult. There are presently four road bridges (including
two of the country’s busiest) along with one bridge-tunnel, two railway bridges, and a
Metro line. The far narrower Rivière des Prairies to
the city’s north, separating Montreal from Laval, is spanned by nine road bridges (seven
to the city of Laval and two that span 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===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 second 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 in 2007 was extended to the city of Laval, north of
Montreal, with three new stations.===Air===Montreal has two international airports, one
for passengers only, the other for cargo. 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 Montreal 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 2015, Trudeau was the third busiest airport
in Canada by passenger traffic and fourth by aircraft movements, handling 15.5 million
passengers, and 232,648 aircraft movements. 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 serving 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.===Rail===
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. 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 Central Maine and Quebec 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. Since 1990, The Canadian has terminated in
Toronto. Montreal-based Canadian National Railways
(CN) was formed 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 and subsequently became a Via train in the
late 1970s. It was eliminated in 1990 in favour of rerouting
The Canadian. The commuter rail system is managed and operated
by the Réseau de transport métropolitain, and reaches the outlying areas of Greater
Montreal with six lines. It carried an average of 79,000 daily passengers
in 2014, making it the seventh busiest in North America following New York, Chicago,
Toronto, Boston, Philadelphia, and Mexico City.On 22 April 2016 the forthcoming automated
rapid transit system, the Réseau express métropolitain, was unveiled. Groundbreaking occurred 12 April 2018, and
construction of the 67-kilometre-long (42 mi) network – consisting of three branches,
26 stations, and the conversion of the region’s busiest commuter railway – commenced the following
month. To be opened in three phases as of 2021, the
REM will be completed by mid-2023, becoming the fourth largest automated rapid transit
network after the Dubai Metro, the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit, and the Vancouver SkyTrain. Most of it will be financed by pension fund
manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.==Notable people====
International relations=====Twin towns and sister cities===
Montreal has sister cities: Friendship cities: Paris, France – 2006==See also