Montreal Explained

For other uses see Montreal (disambiguation).

City of Montreal
Ville de Montréal
Motto:Concordia Salus ("well-being through harmony")
Dot Mapsize:200px
Dot Map Caption:Location of Montreal in Quebec
Dot X:88
Dot Y:216
Map Caption1:City of Montreal and enclave municipalities
Mapsize1:200px
Subdivision Type:Country
Subdivision Type1:Province
Subdivision Type2:Region
Subdivision Name2:Montréal
Leader Title:Mayor
Leader Name:Gérald Tremblay
Leader Title1:Language
Leader Name1:French (official)
Established Title:Founded
Established Date:1642
Established Title2:Established
Established Date2:1832
Area Magnitude:1 E8
Area Footnotes:[1] [2] [3]
Area Magnitude:1 E8
Area Total Km2:365.13
Area Total Sq Mi:140.98
Area Urban Km2:1677
Area Urban Sq Mi:647
Area Metro Km2:4259
Area Metro Sq Mi:1644
Population As Of:2006
Population Total:1,620,693 (Ranked 2nd)
Population Density Km2:4439
Population Density Sq Mi:11496
Population Metro:3635571
Population Urban:3316615
Population Blank1 Title:Demonym
Population Blank1:Montrealer (English), Montréalais / Montréalaise (French)
Timezone:Eastern (EST)
Utc Offset:-5
Timezone Dst:EDT
Utc Offset Dst:-4
Latd:45
Latm:30
Latns:N
Longd:73
Longm:40
Longew:W
Elevation Max M:233
Elevation Min M:6
Postal Code Type:Postal code span
Postal Code:H
Area Code:(514) and (438)
Website:Ville de Montréal

Montreal, or Montréal,[4] (pronounced in French, in English) is the largest city in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-largest city in Canada. Montreal was the largest city in Canada up until the 1970s. Originally called Ville-Marie ('City of Mary'), the city takes its present name from Mount Royal, the three-headed hill at the heart of the city, whose name was also initially given to the island on which the city is located,[5] or Mont Réal as it was spelled in Middle French,[6] (Mont Royal / in present French).

The official language of Montreal is French as defined by the city's charter.[7] [8] Montreal is the second-largest primarily French-speaking city in the world, after Paris.[9] . As of the 2006 Canadian Census, 1,620,693 people resided in the city of Montreal proper.[1] The population of the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area (also known as Greater Montreal) was 3,635,571 at the same 2006 census. In the census metropolitan area, French is the language most spoken at home by 70.5% of the population (as of 2006 census).[10] In 2007, Forbes Magazine ranked Montreal as the 10th cleanest city in the world.[11] In the June 19th, 2008 edition of London based Monocle Magazine, Montreal was ranked 16th in a list of the world's 25 most liveable cities. Contributing factors included a strong arts community, booming aerospace industry and a vast network of free wireless internet.[12]

History

See main article: History of Montreal. There is archaeological evidence of various nomadic native peoples occupying the island of Montréal for at least 2,000 years before the arrival of Europeans.[13] The St. Lawrence Iroquoians established the village of Hochelaga at the foot of Mount Royal.[14] The French explorer Jacques Cartier visited Hochelaga on October 2, 1535, claiming the St. Lawrence Valley for France.[15] He estimated the population to be "over a thousand".[14]

Seventy years later, French explorer Samuel de Champlain reported that the St. Lawrence Iroquoians and their settlements had disappeared altogether from the St. Lawrence valley, likely due to inter-tribal wars, European diseases and out-migration.[14] Champlain established in 1611 a fur trading post on the Island of Montreal, on a site initially named La Place Royale, at the confluence of Saint-Pierre river and St-Lawrence river, where present-day Pointe-à-Callière stands.[16] . In 1639, Jérôme Le Royer de La Dauversière obtained the Seigneurial title to the Island of Montreal in the name of the Société de Notre-Dame de Montréal to establish a Roman Catholic mission for evangelizing natives. Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve was the governor of the colony.

Ville-Marie became a centre for the fur trade and a base for further French exploration in North America. It remained a French colony until 1760, when it was surrendered to Great Britain.

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. By 1860, it was the largest city in British North America and the undisputed economic and cultural centre of Canada.

Montréal 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 passage of the Rebellion Losses Bill.[17] After World War I, the Prohibition movement in the United States turned Montreal into a haven 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. Canada began to recover from the Great Depression in the mid-1930s, when skyscrapers such as the Sun Life Building began to appear.

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. Ottawa was furious over Houde's insubordination and held him in a prison camp until 1944, when the government was forced to institute conscription (see Conscription Crisis of 1944).

Montreal's population surpassed one million in the early 1950s. The Saint Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959, allowing vessels to bypass Montreal: a development that would in time help to spell the end of the city's economic dominance. However, the 1960s saw continued growth, including Expo 67, the construction of Canada's tallest skyscrapers, new expressways and the Montreal Metro system.

The 1970s ushered in a period of wide-ranging social and political changes, stemming in large part from the concerns of the French-Canadian 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 election of the separatist political party, the Parti Québécois, resulted in major political and linguistic shifts. Many companies and people left the city. In 1976, Montreal was the host of the 1976 Summer Olympics.

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.

Montreal was merged with the 27 surrounding municipalities on the Island of Montreal on January 1, 2002. The merger created a unified city of Montreal which covered the entire island of Montreal. This move proved unpopular, and several former municipalities, totalling 13% of the population of the island, voted to leave the newly unified city in separate referendums in June 2004. The demerger took place on January 1, 2006, leaving 15 municipalities on the island, including Montreal.

Geography

See main article: Geography of Montreal. Montreal is located in the southwest of the province of Quebec, approximately 275 kilometres (168 miles) southwest of Quebec City, the provincial capital, and 167 kilometres (104 mi) east of Ottawa, the federal capital. It also lies 502 kilometres (312 mi) northeast of Toronto, 407 kilometres (253 mi) northwest of Boston and 530 kilometres (329 mi) directly north of New York City.[18]

The city is located on the central and eastern portions 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, which is the river gateway that stretches from the Great Lakes into the Atlantic Ocean.[19] Montreal is defined by its location in between the St. Lawrence river on its south, and by the Rivière des Prairies on its north. The city is named after the most prominent geographical feature on the island, a three-head hill called Mount Royal.[20]

Montreal is at the centre of the Montreal Metropolitan Community, and is bordered by the city of Laval to the north, Longueuil, St. 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 entirely surrounded by the city of Montreal.[21]

Climate

Montreal lies at the confluence of several climatic regions. Usually, the climate is classified as humid continental or hemiboreal (Köppen climate classification Dfb).[22]

Precipitation is abundant with an average snowfall of 2.25 metres (84 in) per year in the winter. Regular rainfall throughout the year averages 900 mm (35.3 in). Summer is the wettest season statistically, but it is also the sunniest.[23]

The coldest month of the year is January which has a daily maximum temperature of -5.7°C — averaging a daily low of NaN°C. Due to wind chill, the perceived temperature can be much lower than the actual temperature, and wind chill factor is often included in Montreal weather forecasts. The warmest month is July which has an average daily high of 26.2°C; lower nighttime temperatures make an average of 20.9°C thus air exchangers often achieve the same result as air conditioners. The lowest temperature ever recorded was NaN°C on January 15, 1957 and the highest temperature ever recorded was 37.6°C on August 1, 1975. High humidity is common in the summer which makes the perceived temperature higher than the actual temperature. In spring and autumn, rainfall averages between 55mm and 94mm a month. Some snow in spring and autumn is normal. Similarly, late heat waves as well as "Indian summers" are a regular feature of the climate.[24]


Collapsed:Yes
Metric First:Yes
Single Line:Yes
Location:Montreal, Quebec
Jan Hi °C:-5.7
Jan Rec Hi °C:13.9
Feb Hi °C:-3.9
Feb Rec Hi °C:15
Mar Hi °C:2.2
Mar Rec Hi °C:25.6
Apr Hi °C:10.7
Apr Rec Hi °C:30
May Hi °C:19.0
May Rec Hi °C:33.9
Jun Hi °C:23.6
Jun Rec Hi °C:35
Jul Hi °C:26.2
Jul Rec Hi °C:35.6
Aug Hi °C:24.8
Aug Rec Hi °C:37.6
Sep Hi °C:19.7
Sep Rec Hi °C:33.5
Oct Hi °C:12.7
Oct Rec Hi °C:28.3
Nov Hi °C:5.3
Nov Rec Hi °C:21.7
Dec Hi °C:-2.2
Dec Rec Hi °C:18
Year Hi °C:11.1
Year Rec Hi °C:37.6
Jan Lo °C:-14.7
Jan Rec Lo °C:-37.8
Feb Lo °C:-12.9
Feb Rec Lo °C:-33.9
Mar Lo °C:-6.7
Mar Rec Lo °C:-29.4
Apr Lo °C:0.6
Apr Rec Lo °C:-15
May Lo °C:7.7
May Rec Lo °C:-4.4
Jun Lo °C:12.7
Jun Rec Lo °C:0
Jul Lo °C:15.6
Jul Rec Lo °C:6.1
Aug Lo °C:14.3
Aug Rec Lo °C:3.3
Sep Lo °C:9.4
Sep Rec Lo °C:-2.2
Oct Lo °C:3.4
Oct Rec Lo °C:-7.2
Nov Lo °C:-2.1
Nov Rec Lo °C:-19.4
Dec Lo °C:-10.4
Dec Rec Lo °C:-32.4
Year Lo °C:1.4
Year Rec Lo °C:-37.8
Jan Precip Mm:78.3
Feb Precip Mm:61.5
Mar Precip Mm:73.6
Apr Precip Mm:78.0
May Precip Mm:76.3
Jun Precip Mm:83.1
Jul Precip Mm:91.3
Aug Precip Mm:92.7
Sep Precip Mm:92.6
Oct Precip Mm:77.8
Nov Precip Mm:92.6
Dec Precip Mm:81.3
Year Precip Mm:978.9
Source:Environment Canada
Accessdate:27 Jan 2009

Cityscape

Architecture

See main article: Architecture of Montreal. For over a century and a half, Montreal was the industrial and financial centre of Canada.[25] The variety of buildings included factories, elevators, warehouses, mills, and refineries which today provide a legacy of historic and architectural interest, especially in the downtown area and the Old Port area.

Today there are also many historical buildings in Old Montreal still in their original form: Notre-Dame de Montréal Basilica, Bonsecours Market, and the impressive 19th-century headquarters of all major Canadian banks on St. James Street (French: Rue Saint Jacques). Saint Joseph's Oratory, completed in 1934, Ernest Cormier's Art Deco Université de Montréal main building, the landmark Place Ville Marie office tower, the controversial Olympic Stadium and surrounding structures, are but a few notable examples of 20th century architecture.

Pavilions designed for the 1967 International and Universal Exposition, popularly known as Expo 67, featured a wide range of architectural designs. Though most pavilions were temporary structures, several remaining structures have become Montreal landmarks, including the geodesic dome US Pavilion, now the Montreal Biosphere, as well as Moshe Safdie's striking Habitat 67 apartment complex.

The Montreal Metro is filled with a profusion of public artwork by some of the biggest names in Quebec culture. The design and ornamentation of each station in the Metro system is unique.

In 2006, the city was recognized by the international design community as a UNESCO City of Design, one of the three world design capitals.[26]

Neighbourhoods

See main article: List of neighbourhoods in Montreal.

Downtown Montreal

See main article: Downtown Montreal.

Downtown Montreal lies at the foot of Mount Royal, most of which is a major urban park, and extends toward the St Lawrence River. It is located entirely within the Ville Marie borough. The Downtown area contains dozens of notable skyscrapers — which bylaws restrict to the height of Mount Royal — including the aforementioned 1000 de La Gauchetière and 1250 René-Lévesque.[27] The Tour de la Bourse (Stock Exchange Tower) is also another significant building in Montreal, and is home to the Montreal Exchange, which trades in derivatives such as futures contracts and options. The Montreal Exchange was the first stock exchange in Canada.[28] In 1999 all stock trades were transferred to Toronto in exchange for exclusivity in derivatives trading.[29]

Place Ville-Marie, an I. M. Pei-designed cruciform office tower built in 1962, sits atop an underground shopping mall that forms the nexus of Montreal's underground city the world's largest at 32 kilometres (20 miles) in length.[30] The underground city gives its 500,000 daily visitors indoor access to 2,000 stores, 200 restaurants, 1,200 offices, 1,600 housing units, 10 metro stations, train stations, bus terminals, and tunnels extending all over downtown.[30] The central axis for downtown is Saint Catherine Street, the city's busiest commercial artery.[31] Other major streets include Sherbrooke, René Lévesque Boulevard, Peel, Mountain Street, De Maisonneuve Boulevard and Crescent Street.

The downtown Ville-Marie borough includes two islands. Until 2008, the man-made Île Notre-Dame used to host the annual Canadian Grand Prix Formula One auto race. However, it continues to host the NAPA Auto Parts 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, established in 2007.[32] The other island, Île Ste. Hélène is home to La Ronde, the sole amusement park in the Montreal area, as well as a historic British fort with the purposing of defending Montreal from American invasion in the early 19th century. Île Ste. Hélène also hosts the Montreal International Fireworks Festival during the summer months.

Old Montreal

See main article: Old Montreal. Old Montreal (French: Vieux-Montréal) is a historic area located southeast of downtown containing many different attractions such as the Old Port of Montreal, Place Jacques-Cartier, Montreal City Hall, the Bonsecours Market, Place d'Armes, Pointe-à-Callière Museum, the Notre-Dame de Montréal Basilica, and the Montreal Science Centre.

Architecture and cobbled streets in Old Montreal have been maintained or restored and are frequented by horse-drawn calèches carrying tourists. Old Montreal is accessible from the downtown core via the underground city and is served by several STM bus routes and metro stations, ferries to the South Shore and a network of bicycle paths.

The riverside area adjacent to Old Montreal is known as the Old Port. The Old Port was the former site of the worldwide Port of Montreal, but its shipping operations have been moved further east to its current larger site, leaving the former location as a recreational and historical area maintained by Parks Canada. The new Port of Montreal is now Canada's largest container port and the largest inland port on Earth.[33]

Mount Royal

See main article: Mount Royal. The mountain is the site of Mount Royal Park (French: Parc du Mont-Royal), one of Montreal's largest greenspaces. The park, most of which is wooded, was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New York's Central Park, and inaugurated in 1876.[34]

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 also home to two major cemeteries, Notre-Dame-des-Neiges (founded in 1854) and Mount Royal (1852). Mount Royal Cemetery is a 165acres terraced cemetery on the north slope of Mount Royal in the borough of Outremont. Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges is much larger, predominantly French-Canadian and officially Catholic[35] . More than 900,000 people are buried there.[36]

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.[37]

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.[34] Today, the mountain is crowned by a 31.4 m-high (103 ft) illuminated cross, installed in 1924 by the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste and now owned by the city.[34] It was converted to fibre-optic light in 1992.[34] 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.[38]

Culture

See main article: Culture of Montreal. Montreal was referred to as "Canada's Cultural Capital" by Monocle Magazine.[12] The city is Canada's centre for French language television productions, radio, theatre, film, multimedia and print publishing. The Quartier Latin is a neighbourhood crowded with cafés animated by this literary and musical activity. 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, theater, 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 Montreal culture life is to be found in the animation of its downtown, particularly during summer, prompted by cultural and social events, particularly festivals. The city's largest festival is the Just for Laughs comedy festival, which is the largest in the world of its kind. Other popular festivals include the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Francofolies and the Montreal Fireworks Festival.

A cultural heart of classical art and the venue for many summer festivals, the Place des Arts is a complex of different concert and theatre halls surrounding a large square in the eastern portion of downtown. Place des Arts harbours 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 is the Opéra de Montréal and the city’s chief ballet company Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. In contemporary dance, Montreal has been active, particularly since the 1980s. Internationally recognized avant-garde dance troupes such as 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 intelligent integration of multi-discipline arts in choreography of these troupes has paved the way for the success of the Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil.

Nicknamed French: la ville aux cent clochers ("the city of a hundred belltowers"), Montreal is renowned for its churches. Indeed, as Mark Twain once noted, "This is the first time I was ever in a city where you couldn't throw a brick without breaking a church window."[39] 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 largest dome of its kind in the world after that of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Sports

See main article: Sport in Montreal.

See also: List of Montreal parks. The most popular sport in Montreal is Ice hockey. The city's professional hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens, are one of the Original Six NHL teams, and boast an NHL-record 24 Stanley Cup championships. The New York Yankees are the only other team in North American sports to have more championship titles with 26.

Montreal has a storied baseball history. The city was the home of the Montreal Royals until 1960 and Jackie Robinson broke the baseball colour barrier with the Royals in 1946 in an emotionally difficult year where Robinson was forever grateful for the local fans' fervent support[40] 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 37 years in Montreal, the team relocated to Washington, DC in 2005 and re-branded themselves as the Washington Nationals.[41] Various groups are trying to bring a Can-Am League team to the city to fill the void created by the departure of the Expos.

The Montreal Alouettes of the CFL draw packed crowds at the small but picturesque Molson Stadium for their regular season games. Late season and playoff games are played at the much larger, enclosed Olympic Stadium, which will also play host to the 2008 Grey Cup. The McGill Redmen, Concordia Stingers, and Université de Montréal Carabins play in the CIS university football league.

The city's USL First Division soccer team is called the Montreal Impact. They play at a soccer-specific stadium called Saputo Stadium. The Montreal games of the FIFA 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup were held at Olympic Stadium.[42]

Montreal was formerly the site of a high-profile racing event each year: the Canadian Grand Prix of F1 racing, and during a one time event, a NASCAR race in the Nationwide Series. These races took place on the famous Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Île Notre-Dame, where the Champ Car series also raced from 2002 until 2006.. In 2008, after 29 years on the same circuit, the Grand Prix left Montreal, with the event moved to other cities (the 2009 calendar has Abu Dhabi scheduled).

Uniprix Stadium was built in 1993 and is used for the annual Rogers Cup Tennis Masters tournament. The ATP men's tennis tour and the Sony Ericsson WTA women's tennis tour switch between Montreal and Toronto every year.

Montreal was the host of the 1976 Summer Olympics. Until eclipsed by the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Montreal Games were the most expensive in Olympic history, costing over $5 billion (equivalent to $20 billion in 2006). Montreal hosted the first ever World Outgames in the summer of 2006, attracting over 16,000 participants engaged in 35 sporting activities. They were the biggest sporting event in the city since the Summer Olympics of 1976.

Five beaches around the island, in addition to a network of parks that include one on the Mont Royal, offer a set of recreational activities enjoyed by the local population.

Sports teams of Montreal
ClubLeagueSportVenueEstablishedChampionships
Montreal CanadiensNHLIce hockeyBell Centre190924
Montreal AlouettesCFLFootballPercival Molson Memorial Stadium
Olympic Stadium
1946–87
1996–today
7
Montreal ImpactUSLSoccerSaputo Stadium19932
Montreal Junior Hockey ClubQMJHLIce hockeyVerdun Auditorium20080
Montreal MatrixABABasketballCentre Pierre Charbonneau20050
Montreal SasquatchPBLBasketballTBA20080
Quebec CaribouRCSLRugby unionDollard-des-Ormeaux19980

Media

See main article: Media in Montreal. Montreal is well served by a variety of media, including several English and French language television stations, newspapers, radio stations, and magazines. There are four over-the-air English-language television stations: CBC Television, CTV, Global and E! which also airs multicultural programming. There are also five over-the-air French-language television stations: Radio-Canada, TVA, TQS, Télé-Québec, and Canal Savoir.

Montreal has four daily newspapers. The English-language Montreal Gazette and the French-language La Presse, Le Journal de Montréal and Le Devoir. There are also two free French dailies, Métro and 24 Heures. Montreal also has myriad weekly tabloids and community newspapers serving various neighbourhoods, ethnic groups and schools.

There are 11 AM and 23 FM radio stations in Montreal. Of these 14 stations broadcast in English, 17 broadcast in French, 3 broadcast in multiple languages and one station is bilingual.

Economy

Montreal started out as the economic centre and largest city of Canada from the birth of the country up until the early 1970s when it was overtaken by Toronto. The loss of many headquarters and a large anglophone business community leaving, lessened Montreal's economic and social importance.[43] In the early 1990s, Montreal's economy began to recover, and the city is today an important centre of commerce, industry, technology, culture, finance, and world affairs.

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.[44]

The Port of Montreal is the largest inland port in the world handling 26 million tonnes of cargo annually.[45] 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,[46] and was home to the headquarters of the Canadian Pacific Railway until 1995.[47]

The headquarters of the Canadian Space Agency are located in Longueuil, southeast of Montreal.[48] Montreal also hosts the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO, a United Nations body);[49] the World Anti-Doping Agency (an Olympic body);[50] the International Air Transport Association (IATA);[51] and the International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (IGLCC),[52] as well as some 60 other international organizations in various fields.

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).[53] 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);[54] the International Design Alliance (IDA).[55]

Montreal is also 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 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. 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.

The video game industry is also booming in Montreal since 1997, coinciding with the opening of Ubisoft Montreal. Recently, the city has attracted world leading game developers and publishers studios such as Ubisoft, EA, Eidos Interactive, Artificial Mind and Movement, 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.

A diverse range of companies are headquartered in Greater Montreal including Rio Tinto Alcan, Desjardins Group, Bombardier, Canadian National Railway, CGI Group, Air Canada, Air Transat, CAE, Saputo, Cirque du Soleil, Quebecor, Power Corporation, Bell Canada, SNC-Lavalin, Hydro-Québec, AbitibiBowater, Laurentian Bank, Pratt and Whitney Canada, Molson, Tembec, Alimentation Couche-Tard, MEGA Brands, National Bank of Canada, VIA Rail and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

Greater Montreal had a GDP of $120 billion in 2005, placing it 39th in the world.[56] It is expected to grow to almost $126 billion in 2008 and $140 billion by 2012.[57]

Demographics

See main article: Demographics of Montreal.

According to Statistics Canada, at the 2006 Canadian census the city of Montreal proper had 1,620,693 inhabitants.[1] However, 3,635,571 lived in the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) at the same 2006 census, up from 3,451,027 at the 2001 census (within 2006 CMA boundaries), which means a population growth of +1.05% per year between 2001 and 2006.[3] In the 2006 census, children under 14 years of age (621,695) constituted 17.1 percent, while inhabitants over 65 years of age (495,685) numbered 13.6 percent of the total population.[1] People of European ethnicities formed the largest cluster of ethnic groups in Montreal, mostly of French, Irish, Italian, and British origins.[58] Some 26 percent of the population of Montreal and 16.5 percent of Greater Montreal are members of a visible minority (non-white) group.[59] Black Canadians contribute to the largest visible minority group in greater Montreal, numbering some 169,065 or 4.7%, which is the second-largest community of African-origin people in Canada, after Toronto.[59] Other groups, such as Jews, Arabs, Hispanics, South Asians, and Orientals are also large in number.

According to a recently published report by the city of Montreal, the island is expected to number 1,991,200 by 2012, with 3,950,300+ in the Greater Montreal Area, an increase of 15.8% over 2001.[60]

Visible minorities are defined by the Canadian Employment Equity Act as "persons, other than Aboriginals, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour."[61]

Language most spoken at home
in the Montreal metropolitan area (CMA)
1996[67] 2001[68] 2006
French71.2%72.1%70.5%
English19.4%18.5%18.5%
Other language13.4%13.1%14.6%
Note that percentages add up to more than 100% because
some people speak two or more languages at home.

In terms of mother tongue 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.[69] The remaining 22.5% of Montreal-area residents are allophones, speaking languages including Italian (3.5%), Arabic (3.1%), Spanish (2.6%), Creole (predominantly of Haitian origin) (1.4%), Chinese (1.2%), Greek (1.2%), Portuguese (0.9%), Romanian (0.7%), Vietnamese (0.7%), and Russian (0.5%).[69] In terms of additional languages spoken, a unique feature of Montreal throughout Canada, noted by Statistics Canada, is the working knowledge of both French and English by most of its residents.

The Greater Montreal Area is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, however, church attendance in Quebec is among the lowest in Canada.[70] 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 84.6 percent of the total population is Christian,[71] largely Roman Catholic (74.5%), which is largely due to French, Italian and Irish origins. Protestants which include Anglican, United Church, Lutheran and other denominations number 7.0%, with a further 3.0% consisting mostly of Orthodox Christians, fuelled by a large Greek population. Due to the large number of non-European cultures, there is a diversity of non-Christian religions. Islam is the largest non-Christian group, with some 100,185 members, the second-largest concentration of Muslims in Canada, constituting 3%.[71] The Jewish community in Montreal has a population of 88,765.[71] In cities such as Côte-Saint-Luc and Hampstead, Jewish people constitute the majority,[72] [73] or a substantial part of the population. As recently as 1971 the Jewish community in Greater Montreal was as high as 109,480.[64] Political and economic uncertainties led many to leave Montreal and the province of Quebec.[74]

Government

The head of the city government in Montreal is the mayor, who is first among equals in the City Council. The mayor is Gérald Tremblay, who is a member of the Union des citoyens et des citoyennes de l'Île de Montréal (English: Montreal Island Citizens Union). 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 73 members from all boroughs of the city.[75] 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 City Council is also required to supervise, standardize or approve certain decisions made by the borough councils.

Reporting directly to the City Council, the executive committee exercises decision-making powers similar to that of the cabinet in a parliamentary system and is responsible for preparing various documents including budgets and by-laws, submitted to the City 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 council's 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 of Montreal is only one component of the larger Communauté Métropolitaine de Montréal (English: Montreal Metropolitan Community or MMC), which is in charge of planning, coordinating, and financing economic development, public transportation, garbage collection and waste management, etc., across the metropolitan area of Montreal. The president of the CMM is the mayor of Montreal. The CMM covers 4,360 square kilometres (1,683 sq mi), with 3.6 million inhabitants in 2006.[76]

See also: Boroughs of Montreal and Montreal City Council.

Education

See main article: Education in Montreal.

With access to six universities and twelve junior colleges in an 8 kilometre (5 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).[77]

There are two anglophone universities in the city:

There are also two francophone universities located in the city of Montreal:

Additionally, two French-language universities, Université de Sherbrooke and Université Laval have campuses in the nearby suburb of Longueuil on Montreal's south shore.

The education system in the province of Quebec is slightly different from other systems in North America. Between the high school and university levels, there is an additional college level called CEGEP. It is at the same time a preparatory school (preparing students for admission to university) and a technical school (offering courses which lead to technical diplomas and specializations). In Montreal, seventeen CEGEPs offer courses in French and five in English.

English-language elementary and secondary public schools on Montreal Island are operated by the English Montreal School Board[82] and the Lester B. Pearson School Board.[83] French-language elementary and secondary public schools in Montreal are operated by the Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM),[84] Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys (CSMB)[85] and the Commission scolaire Pointe-de-l'Île (CSPI).[86]

Transportation

See main article: Transportation in Montreal. Like many major cities, Montreal has a problem with vehicular traffic congestion, especially from off-island suburbs such as Laval on Île Jésus, and Longueuil on the south shore. The width of the Saint Lawrence River has made the construction of fixed links to the south shore expensive and difficult. There are only four road bridges along with one road tunnel, two railway bridges, and a metro line. The far narrower Rivière des Prairies, separating Montreal from Laval, is spanned by eight road bridges (six to Laval and two directly to the north shore).

The island of Montreal is a hub for the Québec Autoroute system, and is served by Québec 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 Autoroute Chomedey), 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.[87]

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 is operated by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM). The STM bus network consists of 165 daytime and 20 night-time service routes, and provides adapted transport and limited wheelchair-accessible buses.[88]

Montreal's Metro was inaugurated in 1966 and today has 68 stations spread out along its four lines.[89] Each station was designed by different architects with individual themes and features original artwork, and the trains themselves run on rubber tires, making the system quieter than most.[90] The project was initiated by Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau, who would later bring the Summer Olympic Games to Montreal in 1976. The metro system has long had a station on the South Shore in Longueuil, and has only recently been extended to the city of Laval, north of Montreal with 3 new stations.[91]

The commuter rail system is managed and operated by the Agence métropolitaine de transport, and reaches the outlying areas of Greater Montreal.

Air

Montreal has two international airports, one for passenger flights only, and the other for cargo. Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (also known as Dorval Airport) in the City of Dorval serves all commercial passenger traffic and is the headquarters for Air Canada[92] and Air Transat.[93] To the north of the city is Montréal-Mirabel International Airport in Mirabel, which was envisioned as Montreal's primary airport but which now serves cargo flights along with MEDEVACs and general aviation as well as some passenger services.[94] [95] [96] [97] [98] In 2008, Montreal-Trudeau was the fourth busiest airport in Canada by both passenger traffic and aircraft movements, behind Toronto Pearson, Vancouver and Calgary. In 2008 the airport handled 12,379,843 passengers,[99] and 225,219 aircraft movements.[100] With 59.7% of its passengers being on non-domestic flights it has the largest percentage of international flights of any Canadian airport.[99] Trudeau airport serves over 100 destinations worldwide making it one of the most connected airports in North America. Airlines servicing Trudeau offer flights to Africa, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, the United States, Mexico and other destinations within Canada. It is the only Canadian airport that offers non-stop service to Africa and it also contains the largest duty free shop in North America.[101]

Rail

Montreal-based VIA Rail, provides rail service to other cities in Canada, particularly to Quebec City and Toronto with several trains daily on its Quebec City-Windsor Corridor. Amtrak, the U.S. national passenger rail system, also provides service to Montreal, operating its Adirondack daily between Montreal and New York City. All intercity trains and most commuter trains operate out of Central Station. The rest of the commuter trains operate out of the Lucien-L'Allier Station or at Parc metro station. Some of the trains ending their route at Parc metro station have a Trainbus which is an express bus that links downtown Montreal to the station. The bus's schedule is synchronized to the train's departures.

Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), which is now headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, was founded here in 1881.[102] Its corporate headquarters occupied Windsor Station at 910 Peel Street until 1995.[47] 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.[103] CPR connects at Montreal with the Port of Montreal, the Delaware & Hudson Railway to New York, the Quebec-Gatineau Railway to Quebec City and Buckingham, the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic to Halifax, and CN Rail. The CPR's flagship train, The Canadian, once ran daily from Windsor Station to Vancouver, all passenger services have since been transferred to VIA Rail Canada, although CPR operates certain AMT trains under contract to the Quebec government.

Montreal-based Canadian National Railways (CN) was formed during in 1919 by the Canadian Government following a series of country-wide rail bankruptcies. CN was formed from the lines of the Grand Trunk, Midland and Canadian Northern Railways, and has risen to become CPR's chief rival in freight carriage in Canada.[104] Like the CPR, CN has divested itself of passenger services in favour of VIA Rail Canada.[105] CN operates the electric Mont Royal AMT line under contract to the Government of Quebec.

Partner cities

Montreal has partnership, twin or sister city agreements with the following cities:

See also

Further reading

External links

Notes and References

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  2. Web site: Population and dwelling counts, for urban areas, 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data. 2007-03-13. Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population. 2007-03-13. dmy.
  3. Web site: Population and dwelling counts, for census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations, 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data. 2007-03-13. Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population. 2007-03-13. dmy.
  4. It is most common to omit the acute accent in English-language usage (Montreal), unless one is using a proper name where the context requires the use of the accent (e.g. Le Journal de Montréal, as compared to the Montreal Gazette), and to keep the accent in French-language usage (Montréal). This is also the approach favoured by The Canadian Press Style Book (ISBN 0-920009-32-8, at p. 234) and The Globe and Mail Style Book (ISBN 0-7710-5685-0, at p. 249). According to The Canadian Style (ISBN 1-55002-276-8, at pp. 263–4), the official style guide of the Government of Canada, the name of the city is to be written with an accent in all government materials.
  5. Web site: Island of Montreal. dmy. 07-02-2008. HTML. Natural Resoruces Canada. English.
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