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Montreal - Canada

 
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Montreal - Canada

Montreal (/ˌmʌntriˈɒl/ (About this sound listen); French: [mɔ̃ʁeal] (About this sound listen); officially Montréal) is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada as a whole. 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 Canadian 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (100 °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).

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.

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.

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