Montreal is the most populous city in 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 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 2011 the city had a population of 1,649,519. Montreal's metropolitan area had a population of 3,824,221 and a population of 1,886,481 in the urban agglomeration, with all of the municipalities on the Island of Montreal included. The 2014 estimate of the population of the metropolitan area of Montreal is 4.1 million. French is the city's official language and is the language spoken at home by 56.9% of the population of the city, followed by English at 18.6% and 19.8% other languages (in the 2006 census). In the larger Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 67.9% of the population speaks French at home, compared to 16.5% who speak English. Montreal is one of the most bilingual cities in Quebec and Canada with 56% 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, it was surpassed in population and economic strength by Toronto in the 1970s. It remains an important centre of commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, education, culture, tourism, gaming, film and world affairs. Being the location of the headquarters of theInternational Civil Aviation Organization, Montreal is one of three North American cities home to organizations of the United Nations (along with Washington, D.C. and New York) and also has the second-highest number of consulates in the continent. Montreal was also named a UNESCO City of Design. In 2009, Montreal was named North America's leading host city for international association events, according to the 2009 preliminary rankings of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) . The 2016 edition of QS Best Student Cities ranked Montreal the 7th-best city in the world to be a university student. According to the 2015 Global Liveability Ranking by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Montreal ranked 14th out of 140 cities.
Montreal has hosted multiple international conferences and events throughout its history, including the 1967 International and Universal Exposition and the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. It is the only Canadian city to have held the Summer Olympics. Currently, the city hosts theCanadian Grand Prix of Formula One, the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Just for Laughs festival. In 2012, Montreal was ranked as a Beta+ world city.
|POPULATION :||• City 1,649,519|
• Urban 3,407,963
• Metro 4,127,100
|FOUNDED :||Founded May 17, 1642|
Constituted January 1, 2002
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone EST (UTC−5)|
• Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
|RELIGION :||Christian: 65.8%|
No religion: 18.14%
Other religions: 0.3%
|AREA :||• City 431.50 km2 (166.60 sq mi)|
• Land 365.13 km2 (140.98 sq mi)
• Urban 1,545.30 km2 (596.64 sq mi)
• Metro 4,258.31 km2 (1,644.14 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||Highest elevation 233 m (764 ft)|
Lowest elevation 6 m (20 ft)
|COORDINATES :||45°30′N 73°34′W|
|SEX RATIO :|
|AREA CODE :||514 and 438|
|POSTAL CODE :||H (except H7 for Laval)|
|DIALING CODE :||+1 514|
Montreal (French: Montréal) is the metropolis of the province of Quebec. Quebec City is the political capital but Montreal is the cultural and economic capital of Quebec and the main entry point to the province. The second largest city in Canada, it is a city rich in culture and history and a well-deserved reputation as one of the liveliest cities in North America. Montreal is the second-largest French-speaking (as a mother language) city in the world, behind Paris. At the same time, it is also one of the most bilingual cities in Canada, with a Francophone majority and a significant Anglophone minority (roughly a quarter of the population), and the majority of the Francophone population also being conversant in English. The population of Montreal is about 1.9 million, with 4 million in the metro area.
It has been said that Montréal is the only city in the world where the sun "rises in the south."
Montrealers use an unconventional compass, using the river and the mountain as cardinal points. When you are downtown, the St Lawrence River is “south” and Mount Royal is “north”; making the West Island and the East End correct in both their names and orientations. This tends to confuse visitors because the “East” End is really north and the “West” Island is south, and the St Lawrence River runs almost north-south at this location.
Most local maps use this convention as do the highways around the city. For example, Autoroute 15 north actually runs northwest and Autoroute 40 east runs northeast.
To underscore this fact, a Montreal map will show that the "south end" of Victoria Bridge is in fact further north than the "north end".
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 m 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.
Montreal has the second-largest economy of Canadian cities based on GDP and the largest in Quebec. The city is today an important centre of commerce, finance, industry, technology, culture, world affairs and is the headquarters of the Montreal Exchange.
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 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, 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 ofTelefilm 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.
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 Ubisoft Montreal, 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 2016, Montreal is ranked in the 21st 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.
Montreal has four area codes: the long-standing 514, the newer 438, and 450 as well as now 579 for surrounding, off-island areas. The area code must be used for all calls: even if it's the same one you're calling from and even if calling next door. For example, calling a 514 number from within 514, use "514-123-4567". Dialling the same number long-distance would be 1-514-123-4567.
Photocopy shops often have internet terminals available, as do many cafés and some bookstores. The Bell phone company has installed public internet terminals (cash or credit cards) in McGill and Berri-UQAM metro stations.
There are also long-standing cyber/internet cafés (minus the café part) such asBattelnet 24 at many locations in Montreal including one at mezzanine level in the rue Guy entrance of Guy-Concordia metro.
Of course, free internet access is the best kind of internet. The organization Île Sans Fil [www] provides free wireless internet in cafés and other locations throughout the city. Look for the sticker outside participating venues. The Eaton Centre downtown offers free wireless access in the food court.
Also, the Grande Bibliothèque (Great Library) has many free Internet terminals: you can get a library card (free to Québec residents with proof of address) to use it there.
Red Canada Post mailboxes are found along most main streets. Post offices are often located inside pharmacies: look for the Canada Post logo.