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History Montreal is a city in the Canadianprovince of Quebec. It is the largest city inthe province, the second-largest in thecountry (after Toronto) and the fifteenth-largest in North America. Originally calledVille-Marie, or "City of Mary", named afterMount Royal, the triple-peaked hill locatedin the heart of the city, or Mont Réal as itwas spelled in Middle French (Mont Royal inpresent French). The city is located on theIsland of Montreal, which took its namefrom the same source as the city and a fewmuch smaller peripheral islands, the largestof which is Île Bizard. Montreal was called "CanadasCultural Capital" by Monocle and recentlywas named a UNESCO City of Design.Historically the commercial capital ofCanada, it was surpassed in population andeconomic strength, by Toronto after 1976.Today it remains an important centre ofcommerce, aerospace, finance,pharmaceuticals, technology, design,culture, tourism, film and world affairs.
Montreal was incorporated as a city in1832. The opening of the Lachine Canalpermitted ships to bypass the impossible tonavigate the Lachine Rapids, while theconstruction of the Victoria Bridge establishedMontreal as a major railway hub. The leadersof Montreals business community had startedto build their homes in the Golden Square Milefrom about 1850. By 1860, it was the largestcity in British North America and theundisputed economic and cultural centre ofCanada. Montreal was the capital of theProvince of Canada from 1844 to 1849, but lostits status when a Tory mob burnt down theParliament building to protest the passage ofthe Rebellion Losses Bill. For strategic reasons,the government established Ottawa as thecapital, as it was located more in the interior ofthe nation. After World War I, the Prohibitionmovement in the United States led toMontreal becoming a destination forAmericans looking for alcohol. Unemploymentremained high in the city, and wasexacerbated by the Stock Market Crash of1929 and the Great Depression.
During World War II, Mayor CamillienHoude protested against conscription andurged Montrealers to disobey the federalgovernments registry of all men and women.The government at Ottawa was furious overHoudes stand and held him at a prison campuntil 1944. That year the government decidedto institute conscription to be able to expandthe armed forces. By 1951, Montreals population hadsurpassed one million people. The SaintLawrence Seaway opened in 1959, allowingvessels to bypass Montreal. In time thisdevelopment led to the end of the cityseconomic dominance as businesses moved toother areas. During the 1960s there wascontinued growth, including the Worlds Fairknown as Expo 67, and the construction ofCanadas tallest skyscrapers, new expresswaysand the subway system known as the MontrealMetro.
The 21st century has brought with it a revival of the citys economic and cultural landscape.The construction of new residential skyscrapers, two super-hospitals (both of which are the largest inCanada), the creation of the Quartier des Spectacles, reconstruction of the Turcot Interchange,reconfiguration of the Decarie and Dorval interchanges, gentrification of Griffintown, subway lineextensions and the purchase of new subway cars, the complete revitalization and expansion ofMontreal-Trudeau International Airport, the completion of Quebec Autoroute 30, and theconstruction of a new toll-bridge to Laval are helping Montreal move into the 21st century.
Geography Montreal is located in the southwest of the province of Quebec. The city propercovers most of the Island of Montreal at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and OttawaRivers. The port of Montreal lies at one end of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, which is the rivergateway that stretches from the Great Lakes into the Atlantic Ocean. Montreal is defined byits location in between the Saint Lawrence river on its south, and by the Rivière des Prairieson its north. The city is named after the most prominent geographical feature on the island, athree-head hill called Mount Royal, topped at 232 m above sea level. Montreal is at the centre of the Montreal Metropolitan Community, and is borderedby the city of Laval to the north, Longueuil, Saint-Lambert, Brossard, and other municipalitiesto the south, Repentigny to the east and the West Island municipalities to the west. Theanglophone enclaves of Westmount, Montreal West, Hampstead, Côte Saint-Luc, the Townof Mount Royal and the francophone enclave Montreal East are all entirely surrounded bythe city of Montreal.
Climate Montreal lies at the confluence of several climatic regions and enjoys four distinct seasons.Usually, its climate is classified as humid continental or hemiboreal (Köppen climate classification Dfb). Montreals summers are humid, and range from warm to hot, with a daily average of 21 to 22 °C(70 to 72 °F) in July; temperatures in excess of 30 °C (86 °F) are not uncommon. Conversely, cold frontscan bring crisp, windy weather in the early and later parts of summer. Spring and fall are pleasantly mild but prone to drastic temperature changes; spring even moreso than fall. April tends to be mild and sunny whereas May is rather warm and also quite wet. Lateseason heat waves as well as "Indian summers" are possible as well as snow storms in November andMarch.
Winter in Montreal begins in mid-November and usually brings cold, snowy, windy, and, at times,icy weather, with a daily average of around −10 °C (14 °F) in January. However, some winter days riseabove freezing, allowing for rain on an average of 4 days in January and February each. Usually, snowcover lasts from the first or second week of December until the last week of March. Onaverage, there are 8.2 nights below −20 °C (−4 °F), and temperatures as cold as −30 °C (−22 °F) do notoccur every year, but the wind chill can reach the latter mark with little difficulty. The lowest temperature ever recorded was −37.8 °C (−36 °F) on January 15, 1957, and the highesttemperature was 37.6 °C (100 °F) on August 1, 1975. Annual precipitation is around 980 mm (39 in), including an average 218 cm (86 in) of snowfall,which occurs from November through March. Thunderstorms are common beginning in the late springthrough summer to the early fall period; additionally, tropical storms or their remnants can cause heavyrains. Montreal averages 2,029 hours of sunshine annually, with summer being the sunniest season,though slightly wetter than the others in terms of total precipitation.
Architecture For over a century and a half, Montreal wasthe industrial and financial centre of Canada. Thevariety of buildings included factories, elevators,warehouses, mills, and refineries which todayprovide a legacy of historic and architecturalinterest, especially in the downtown area and theOld Port area. There are 50 National Historic Sitesof Canada in Montreal, more than any other city inCanada. Today there are also many historicbuildings in Old Montreal still in their originalform: Notre-Dame de Montréal Basilica,Bonsecours Market, and the impressive19th‑century headquarters of all major Canadianbanks on St. James Street (French: Rue SaintJacques). Saint Josephs Oratory, completed in1967, Ernest Cormiers Art Deco Université deMontréal main building, the landmark Place VilleMarie office tower, the controversial OlympicStadium and surrounding structures, are but a fewnotable examples of 20th century architecture.
Neighbourhood The city of Montreal is composed of 19 large boroughs which are further subdivided into smallerneighbourhoods. The boroughs are Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Anjou, Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Lachine, LaSalle, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Le Sud-Ouest, LÎle-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève, Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Montréal-Nord, Outremont, Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles, Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, Saint-Laurent, Saint Leonard, Verdun, Ville-Marie andVilleray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension. The borough with the most neighbourhoods is Ville-Marie, which includes the citys downtown,the historical district of Old Montreal, Chinatown, the Gay Village, the Latin Quarter, the recentlygentrified Quartier international and Cité Multimédia as well as the Quartier des Spectacles which iscurrently under development. Other neighbourhoods of interest in the borough include the affluentGolden Square Mile neighbourhood at the foot of Mount Royal and the Shaughnessy Village/QuartierConcordia area home to thousands of students at Concordia University. The borough also comprisesmost of Mount Royal Park, Saint Helens Island, and Île Notre-Dame. The Plateau Mont-Royal borough has historically been a working-class francophone area. Thelargest neighbourhood is the Plateau (not to be confused with the whole borough), which is currentlyundergoing considerable gentrification, and a 2001 study deemed it as Canadas most creativeneighbourhood because artists comprise 8% of its labour force.The neighbourhood of Mile End in thenorthwestern part of the borough, has historically been a very multicultural area of the city, andfeatures two of Montreals well-known bagel establishments, St-Viateur Bagel and Fairmount Bagel. TheMcGill Ghetto is located in the extreme southwestern portion of the borough, its name being derivedfrom the fact that it is home to thousands of McGill University students and faculty members.
Old Montreal Old Montreal (French: Vieux-Montréal) is a historic area located southeast of downtowncontaining many different attractions such as the Old Port of Montreal, Place Jacques-Cartier,Montreal City Hall, the Bonsecours Market, Place dArmes, 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 arefrequented by horse-drawn calèches carrying tourists. Old Montreal is accessible from thedowntown core via the underground city and is served by several STM bus routes and metrostations, 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 theformer site of the worldwide Port of Montreal, but its shipping operations have been movedfurther east to its current larger site, leaving the former location as a recreational and historicalarea maintained by Parks Canada. The new Port of Montreal is now Canadas largest container portand the largest inland port on Earth.
Mount Royal The mountain is the site of Mount Royal Park (French: Parc du Mont-Royal), one ofMontreals largest greenspaces. The park, most of which is wooded, was designed byFrederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New Yorks Central Park, and was inaugurated in1876. The park contains two belvederes, the more prominent of which is the KondiaronkBelvedere, a semicircular plaza with a chalet, overlooking Downtown Montreal. Otherfeatures of the park are Beaver Lake, a small man-made lake, a short ski slope, a sculpturegarden, 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 in1854) and Mount Royal (1852). Mount Royal Cemetery is a 165 acres (67 ha) terracedcemetery on the north slope of Mount Royal in the borough of Outremont. Notre Dame desNeiges 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 Empires 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 Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste 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.
• Place des Arts Montreal was referred to as "Canadas Cultural Capital" by Monoclemagazine. The city is Canadas centre for French language television productions,radio, theatre, film, multimedia, and print publishing. Montreals many culturalcommunities have given it a distinct local culture. As a North American city, Montreal shares many cultural characteristics withthe 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. Anotherdistinctive characteristic of Montreal culture life is to be found in the animation ofits downtown, particularly during summer, prompted by cultural and social events,particularly festivals. The citys largest festival is the Just for Laughs comedyfestival, which is the largest in the world of its kind. Other popular festivals includethe Montreal International Jazz Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, LesFrancoFolies de Montréal, Nuits dAfrique, Pop Montreal, and the MontrealFireworks Festival.
Sports The most popular sport in Montreal is ice hockey. The citys professionalhockey team, the Montreal Canadiens, is one of the Original Six teams of theNational Hockey League (NHL), and boasts NHL-record 24 Stanley Cupchampionships. The Canadiens most recent Stanley Cup victory came in 1993.They have major rivalries with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins both ofwhich are also Original Six hockey teams. The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL) play atMolson Stadium on the campus of McGill University for their regular-seasongames. Late season and playoff games are played at the much larger, enclosedOlympic Stadium, which also played host to the 2008 Grey Cup. The Alouettes wonthe Grey Cup a total of 7 times, most recently in 2010. The McGill Redmen,Concordia Stingers, and Université de Montréal Carabins play in the CIS universityfootball league. The Montreal Impact are the citys Major League Soccer team. They play at asoccer-specific stadium called Saputo Stadium. The Montreal Impact recentlyjoined North Americas biggest soccer league, the MLS in 2012. The Montrealgames of the FIFA 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup were held at Olympic Stadium.
Media Montreal is well served by a variety of media, including several French and Englishtelevision stations, newspapers, radio stations, and magazines. There are four over-the-airEnglish-language television stations: CBC Television, CTV, Global and CJNT which also airsmulticultural programming. There are also five over-the-air French-language televisionstations: Radio-Canada, TVA, V, Télé-Québec, and Canal Savoir. Montreal has four daily newspapers, the English-language Montreal Gazette and theFrench-language La Presse, Le Journal de Montréal and Le Devoir. There are also two freeFrench dailies, Métro and 24 Heures. Montreal also has numerous weekly tabloids andcommunity newspapers serving various neighbourhoods, ethnic groups and schools.
EducationWith access to four universities, seven other degree-awarding institutions, andtwelve CEGEPs in an 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) radius, Montreal has the highestconcentration of post-secondary students of all major cities in North America (4.38students per 100 residents, followed by Boston at 4.37 students per 100 residents).Higher Education (English)McGill University is one of Canadas leading Post-Secondary institutions, and widelyregarded as a world-class institution. In 2011, McGill was ranked as the topUniversity in Canada for the sixth consecutive year by Macleans, and as the bestUniversity in Canada, and 17th best University in the world, by the QS WorldUniversity Rankings.Concordia University was created from the merger of Sir George Williams Universityand Loyola College in 1974. Concordia is also home to the John Molson School ofBusiness which is recognized as one of Canadas top business schools and rankswithin the top 100 worldwide.Higher Education (French)Université de Montréal (UdeM) is the second largest research university in Canada.Two separate institutions are affiliated to the university: the École Polytechnique deMontréal (School of Engineering) and HEC Montréal (School of Business).
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) is the Montreal campus of Universitédu Québec. UQÀM generally specializes in liberal-arts. This campus is considered to bethe hotbed of Quebec sovereigntists. Université du Québec also has three separately run schools in Montréal, notablythe École de technologie supérieure (ETS), the École nationale dadministrationpublique (ENAP) and the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS). LInstitut de formation théologique de Montréal des Prêtres de Saint-Sulpice(IFTM) specializes in theology and philosophy. Le Conservatoire de musique de Montréal offers a Bachelor and a Mastersdegree in classical music. Additionally, two French-language universities, Université de Sherbrooke andUniversité Laval have campuses in the nearby suburb of Longueuil on Montreals southshore. Also, lInstitut de pastorale des Dominicains is Montreals university center ofOttawas Collège Universitaire Dominicain/Dominican University College. The Facultéde théologie évangélique is Nova Scotias Acadia University Montreal based servingFrench Protestant community in Canada by offering a Bachelor and Master’s degrees inTheology. The education system in the province of Quebec is slightly different from othersystems in North America. Between the high school and university levels, there is anadditional college level called CEGEP. It is at the same time a preparatory school(preparing students for admission to university) and a technical school (offeringcourses which lead to technical diplomas and specializations). In Montreal, seventeenCEGEPs offer courses in French and five in English. English-language elementary and secondary public schools on Montreal Islandare operated by the English Montreal School Board and the Lester B. Pearson SchoolBoard. French-language elementary and secondary public schools in Montreal areoperated by the Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM), Commission scolaireMarguerite-Bourgeoys (CSMB) and the Commission scolaire Pointe-de-lÎle (CSPI).
Transportation Like many major cities, Montreal has a problem with vehicular traffic congestion,especially from cities in the west island such as Pointe-Claire and Beaconsfield, and off-island suburbs such as Laval on Île Jésus, and Longueuil on the south shore. The width of theSaint Lawrence River has made the construction of fixed links to the south shore expensiveand difficult. There are only four road bridges along with one road tunnel, two railwaybridges, and a metro line. The far narrower Rivière des Prairies, separating Montreal fromLaval, is spanned by eight road bridges (six to Laval and two directly to the north shore) anda metro line. Public local transport is served by a network of buses, subways, and commutertrains that extend across and off the island. The subway and bus system is operated by theSociété de transport de Montréal (STM). The STM bus network consists of 197 daytime and20 nighttime service routes that provide a vast number of routes for the city of Montrealproper. STM bus routes serve an average of 1,347,900 daily passengers on an averageweekday in 2010. It also provides adapted transport and wheelchair-accessible buses. TheSTM won the award of Outstanding Public Transit System in North America by the APTA in2010. It was the first time a Canadian company won this prize.
Montreals Metro was inaugurated in 1966 and today has 68stations spread out along its four lines. Today, the metro system iscurrently Canadas busiest subway system in total daily passenger usage,serving an average of 1,050,800 daily passengers on an average weekday(as of Q1 2010). Each station was designed by different architects withindividual themes and features original artwork, and the trains themselvesrun on rubber tires, making the system quieter than most. The projectwas initiated by Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau, who would later bring theSummer Olympic Games to Montreal in 1976. The metro system has longhad a station on the South Shore in Longueuil, and has only recently beenextended to the city of Laval, north of Montreal with 3 new stations. The commuter rail system is managed and operated by the Agencemétropolitaine de transport, and reaches the outlying areas of GreaterMontreal. Montreals commuter rail network had 15.7 million passengersin 2007, making it the sixth busiest in North America following New YorkCity, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and Toronto.
International AirportsMontreal has two international airports, one for passenger flights only,and the other for cargo. Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau InternationalAirport (also known as Dorval Airport) in the City of Dorval serves allcommercial passenger traffic and is the headquarters for Air Canada andAir Transat. To the north of the city is Montréal-Mirabel InternationalAirport in Mirabel, which was envisioned as Montreals primary airportbut which now serves cargo flights along with MEDEVACs and generalaviation as well as some passenger services. In 2010, Montreal-Trudeauwas the third busiest airport in Canada by passenger traffic and fourthby aircraft movements, behind Toronto Pearson, and Vancouver andhandled 12.9 million passengers, and 207,882 aircraft movements. With60.8% of its passengers being on non-domestic flights it has the largestpercentage of international flights of any Canadian airport. Trudeauairport is served by 40 carriers to over 100 destinations worldwide.Airlines servicing Trudeau offer flights to Europe, the United States,Western Asia, the Middle East, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa,Mexico and other destinations within Canada. It is the only Canadianairport that offers non-stop service to Africa and it also contains thelargest 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, also provides service to Montreal,operating its Adirondack daily between Montreal and New York City. All intercitytrains and most commuter trains operate out of Central Station. Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), which is now headquartered in Calgary,Alberta, was founded here in 1881. Its corporate headquarters occupied WindsorStation at 910 Peel Street until 1995. With the Port of Montreal kept open yearround by icebreakers, lines to Eastern Canada became surplus, and now Montrealis the railways eastern and intermodal freight terminus. CPR connects at Montrealwith the Port of Montreal, the Delaware and Hudson Railway to New York, theQuebec Gatineau Railway to Quebec City and Buckingham, the Montreal, Maineand Atlantic Railway to Halifax, and CN Rail. The CPRs flagship train, The Canadian,once ran daily from Windsor Station to Vancouver, but all passenger services havesince been transferred to Via Rail Canada, and the Canadian terminates inToronto. Montreal-based Canadian National Railways (CN) was formed during in 1919by the Canadian government following a series of country-wide rail bankruptcies.CN was formed from the lines of the Grand Trunk, Midland and Canadian NorthernRailways, and has risen to become CPRs chief rival in freight carriage in Canada.Like the CPR, CN has divested itself of passenger services in favor of Via RailCanada.