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Montreal grew rapidly from to The population increased from 44, in to , in , , including the suburbs. The city proper overflowed its boundaries and quickly reached suburban communities, annexing 23 between and Immigration increased dramatically at the turn of the century, and Montreal became a more ethnically and culturally diverse city. This meant that much western grain was shipped overseas through the port of Montreal, which was considerably enlarged at the beginning of the 20th century.

James Street was the country's financial centre. However, Toronto was a powerful rival, and benefited more in the long run from western settlement and from the growing trade with the United States. By Toronto had taken over Montreal's place as Canada's centre of economic activity, in part because of American industrial capital invested in Ontario. Montreal experienced another period of growth after the First World War that was based on industry, trade, finance and transportation.

In the population of the city and suburbs reached over one million, but the Great Depression brought this period of expansion to a halt and caused great hardship among the population. At the Depression's height in February there were 62, unemployed people in the city, and , receiving government assistance. The city administration went into debt because of huge relief expenses and in the early s was placed under trusteeship by the provincial government. The Second World War stimulated production and employment and helped restore prosperity to the city.

The s and s saw strong growth, especially in the suburbs where many new cities sprang up, as well as in the downtown area. Montreal embarked upon great projects under the leadership of Mayor Jean Drapeau , several on an international scale. After a long and painful period of industrial reorganization marked by high unemployment Montreal regained a strong vitality in the mids, and entered the 21st century with a modernized and buoyant economy. The city of Montreal encompasses the whole island of Montreal and some smaller surrounding islands.

There are many riverside parks all around the island and along the Lachine Canal. Mont Royal dominates Montreal's landscape, and determined its settlement pattern for many years. Lawrence River and a smaller river, Montreal's founder, Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve, moved to an elevated site 25 m farther from the river near Place d'Armes. This would become the site of Vieux "Old " Montreal, enclosed between and by a wall which was demolished in the early 19th century. Few visible traces of the early French settlement remain. Most of the old buildings still in existence date from the 19th century, as the area's wealthy residents have made way for stores, warehouses and office buildings.

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This street is lined with skyscrapers, the most famous being the cruciform Place Ville Marie 45 storeys , which was inaugurated in This downtown expansion led to the remodelling of the city. Many buildings with historical value were demolished, ancient residential areas were radically altered, and thousands of low-income residents were displaced.

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Around this downtown core are residential districts dating from the beginning of the 20 th century that have the highest density of dwellings in the city. These houses generally have two or three storeys and were built in rows.


Many also have much-celebrated outdoor stairways, a trademark of Montreal architecture of this period. The well-to-do areas nestle on the higher slopes of Mont Royal, especially the boroughs of Westmount and Outremont with their numerous parks, impressive mansions, and elegant public buildings. To the north the imposing shape of the Olympic Stadium dominates the district of Maisonneuve.

The vast suburban areas, developed from the late s, feature North American-style single-family residences. The Montreal landscape is circumscribed by the majestic St. Numerous bridges for automobiles and railways connect the different areas. In recent years the safety of many of these bridges has been questioned, and plans are underway for the construction of a new Champlain Bridge, scheduled to open in Two islands in the St. Lawrence River face the port of Montreal. Built for Expo 67, the island also housed Floralies Internationales in It is now a recreation playground and contains Casino de Montreal.

Montreal has had three distinct decades of rapid growth since the midth century: —61, —11 and — Demographic growth has largely been the result of an influx of people from outside the city, as the periods of rapid growth coincided with the arrival of large numbers of immigrants.

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The most significant growth, however, was a result of internal migration, as a significant number of French Canadians and smaller numbers of English-speaking Canadians living in Quebec rural areas moved to the city. Natural growth was also a major contributing factor after the Second World War. Between and the number of city residents declined, then rose slightly to stabilize at just over 1 million. During that period most of the population increase occurred in the suburban cities. In , 31 per cent of the metropolitan area population lived in Montreal proper, down from 80 per cent in The amalgamation of the island of Montreal altered that trend as the city population rose to 1.

The British were in the majority between and , after which time French Canadians again became the most populous ethnic group.

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At the turn of the 20th century Jews from Eastern Europe began to arrive, starting the process of ethnic diversification that accelerated during the 20th century. According to the census, people citing Canadian ethnic origins make up the largest ethnic group, at Visible minorities account for Native English speakers account for After having an economy based on the fur trade for years, Montreal evolved into a diversified commercial metropolis, focusing on both international trade and the distribution of manufactured goods. Industry played a growing role from the midth century, and in the 20th century the services sector expanded with the rise of financial institutions, universities and engineering firms.

In the late s Montreal experienced much slower growth than in previous decades. They closed their doors in droves, and the remaining manufacturers turned to highly automated production for niche markets to survive. The depressions of the early s and s also hit the city particularly hard, and unemployment rose dramatically. Despite social and economic hardship, the whole metropolitan area emerged from this fundamental reshuffling with a modernized and competitive industrial structure.

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The city experienced a burst of activity during the second half of the s and saw sustained growth from the mids. It is also a leading research and development centre, with its four universities and numerous research institutes and laboratories in areas such as telecommunications, pulp and paper, aerospace, software and pharmaceuticals.

Other important manufacturing sectors include food, beverages, tobacco products, chemicals, fabricated metal products and clothing. The city also boasts the world headquarters of the International Air Transport Association, which regulates air travel, and the North American head office of the International Society for Aeronautical Telecommunications. Place Jacques-Cartier is a lively public square in Old Montreal, which is surrounded by historic architecture, gardens and restaurants.

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Encompassing acres 0. There are 10 greenhouses in total, and more than 22, species of flora can be discovered around the peaceful grounds. Lawrence marine system. Here you can see 2, animals representing different species and some plant species, all under one roof.

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Along with the Botanical Garden, the Montreal Insectarium and the Planetarium, the Biodome is part of the biggest natural science museum complex in Canada, under the umbrella of Space for Life. While not solely underground, this extensive network of interconnected shopping malls, hotels, museums, metro stations and more is linked by an intricate network of tunnels — comprising around 20 miles 32 kilometers in total. Among the most popular is the lively Montreal International Jazz Festival , the largest jazz festival in the world, which takes place in late June and early July.

The festival closes a major part of the downtown area in order to accommodate up to 2. It is also one of largest in North America, with more than vendors during the peak season. Open year-round, you can browse selections of maple products, fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, fish, meat, spices, oils, cheese and a range of artisanal bakery goods.

Many of these items are local or regional Quebec specialities. Queues can stretch for blocks as people wait for the signature dish: a smoked meat sandwich on rye bread with mustard. Select currency. My Plans. Open menu Menu. The second largest French-speaking city in the world, Montreal is famed as a cosmopolitan hub of culture and international trade, with a rich colonial history. Historical Landmark. Add to Plan. Old Montreal is the most popular tourist spot in the city, and with good reason.

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