Montréal is one of the most important cities in Canada

November 27, 2012 9:01 am

Montréal is one of the most important in Canada. It’s a center of industry, trade, culture, and tourism. Until the 1990s, Montréal was the largest city in Canada. Now Toronto has more people, and Montréal is Canada’s second largest city.
CITY ON AN ISLAND
Montréal sits on an island. The island is in the St. Lawrence River in the province of Québec. The city’s suburbs have spilled over onto the mainland.
A mountain rises in the middle of Montréal and dominates the city. Its name is Mount Royal (Mont Real in an old form of French). Montréal takes its name from this mountain. At the top of Mount Royal is a beautiful park.
Downtown Montréal lies at the foot of Mount Royal. Skyscrapers, offices, banks, hotels, and shops cluster here. A law forbids downtown skyscrapers from rising higher than the top of Mount Royal.
A FRENCH-SPEAKING CITY
Two-thirds of Montréal’s people speak French as their native language. That makes Montréal the second largest French-speaking city in the world. Only Paris, the capital of France, has more French speakers.
Montréal was founded by settlers from France in 1642. That makes it one of the oldest cities in North America. Montréal was once part of New France, the empire built by France in North America. France lost this territory to Britain in the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Britain renamed the territory Canada.
Today, Montréal is a mixture of French and British influences. Most people speak both French and English. Montréal takes great pride in its French heritage. Tourists flock to the city to enjoy its fine French restaurants and its French atmosphere. Montréal also has excellent museums and theaters.
For most of Montréal’s history, nearly all its people were of either French or British descent. During the 1900s, many immigrants came to the city from countries in Europe. Montréal has also become home to immigrants from countries in Africa and Latin America.
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