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MONTREAL, CANADA

Montreal was our firt destinantion in Quebec province where people start to speak french and don't to do so with english.

Montreal, is the largest city in the Canadian province of Québec and the second-largest city in Canada. Montreal was the largest city in Canada until 1976 when it was surpassed in size by Toronto. Originally called Ville-Marie ('City of Mary'), the city takes its present name from Mont-Royal, the three-headed hill at the heart of the city, whose name was also initially given to the island on which the city is located, or Mont Réal as it was spelled in Middle French, (Mont Royal in present French).

The official language of Montreal is French as defined by the city's charter. Montreal is the second-largest primarily French-speaking city in the world, after Paris. As of the 2006 Canadian Census, 1,620,693 people resided in the city of Montreal proper, ranking it the 2nd largest city in Canada and 6th overall in North America. The population of the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area (also known as Greater Montreal) was 3,635,571 at the same 2006 census. In the census metropolitan area, French is the language most spoken at home by 70.5% of the population (as of 2006 census).

There is archaeological evidence of various nomadic native peoples occupying the island of Montreal for at least 2,000 years before the arrival of Europeans. The St. Lawrence Iroquoians established the village of Hochelaga at the foot of Mount Royal. The French explorer Jacques Cartier visited Hochelaga on October 2, 1535, claiming the St. Lawrence Valley for France. He estimated the population to be "over a thousand".

Seventy years later, French explorer Samuel de Champlain reported that the St. Lawrence Iroquoians and their settlements had disappeared altogether from the St. Lawrence valley, likely due to inter-tribal wars, European diseases and out-migration. Champlain established in 1611 a fur trading post on the Island of Montreal, on a site initially named La Place Royale, at the confluence of Saint-Pierre River and St. Lawrence River, where present-day Pointe-à-Callière stands. In 1639, Jérôme Le Royer de La Dauversière obtained the Seigneurial title to the Island of Montreal in the name of the Société de Notre-Dame de Montréal to establish a Roman Catholic mission for evangelizing natives. Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve was the governor of the colony.

Ville-Marie became a centre for the fur trade and a base for further French exploration in North America. It remained a French colony until 1760, when it was surrendered to Great Britain.

Montreal was incorporated as a city in 1832. The opening of the Lachine Canal permitted ships to bypass the unnavigable Lachine Rapids, while the construction of the Victoria Bridge established Montreal as a major railway hub. By 1860, it was the largest city in British North America and the undisputed economic and cultural centre of Canada.

Montreal was the capital of the Province of Canada from 1844 to 1849, but lost its status when a Tory mob burnt down the Parliament building to protest the passage of the Rebellion Losses Bill.

After World War I, the Prohibition movement in the United States turned Montreal into a haven for Americans looking for alcohol. Unemployment remained high in the city, and was exacerbated by the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression.

During World War II, Mayor Camillien Houde protested against conscription and urged Montrealers to disobey the federal government's registry of all men and women. Ottawa was furious over Houde's insubordination and held him in a prison camp until 1944, when the government was forced to institute conscription (see Conscription Crisis of 1944).

By 1951, Montreal's population had surpassed one million people. The Saint Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959, allowing vessels to bypass Montreal: a development that would in time help to spell the end of the city's economic dominance. However, the 1960s saw continued growth, including Expo 67, the construction of Canada's tallest skyscrapers, new expressways and the Montreal Metro system.

The 1970s ushered in a period of wide-ranging social and political changes, stemming in large part from the concerns of the French-Canadian majority about the conservation of their culture and language, given the traditional predominance of the English-Canadian minority in the business arena. The October Crisis and the election of the separatist political party, the Parti Québécois, resulted in the departure of many businesses and people from the city. In 1976, Montreal was the host of the 1976 Summer Olympics.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, Montreal experienced a slower rate of economic growth than many other major Canadian cities. By the late 1990s, however, Montreal's economic climate had improved, as new firms and institutions began to fill the traditional business and financial niches.

Montreal was merged with the 27 surrounding municipalities on the Island of Montreal on January 1, 2002. The merger created a unified city of Montreal which covered the entire island of Montreal. This move proved unpopular, and several former municipalities, totalling 13% of the population of the island, voted to leave the newly unified city in separate referendums in June 2004. The demerger took place on January 1, 2006, leaving 15 municipalities on the island, including Montreal.
June 2009

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