Montreal Facts

Montreal

Montreal is the second-largest city in Canada and the financial hub of Quebec. It is one of the oldest cities in North America, with a settlement date back to the 1600s. It is a lively city that is home to some of North America's most famous sights, like the Montreal Botanical Garden and Notre Dame Basilica, as well from festivals like Osheaga that attract world-class musicians every year. Montreal has plenty to explore and is home for many professionals who have been drawn by its low cost of living compared to other large cities in the country.


  • 1. Montreal officially became a city in 1832, when the City of Montreal was created from the merger of 20 suburban villages.
  • 2. Montreal is known as the cultural capital of Canada and refers to itself as Le Vieux-Montreal, or 'Old Montreal'. It is this title that makes it famous for its historic sites like Place des Arts, the Notre Dame Basilica and Pointe-du-Moulin Post Office Clock Tower.
  • 3. Montreal was a strategic spot for settlement by Europeans in North America since its location at the junction of three rivers made it easy for trading by canoe and barge with so many Iroquois villages adjacent to powerful French fur trading outposts along the Saint Lawrence River.
  • 4. Montreal has a low cost of living compared to other big cities in Canada, and the median household income is under $66,000. The city is known for its enthusiastic nightlife and diverse food options, and it is home to more than 1,200 restaurants.
  • 5. In 2004 Quebec's Parliament declared Montreal a "metropolis", a unique title that makes the city responsible for its own political land-use planning while remaining within the province of Quebec.
  • 6. In 2017, Montreal had one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada at 7 percent versus the national average of 6 percent due to its steady local economy with many businesses in industries such as pharmaceuticals, printing and publishing and aerospace.
  • 7. Famous dishes to try when in Montreal are poutine, a dish of french fries and cheese curds covered in gravy and served with a side of Quebec beer, bagels from Fairmount Bagel, smoked meat from Schwartz's Deli, Montreal Smoked Meat and Montreal Hot Dog with Fries.
  • 8. Famous people who are from Montreal are Oscar Peterson, Leonard Cohen, René Angélil and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté. The city has been the home to many major events including Pope John Paul II's mass at Notre Dame Basilica in 1984 and the 1976 Summer Olympics.
  • 9. The Montreal Canadians are a famous hockey team. Established in 1917, they have won 24 Stanley Cups and are the second-longest active current NHL team.
  • 10. The Montreal Alouettes are one of the most successful Canadian Football teams in history, winning 17 Grey Cups since their founding in 1896.
  • 11. Montreal has a very European feel to its cityscape, due to the numerous stone buildings erected during the mid-1800s on the same grid system implemented by its founder, Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve. Buildings of note include Notre Dame Basilica, Hotel de Ville and St Joseph's Oratory.
  • 12. Montreal has many famous parks, such as Mount Royal Park, the largest natural urban park in Canada. Other parks worth visiting are Jarry Park, and Jean-Drapeau Park.
  • 13. While you are in Montreal, visit the Bonsecours Market and Jean-Drapeau Park, explore Old Montreal's streets filled with art galleries and boutiques or visit the Atwater Market by metro and then stroll along Canal de Lachine on your way to Mount Royal Park for a view of the entire city. If you're shopping for souvenirs, visit Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours Chapel to get your first taste of Québec culture or wander up St Laurent Boulevard where you will find boutique shops and art galleries.
  • 14. The largest Museum in Montreal is the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, located in a building by architect Frank Gehry.
  • 15. To get around Montreal, you can use the Metro subway system or buses for over 14 million people ride them every year. Buses are free on Saturdays and Sundays as well as evenings after 7 p.m.