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Montreal is Canada’s second largest city and is home to nearly half of the province of Quebec’s population. It is the metropolis of the province and was the most populous city in Canada for a century and a half. It is located in southwestern Quebec on Île de Montreal at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers. Montreal is a major industrial centre, commercial and financial metropolis, railway and maritime bridgehead, and one of the centres of francophone culture in North America. It is one of the world's great cities and enjoys international acclaim.
Montreal is a city with considerable French colonial history dating back to the 16th century. It began as a missionary settlement but soon became a fur-trading centre, a role that was enhanced after the conquest of New France by the British in 1763. Montreal’s location on the St. Lawrence proved to be a major advantage in its development as a transportation, manufacturing, and financial centre. From the time of the confederation of Canada (1867), Montreal was the largest metropolitan centre in the country until it was overtaken by Toronto in the 1970s.
According to Statistics Canada, 72% of Montrealers work in French, 19% in English and 8% in French and English
Montreal rates as one of the world’s most livable cities, and was named “Canada’s Cultural Capital” by Monocle Magazine and a UNESCO “City of Design”.Montreal features a China Town, a Little Italy, a Little Portugal and various other neighbourhoods adopted by immigrants as their own. These enclaves give Montreal a taste of many world foods, cultures and music.
It’s quite impressive to see how many celebrities fall in love with Montreal. They all seem to agree there is something special about the city with its French and English cultures living side by side, its history, nightlife, gastronomy, unique way of life and especially, its high level of safety.
According to Mercer’s annual quality of living survey, Montreal was recognized as the fourth-best North American city to live in. The study examined numerous important factors – such as the political, social, economic and socio-cultural environment; health care; education; public services; recreation; housing; and the natural environment, among others. The urban center landed in the 21st spot in the overall global ranking.
Childcare costs in Canada are among the highest in the world, with most families spending almost a quarter of their income on it. However, despite this nationwide trend, Montreal has been named the least expensive city for full-time infancy care, making it an appealing, livable urban center for families with small children. Specifically, the median monthly cost for childcare in Montreal is currently $175 (the cost of infant care in Toronto is 10 times more, for instance, setting parents back $1,675 monthly).
With the most jobs created – around 19,000 – Quebec led the pack of Canadian provinces at the start of the New Year. Montreal, in particular, is home to some of the top Canadian employers that are all hiring at the moment – further emphasizing the wide range of professional opportunities that locals can take advantage of.Entrepreneurs and startup companies will feel especially at home in Montreal; the city has a strong community of people with entrepreneurial ventures who organize and participate in regular meetups and events.
As a fusion of different cultures, Montreal’s neighborhoods are as diverse as the people living in them. Made up of 19 different boroughs that are further divided into neighborhoods, each and every community has its own unique traits and characteristics. Here are some of the coolest places:
Montreal has a kind of joie de vivre mentality and, as such, the entire city likes to celebrate all year long. In fact, according to the World Cities Forum, the number of festivals and events surpasses 380 yearly, so there’s virtually no shortage of entertainment in Montreal – no matter the season. The Montreal World Film Festival, the International Jazz Festival, the Just for Laughs comedy festival, the Beer Festival and the Food Truck Festival are just a handful of the many epic events held in the city.
Montreal expertly balances its big city vibes with major urban spaces, friendly neighborhood parks, and charming city parks. You’ll find tons of green spaces everywhere – as well as the possibility of quality outdoor entertainment that comes in many forms. Plus, the future looks bright for parks in Montreal; the city is also planning on developing the largest municipal park in Canada.
Based on a recent survey by InterNations, Montreal is also the world’s fifth best city for expats. The survey was conducted on 20,000 foreign residents of 178 different nationalities who rated the urban center quite high in terms of safety, job satisfaction, work-life balance. and being able to adjust to the local culture. It’s no wonder so many people flock to Montreal!
For the fourth consecutive year, Montreal has retained its title as North America’s top city for students. When compiling the annual list, the QS Best Student Cities ranking evaluates factors such as safety, affordability, accessibility for international students, student population and the quality of the city’s universities. Considering Montreal’s multicultural makeup, high-ranking institutions, and countless entertainment options, the city has consistently been included in the world’s top best student cities in recent years.
Throughout the years, Montreal has been dominated by renters, with 63% of the city’s households currently renting. The monthly rent here is actually quite low compared to other large Canadian cities; a one-bedroom apartment costs $855 on average – far below what you’d pay in Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary or Halifax, for instance.
There are numerous options to get around Montreal without having to drive or splurge on pricy rides. For instance, Montreal’s STM public transport network is quite affordable and reliable and can get you to your destination in no time at all.
Moreover, despite its cosmopolitan feeling, it’s actually pretty easy to get around Montreal by foot. Plus, if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands and the weather allows, you might consider biking as most of the city’s streets are bike-friendly.
As a culturally diverse metropolis, Montreal has an extremely rich supply of restaurants. The city’s buzzing food scene is famous for its versatile palette, spectacular cuisine, and delicious eats. While there are many iconic dishes that you must try, the supply is seemingly never-ending and new restaurants pop up every day in various corners of the city. So, it’s safe to say that you’ll likely never run out of fun, quirky and new places to go to enjoy a good meal in Montreal.