Made of 96 images. HDR panorama. Shot at 35 mm
Montreal (Listeni /ˌmʌntriˈɔːl/; French: Montréal pronounced [mɔ̃ʁeˈal] ( listen)) is the largest city in the province of Quebec and the second-largest city in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", the city takes its present name from Mont-Royal, the triple-peaked hill located in 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).
As of February 2011, Statistics Canada identifies Montreal's Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) (land area 4,259 square kilometres (1,644 sq mi)) as Canada's second most populous with an estimated metropolitan area population of 3,859,318, and a population of 1,934,082 in the "agglomeration" of Montreal, which includes all of the municipalities on the island of Montreal. The city of Montreal proper had a population of 1,620,693 (as of 2006 census).
French is the city's official language and is also the language spoken at home by 59.8% of the population, followed by English at 19.4% (as of 2006 census). In the larger Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 67.9% of the population speak French at home, compared to 16.5% who speak English. More than half of the population reports being able to speak both English and French. Montreal is the second largest primarily French-speaking city in the world, after Paris. Although a few francophone African cities are bigger in size, notably Kinshasa, Algiers, and Abidjan, these cities' inhabitants speak French as a second language.
Montreal is consistently rated as one of the world's most livable cities, was called "Canada's Cultural Capital" by Monocle Magazine and recently was named a UNESCO City of Design. Though historically the commercial capital of Canada, it was surpassed in population, as well as economic strength, by Toronto after 1976. Today it continues as an important centre of commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, culture, tourism, film and world affairs.
In 2010, Montreal was named a hub city, ranked 34th globally out of 289 cities for innovation across multiple sectors of the urban economy, in the Innovation Cities Index by 2thinknow. Montreal was the next Canadian city in the annual index behind nexus city Toronto in 12th place and ahead of fellow hub cities Calgary, Quebec City, Vancouver and Edmonton. In 2009, Montreal was named North America's number one host city for international association events, according to the 2009 preliminary rankings of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).