Canada's Cultural Capital (ID:11291)
Montreal (Listeni/ˌmʌntriːˈɒl/; French: Montréal; pronounced [mɔ̃ʁeal] ( listen)) is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the fifteenth largest in North America. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", the city takes its present name from Mount 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 May 10, 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 3,824,221 and a population of 1,886,481 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 1,649,519.
French is the city's official language and is also the language spoken at home by 60.5% of the population in the city of Montréal proper, followed by English at 21.2% and 23.4% other languages (as of 2006 census). In the larger Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 70.5% of the population speaks French at home, compared to 18.5% who speak English. 56% of the population is able to speak both English and French. Montreal is the third largest French-speaking city in the world, after Kinshasa and Paris.
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, design, 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[clarification needed] 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).
Old Montreal (French: Vieux-Montréal) is a historic area located southeast of downtown containing many different attractions such as the Old Port of Montreal, Place Jacques-Cartier, Montreal City Hall, the Bonsecours Market, Place d'Armes, Pointe-à-Callière Museum, the Notre-Dame de Montréal Basilica, and the Montreal Science Centre.
Architecture and cobbled streets in Old Montreal have been maintained or restored and are frequented by horse-drawn calèches carrying tourists. Old Montreal is accessible from the downtown core via the underground city and is served by several STM bus routes and metro stations, ferries to the South Shore and a network of bicycle paths.
The riverside area adjacent to Old Montreal is known as the Old Port. The Old Port was the former site of the worldwide Port of Montreal, but its shipping operations have been moved further east to its current larger site, leaving the former location as a recreational and historical area maintained by Parks Canada. The new Port of Montreal is now Canada's largest container port and the largest inland port on Earth.
The most popular sport in Montreal is ice hockey. The city's professional hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens, are one of the Original Six teams of the National Hockey League (NHL), and boast an NHL-record 24 Stanley Cup championships. The Canadiens' most recent Stanley Cup victory came in 1993. They have major rivalries with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins both of which are also Original Six hockey teams.
The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL) play at Molson Stadium on the campus of McGill University for their regular-season games. Late season and playoff games are played at the much larger, enclosed Olympic Stadium, which also played host to the 2008 Grey Cup. The Alouettes won the Grey Cup a total of 7 times, most recently in 2010. The McGill Redmen, Concordia Stingers, and Université de Montréal Carabins play in the CIS university football league.
Montreal also has a storied baseball history. The city was the home of the minor-league Montreal Royals of the International League until 1960. In 1946, Jackie Robinson broke the baseball colour barrier with the Royals in an emotionally difficult year; Robinson was forever grateful for the local fans' fervent support. Major League Baseball came to town in the form of the Montreal Expos in 1969. They played their games at Jarry Park until moving into Olympic Stadium in 1977. After 37 years in Montreal, the team relocated to Washington, D.C. in 2005 and re-branded themselves as the Washington Nationals.
Olympic Stadium, home of the former Montreal Expos and the largest stadium in Canada.
The Montreal Impact are the city's Major League Soccer team. They play at a soccer-specific stadium called Saputo Stadium. The Montreal Impact recently joined North America's biggest soccer league, the MLS in 2012. The Montreal games of the FIFA 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup were held at Olympic Stadium.
Montreal is the site of a high-profile auto racing event each year: the Canadian Grand Prix of Formula One (F1) racing. This race takes place on the famous Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Île Notre-Dame. In 2009, the race was dropped from the Formula One calendar, to the chagrin of some fans, but the Canadian Grand Prix returned to the Formula 1 calendar in 2010. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve also hosted a round of the Champ Car World Series from 2002–2007, and currently is home to the NAPA Auto Parts 200, a NASCAR Nationwide Series race, and the Montréal 200, a Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series race.
Uniprix Stadium, built in 1993 on the former site of Jarry Park, is used for the Rogers Cup men's and women's tennis tournaments. The men's tournament is a Masters 1000 event on the ATP Tour, and the women's tournament is a Premier tournament on the WTA Tour. The men's and women's tournaments alternate between Montreal and Toronto every year.
Montreal was the host of the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. The stadium alone cost $1.5 billion; with interest that figure ballooned to nearly $3 billion, and was only paid off in December 2006. Montreal also hosted the first ever World Outgames in the summer of 2006, attracting over 16,000 participants engaged in 35 sporting activities.