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Montreal : a city whose passion, joie de vivre and rich cultural heritage are legendary
Marked by its past, proud of its bicultural heritage, and further enriched by immigration, Montréal turns resolutely toward the future.
Today, Montréal is home to some 3.4 million inhabitants who represent no fewer than 80 different ethnic groups. Montréal lives up to its reputation as an international city.
The second-largest French-speaking city in the world, Montréal hosted one of the most impressive world fairs of the century in 1967 as well as the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. The city donned its finest to welcome visitors and has preserved and even improved several of the attractions that it built for the two occasions. Because Montréal always loves to celebrate, it has naturally become a city of dazzling international festivals (jazz, film, comedy, fireworks, fine dining, Winter sports and so forth). The rhythm of events intensifies and visitors and Montrealers alike join in the dance. More than a few succumb to the city’s mixture of European and North American charm that both surprises and enchants.
Dynamic and modern, but respectful of its architectural heritage, Montréal successfully blends the old with the new. A trip through the past in Old Montréal and the Old Port lets you witness the origins and the growth of the colony. Museums and historical sites alternate with irresistible bistros in an atmosphere of yesteryear.
While venerating its past, Montréal also looks to the future, having earned a reputation as a world leader in leading-edge technologies such as aeronautics, information technologies and biotechnologies. Montréal is also an innovator, whether in the field of medical technology and equipment, the arts (for example, the Cirque du Soleil, modern dance and experimental theatre), information technology (software and multimedia productions) or in urban development (a unique underground city).
For those who wish to take a closer reading of Montréal’s pulse, what could be better than a stopover in some of the city’s most picturesque districts, such as the Jean-Talon Market in Little Italy, or along Saint-Denis Street in the Plateau Mont-Royal. In neighbourhood markets, boutiques, restaurants and cafés radiates the soul of Montréal, and the vitality and joie de vivre of its inhabitants.
Happy birthday Montreal !
On the occasion of Montréal’s 375th anniversary celebrations, let’s celebrate Montréal’s vivacity. If the downtown core and historic Old Montréal shine year-round with international festivals and events, summer 2017 will certainly be even more special. It’s time to celebrate Montréal’s roots: its history and heritage, not to mention its identity and diversity, in high style! Festivals, tastings, church bell concerts and neighourhood tours... The list is long!
Do not hesitate to take part in Montreal's 375th anniversary
- John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their legendary Bed-In in Montréal at the Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth hotel from May 26 to June 2, 1969.
- A popular local snack is “poutine” (French fries with cheese curds topped with gravy) – absolutely delicious!
- Our “underground city” has over 30 km (18 miles) of pedestrian walkways, indoor areas and tunnels linking 8 subway stations, 5 train stations and termini, 63 buildings, 9 major hotels, 2,000 businesses, 1,700 boutiques, 37 cinemas, theatres and exhibition halls, 10 university buildings and 43 indoor parking areas.
- The legal drinking age in Montréal is 18. Bars and restaurants can serve beer and alcohol from 11 a.m. to 3 in the morning.
- What others call “pastrami”, we call “smoked meat”. (By the way, our smoked meat sandwiches are to die for!)
- An entrée here is actually an appetizer.
- Montréal is among the 10 best cities in the world for outdoor dining, according to American travel guide publisher, Frommers.
- In total, 80 languages are spoken in the Montréal region, including French, English, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Greek, Chinese, German, Portuguese, Creole and Vietnamese.
- Montréal ranks second to Halifax for the number of Titanic victims buried in its cemeteries (12 in all).
- Eye contact in Montréal differs from that in other major cities. Whereas discretion is the order of the day elsewhere, Montréalers do not shy away from making eye contact with strangers.
- With the highest number of tango dancers and dance halls on the continent, Montréal is the tango capital of North America.
- Greeting a French-speaking person from Montréal can be confusing for visitors. The customary way to greet friends in Montréal is to kiss them on both cheeks, starting with the right, whereas Canadians in other provinces tend to keep their distance and simply shake hands.