350 year old Montreal is located at the junction of the Ottawa River and the mighty St Lawrence, a thousand miles inland from the Atlantic. It was a major commercial centre back in the fur-trading days (then called Hochelaga) because it could be reached by ocean-going vessels. British merchants, who helped the city flourish as a bustling trade centre in the late 1700s, were followed over the years by waves of immigrants from more than 80 countries and every continent. The city's rich history and early commercial success is reflected in the many greystone buildings in Old Montreal. The Notre-Dame Basilica was built in 1829, in the Neo-Gothic style inspired by Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. Montréal has thrived on its cosmopolitan nature, and is the second largest French-speaking city in the world.
The 3.3 million population city (Canada's second-largest) is thriving cultural centre, dotted by monuments, museums and world-class sports palaces hosting national and international events. It was home to Expo 67, the 1976 Summer Olympics, and now regularly hosts major festivals, including the Montreal Comedy Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, and Grand Prix car races. Montreal is home to the NHL's Montréal Canadiens, the Montréal Expos Baseball Club and the Canadian Football League's new Alouettes. Montréal is the gastronomic capital of Canada and second on the continent only to New York. Montréal has a distinctly European flair with sidewalk cafés, quaint bistros, chic dining rooms and restaurants. Residents treasure the many parks in and close to the city, including the Mont Royal, which overlooks the city's beautiful downtown. In the winter, residents are close to skiing, including at the popular Mont Tremblant, in the Laurentian mountains just north of the city.
Link to Montréal (urban municipality)