Montreal ( (listen) MUN-tree-AWL; French: [mɔ̃ʁeal] (listen); officially Montréal) is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold, snowy winters.
In 2016, the city had a population of 1,704,694, with a population of 1,942,044 in the urban agglomeration, including all of the other municipalities on the Island of Montreal. The broader metropolitan area had a population of 4,098,927. French is the city's official language and is the language spoken at home by 49.8% of the population of the city, followed by English at 22.8% and 18.3% other languages (in the 2016 census, not including multi-language responses). In the larger Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 65.8% of the population speaks French at home, compared to 15.3% who speak English. The agglomeration Montreal is one of the most bilingual cities in Quebec and Canada, with over 59% of the population able to speak both English and French. Montreal is the second-largest primarily French-speaking city in the world, after Paris. It is situated 258 kilometres (160 mi) south-west of Quebec City.
The Plateau or Plateau Mont-Royal is a part of the city of Montreal, just north of downtown and east of Mount Royal. Part of the borough of Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, the Plateau is the most densely populated neighbourhood in Canada, with nearly 100,000 people living in a 7.75 square kilometre area.
The Plateau was formerly a working-class neighbourhood, with the Eastern part being largely French-Canadian, and the Western part largely Jewish. The neighbourhood was the childhood home of Quebec writers Michel Tremblay and Mordecai Richler and both have set many stories in the Plateau of the 1950s and 60s.
The Plateau is characterized by brightly-coloured houses, cafés, book shops, and a laissez-faire attitude. The combination of different immigrant societies--notably many Portuguese and Spanish-speakers--adds to the feeling of tolerance and creates a unique atmosphere.
The neighbourhood is in the midst of gentrification. A historic local grocer, Warshaw, has recently been replaced by a Pharmaprix, and any number of trendy clothing stores have their place along this strip of St-Laurent.
Mordecai Richler (January 27, 1931 - July 3, 2001) was a Canadian author, scriptwriter and essayist. Richler was among Canada's best known and most widely published writers. He was also a controversial public figure. Richler's uncompromising opinions on contemporary Canadian issues easily matched, and sometimes exceeded, the satirical sting of his fiction.
Son of a scrapyard dealer, Richler was born and raised on St. Urbain Street in The Plateau neighbourhood of Montreal. As a child, he was part of the youth movement Habonim Dror, and thought seriously about moving to Israel to join a Kibbutz before University. He attended Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) to study English but dropped out before completing his degree. Richler moved to Paris at age 19, intent on following in the footsteps of a previous generation of literary exiles. He lived in Paris for several years, then moved to London, England. He returned to Montreal in 1972.
Did you know
... the city had come to be known as Montréal by the end of the 17th century, a name derived from the French Mont Royal ("Mount Royal"), the name of the three-head hill at the heart of the city?
... that the first European to reach the area was Jacques Cartier, on October 2, 1535?
... that 1000 de la Gauchetière is Montreal's tallest skyscraper, simply named for its address at 1000, La Gauchetiere Street?
... that the headquarters of the Canadian Space Agency are located in Longueuil, southeast of Montreal?
...that Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is the busiest airport in the province of Quebec and the third busiest airport in Canada by passenger traffic, serving 10,335,768 passengers in 2004?
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