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.
It is a genuine thrill to gaze over Montréal from the heights of one of the many belvederes that grace the Mount Royal, from the impressive Olympic Stadium’s inclined tower, or from the parc Jean-Drapeau (parc des Îles) in the midst of the St. Lawrence River. Seen from the spectacular Casino de Montréal on Notre-Dame Island, the downtown district, nestled between the river and the mountain, sparkles with light, reflecting the feverish, inviting and ceaseless activity, day and night. Among elegant skyscrapers, old Victorian manors and major shopping centres, renowned boutiques and restaurants compete with the cafés and nightclubs for which Montréal is known. Its parks and green spaces, like those of Mount Royal, the parc Jean-Drapeau (parc des Îles) and the Lachine Canal, offer breathtaking panoramas and provide outdoor enthusiasts with year-long facilities. Spectacular theme attractions about the Earth’s ecosystems, science or space offer a total, enchanting sensory experience for young and old alike. And don’t forget the internationally renowned Botanical Garden and its remarkable Insectarium.
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.