Friday, October 02, 2009
Vieux Montreal has been called Petit Paris
The city takes its present name from Mont-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.
It's the 2nd largest city in Canada (3.6 M) and 7th overall in Northern America.
In the city proper, the language most spoken at home is French by 56.9% of the population. Montreal is the second-largest primarily French-speaking city in the world, after Paris.
There is archaeological evidence of various nomadic native people occupying the island of Montreal for at least 2,000 years before the arrival of Europeans. The St. Lawrence Iroquoians established the village of Hochelaga at the foot of Mount Royal. The French explorer Jacques Cartier visited Hochelaga on October 2, 1535, claiming the St. Lawrence Valley for France.
Montreal industries include aerospace, electronic goods, pharmaceuticals, printed goods, software engineering, telecommunications, textile and apparel manufacturing, tobacco and transportation. The service sector is also strong and includes civil, mechanical and process engineering, finance, higher education, and research and development. In 2002, Montreal ranked as the 4th largest centre in North America in terms of aerospace jobs.
Montreal is also a centre of film and television production. The headquarter of five studios of the Academy Award-winning documentary producer National Film Board of Canada are in the city, as well as the head offices of Telefilm Canada. Given its eclectic architecture and broad availability of film services and crew members, Montreal is a popular filming location for feature-length films, and sometimes stands in for European locations.
The video game industry is also booming in Montreal since 1997, coinciding with the opening of Ubisoft Montreal.
Another success story: the world-renowned dance troupe Cirque du Soleil.