Montreal, Quebec

Montreal is located in the South-West region of the Province of Quebec. Named for the triple-peaked mountain located in the heart of the city, Mont-Royal, or Montreal, is Canada’s second most populous city and the largest in the Province of Quebec. The city Montreal has just under 2 million people, but the surrounding metropolitan area has a population of over 3.5 million. The official language of Montreal is French as defined by the City’s Charter. After Paris, Montreal is the 2nd largest French speaking city in the world.

Montreal has a highly diversified economic base. It is the metropolis of French-speaking Quebec, and most of the large Francophone-owned corporations have headquarters there. About one-fifth of the metropolitan workforce is employed in manufacturing.

Textiles and garment making remain the major types of manufacturing in Montreal, but these sectors decline annually. Ranging in prominence after textiles are the food, beverage, tobacco, metal products, chemical & petroleum and printing & paper industries. The most significant change to the Montreal manufacturing base over the past fifteen years has been the growth of new industries such as aerospace, drug research and development, electronics, and computer programming.

In Montreal as elsewhere, most employment is in the services sector. In finance, the city hosts the head offices of the first and third largest Canadian banks, the Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of Montreal, as well as the two Francophone banks, the National Bank of Canada and the Laurentian Bank. Various other financial institutions are headquartered in Montreal: insurance and trust companies, brokerage houses, and investment firms. Toronto-based firms usually have their eastern Canada regional offices in Montreal.

The Port of Montreal is the largest inland port in the world handling 26 million tonnes of cargo annually. Montreal offers the shortest route from Europe to central Canada, the Midwestern United States, and the North-Eastern States. MontrĂ©al is Canada’s leading port for containerised cargo and one of the leading container ports on the Atlantic seaboard of North America. In summertime it also attracts many cruise ships. For these reasons Montreal is the railway hub of Canada.

From a cultural perspective, Montreal is home to many recognized film, comedy and music festivals namely the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Montreal World Film Festival, both contributing significantly to its economy. It is also home to one of the world’s largest cultural enterprises, the Cirque du Soleil.