About Montreal


City of Montreal

Geography (Location)

Montreal is located in the southwest of the province of Quebec, approximately 275 kilometres (168 miles) southwest of Quebec City, the provincial capital, and 167 kilometres (104 mi) east of Ottawa, the federal capital. It also lies 502 kilometres (312 mi) northeast of Toronto, 407 kilometres (253 mi) northwest of Boston and 530 kilometres (329 mi) directly north of New York City.

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Demographics (Population)

According to Statistics Canada, at the 2006 Canadian census the city of Montreal proper had 1,620,693 inhabitants. However, 3,635,571 lived in the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) at the same 2006 census, up from 3,451,027 at the 2001 census (within 2006 CMA boundaries), which means a population growth of +1.05% per year between 2001 and 2006. In the 2006 census, children under 14 years of age (621,695) constituted 17.1 percent, while inhabitants over 65 years of age (495,685) numbered 13.6 percent of the total population. People of European ethnicities formed the largest cluster of ethnic groups in Montreal, mostly of French, Irish, Italian, and British origins. Some 26 percent of the population of Montreal and 16.5 percent of Greater Montreal are members of a visible minority (non-white) group. Black Canadians contribute to the largest visible minority group in greater Montreal, numbering some 169,065 or 4.7%, which is the second-largest community of African-origin people in Canada, after Toronto. Other groups, such as Jews, Arabs, Hispanics, Berbers, South Asians, and Orientals are also large in number.

According to a recently published report by the city of Montreal, the island is expected to number 1,991,200 by 2012, with 3,950,300+ in the Greater Montreal Area, an increase of 15.8% over 2001.

Ethnic origin Population: Canadian 1,670,655 French 936,990 Italian 260,345 Irish 216,410 English 148,095 Scottish 119,365 Jewish 92,970 Haitian 85,785 Chinese 82,665 German 78,315 North American Indian 74,565 Québécois 72,445 Greek 61,770 Spanish 56,770 Lebanese 53,455 Polish 51,920 Portuguese 46,535 East Indian 39,305 Romanian 36,275 Russian 35,800 Moroccan 33,270 Vietnamese 30,505


In terms of mother tongue language (first language learned), the 2006 census reported that in the Greater Montreal Area, 66.5% spoke French as a first language, followed by English at 13.2%, while 0.8% spoke both as a first language. The remaining 22.5% of Montreal-area residents are allophones, speaking languages including Italian (3.5%), Arabic (3.1%), Spanish (2.6%), Creole (predominantly of Haitian origin) (1.4%), Chinese (1.2%), Greek (1.2%), Berber (1.1%), Portuguese (0.9%), Romanian (0.7%), Vietnamese (0.7%), and Russian (0.5%). In terms of additional languages spoken, a unique feature of Montreal throughout Canada, noted by Statistics Canada, is the working knowledge of both French and English by most of its residents.

Religious Background

The Greater Montreal Area is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. However, church attendance in Quebec is among the lowest in Canada. Historically Montreal has been a centre of Catholicism in North America with its numerous seminaries and churches, including the Notre-Dame Basilica, the Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde, and Saint Joseph’s Oratory. Some 84.6 percent of the total population is Christian, largely Roman Catholic (74.5%), which is largely due to French, Italian and Irish origins. Protestants which include Anglican, United Church, Lutheran and other denominations number 7.0%, with a further 3.0% consisting mostly of Orthodox Christians, fuelled by a large Greek population. Due to the large number of non-European cultures, there is a diversity of non-Christian religions. Islam is the largest non-Christian group, with some 100,185 members, the second-largest concentration of Muslims in Canada, constituting 3%. The Jewish community in Montreal has a population of 88,765. In cities such as Côte-Saint-Luc and Hampstead, Jewish people constitute the majority, or a substantial part of the population. As recently as 1971 the Jewish community in Greater Montreal was as high as 109,480. Political and economic uncertainties led many to leave Montreal and the province of Quebec.

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