"Le Grande Ville....C'est Montreal...." Montreal by Greggor58
Montreal Travel Guide: 3,655 reviews and 6,821 photos
I always refer to Montreal as Le Grand Ville...since I can remember anyhow...
I've been coming to visit and play here in this wonderful city by the St Lawrence River for a few decades...not so often lately..and now normally its a quick day trip or I'm flying in or out of Dorval.... named after the famous Pierre Elliot Trudeau..Canada's 15th Prime Minister, Montreal-Trudeau International Airport.
The first recollection of my being in Montreal was in 1967....celebrating in the Canadian Centennial Expo 67 that Montreal hosted for all the World to participate in...at the time it was considered to be the most successful World's Fair of the 20th century, with over 50 million visitors and 62 nations participating.As a nine year old I remember walking and walking amongst and through buildings built to represent the individual countries that were participating. Each country's building had "passport stamps" that I remember anxiously collecting as we ventured from pavilion to pavilion.
In my late teens I would travel the 100 miles or so with the prime motive of watching the Montreal Canadiens play an NHL hockey game...and in those days we would be quite happy to wait until just after the start of the game and we would buy "standing room" tickets from scalpers for a WHOPPING $ 5.00...we were close to the hot dog stands and of course the beer stands...and it was more about being a part of the atmosphere of the old Montreal Forum..the hockey was always good and the fun even better.
Before or after the games we would often head to St Catherine Street and find a little party to join in with...
The original inhabitants of what is now Montreal of course were the First Nations Peoples...First Nations history in the area likely goes back 8000 years or more...however...when Europeans first came to the area [French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1535] there was an Iroquoian village here called Hochelaga...
The "Father of Quebec"...Samuel de Champlain eventually established a fur trading post on the Island of Montreal in about 1642 called Ville Marie and this became along with Quebec City a base for French exploration and expansion of they're piece of the New World..."New France".
The history is quite interesting and somewhat complicated with various conflicts between Britain and France.."New France" and First Nations Peoples.and the Colonies of the United States that also played significant roles in the development and growth of Montreal...too long a story to relate here...there's loads of information out there for you if you really want to know...
The Irish, the First Nations,the Scottish and the British have been key in the early development and growth of the City of Montreal and also the Province of Quebec.The Scottish wave of immigration began to arrive in about 1815...the Irish started to arrive about 1820...the British...soon after the defeat of New France in 1763..
As of 2008 the Montreal region had a population of about 1,700,000 people..French is the predominant language spoken and in fact French is legislated as the "official" language of the Province of Quebec.Many other languages are indeed spoken here but French is the predominant one.Immigration here has in recent years been mostly from Francophone countries.
More than 120 cultural communities are presently represented in Montreal...The main countries of birth of the immigrant population are.. Europe 37%.. Asia 29.5%.. America 21%.. and Africa 12.4%....
Montreal truly is a "multi cultural"city and this has lead to a really unique and fun place to hang out and explore.The variety off foods,languages,traditions,music and cultures is stupendous...You really need to see and experience it for yourself...
- Pros:Amazing "joie de vivre"...really a city full of life and entertainment..
- Cons:Traffic can be a nightmare from time to time...
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