Montreal (AFI: / mɔ̃ʁeal /), in English Montreal (/ mʌntriːˈɒl /), is the most populous city in the province of Québec and the second most populous city in Canada.
It is also the largest French-speaking city on the American continent.
It is a completely insular city, as it rises on the Hochelaga archipelago, a group of islands at the confluence of the Ottawa and San Lorenzo rivers.
Its main language is French, in which it is called the Métropole.
It is a multicultural city because, compared to the majority of French speakers, there are significant contingents of inhabitants of Italian, Scottish, Jewish and English origin, just to name a few of the most represented ethnic groups.
The metropolitan area has about 4 million inhabitants.
Cultural center of great importance both for the country and for French speakers, the Universal Exposition of 1967 was held there, considered one of the major events of the twentieth century and whose legacy has gone beyond the boundaries of the millennium; it was also the site of the Games of the XXI Olympiad in 1976 and, as far as major periodic events are concerned, it has hosted the Canadian Grand Prix since 1978, a test of the Formula One calendar held on the Gilles Villeneuve circuit located on the town island of Notre-Dame.
Since 2017, its mayor is Valérie Plante, belonging to the independent political party Projet Montréal.
Francophonie and multi-ethnicity
By number of inhabitants, Montreal is the fourth most populous French-speaking city in the world after Paris (France), Abidjan
(Ivory Coast) and Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo). The city is characterized by its cultural and linguistic variety: French is the mother tongue of about 68.8% of the residents and is the official and lingua franca of communication of the city.
There are also a minority of English speakers (about 12.3% of the urban population) and numerous communities of native languages other than French and English (once more assimilated to the Anglophone community, today increasingly assimilated to the French-speaking majority).
Note a strong Italian minority of over 300,000 inhabitants in the entire metropolitan area, and the presence of an area called Petite Italie, in which a variety of the Italian language called "Italianese" is spoken and characterized by the presence of Italianized English and French words. . Today, Montréal is one of the most multi-ethnic cities in North America, with more than 30% of the population not descended from the first French inhabitants.
From Hochelaga to the fur trade
The fortified village of Hochelaga, of the Iroquois of San Lorenzo, was on the island during the visits of Jacques Cartier in October 1535. he had baptized it "Mons realis" (Royal Mountain in Latin). In the 20th century, archaeologists unearthed artifacts that suggest a human presence between 3,000 and 4,000 years before our era. However, at the time of the founding of the city of Québec by Samuel de Champlain on July 3, 1608, no traces of the village of Hochelaga remained; its location remains unknown.
In 1615 Samuel de Champlain came up with the idea of a new city on the Saint Lawrence River in order to promote the Catholic religion among the Indians of New France. However, the French settled there only on May 17, 1642, when a group of priests, nuns and settlers of the Notre-Dame de Montréal society, led by Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, founded the village of Ville-Marie. Among the colonizers are Jeanne Mance, co-founder of Montréal, who soon founded the hospital in Montréal, one of the first in North America, and Marguerite Bourgeoys, who brought education to New France.
In 1680 there were 493 inhabitants in Montréal; 75 from Paris, 68 from Normandy, 54 from Unis (La Rochelle), 35 from Anjou, 34 from Poitou, 28 from