Montreal is the second largest city in Canada, second only to Toronto in terms of population. In the 16th century, the French navigator Jacques Cartier visited it. During one of his expeditions to North America, he climbed up the St. Lawrence River to the village of Tohelaga, where the Indians lived. It was thanks to Cartier that this area received the French name - Mont-Royal, which means "royal mountain". Archaeological research shows that the first Indian settlements on the site of modern Montreal appeared long before the arrival of Europeans.
10 interesting facts about Montreal
- Montreal received the status of a city only in 1832, but since then it has been developing rapidly. For several years, from 1844 to 1849, Montreal was the capital of Canada. In 1951, the population of the city exceeded 1, 000, 000. And over the past six decades, it has doubled.
- French is the first language for most Montreal people. Since 1977, this language has been the only official language in the city. At the same time, the majority of Montreal residents are fluent in English. There are about 40, 000 Russians in Montreal, including those whose ancestors moved here from Russia 100 years ago, after the October Revolution. Therefore, not all Russians remember their language.
- For many years the tram in Montreal was the main form of public transport, the metro appeared here only in 1967. In terms of the total length of tram lines (510 kilometers), no city in Canada could compare with Montreal. But, since the mid-fifties of the last century, it was decided to gradually replace trams with buses. A few years later, only memories of trams remained here, the last of them drove through the city streets on August 30, 1959.
- The flag of Montreal depicts the cross of St. George, the patron saint of the city. The flag was designed in 1935. In addition to the cross of St. George, there were four plants on it, which symbolized the largest diasporas living here: the lily of the Bourbons (France), the scarlet rose of Lancaster (England), the thistle (Scotland) and the shamrock (Ireland). In 2017, the Weymouth pine also appeared on the flag, as a symbol of the indigenous peoples of this area.
- The Montreal Casino, opened on October 9, 1993, is the largest in Canada and one of the largest in the world. It is open to visitors around the clock, seven days a week. It consists of three huge pavilions with over 3, 000 slot machines and over a hundred gaming tables. Every day, the casino accepts up to 17, 000 players who want to try their luck. The casino is owned by the government of the province of Quebec, which is centered on Montreal, and generates good revenue for the local budget.
- For over 40 years, Montreal has hosted the annual International Jazz Festival, which is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest music festival in the world. More than 2, 000 musicians from all over the world come to the capital of the province of Quebec, and the number of spectators reaches two million people. Many tourists specially plan their trip to Montreal during the festival to witness this grand spectacle. And the city treasury earns more than $ 150 million.
- Summer in Montreal is quite warm, with temperatures often exceeding 30 degrees. And winters are often cold and snowy with strong blizzards. The average January temperature is minus ten degrees. A record cold snap in the city was recorded in 1957, when the thermometers showed a mark of 37.8 degrees Celsius.
- "Golden Square Mile" is the name of the elite district of Montreal, where the financial elite of the city owns real estate, in whose hands 2/3 of the country's entire wealth is concentrated. The area is home to a wealth of prestigious shops, restaurants, museums and art galleries. And the luxurious mansions of the Canadian wealthy, in which there are more than 50 rooms, are a common occurrence in this area.
- The 1976 Summer Olympics were held in Montreal. For Soviet athletes, they became a real triumph, 49 gold, 41 silver and 35 bronze awards were won. But the Canadians themselves, to their great disappointment, could not win a single gold medal. Interesting fact: the Olympic Games were opened by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, and her daughter, Princess Anne, competed in equestrian sports.
- The story of Montreal would not be complete without mentioning the city's main attraction - the Montreal Canadiens hockey club. The team is the most titled in the NHL, having won 24 times the most prestigious league trophy - the Stanley Cup. The most implacable opponent of Montreal is the Toronoto Maple Leafs. An interesting description of the two cities was given by the Czech hockey player Tomáš Plekanec, who played in both Montreal and Toronto. According to the athlete, "in Montreal, everyone lives by hockey, and in Toronto, it's just business."