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  • Pre-European contact[ edit ] Jacques Cartier at Hochelaga. Arriving inCartier was the first European to visit the area. Archaeological evidence demonstrates that First Nations native people occupied the island of Montreal as early as 4, years ago.

    Within a few hundred years, they had built fortified villages. This is believed to be due to outmigration, epidemics of European diseases, or intertribal wars. At the confluence of Petite Riviere and St. French authorities surrender the city of Montreal to the British after the Articles of Capitulation was signed in Dauversiere hired Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuvethen 30, to lead a group of colonists to build a mission on his new seigneury.

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    The colonists left France in for Quebec, and arrived on the island the following year. On May 17,Ville-Marie was founded on the southern shore of Montreal island, with Maisonneuve as its first governor. The settlement included a chapel and a hospital, under the command of Jeanne Mance.

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    In the spring ofthe Iroquois attacks became so frequent and so violent that Ville Marie thought its end had come. Maisonneuve made all the settlers take refuge in the fort.

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    By the colony at Montreal had been so reduced that he was forced to return to France to raise volunteers to go with him to the colony the following year. If the effort had failed, Montreal was to be abandoned and the survivors re-located downriver to Quebec City. Before these arrived in the fall ofthe population of Montreal was barely 50 people. By Ville Marie was home to some colonists, most of them living in modest wooden houses.

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    Ville Marie became a centre for the fur trade and a base for further exploration. To encourage French settlement, they wanted the Mohawk to move away from the fur trading post at Ville Marie. They had a mission village, known as Kahnewakesouth of the St Lawrence River. The fathers persuaded some Mohawk to make a new settlement at their former hunting grounds north of the Ottawa River. All three are now Mohawk reserves in Canada. It bypassed the rapids west of the city, linking Montreal with other continental markets.

    Montreal was incorporated as a city in The redivision of the continent begun by the American Revolution had been intensified by rivalry in the fur trade. The French fur trade of Montreal had been taken over by British American traders who conducted the trade with the aid of French… Character of the city Montreal is a city with considerable French colonial history dating back to the 16th century.

    It began as a missionary settlement but soon became a fur-trading centre, a role that was enhanced after the conquest of New France by the British in Lawrence proved to be a major advantage in its development as a transportation, manufacturing, and financial centre. From the time of the confederation of CanadaMontreal was the largest metropolitan centre in the country until it was overtaken by Toronto in the s.

    French Canadians are the majority population in Montreal, which is often said to be the second largest French-speaking city in the world after Paristhough the accuracy of that statement is sometimes questioned principally by those who make the same claim for Kinshasa and Algiers.

    Montreal remains a city of great charm, vivacity, and gaiety, as well as one of unquestioned modernity. Bonsecours MarketBonsecours Market, Montreal.

    Lawrence was a large sea Champlain Sea that eventually drained, leaving the fertile sedimentary St. Lawrence River valley, which is shaped like a funnel—narrow at the Quebec city end and considerably wider upriver at Montreal.

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    Those physical conditions eventually translated into a settlement pattern with more farms and people in and around Montreal than around Quebec city. Old PortOld Port section of Montreal.

    Lawrence River, draining the Great Lakesprovided a natural waterway and transportation corridor to the heart of the North American continent.

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    Its location at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers made it an important staging centre for a fur trade to the west and north as far as the Hudson Bay. While the Lachine Rapids on the St. Lawrence just west of the city prohibited some larger vessels from continuing upriver, fur traders were nevertheless able to follow the river to the Great Lakes and, via Lake Michiganon to the largest river system in North America—the Mississippi - Missouri rivers.

    The Lachine Canal National Historic Site preserves the path of the ship canal at the southern end of Montreal Island that was used to bypass the rapids until the seaway was constructed. The city is built around and up Mont Royal Mount Royalwhich rises to feet metres.

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    Map of Montreal c. Climate Montreal has a continental climate, but its proximity to the Great Lakes, in combination with prevailing westerly winds, modifies temperatures for both winter and summer. The prevailing winds and Great Lakes also influence precipitationwhich is relatively even year-round amounting to approximately 41 inches 1, mm annually. In winter, though, that precipitation is mainly in the form of snow, and totals often exceed 7 feet about 2. A memorable ice storm in took a number of lives, made travel on roads impossible, and caused major damage to hydroelectric transmission lines and trees.

    City layout The rapid economic growth of Montreal following World War II was accompanied by administrators intent upon grand designs. Expo 67 Man and His World involved massive construction and was located on two islands in the St. City HallMontreal City Hall. While the Place Ville-Marie remained an important landmark, taller buildings were constructed at the end of the s. While visitors often note the European flavour of Montreal, downtown Montreal is definitely North American in style.

    Particularly popular is the Jean-Talon market, which hosts hundreds of vendors in summer months. Offering an abundance of haute-cuisine restaurants and art galleries, Old Montreal is popular with tourists and locals alike.

    Northwest of Mont Royal is Outremont, which merged with Montreal City in and has long been home to the Francophone elite. At the beginning of the 21st century, Outremont was also home to the second largest Hasidic Jewish community in North America after the one in New York City. Also noteworthy is the monumental St.

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    The renaissance-style oratory is easily recognizable with its large white dome surmounted by a cross that marks the highest point in Montreal feet [ metres] above sea level. It is a common ritual for pious pilgrims to climb its 99 front stairs on their knees. The growth of Montreal as a manufacturing centre required plenty of labour; in answer, some came from Europe, but most of those who sought work were French Canadians, which eventually led to conflict. The owners and controllers of the Montreal economy were, for the most part, Anglophones; French Canadians, the dominant population from the mids, worked in the factories.

    That divide at the workplace was mirrored in a spatial pattern that developed whereby Boulevard Saint-Laurent St. Lawrence Street became a linguistic partition, with Francophones living to the east of it and English speakers to the west. The economic boom following World War II attracted immigrants from Europe, Asia, Africa, and elsewhere in the Americas, transforming Montreal into a diverse multicultural city. Despite that increase in immigrant population, French speakers make up about half of the population in the city proper and some two-thirds of the population on the island.

    Religious affiliations in Montreal generally follow ethnic traditions. Roman Catholicism is by far the dominant faith, although active religious practice among Roman Catholics has dramatically diminished since the midth century. Economy Manufacturing Transportation improvements were vital in attracting manufacturing industries to Montreal.

    With canal construction and advancements, oceangoing vessels were able to reach the city, and, with rail developments, by the s Montreal had become a hub for transcontinental and international movement of goods.

    As a consequence, manufacturing industries lined the Lachine Canal, producing cotton goods, clothing, textiles, shoes, food, and beverages as well as ships, metal goods, and petroleum products.

    By the midth century the general shift from rail to road transportation of goods was matched by the flight of many industries away from Montreal to suburbs. The restructuring of industry resulted in the loss of manufacturing jobs, but, over time, new often high-tech industries emerged.

    Other industries include food processingbeverage making, engineering, software development, and the manufacture of telecommunications equipment and pharmaceuticals, along with printing and publishing. Indeed, the operational headquarters of the Bank of Montreal relocated in Toronto, thus assisting the latter city in becoming the financial capital of Canada.

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    Transportation The series of rapids on the St. Lawrence River west of Montreal long served as a barrier to oceangoing vessels accessing the Great Lakes. However, that impediment was overcome in with the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, a joint venture of the U.

    The seaway, along with the introduction of icebreakers in winter, not only provided much-greater access to the centre of the North American continent but also benefited other Quebec port cities, such as Baie Comeau and Quebec city, as ships could now bypass Montreal in the transatlantic trade.

    In response, Montreal invested in container facilities and became a leader in that vital shipping service. The s also saw the proliferation of automobiles and freeways, and in the Metropolitan Boulevard, an east-west throughway that spanned the island, was opened.

    In the early 21st century Montreal was afflicted by considerable traffic congestion that may have been at least partly a long-term consequence of a cost-driven moratorium on freeway construction from to Montreal is still a railway centre, and, while much of the rail traffic is dedicated to moving goods, there is also regular passenger service to other cities such as Toronto and the Ottawa-Gatineau area.

    Montreal is served by two international airports both under the same authority: Hussein Abdallah Public transportation in Montreal dates from the intermittent use of horse-drawn omnibuses perhaps as early as the late s.

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    During the winter in the s, sleighs replaced the railcar service that was inaugurated in By the entire system had been electrified and the last horsecars withdrawn from service. Electric trolley buses were used from to The system was inaugurated six months before the opening of Expo Each Metro station has a different architectural design and artistic decor.

    Underneath the city, some million square feet 36 million square metres of pedestrian walkways, malls, and shops offer protection from the winter cold and snow. Directly connected to the subway system, the elaborate underground network ranks as the largest of its kind in the world.

    Aboveground, for three seasons of the year, the public bicycle share system, BIXI an amalgam of the words bicycle and taxiallows riders to rent a bike and drop it off at a docking station near their destination.