Montreal is the second-largest city in Canada and the largest city
in the province of Quebec. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of
Mary", the city takes its present name from Mont-Royal, the
triple-peaked hill located in the heart of the city, whose name was
also initially given to the island on which the city is located. As of
July 2009, Statistics Canada identifies Montreal's Census Metropolitan
Area (CMA) as Canada's second most populous with a population of 1.9
millions in the city and metropolitan area population of 3.8 millions.
The most spoken language at home in the city is French by 52.4% of the
population, followed by English at 12.5%. Montreal is the second
largest primarily French-speaking city in the world, after Paris.
Montreal is consistently rated as one of the world's most livable
cities, was called "Canada's Cultural Capital" by Monocle Magazine and
recently was named a UNESCO City of Design. Though historically the
commercial capital of Canada, it was surpassed in population, as well
as economic strength, by Toronto after 1976. Today it continues as an
important centre of commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals,
technology, culture, tourism, film and world affairs. As of 2009,
Montreal is North America's number one host city for international
association events, according to the 2009 preliminary rankings of the
International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).
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