Canada’s second largest city, and the second largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris, Montreal is as near to the European coast as to Vancouver. Regarded as one of North America’s most appealing cities, Montreal has developed a vibrant cosmopolitan city life despite fluctuating tensions between the French and minority English-speaking communities. Two-thirds of the city’s people are of French extraction with the rest a mix including groups of Eastern European, Italian, Chinese, Greek, Jewish, South American and West Indian origin.
Known as Hochelaga by the Huron Indians, the first European to visit the site of Montreal was French navigator and explorer Jacques Cartier, during his second voyage to the New World in 1535–36. Cartier was welcomed by the Indians on the slope of the mountain he named Mont Réal. Fifty years later Samuel de Champlain, the founder of Quebec city, became the second French arrival.
The city was founded by Paul de Chomedey in May...