Often, when people think of Canada, they immediately think of Montreal. They think of fashion, of nightlife, of jazz festivals, and a city that doesn’t sleep. They think of hockey teams and cold winters, of French cuisine and culture. They think of an old port with cobbled streets and a history that dates back to the mid 1600s.
Provincial laws dictate that French is the primary language in Montreal and French influence is threaded throughout the arts, music, folklore, literature and film. in many ways, Montreal is the cross roads of both European and American culture and there is a divide amongst cultural scholars as to the greater influence on Montreal culture….Paris or New York.
Montreal’s population is one of the world’s best educated with the highest college student concentration per capita of North America. The city has become a centre of high-tech industry, especially in the areas of medicine, pharmaceuticals, textiles and aerospace manufacturing. Montreal also produces electronics, industrial food and transport and telecommunication equipment. It is a centre of cigar processing.
Thousands of international students choose Montreal as the place to learn and study English and French because of the great cultural environment and because they can practice two languages at one time.
Montreal is truly a fusion of traditional and contemporary. Historic buildings reflect the architectural influence of Europe, especially in the area known as Vieux Montreal (Old Montreal) and sidewalk cafés host visitors throughout the summer months as they enjoy a multitude of cultural festivals. Strolling through Vieux Montreal can easily fool you into believing the Eiffel Tower is close by.
But there is nothing “old” about Montreal. It is vibrant and alive with an abundance of energy in the air. The cultural influence of the past has meshed with today’s modern world, resulting in a unique culture found nowhere else in North America. Montreal must be visited to be fully appreciated. It is one of the treasures of our continent.