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Only in Montréal...

does a simple stroll seem like time travel: you go back in time or leap to the future with every step. With memories of New France swirling amongst ultramodern construction, it’s no wonder that Montréal was the first North American city to be appointed a UNESCO City of Design.

Geography

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Montreal is in the southwest of the province of Quebec. The city covers most of the Island of Montreal at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers. The port of Montreal lies at one end of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, the river gateway that stretches from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic. Montreal is defined by its location between the Saint Lawrence river to its south and the Rivière des Prairies to its north. The city is named after the most prominent geographical feature on the island, a three-head hill called Mount Royal, topped at 232 m above sea level.

History

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Old in soul, but young at heart, Montréal has a storied past that includes First Nations settlement, French colony and a British stronghold. Its name comes from its centerpiece—the majestic Mont Royal, a gentle mountain that, throughout history, has been its backbone and backyard.

From small beginnings, Montréal has blossomed into of the world’s most modern and dynamic metropolises. You can see its European heritage shining though in the beautiful 18th-century buildings and cobblestone streets of Old Montréal. A few streets over, the buzz of its dynamic downtown reveals that it’s just as on-trend, cutting-edge and wildly creative. Montréal lives in both French and English, but its multicultural population is really what shapes the cuisine, culture and conversation here.