An island of diversity and contrasts

Montreal is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, with more than 120 cultural communities represented here. Its population hails from every continent, but chiefly from Europe (37%), Asia (29%), America (21%) and Africa (12%).

In more than one neighbourhood, this cultural diversity is a strong source of identity that is proudly displayed by its residents, of course, but also by its shops, restaurants and other businesses, whose owners are all always happy to offer customers a little piece of “their country.”

But immigration alone doesn’t account for the myriad particularities that are the pride of Montreal. History also has a lot to do with it. Montreal was a major industrial centre that drew many successful business people who built sumptuous houses that can still be admired today on the most beautiful sites in the city. Ordinary tradespeople and labourers, on the other hand, lived near the factories where they worked, but these eventually closed or moved, depriving the workers of their employment and leaving only empty buildings behind.

Many of these neighbourhoods found new vocations, although some still bear the scars of their past and today are home to populations of very modest means.

Another apparent contrast lies in the fact that although Montreal is the 19th most populous conurbationin North America and despite its high level of urbanization, this city has managed to protect scores of natural sites where water, vegetation and forest predominate, even if towering skyscrapers can be seen a mere stone’s throw away.

Montreal’s diversity and contrasts are what lend this city so much of its charm.

Diversity - An added value in Montreal

With 1,705,000 inhabitants, Montreal is the second most populous city in Canada. And if you include the CMA (Census Metropolitan Area), this number rises to more than 4 million, or half the population of the province of Quebec.

Home to more than 120 cultural communities, Montreal is also one of the most cosmopolitan cities on this planet. More than 34% of Montrealers were born outside the country, mainly in Haiti, Algeria, Italy, France, Morocco, China, the Philippines, Lebanon, Vietnam and Romania.

It would seem a fair statement to say that Montreal embraces diversity.

Montrealers celebrate and cultivate their diversity; it’s part of their DNA and one of their greatest assets. It’s on display daily in every borough, in every neighbourhood and on every street. It plays a major role in visual arts, music, architecture, gastronomy and fashion. It reaches into the city’s commercial and industrial life and is celebrated at sports events, festivals and other cultural and tourist activities.

Montreal is a multiplicity of ideas, lifestyles and identities.

Montreal is a non-judgemental society where people appreciate and are fiercely proud of everything diversity has to offer!