Near the end of the 1700s, James McGill, businessman, civil servant, politician, property owner and militia officer was disheartened by the fact that only one boy out of five knew how to read or write. Read more
Stretching along the shores of the Rivière des Prairies in northwest Montréal, the Ahunstic-Cartierville borough comprises six districts: Sault-au-Récollet, André-Grasset, Ahuntsic, Bordeaux, Cartierville, Saraguay. the village of Sault-au-Récollet, located near the Papineau-Leblanc Bridge, was one of the earliest settlements on the island of Montréal.
Anjou’s strategic location at the intersection of Autoroute 25 and Autoroute Métropolitaine makes it an important commercial and industrial hub. It is home to an industrial park that boasts over 600 businesses. The borough was named after the French province of Anjou, from which the first settlers came.
Located on the southern and western slopes of Mont Royal, this is Montréal’s most populous borough and its most multicultural, with nearly 75 ethnic groups represented within its borders. It is home to many prestigious institutions. Côte-des-Neiges was originally a country getaway for Montréal’s upper class.
Situated on the banks of Lac Saint-Louis, Lachine was for many years an important stopping point on the route from Montréal to the Great Lakes and the interior of the North American continent. The enormous Domaine Saint-Sulpice, granted to René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle for settlement, was renamed “Lachine” in mockery of Cavelier’s attempt to find a westward route to China.
Located across from the Lachine rapids, the borough of LaSalle got its name from the area’s first seigneur, René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. The bay was a perfect meeting point for travellers, explorers and Amerindians until the first quarter of the 19th century. In 1824, the opening of the Lachine Canal paved the way for Montréal to become the country’s economic hub.
Lying at the foot of Mont Royal, the Plateau overlooks the city’s downtown core. It gets its name from its location atop the Sherbrooke Street terrace. Originally a working-class neighbourhood at the outset of the 20th century, it has since been gentrified. It is now a centre of cultural and intellectual activity as well as a preferred place of residence for an affluent middle class.
The Le Sud-Ouest borough is made up of five distinct neighbourhoods: Petite-Bourgogne, Pointe-Saint-Charles, Saint-Henri, Côte-Saint-Paul-Émard and Griffintown. Home to such iconic landmarks as the Atwater Market, Lachine Canal and the antique dealer’s district, the borough is distinguished by its rich history and heritage.
Located in the Island of Montréal’s western reaches, this suburb with its bucolic charm is bordered by two waterways popular with recreational boaters, Lac des Deux Montagnes and Rivière des Prairies. Governor Frontenac granted the island, then named Île Bonaventure, to Jacques Bizard as a seigneury in 1678.
Consisting of three working-class districts, this borough, the most heavily French-speaking in Montréal, was once one of Québec’s industrial hubs due to its proximity to the port. Under pressure from the industrial revolution in the mid-19th century, the farmlands in the east began to be coveted for residential and industrial purposes.
The origins of Montréal-Nord go as far back as those of New France itself. A witness to many of Canada’s earliest events, the Rivière des Prairies has always been one of the borough’s greatest riches. Montréal-Nord is home to a large number of seniors and immigrants, with one in three residents born outside Canada.
The name “Outremont” can be traced back to the time when Ville-Marie was just a small town and anyone who wanted to head out into the countryside along Rivière des Prairies had to go over or around Mont-Royal, or “outre mont” [past the mountain]. Despite Montréal’s urbanization and industrialization in the 19th century, the village of Outremont was able to preserve its country charm for many years.
This borough is located in northwest Montréal, on the shores of Rivière des Prairies. The name “Pierrefonds” is thought to have come from a manor-like home built in 1902 by notary and Legislative Assembly member Joseph-Adolphe Chauret, the architecture of which was inspired by the Château de Pierrefonds in the French department of Oise. Chauret named his home Château Pierrefonds after the French castle.
Located at the island’s eastern tip and flanked by the Rivière des Prairies and St. Lawrence River, this borough is the second-biggest in Montréal. In the first half of the 18th century, Pointe-aux-Trembles developed quickly following construction of Chemin du Roy, the main road linking Montréal and Québec.
In the early 20th century, Rosemont experienced rapid growth thanks to the opening of the Angus Shops. Rosemont was named after Rose, the mother of the man who purchased the land for Canadian Pacific. La Petite-Patrie, in the western part of the borough, got its name from the novel (and television serial) by author Claude Jasmin.
In the island’s north lies Saint-Laurent, one of Montréal’s largest boroughs. Its history began in 1700, when the first French settlers made their homes there. By 1740, the Sulpicians had granted all the land in their possession. The arrival of the Pères de Sainte-Croix, in 1847, led to a period of rapid growth for the village, which has continued to develop ever since.
From its founding in 1886 to the mid-1950s, Saint-Léonard’s history was essentially one of rural village life. Only relatively recently did the number of residents and dwelling begin to soar. That change coincided with the arrival of a great number of new Canadians of Italian origin and the opening of Autoroute Métropolitaine.
Bordered on the east by the ever-present St. Lawrence, Verdun boasts a rich past that goes back to the very beginnings of New France. In the 17th century, the land occupied by the future city of Verdun was the site of strategic fortifications where the population of Ville-Marie could take refuge during the frequent Iroquois attacks.
The borough of Ville-Marie, the cradle of Montréal, is now known as Montréal’s business hub and the centre of the island’s economic and entertainment activity. For nearly 200 years, Montréal was confined to the borough’s present-day borders, a situation that lasted until industrialization and urbanization pushed back the city’s traditional boundaries.
This borough ranks second in terms of size and population density. Until the late 19th century, it was only wide-open countryside, dotted here and there with farmland. The opening of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1878 in conjunction with the launch of electric tramway service in 1892 contributed to the borough’s growth.