Founded in 1642, Montreal was the industrial and financial centre of Canada for more than 150 years. Montreal is favored by many for its cultural diversity, culinary exploits and nightlife. After Paris, Montreal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world. Among the four daily newspapers, The Gazette is the city's lone English language newspaper.
Montreal tourism boasts notable attractions, including the Old Port of Montreal, which spans over two kilometers along the St. Lawrence River. The Old Port has long been the social, economic and cultural hub of the city and harkens back to the 1600's when it was used as a trading post for French fur traders.
Fashionable Montrealers flock to tony Sherbrooke Street as well as St. Denis and St. Laurent boulevards for the latest fashion, design and style trends.
Outdoor and scenery seeking enthusiasts must make a pilgrimage to Mount Royal. The jewel of Montreal's city parks, it was designed by landscaper Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New York's famed Central Park.
The city's most popular and identifiable sports franchise is the Montreal Canadiens, winner of a record 24 Stanley Cup trophies. Now in their Centennial year, the Canadiens are one of the NHL's original six teams. The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL) play outdoors at Molson Stadium on the campus of McGill University. Throngs of European and international motorsport fans flock to Montreal each summer for the Canadian Grand Prix of Formula One (F1). This high-profile auto racing event takes place at the famous Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Ile Notre-Dame.
Montreal is considered one of North America's more vibrant cities and is home to several popular cultural, film and music festivals. The annual Just For Laughs comedy event, Montreal International Jazz Festival and Montreal World Film Festival are some of the more noteworthy.
Foodies are hard pressed to find a city in North America that rivals Montreal in terms of culinary offerings. Aside from local fare such as Poutine (fries, gravy and cheese), renowned chefs showcase delectable offerings in a variety of posh bistro's and highly rated restaurants.
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