- Canada's second city
is Canada's second city, and the only major French-speaking
city in North America
Just a few miles north of the US border, the city of Montreal
is built on an island, the Island of Montreal, in the Saint Lawrence
river. It is the second largest city in Canada, surpassed only by
Toronto, and is one of the world's major French-speaking cities.
Main points of
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The city's history goes back to the early
seventeenth century, when Montréal, or as it was then known
Ville Marie, was one of the main trading posts and colonial settlements
of New France.
Nothing remains of the original settlements, but the center
of Old Montreal has a number of buildings dating from the eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries, in particular the Basilica of Notre Dame de
Montréal, built in the gothic-revival style of the first
half of the nineteenth century.
This basilica was the largest church in North America for a
good part of the nineteenth century.
The oldest building in Old Montreal is the
seventeenth-century Saint Sulpice seminary, built in 1684.
The Old Port of Montreal is not, as one might
imagine, a historic area – apart from the fact that
it was the city's port area for very many years. Stretching
along the banks of the Saint Lawrence, it is today it is one of the
city's main tourist areas, with attractions including the Montreal
Science Centre, with its IMAX movie theater. It is popular for walking,
cycling, roller-blading, and other leisure activities.
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