Montréal Facts and Trivia
- Originally a thriving settlement inhabited by
Huron, Iroquois and Algonquin Native Americans for over 8,000 years.
- The original name of the native settlement was "Hochelaga".
- The first European to visit the area was Jacques
Cartier on October 2nd, 1535.
- Samuel de Champlain established a fur trading colony at
the original settlement, then abandoned, in 1611.
- Scottish immigrants, who arrived in the early 1800's,
contributed a variety of accomplishments including Montreal's first bridge
across the St. Lawrence River, founded Canada's first department store, the
Bank of Montreal, Redpath Sugar, established McGill University and the Royal
Victoria Hospital as well as the headquarters for the Canadian Pacific Railway
and the Canadian National Railway.
- During prohibition Montréal had a booming night life
and was called "Sin City".
- The Sun Life Building was the secret hiding place of
the gold bullion of the Bank of England and the British Crown Jewels during
World War II.
- The first wooden cross was erected on Mont-Royal in
1643 by Paul de Chomodey, sieur de Maisonneuve. In 1924 a metal cross
was erected to commemorate the first cross. It was 102 feet high and 30
feet wide. The cross was and still is illuminated, now using fibre
optic technology. The colour of lights occasionally changes to mark
- Frederick Law Olmstead, who designed Central Park in
New York City, was also the designer of the park of Mont Royal.
- In 1967, during Canada's 100th Birthday, Montréal
hosted the world exhibition called Expo '67: Man and His World.
- John Lennon's and Yoko Ono's infamous week-long Bed-In
for Peace took place at Montréal's Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth from May 26 to
June 2, 1969.
- The 1976 Olympic Games were hosted by Montréal.
- Montréal is the second largest French-speaking city in
- Montréal is sister city to Hiroshima.
- People from Montréal are called "Montrealers" in
English and "Montréalais" in French.
- The major industries of Montréal include aerospace,
biotechnology, tourism and pharmaceutical.
- There use to be 28 different cities/municipalities on
the Island of Montréal. In 2002 they were all merged to form Ville de
- Montréal has one of the highest percentages of
post-secondary students in North America.
- Montréal has one of the safest and most efficient
transportation systems in the world.
- The game "Trivial Pursuit" was created by two Montréal
journalists in the early 1980's.
- William Shatner (of Star Trek fame) was born in
Montréal in 1931.
Health, Science and Technology:
- Canada's first radio station, XWA now CFCF, went on air
in 1919 and began music broadcasts in 1920.
- Dr. Wilder Penfield, founded the Montreal Neurological
Institute in 1934. It was the first of its kind in the world and was a
centre for research, education, training and treatment in the disciplines of
neurosurgery, neuropathology, neurology and other related sciences. In
collaboration with other researchers, Dr. Penfield developed the "Montreal
Procedure", a surgical treatment for epilepsy.
- The IMAX film technology was invented so that it could
be premiered at Expo '67.
- The Biosphere in Montréal (showcasing environmental
education) is a geodesic dome that was originally created as the American
Pavilion for Expo '67 and was designed by Buckminster Fuller.
- The Canadian Space Agency (headquarters in Montréal)
played a major role in developing the "Canadarm", a robotic manipulator system
used in NASA's space shuttles.
- The first Canadian football club was established in
Montréal in 1868. Montréal is now home to the Montreal Alouettes,
established in 1946.
- Montréal is the home of non-native lacrosse.
Originally a game played by Native Canadians, lacrosse became established in
the early 1800's with non-natives in Montréal and was declared the National
Game of Canada in 1859.
- Montréal was home to the baseball team the Montreal
Expos. The team was named after the 1967 world's exhibition. In
2005 the team moved to Washington and was`re-named the Washington Nationals.
- Montréal is home of the great Montreal Canadians hockey
team, one of the original 6 teams of the National Hockey League.
The Stanley Cup has been won a record 24 times by the Montreal Canadians.
The nickname of the Canadians is the "Habs". Lore has it that in 1924
Tex Richard, who was the owner of Madison Square Gardens, was falsely told
that the "H" in the team logo stood for "habitant", which is a French word
meaning "farmer" or "people of the land". Richard was told the French
players came from farms and therefore were "habitants" or "habs".
- Maurice "the Rocket" Richard was the first NHL hockey
player to score 50 goals in one season.