Montréal

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Montreal is the second-largest city in Canada and the largest city in the province of Quebec. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", the city takes its present name from Mont-Royal, the triple-peaked hill located in the heart of the city, whose name was also initially given to the island on which the city is located, or Montréal as it was spelled in Middle French, (Mont Royal in present French).

As of July 2009, Statistics Canada identifies Montreal's Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) (land area 4,259 square kilometres (1,644 sq mi)) as Canada's second most populous with a population of 1,906,811 in the city and metropolitan area population of 3,814,700.

The language most spoken at home in the city is French by 52.4% of the population, followed by English at 12.5% (as of 2006 census). The official language of Montreal is French as defined by the city's charter.  Montreal is the second largest primarily French-speaking city in the world, after Paris. Although a few francophone African cities are bigger in size, such as Algiers, Kinshasa, and Abidjan, it is agreed that none of these cities have a significant number of mother-tongue French speakers.  Montreal is consistently rated as one of the world's most livable cities, was called "Canada's Cultural Capital" by Monocle Magazine and recently was named a UNESCO City of Design. 

As of 2009 Montreal is North America's number one host city for international association events, according to the 2009 preliminary rankings of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).

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Quartier des spectacles: less than a mile from Place des Arts hotel

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A century-old tradition of shows and performances in Downtown Montreal makes the Quartier des spectacles the heart of today’s cultural metropolis. Within this square kilometer of the city, one can find over 80 cultural venues, including 30 performance halls with almost 28,000 seats. The diverse cultural activities of the neighbourhood unfold in indoor venues as well as outdoors, during major events and internationally known festivals. Over 7,000 cultural jobs are found here, from education to creation, cultural production and broadcasting. Reaching out from the central intersection of Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Laurent, the borders of the Quartier des spectacles run along City Councilors, Saint-Hubert and Sherbrooke streets and René-Lévesque Boulevard.

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Mount Royal (the mountain of the city)

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M ount Royal  is a mountain in the city of Montreal, immediately north of downtown Montreal, the city to which it gave its name.

 One of Montreal's largest greenspaces. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New York's Central Park, and inaugurated in 1876, although not completed to his design.

The mountain consists of three peaks: Colline de la Croix (or Mont Royal proper) at 233 m (764 ft), Colline d'Outremont (or Mount Murray, in the borough of Outremont ) at 211 m (692 ft), and Westmount mount at 201 m (659 ft) elevation above mean sea level. At this height, it might be otherwise considered a hill, but it has always been called a mountain.

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The Plateau Mont-Royal

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The Plateau-Mont-Royal takes its name from its location on relatively flat terrain north of Sherbrooke Street and downtown, and east of Mont-Royal. The borough is bordered to the north and north-east by the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks; to the west by Park Avenue and the intersection of Pine Avenue and University Street; and to the south by Sherbrooke Street. It is one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in Canada, with 101,054 people living in a 8.1 square kilometre area.

The Plateau is characterized by brightly-coloured houses, cafés, book shops, and a laissez-faire attitude. It's the location of some famous attractions on Saint Lawrence Boulevard, including Schwartz's Deli (famous for its Montreal smoked meat), and a weekend street fair during the summer that sees extremely crowded streets. In 1997, Utne Reader rated it one of the 15 "hippest" neighbourhoods in North America.

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