The city of Montreal is rich of more than 350 years of history having forged its identity and its culture. It has earned a special status in America as the largest french speaking city on the continent.
Montreal, formally named Ville-Marie, was founded in 1642 by Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance during the French colonization. During that period, the city's economy and general growth developed mainly thanks to fur trade.
In 1760, the French colony was conquered by Great Britain and the city fell into the hands of the English,despite the population still being predominantly francophone. An important business bourgeoisie began to settle in Montreal, as the economy centered around trading and transport activities.
The geographical position of the city, the opening of the Lachine Canal and the arrival of the railway favored the industrial and economic development of Montreal. Until the end of the 1950s, Montreal was also the main financial center of Canada.
In 1960, Quebec really entered modernity with the Quiet Revolution, as a French nationalist spirit was born. The 1967 International and Universal Exposition allowed the construction of the Montreal Metro and assured the international image of the city. The metropolis then hosted the Summer Olympics a few years later in 1976.
Today, Montreal is considered to be the cultural and economical center of the province. It was named UNESCO city of design in 2006, recognizing the creative potential of the city. Its population counts over 1.6 million of people of various origins and makes Montreal a city where cultural exchanges are simply inevitable.