Territory and main cities
With its 1,782,835 inhabitants, 25% of Québec’s population lives in the Montréal region. Montréal offers an enviable quality of life and is recognized for its openness, artistic dynamism, economic strength and cultural vitality. The cost of living is affordable compared to other metropolitan regions of the same size. Montréal is a safe city where one can live in complete tranquility.
The Montréal region consists of the city of Montréal and the suburbs of Beaconsfield, Baie-D’Urfé, Côte-Saint-Luc, Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, Dorval, Hampstead, Kirkland, L’Ïle-Dorval, Montréal-Est, Montréal-Ouest, Mont-Royal, Pointe-Claire, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Senneville and Westmount.
Economy and employment
The labour market in the Montréal region represents an important employment pool in several growth sectors such as the machinery industry, food and beverage manufacturing, professional, scientific and technical services, health care and social assistance, business and buildings management services. Montréal is an important centre of economic activity which generates approximately 1,112,820 jobs.
Portrait of immigration
A destination for immigrants for several decades already, the Montréal region is cosmopolitan. It is home to the vast majority of people from cultural communities and people who finalized Quebec Immigration Program for Skilled Workers. According to the 2001 census, 70% of individuals born abroad and residing in Québec live in the Montréal region. They account for 28% of the total population of the region.
More than 120 cultural communities are represented in Montréal. The main countries of birth of the immigrant population are: Europe (37%), Asia (29.5%), America (21%) and Africa (12.4%). From 2000 to 2004, immigrants who were granted permanent status and who settled in Montréal in January 2006 came from Asia (31.1%), Africa (28.7%), Europe (22.5%) and America (17.4%).
The outbreak of the Great War brought to a standstill immigration to Quebec, and when the War had ended the situation had changed. Although it was expected that large numbers of people would wish to emigrate from Europe as a result of the distress following the War, this large movement did not take place. The movement of emigrants from the British isles also did not revive, mainly because there was less difference in economic opportunity as between the British isles and Canada. Assistance was given to discharged British soldiers to emigrate, and 26,560 came to Canada. Attempts were made to stimulate immigration by means of the Empire Settlement Act, an Act of the British government passed in 1922, which made provision for training and financial assistance to emigrants.
The Act empowered the British secretary of state "in association with the government of any part of His Majesty's Dominions, or with public authorities, or public or private organizations either in the United Kingdom or in any part of such Dominions, to formulate and cooperate in carrying out agreed schemes for affording joint assistance to suitable persons in the United Kingdom who intend to settle in any part of His Majesty's Overseas Dominions. An agreed scheme under this Act may be either (a) a development or land settlement scheme, or ( a scheme for facilitating settlement in or migration to any part of His Majesty's Overseas Dominions by assistance with passages, initial allowances, training or otherwise." Assisted passages to Canada were confined to agriculturists and domestic servants.
The first land settlement scheme under this Act was negotiated with Canada in 1924 when the Canadian government agreed to provide 3,000 British families with improved farms. This scheme was carried out with modified success. Various schemes to assist immigration were entered into with the railway companies and with other organizations, but the results were meagre in comparison with the effort. The number entering Canada from 1923 to 1934 inclusive was 1,194,382, or less than half those entering in the twelve years before the Great War. As a result of immigration, there are in Canada to-day representatives of about fifty different nationalities.