Montreal is a beautiful city. I have been in a number of cities throughout Canada before, and I can say that Montreal is indeed one of the most exciting, cultural and lively cities in not only Canada, but also in North America. It is mainly due to the fact that it has a special flavour of its own

— Ji-Won Lee, Korea, Jeanne Sauvé Fellow 2004-2005

The island-city of Montreal is the fourth  largest francophone city in the world. Located in the St Lawrence River, Montreal owes much of its international character and vibrancy to its strategic position as an important inland port and transportation hub.

The 18th century provincial French town was transformed into a flourishing center of trade and hub of financial activity in the 19th century, culminating in the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. Great fortunes were made, the city expanded, impressive residences were built at the foot of Mount Royal, and wealthy businessmen endowed many of Montreal’s iconic institutions.

The defining milestone of the 20th century for Montreal was the International Exhibition of 1967 (expo 67) created for Canada’s centennial celebration, which brought the world to the city and showcased Montreal – and Canadian –creativity in architecture, design, engineering, the arts, technology and cinematography. In the early 1960s, the city exploded with new infrastructure, notably the Metro, the concert hall/theater complex of Place des arts and the beginnings of the “Underground City” with its vast network of corridors and shopping promenades.

A 21st century international city that is home to more than 60 international organizations, Montreal welcomes some 170,000 including some 20,000 foreign students, and hosts an array of consulates general, consulates and commercial delegations. The 4 million inhabitants speak French, English and often one or more languages. The restaurants and performing arts mirror the cultural riches of the population, and with its deserved reputation as a city of festivals , it offers entertainment for every taste and wallet.


Welcome to Québec, the largest Canadian province and the only one where French is the first language of the majority of the population.

It boasts a vibrant and unique culture, different from that of the English-speaking citizens of Canada and the United States who surround it, as well as from that of France.

“Unique” is the mot juste to describe Quebec. The province is in a class of its own, with its immense territory and distinctive personality.

It is home to over 8 million people, including approximately 142,000 members of the 10 First Nations and the Inuit nation; descendants of the French colonizers who first arrived with Samuel de Champlain in 1608; and of the British who followed a little over 150 years later. Successive waves of immigration have included Irish, Italians, Portuguese, Chinese and European Jews. Today, newcomers continue to arrive from all over the world.

Comprised of 17 highly diverse regions: rural and urban, mountainous and maritime, French-speaking and cosmopolitan, Quebec is a land of rich contrasts, from the frozen Arctic to the fertile alluvial plains of the mighty St. Lawrence River. Massive pylons march south from the James Bay generating site (the largest in the world) through the mountains and forests, and across the lovely farmlands, carrying hydroelectric power to southern Quebec and beyond. Canoes glide quietly across peaceful lakes with only the sound of the loons to disturb the silence, while huge container ships bustle in and out of the port of Montreal, one of the busiest Atlantic container ports.

The diversified economy is powered by abundant natural resources, an expanding information technology sector and other cutting-edge industries. Its import-export performance makes it one of the world’s top 20 economies. Mineral resources are abundant, notably gold, iron, titanium, asbestos, copper, zinc and silver. Half of the land mass is forest. Quebec has a million lakes and rivers, including the majestic St. Lawrence, Canada’s greatest river, which runs from Ontario through Quebec to the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula. To manage this natural wealth and optimize its contribution to the well-being of the people requires skill, knowledge and innovation, all of which are evident in Quebec business and life.

  • Land mass: almost 1.7 million square kilometres (three times the size of Spain, five times the size of Japan, and larger than the largest US state Map of Quebec
  • Population (2007) 7 700 807
  • Government: Parliamentary democracy
  • Official Language: French
  • Capital: Quebec City
  • Higher Education: 18 universities

Useful Links:

Quebec Government Portal
Atlas Québec
(Atlas of Quebec) in French only

Bonjour Québec – official tourism site of the Government of Québec
“Québec … an immense territory that occupies the northeastern-most corner of North America, [is] unique for its history, language and culture. A place of freedom and creativity at the crossroads of the Old and the New World, where tradition and innovation combine with a contagious energy and joie de vivre!”
Québec International– overview, offices abroad, arts & culture, trade & investment and much more.


The history of Canada is filled with adventure, exploration, the conquest of difficult terrain and conditions. The nation today reflects the fortitude of its founders, the rich diversity of its immigrants and the opportunities afforded to all by a stable parliamentary democracy.

Multicultural, multilingual Canada is filled with contrasts: quaint seaside villages, thriving cities, traditional hunting grounds, peaceful lakes and streams, vast hydroelectric, mining and hydrocarbon developments, sprawling  ‘techno-parks’ focused on aviation and aerospace, life sciences and information technologies.

Canadians have produced over one million patents – the electric light bulb, IMAX, the zipper, the cardiac pacemaker, the Canadarm and the Blackberry are only a sample.

There is a rich Canadian influence in music, the arts and the film industry. To name a few: Glenn Gould, Maureen Forester and Ben Heppner, Leonard Cohen, Oscar Peterson, Céline Dion; painters Emily Carr, Jean-Paul Riopelle and the Group of Seven; architects Arthur Erickson and Moshe Safdie; stage and screen actors including Michael J. Fox, Christopher Plummer, William Shatner and Donald Sutherland.

The importance of Canada’s role in international affairs has been equally creative and far exceeds the size of its population. A founding member of the UN; signatory to countless international treaties and conventions; principal promoter of the Declaration of Human Rights through the efforts of McGill Law Professor John Humphrey; originator of the concept of the UN peacekeeping forces, championed by Lester B. Pearson; and leading advocate of the principle of the Responsibility to Protect.

Useful Links

Canadian Government

Study in Canada

General Information