Montreal (Montreawl'; Fr. pron. Mong-tray-ahl'), the largest city of the Dominion of Canada, is built on the south-east side of an island formed by the junction of the Ottawa River with the St Lawrence, and may be said to be situated on the northern bank of the St Lawrence, which is spanned here by the tubular Victoria Railway Bridge (1854-59), nearly 1 3/4 mile long, the rails being 60 feet above the river's level. The city is about 4 miles long and 2 wide, the Central Mountain in the rear narrowing the city at its base. It is not the official capital of the province of Quebec, but it exerts an immense political and commercial influence, and is also the seat of the greatest universities, hospitals, convents, and seminaries in all Canada. Finally it is during the season of navigation - i.e. from May to November - the great maritime port of the Dominion, headquarters of several transatlantic shipping companies, irrespective of activelakeandriverand coast navigation. It is nearly 1000 miles from Montreal to the ocean proper, and 250 to the first salt water. Pop. (1S71) 107,225 ; (1881) 140,747 ; (1901) 266,826 (with suburbs, 323,221), over half being of French descent. The growth of the commerce of Montreal is very remarkable, having more than doubled since 1870, though a great fire in 1901 caused damage to the amount of $4,000,000. The 1500 miles of the St Lawrence River contribute to growth of exports, and distribute largely the growth of import. The canal system which finds its outlet at Montreal is remarkable, the canals affording a continuous course of water-communication extending from the Straits of Belle Isle to Port Arthur at the head of Lake Superior, a distance of 2260 miles. Montreal is the headquarters of the Grand Trunk Railway, the Canadian Pacific Railway (to Vancouver City, 2906 miles), the South-Eastern Railway, the Central Vermont Railway. In the boot and shoe manufacture over 3000 hands are employed, in clothing-factories over 2500, in tobacco-factories 3000, in the breweries 500; and in the railway-workshops a perfect army of men. There are also rubber-factories, saw-mills, sack-factories, tool-factories, silk-factories, cotton-mills, and a variety of small industries protected by the tariff.
Of the Episcopal churches, Christ Church Cathedral has a tower 224 feet in height, and St George's of 230 feet. The Catholic churches are numerous and some of them splendid : St Peter's Church is a repetition on a smaller scale of the church at Rome; Notre Dame is said to hold 10,000 people; St Patrick's is the church of the Irish Catholics. M'Gill University (1821) has been active since 1852. Laval University of Quebec has a branch at Montreal; the seminary of St Sulpice (1657) is a theological institution ; the Presbyterian College was chartered in 1865 ; and others in the long list are the Wesleyan Theological College (1873), the Congregational College, the Anglican Diocesan College, St Mary's Jesuit College (1848), the Jacques Cartier Normal School, etc. The Montreal Gazette (1778) was, after the Quebec Gazette (1764), the first paper published in Canada. There are several fine libraries, and musical, art, and historical associations also, which maintain in Montreal a taste for art, literature, and science not common in colonial commercial cities. Founded as Ville-Marie de Montreal in 1642, the town was in 1760 surrendered by the French to the British; in 1776-77 it was occupied by invaders from the revolted American colonies.