Montreal (/ˌmʌntriːˈɒl/; French: Montréal , pronounced: [mɔ̃ʁeal] ( )) is a city in the Canadian province of Quebec. It is the largest city in the province, the second-largest in Canada and the 8th-largest in North America. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard.
In 2011 the city had a population of 1,649,519. Montreal's metropolitan area (CMA) (land area 4,259 square kilometres (1,644 sq mi)) had a population of 3,824,221 and a population of 1,886,481 in the urban agglomeration, all of the municipalities on the Island of Montreal included.
French is the city's official language and is the language spoken at home, as Québécois French, by 56.9% of the population of the city, followed by English at 18.6% and 19.8% other languages (in the 2006 census). In the larger Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 67.9% of the population speaks French at home, compared to 16.5% who speak English. 56% of the population are able to speak both English and French, making Montreal one of the most bilingual cities in Quebec and Canada. Montreal is the second largest primarily French-speaking city in the world, after Paris.
Montreal was named a UNESCO City of Design. Historically the commercial capital of Canada, it was surpassed in population and economic strength by Toronto in the 1970s. It remains an important centre of commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, culture, tourism, gaming, film and world affairs.
In 2009, Montreal was named North America's leading host city for international association events, according to the 2009 preliminary rankings of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). In 2012, QS World University Rankings ranked Montreal the 10th-best place in the world to be a university student.
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