Montreal is a city in the Canadian province of Quebec. It is the largest city in the province, the second-largest in the country (after Toronto) and the fifteenth-largest in North America. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", the city takes its present name from Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill located in the heart of the city, or Mont Real as it was spelled in Middle French (Mont Royal in present French). The city is located 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 Lie Bizard.
As of 2011, the city of Montreal had a population of 1,649,519. Montreal’s metropolitan area (CMA) (land area 4,259 square kilometres (1,644 sq mi)) had an estimated metropolitan population of 3,824,221 and a population of 1,886,481 in the urban agglomeration of Montreal, which includes all of the municipalities on the Island of Montreal.
French is the city's official language and is also the language spoken at home by 60.5% of the population in the city of Montreal proper, followed by English at 21.2% and 23.4% other languages (as of 2006 census). In the larger Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 70.5% of the population speaks French at home, compared to 18.5% who speak English. 56% of the population are able to speak both English and French. Montreal is the second largest French-speaking city in the Western world after Paris.
Montreal was called "Canada's Cultural Capital" by Monocle and recently was named a UNESCO City of Design. Though historically the commercial capital of Canada, it was surpassed in population, as well as economic strength, by Toronto after 1976. Today it continues as an important centre of commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, culture, tourism, film and world affairs.
In 2010, Montreal was named a hub city, ranked 34th globally out of 289 cities for innovation across multiple sectors