Greater Montreal's VitalSigns 2007
Foundation of Greater Montreal's Website
Belonging and Leadership

For citizens to become actively involved in their community, they must be well informed. Half of Montrealers regularly read daily newspapers and more than four out of five listen to the spoken media, but the number of those who keep up with current events via the Internet is already one in six.

  • In 2004, 32.5% of Greater Montreal residents aged 15 and over were engaged in unpaid volunteer work. That proportion was somewhat lower than the average for Quebec (34%) and substantially lower than the Canadian average (45.3%). 1
  • Among residents of the island aged 15 and over in 2004, 28% were involved in volunteer work; in 42% of those cases, the work was done for a charity organization. These participants spent more than 10 hours a month doing volunteer work. 2
  • In 2005, among island residents aged 12 years and over, 45% reckoned they were only weakly attached to the local community. The proportion was higher among Canadian-born residents (47%) than among recent immigrants (39%) or long-term immigrants (38%). 3
  • That same year, 83% of residents aged 15 and over listened regularly (61%) or fairly often (22%) to news and public affairs broadcasts. In addition, 49% read a daily newspaper every day or almost, whereas 26% never read dailies. 2
  • Also in 2004, 68% of the island’s households had a computer and 52% were connected to the Internet. Net users aged 15 and over often used that medium to read newspapers or magazines and keep up with the news (31.5%), to consult encyclopaedias or reference works (34.5%) and to follow cultural events (43%). 2
  • Among Quebec’s 1,117 municipalities, 45% had an active website in 2006. Despite the merger reversals that took place that year, 56% of the island’s municipalities, with 97% of its population, had an Internet presence. 4
    In 1899, widows and adult unmarried female renters were given the right to vote in municipal elections in Montreal. The right to vote was given in 1908 to women separated from their husbands and in 1932 to married women who owned a house. In 1940, women eligible to vote were finally given the right to run as candidates. That year, Jessie Kathleen Fisher was the first woman to be elected to the position of municipal councillor in Montreal. She sat on the council from 1940 to 1954, representing homeowners in the electoral system of that era. Only in 1970 were all restrictions against the right to vote abolished in Montreal. 5

1 National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, Canadian Council on Learning, 2006, based on Statistics Canada
(consulted on July 31, 2007)
2 Rosaire Garon, Les pratiques culturelles au Québec en 2004. Recueil statistique, Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, November 2005
(consulted on July 31, 2007)
3 Enquête sur la santé dans les collectivités canadiennes (ESCC 2005), Statistique Canada, compilation by the Direction de santé publique de Montréal
(consulted on July 31, 2007)
4 CEFRIO, Le Web municipal au Québec: portrait de la situation en 2006, Étude pour le ministère des Affaires municipales et des Régions, September 2006
(consulted on July 31, 2007)
5 Les femmes en politique: un long chemin parsemé d'embûches, politique montréalaise au féminin, Bibliothèque du Conseil virtuel
(consulted on October 30, 2006)