VitalSigns of Greater Montreal 2008 Foundation of Greater Montreal's website
Comment Vital Signs
  • In 2007, 91% of the region’s residents took part in recycling programs, compared with 78% in 2003. As well, 62% of residents disposed of hazardous wastes through voluntary disposal facilities. 1

  • In total, 1,880,000 tonnes of residual matters (household waste, recyclable and compostable materials) were generated in 2006 by the residents of Greater Montreal; 70% of this amount was transported to landfills. Interestingly, the volume of landfill is significantly underestimated by residents: 28% thought that only half of the volume of waste was sent to landfills, and 19% thought that less than a third of residual matters ended up in landfills. 1 2

Proportion (%) of Households Conserving Energy or Water in 2006

Proportion (%) of Households Conserving Energy or Water in 2006

Source : Statistics Canada

  • Greater Montreal experienced only four days of poor air quality in 2006, down from 17 days in 2005. Since 2001, the annual average has been 11 days. 3
  • Plant cover in the area encompassed by the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) dropped by 18% between 1998 and 2005, equivalent to 310 hectares. Whereas woodlands represented 25 % of the CMM area in 1965, that proportion had declined to 15% by 2005. On an annual basis, this is equivalent to the loss of 7 km2 of woodlands every year. 4
  • The loss of wooded areas leads to the development of urban heat islands, where summer temperatures are higher than those of immediate surrounding areas by between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius. The Saint-Laurent and Anjou industrial parks, as well as the Plateau Mont-Royal and large shopping centres, are all especially affected by this phenomenon, with temperature differentials sometimes reaching 17 degrees. 4 5
  • The three Canadian urban regions that used the least amount of pesticides in 2005 were Saguenay (12%), Montreal (14%) and Sherbrooke (15%), thanks to the legislation in place in Quebec. In areas where similar legislation does not exist, close to one household in two uses pesticides – for example, in Winnipeg (47%), Regina (46%) and Saskatoon (46%). 6
  • On the island, 16.1% of children between the ages of 6 months and 12 years suffer from allergic reactions associated with ragweed. The prevalence of these allergic reactions is proportional to the degree of exposure within a radius of less than 1 kilometre. It varies by some 6% across the island of Montreal, with the east end and west end zones being most affected. 7
  • A Brundtland Green School (BGS) is a school where people think globally and act locally, where thinking, teaching and actions are based on values that are fundamental to the development of a society that is more environmentally friendly, peaceful, united and democratic. Fifteen years ago, two schools on the island of Montreal were granted a BGS certificate. Today, more than 1,100 establishments are taking part in the movement, most of them schools, including 167 on the island. In recent years, BGSs have extended their awareness campaign on sustainable development to daycare centres and to the health care sector. 8 9

Source :
1 Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, “Les opinions et les habitudes des citoyens du Grand Montréal à l’égard des 3RVs.”
Perspective Grand Montréal, Vol. 2, No. 2, March 2008.
2 Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, "La gestion des matières résiduelles. Un défi prioritaire pour la Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal." Mémoire présenté à la Commission des transports et de l’environnement de l’Assemblée nationale du Québec. Montreal, 2008.
3 Environment Canada, data obtained by special request.
4 Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal and Conseil régional de l’environnement de Laval, “Colloque Montréalais sur l’état du couvert végétal et les îlots de chaleur urbains.” Press release, February 19, 2008.
5 M. R. Sauvé, “Montréal se réchauffe dangereusement!” Forum, March 10, 2008.
6 Statistics Canada, Households and the Environment. Cat. No. 11-526-X. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2008.
7 L. Jacques, S. Goudreau, C. Plante and R. Thivierge, “Prévalence des manifestations allergiques associées à l’herbe à poux chez les jeunes Montréalais.” Montreal: Direction de santé publique, Agence de la santé et des services sociaux, forthcoming (2008).
8 Website of the Centrale des syndicats du Québec, section devoted to the EVB (BGS.).
9 Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal, in cooperation with the city of Montréal, Indicateurs de l’état de l’environnement. Bilan pour la période 2003-2006. Montreal, 2008.