VitalSigns of Greater Montreal 2008 Foundation of Greater Montreal's website
Comment Vital Signs

With nearly 3.7 million residents, the Greater Montreal region accounts for 48% of Quebec’s population and, among Canadian cities, ranks second after Toronto. Over the past five years, Montreal’s population has grown faster than that of the rest of the province.

This growth is mainly due to a net migratory inflow of 12,435 persons (2006-2007), primarily the result of the arrival of new immigrants.

The increase in the region’s population is also due to a rise in the birth rate for the third year in a row – reaching 11.6 births per 1000 residents in 2007 – an increase that has been more pronounced in the suburbs. It is worth noting that the highest fertility rates are found among women aged 30 to 34, followed by women aged 25 to 29. What also sets Montreal apart is the greater proportion of common-law couples, now over 25% while the national average is 15.5%. Moreover, common-law couples are less likely than married couples to have more than one child.

The greatest proportion of children under 15 in Quebec is found in the Montreal region (17.1%). While this figure is lower than in 2001 (18.1%), the 65-and-over group is larger than five years ago, accounting for 13.6% of the Greater Montreal population in 2006.

French remains the language most often spoken at home by nearly 70% of the population. More than half the people in the greater region have knowledge of both official languages.

On the economic front, Greater Montreal’s GDP of $132 billion* in 2007 represented 10% of the national GDP and 50% of the Quebec GDP. The region had more than 1.5 million workers, 81% of whom were in the service industries, a substantial increase relative to the 70% recorded in 2000.

In 2006, the pre-tax median family income was $55,100, an increase of only 1.8% relative to the inflation-adjusted figure for 2000.

*In 2002 dollars
Fertility rates (per 1000 women) by age group,
Montreal Metropolitan Region, 1991 and 2007
Fertility rates graphic

Common-law Couples,
by Number of Children, 2006
Married Couples,
by Number of Children, 2006
Number of children
Source : Statistics Canada
  • • The social economy (cooperatives, non-profit organizations, mutual associations) is a significant component of the island’s economic make-up, generating about $2 billion in revenue annually. When excluding the Mouvement Desjardins and the Coop fédérée, Montreal’s social economy sector includes
    3,590 establishments and generates slightly over 61,000 paid jobs, 59% of which are held by women.
    More than 100,000 volunteers are also active in this sector..1
  • In 2005, the Greater Montreal region displayed the same entrepreneurial dynamism (with 9.4% of adults at the business pre-startup or startup stage) as in the early 2000s (9.5%), a notable improvement from the 5.4% low experienced in 2003.2
  • In 2007, Greater Montreal ranked first among the 20 largest metropolitan areas in Canada and the United States for the most competitive operating costs in a number of research and development sectors (biotechnology, clinical trials and testing of electronic systems),. Operating costs encompass 27 cost elements, including labour, transportation, facilities, etc. 3 4
  • One of the major functions played by a large city is the coordination of economic activities. The total office space surface area provides a good benchmark to compare the level of activity between cities. In 2008, this indicator was 6.8 million square metres (m2) for Montreal, compared with 16.7 million m2 for Toronto and 4.8 million m2 for Calgary. However, 65% of economic activities in Montreal were concentrated in the downtown area, compared with less than 50% in Canada’s three other large cities.5

1 Marie J. Bouchard (ed.). Portrait statistique de l’économie sociale de la région administrative de Montréal. Cahier hors série 2008-01. Chaire de recherche en économie sociale. Montreal: UQAM, 2008.
2 Nathaly Riverin. (2006). L’entrepreneuriat à Montréal. Cahier de recherche 2006-17, Chaire d’entrepreneuriat Rogers-J.-A.-Bombardier, HEC Montréal.
3 Montréal International, “KPMG Competitive Alternatives Study: Greater Montréal ranks 1st among the 20 largest metropolitan areas in Canada and the United States for the most competitive operating costs in the R&D sectors,” Press release dated March 31, 2008.
4 KPMG, Competitive Alternatives: KPMG's Guide to International Business Location, 2008
5 Colliers International. (2008). North America Highlights Office, first quarter 2008.

Change in the Unemployment Rates,
Montreal and Toronto CMAs, 1987-2008

Change in the Unemployment Rates
Source: Statistics Canada
* Seasonally adjusted data for July 2008 (three-month moving averages).

Change in the Labour Force, Employment and Unemployment,
Montreal CMA, 1996-2008
Change in the Labour Force
Source : Statistics Canada
* Seasonally adjusted data for July 2008 (three-month moving averages).
  • In 2007, there were 1.9 million jobs in the Montreal region. In terms of annual employment growth rates, Montreal (at 2.5%) exceeded the national average (2.3%), for the first time in 20 years. It ranked first among the five largest metropolitan areas in Northeastern North America, ahead of Boston, Washington, Philadelphia and New York.1 2 3
  • Montreal has sustained this rapid employment growth for several years. Thanks to a job creation rate of 23.1% over 10 years (1997 to 2007), the region is fourth among the 20 largest metropolitan areas of North America.1 2
  • Real GDP per worker in Greater Montreal in 2007 was $69,427* higher than the level for all of Quebec ($68,571) but lower than Canada’s GDP ($77,688).4

    *In 2002 dollars
  • In 2007, 18.4% of the region’s workers had a part-time job. This proportion has remained stable for about a decade and is close to the provincial average. It is interesting to note that 6.4% of those who work on a part-time basis are not doing so by choice.5
  • In 2006, the unemployment rate of technical studies graduates (college level) was only 3.9%, well below the average rate for all Montrealers. Among vocational studies graduates (secondary school level), however, the unemployment rate was higher at 13.2%.6
Source :
1 Montréal International, “Job Growth: Top 20 metropolitan areas in North America, 2006-2007 and 1997-2007” (table). 2008.
2 Ville de Montréal, Montréal en action. Vol. 3, No. 2, March 2008.
3 Statistics Canada, Employment growth calculated by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards, Cansim Tables 2820053 and 2820055.
4 CMA and CA data estimated by the Centre for Spatial Economics. National and provincial data from Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 384-0002.
5 Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, program A050720.
6 Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS), La relance au secondaire en formation professionnelle. Situation des personnes titulaires d'un diplôme d'études professionnelles (DEP) au 31 mars de l'année d'enquête, par sexe, région de Montréal (06) (6 septembre 2007

  • In 2006, 22.1% of children in Greater Montreal lived in low-income families.* While there has been some improvement relative to the 25% recorded in 2000, and while the rate is slightly lower than the Canadian average (23.1%), it remains higher than the provincial average (19.9%).

    * The low-income measurement is based on 50% of the after-tax median family income in Quebec. Note that median income is adjusted for family size.1
  • In 2005, the highest proportion of low-income families in Quebec, with or without children, was found on the island of Montreal (16.7%). Single-parent families were the hardest hit: 35.6% of these families are below the low-income threshold*, while this is the situation for 12.2% of couple families.** 2

    ** Refers to a family that contains a married or common-law couple

  • In January 2008, some 9% of Montreal island residents were dependent on last-resort financial assistance programs. Within this group, 28.6% were children. 3
  • The problems associated with social inequalities are not restricted to food prices. As many as 40% of Montrealers do not have access to a source of supply of fresh fruits and vegetables within a half-kilometre of their home.4 5
  • In low-income neighbourhoods, convenience stores are more numerous than any other type of retail business. That is why, in 2007, the average cost of a nutritional grocery basket per person/per day varied by as much as $2 between rich and poor districts on the island.5
  • In 2006-2007, 27,000 children had to rely on food supplies provided by Moisson Montréal, accounting for 45% of all recipients. In addition, 11,000 children were provided with meals offered by the organization – almost one-fourth of its clientele.6
  • In 2005 and 2006, Moisson Montréal recorded an increase in the number of children requiring its services, especially among those less than two years old (18.6%). Overall, nearly one child in five in this group received assistance from Moisson Montréal in 2006.7

Montreal’s Direction de santé publique has conducted a survey on school readiness among 10,000 kindergarten children in Montreal. Five developmental areas were assessed. One-third of the children were found to be vulnerable in at least one of those areas, leading one to conclude that on the island of Montreal, 5,087 children will need special support upon entering school. While 12% of the children displayed weakness in the area of social skills, 17% were vulnerable in the area of cognitive and language skills, and 15% in the area of emotional maturity.
Although average scores on the island of Montreal were lower than the Canadian average, the scores compared relatively favourably with those of other large cities such as Vancouver and Toronto. The survey will provide some guidance as to which areas require action. 8

1 Statistics Canada. Small Area Administrative Data. Family characteristics, Low Income Measures (LIM), by family type and family type composition, annual, Cansim Table 111-0015. Data obtained from Statistics Canada by special request.
2 Institut de la statistique du Québec, Bulletin statistique régional. 2008.
3 Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale, “Rapport statistique sur la clientèle des programmes d’assistance sociale, janvier 2008.” Direction de la statistique et du soutien aux expérimentations, 2008.
4 Direction de santé publique Montréal. Les disparités dans l’accès à des aliments santé à Montréal. Une étude géomatique. Montreal: Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal, 2006.
5 Direction de santé publique Montréal, “Mémoire de la Direction de santé publique de l’Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal présenté à la Commission sur l’avenir de l’agriculture et de l’agroalimentaire québécois.” Montreal, 2007.
6 Moisson Montréal, Annual Report 2006-2007. Montreal, 2007.
7 Moisson Montréal, “Penser autrement l’aide alimentaire. Bilan-Faim 2006.” Montreal, 2006.
8 Direction de santé publique Montréal, Enquête sur la maturité scolaire des enfants montréalais. Rapport régional 2008. Montreal: Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal, 2008.

  • In 2007, 21.6% of residents aged 15 and over had not completed high school, a considerable improvement over the 38.9% recorded in 1990. Greater Montreal’s rate was better than the proportion for Quebec as a whole (25.4%), and close to the Canadian average (22.2%).
Proportion of Residents Who Did Not Complete High School,
by Age Group, 2006
Proportion of Residents Who Did Not Complete High School
Source : Statistics Canada
  • The proportion of the region’s residents who have completed post-secondary education has risen continuously in recent decades, from 34.3% in 1990 to 55.3% in 2007. 1
  • •In 2006, 15% of those aged between 25 and 64 in Greater Montreal had a diploma of vocational studies (DVS). This was the highest proportion in Quebec. 2
  • In 2006, approximately 80% of new graduates of vocational and technical studies on the island worked in a field related to their training. A DVS (secondary school level) gives access to occupations such as welder, mechanic and plumber, while technical training (college level) opens the door to careers in the police force, in dental hygiene, in childcare services, etc. 3
  • In 2006, the region welcomed 28,000 school-aged immigrants, onethird of whom spoke French at home as their first language. About one in ten students (aged 5 to 16 years) was born abroad and one in twenty was a recent immigrant (i.e., had arrived in Canada no more than five years ago). 4

1 Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey by special request, program A050705.
2 Statistics Canada, Educational Portrait of Canada, 2006 Census. Cat. No. 97-560-X. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2008.
3 Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport, “Rapport d’enquête La relance au secondaire en formation professionnelle, 2006.
La situation d’emploi des personnes diplômées. Secteur de l’information, des communications et de l’administration.” Banque de données des statistiques officielles sur le Québec, Direction de la recherche, des statistiques et des indicateurs, 2007.

4 T. Chui, K. Tran, and H. Maheux, Immigration in Canada: A Portrait of the Foreign-born Population. 2006 Census. Cat.
No. 97-557-XIE. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2007.

  • In 2007, the obesity rate of Montreal adults was
    14.8%, compared with 11.8% in Toronto and 8.6%
    in Vancouver. Montreal’s obesity rate was slightly
    lower than the Quebec (15.3%) and Canadian (16%)
    averages, but it was higher than the rate observed
    in 2003 (13.6%).1

    Obesity Rate,
    Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver
    CMAs, 2003,2005, 2007

  • From 2003 to 2007, the proportion of Greater Montreal
    residents aged 12 years and over who took part in
    physical activities during their leisure time dropped
    from 46% to 44.7%.1
  • In 2005, children aged 5 to 14 years old in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver took part less regularly (47%) in organized sports than did those living in smaller cities (58%). Thus it would appear that living in a large metropolis has a negative effect on participation in regular sports activities. The involvement of young Canadians in sports has declined in the past 13 years: 57% of children aged 5 to 14 took part in organized sports in 1992, compared with 51% in 2005. 2
Le programme « Ma santé, je l’améliore » de Toujours ensemble.
Le programme « Ma santé, je l’améliore »
de Toujours ensemble.
  • In 2003, approximately half (51%) of Grade 6 children on the island drank milk less than three times a day; one- third (34%) drank sodas and 42% ate potato chips on a daily basis. More encouragingly, nearly eight in ten children (78%) said they ate fruits and vegetables at least five times a day. 3
  • After declining for several years, the proportion of smokers increased by 4.2% in the last two years, reaching 24.8% in 2007. The average for Canada is 21.9%. 1
  • It has been estimated that living less than 200 metres from a highway increases the risk of giving birth to a low-weight or premature baby. On the island of Montreal, 6% of future mothers live close to a highway. 4 5


1 Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS 2.1) 2003, Cansim Table 105-0292 for Canada, Provinces, CMAs and Health Regions, terminated table. For 2005 and 2007, Canadian Community Health Survey, Indicator Profile, for Canada, Provinces and Health Regions, Cansim Table 105-0502.
2 W. Clark, Kids’ Sports. Canadian Social Trends, June 3, 2008. Cat. no. 11-088-X. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2008.
3 Direction de santé publique, “Focus on Youth: Support through Understanding.” 2004-2005 Annual Report on the Health of the Population. Montreal: Agence de développement de réseaux locaux de services de santé et de services sociaux, 2005.
4 M. Généreux, N. Auger, M. Goneau, and M. Daniel, “Neighbourhood socioeconomic status, maternal education and adverse birth outcomes among mothers living near highways.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 62.
5 M. Généreux, “The Likelihood of adverse birth outcomes among mothers living near highways according to maternal and neighbourhood socioeconomic status.” PowerPoint presentation, Vancouver, June 11, 2008.

For each of the following, please indicate whether, in your opinion, this issue or problem is very important, somewhat important, not very or not at all important to the residents of the Greater Montreal.

Montrealers are very aware of the issues affecting the quality of life in the region. Among the problems they were consulted on, they were especially concerned about road safety, the environment and poverty.

What is the single most important issue or problem you would like to see addressed first to improve the quality of life in general in the Greater Montreal Area?

Respondents are very divided on the priority issues they believe should be addressed to improve the quality of life in the region. However, more than half of them identified four issues: poverty, quality of the environment, public transit and integration of immigrant communities.

A group of proud gardeners gathered
in one of Action communiterre’s
collective gardens in N.D.G.

Over the last 12 months, have you done each of the following very often, quite often, rarely or never?

Montrealers are willing to take steps to improve the quality of life in their community, especially when they are given the right tools. Recycling is an excellent example of this.

The results of the survey are based on 502 telephone interviews conducted in the Montreal metropolitan area between August 14 and 24, 2008, as part of the CROP Express omnibus survey. Respondents were chosen at random among people aged 18 and over in the households selected who could answer the questions in either French or English. The results were weighted on the basis of the 2006 Census of Canada to reflect the distribution of the adult population of the Montreal metropolitan area by gender, age and the language commonly used at home. From a statistical point of view, a sample of this size (n=502) is accurate within 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
source : Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
  • In 2007, the general vacancy rate in Greater Montreal was 2.9%, slightly higher than the previous year (2.7%). For two-bedroom dwellings, Toronto had the highest vacancy rate (3.2%), followed by Montreal (2.3%), while Calgary (1.5%) and Vancouver (1%) were far behind. 1 2 3
  • In 2007, low-income families were still having difficulty finding adequate housing. The vacancy rates for affordable two- and three-bedroom dwellings (1.7% and 0.5%, respectively) were far below the equilibrium rate of 3%. 4
  • In Greater Montreal, the proportion of home-owner households has increased steadily over the past six years, from 48.4% in 1996 to 50.4% in 2001 and 53.4% in 2006. Between 2001 and 2006, the increase was larger among young households (35 years old or less) than in other age groups. 3 5
  • In 2006, a small proportion of private dwellings (1.6%) had more than one person per room. The corresponding proportions were higher in Toronto (3.7%) and Vancouver (2.8%). 6
  • In 2006, 54.1% of residential structures on the island were apartment buildings less than five storeys high; single-family dwellings accounted for 19%; duplexes, for 13.5%; and apartment buildings more than five storeys high, for 12.9%. 7

1 Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation, Housing Market Information: Rental Market Statistics; 2006 data: Tables 9 and 10, pp. 27 and 28; 2007
2 Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation, Housing Market Information: Rental Market Statistics; 2006 data: Tables 8, 9 and 10, pp. 28-30; 2007
3 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Le marché de l’habitation. Rapport sur le marché locatif. RMR de Montréal, 2007.
4 Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, “La disponibilité des logements locatifs dans le Grand Montréal : un équilibre fragile.” Perspective Grand Montréal, Vol. 2, No. 3, May 2008.
5 1996 data: Statistics Canada, Community Profiles 1996, Family and Dwellings Statistics; 2001 data: Statistics Canada, Faits saillants pour la communauté de Montréal, statistique sur les familles et logements.
6 Statistics Canada, Census Trends: Census metropolitan areas, census agglomerations (table). 2006 Census. Cat. No. 92-596-XWE. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2007.
7 Ville de Montréal, Recensement 2006: Profil sociodémographique – Agglomération de Montréal, June 2008.

  • The utilization rate of public transit rose by 1.5% in 2006. At the
    same time, there were more than 26 million trips in restricted lanes,
    and the utilization rate of park-and-ride facilities grew by 4% to reach 75%. 1
  • Between 1996 and 2006, there was a slight reduction from 72.2% to 70.4% in the proportion of commuters who used their vehicles to go to work in the region. However, the rate has remained virtually unchanged since 2001 (when it was 70.6%). 2
  • While the proportion of workers using public transit to go to work has increased in the past 10 years, rising from 20.2% in 1996 to 21.4% in 2006, it has barely changed since 2001, when it was 21.6%. In this regard, Greater Montreal ranked second among Canadian cities, behind Toronto (22.2%) and ahead of Ottawa (19.4%). 2

Proportion of People Who Walk to Work,
1996 and 2006

Source : Statistics Canada
  • Between 2001 and 2006, there was a substantial increase – from 29.5% to 32.9% – in the proportion of workers aged 25 to 34 in the region who used alternative transportation methods [walking, bicycle, public transit]. For all other age groups, however, in particular among those aged 65 years and over, this proportion declined. 2
  • In 2006, the number of trips on the suburban train network increased by 3.2%, placing the region in sixth place in North America, behind New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto. 1 2
Proportion of People Who Use Their Bicycle
To Go To Work, 1996 and 2006

Source : Statistics Canada
  • In four years – from 1999-2002 to 2003-2006 – the annual consumption of gas increased by 6.5%, due, among other things, to an increase of 6% (+51,317 vehicles) in the number of registered motor vehicles on the island. 3
On the move to school!, a program, launched in 2005-2006 by Vélo Québec in cooperation with the Canadian organization, Go for Green, encourages children to make active transportation a daily habit and, at the same time, seeks to reduce car traffic near schools. The program was implemented in six regions of the province in 2007, reaching more than 12,000 pupils in about 30 schools, including 11 schools under the Commission scolaire de Montreal. In addition to encouraging the adoption of active transportation by children, the program initiates the students and their parents to the rules that must guide cycling and walking in an urban environment, helps in the identification of hazards around schools and their neighbouring streets, encourages schools to install bicycle stands, etc.4 5

Source :
1 Agence métropolitaine de transport, Rapport d’activités 2006. Montreal: AMT, 2007.
2 Statistics Canada. Commuting Patterns and Places of Work of Canadians. 2006 Census. Cat. No. 97-561-X. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2008.
3 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.
4 Transport Canada, On the move to school! Case study on sustainable transportation, Vélo Québec, 2005.
Transport Canada and Urban Transportation Showcase Program, 2006
5 Vélo Québec and Accès transports viables and Programme de promotion des déplacements actifs en milieu scolaire, 2006.

source : Statistique Canada
  • In 2007, the rate of criminal violations of the highway code was 350 per 100,000 residents, a 56% reduction relative to 1991, when the rate was 793 violations per 100,000 residents. The region is in a favourable position in that regard, as its rate of violations is lower than the averages for Canada (400 per 100,000) and Quebec (461 per 100,000). 1
  • Between 2005 and 2006, the rate of spousal violence on the island declined from 400 per 100,000 residents to 343 per 100,000. This downward trend has been observed since 2001. 2
  • In 2007, the number of sexual assaults on the island declined from 1,694 to 1,320, the second consecutive annual reduction. Thanks to this 22.1% reduction, Montreal had its lowest level of sexual assaults of the last 10 years. 3
  • Also in 2007, the rate of hate crimes in Greater Montreal was lower than the national average and the rates in other major Canadian cities. Hate crimes are criminal offences that target an identifiable group (based on race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.). They are unique in that they affect not only the victim but an entire community. It is interesting to note that, nationally, 38% of the perpetrators in 2006 were between 12 and 17 years old. According to the data for 2005, the victims of hate crimes were also mainly found in the 12-to-24 age group. 4
  • In 2003, 12% of Grade 4 students on the island said they had been the victims of bullying and 16% said they had been the targets of intimidation. Thus it is not surprising that 32% of these students (40% among girls) stated they were afraid of being victimized on their way to school. This feeling of insecurity diminished with age, but it remained significant: one in four Grade 6 students said they were fearful on their way to school 5

  • In terms of personal safety, in 2004, 94% of Greater Montreal residents felt generally satisfied. This widely shared sense of satisfaction can also be found throughout Canada as well as in other metropolitan areas such as Toronto (93 %), Calgary (96 %) and Vancouver (90 %). 6

Source :
1 Statistics Canada, Table 252-0013, Cansim series.
2 Sécurité publique Québec, Statistiques 2006 sur la criminalité commise dans un dans un contexte de violence conjugale.
Quebec, 2007.

3 Service de police de la Ville de Montréal,
   Additional information and statistical data 2007, Statistical data – 2007 Annual Review. Montreal, 2008.
4 Statistics Canada, “Hate Crime in Canada,” based on data from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, the Universal Crime Reporting (UCR 2.2) Survey and the Hate Crime Supplemental Survey.
5 Direction de santé publique Montréal, Objectif jeunes : comprendre, soutenir. Rapport annuel 2004-2005 sur la santé de la population montréalaise. Agence de développement de réseaux locaux de services de santé et de services sociaux, 2005.)
Statistique Canada, Enquête sociale générale sur la victimisation, cycle 18 : la sécurité personnelle et les perceptions du système de justice pénale dans les territoires, 2004.

  • 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.

  • In 2006, more than 1,400 stage
    performances were aimed at Quebec
    youth. Attendance was highest on the
    island of Montreal, where more than
    half of children below the age of 15 attended
    at least one performance that year. 1
  • The “Culture in the Schools” Program, established in 2004, encourages the development of cultural activities in order to provide students with multiple opportunities to experience culture in its many forms. In 2005-2006, more than 400 projects were completed across the island, 80% of them by children at the pre-school and elementary levels of the public system. 2 3
  • On average, 10% of those who visit Montreal’s 64 museums are students at the elementary and secondary school levels. In 2007, two-thirds of them (68.6%) were children enrolled in elementary schools. 4
  • In 2005, there were 561 performances by professional dance companies on the island, with attendance averaging 70%. That number represented 78% of all performances given across the province. Three of every four recipients of grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec lived on the island, which was also home to 22 production companies averaging 20 years’ experience. 5
Proportion of the Population Attending a Concert
or an Artistic Performance, 1998 and 2005
Proportion of the Population Attending a Concert

source : Statistics Canada
  • In 2005, Greater Montreal was first (32.8%) among major cities with respect to the attendance of cultural festivals, followed by Ottawa (30.8%) and Victoria (29.8%), Toronto (25.2%) and Vancouver (20.5%). 6
Thanks to the existence of programs adapted to their clientele, the libraries on the island of Montreal play a major role in encouraging reading among the young. The program, Livres dans la rue, for example, targets disadvantaged children in the 4-to-12 age group, many of whom have few opportunities to read. The program, Contact, le plaisir de lire, is especially designed to encourage the practice of reading and the use of French among immigrant children up to 5 years old. In 2002, more than 15,000 children were given an opportunity to engage in reading through these programs. 7

Source :
1 Institut de la statistique du Québec, “La fréquentation des arts de la scène au Québec de 2004 à 2006.” Statistiques en bref, Observatoire de la culture et des communications du Québec. No. 31, August 2007.
2 Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport and Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine,
“The Culture in the Schools Program,” 2008)

3 Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport and Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine, “L’évaluation du programme La culture à l’école, 2008.)
4 Institut de la statistique du Québec, “Visitors to respondent museum institutions, Montreal and all of Quebec, 2005-2007”
(statistical table). Observatoire de la culture et des communications du Québec, 2008.)

5 Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, “Portrait du secteur de la danse professionnelle au Québec. Constats du CALQ,
No. 14, March 2007.)

6 Statistics Canada, special request, General Social Survey, 2005.
7 Ville de Montréal, Assessment of Municipal Libraries on the Island of Montreal, 2005.
  • In 2005, the median family income of immigrants living in Greater Montreal ($49,257) was significantly lower than that of non-immigrants ($68,430), and it had been declining since 2000 ($50,733*). A similar situation was found in other major Canadian cities. The smaller differential seen at the national level ($67,874 vs $62,842) suggests that the situation is quite different in smaller communities. 1

    * In 2005 dollars
  • In 2004-2005, new immigrants were more likely to start a new business than were Canadian-born residents, especially in Montreal (10.5% vs 7.9%). However, there were fewer immigrants than Canadian-born heading established businesses (in existence for 42 months or more). 2
  • Between 2001 and 2006, the percentage of allophones in Greater Montreal rose from 19% to 21.8%. The allophone linguistic groups most responsible for this growth were those who speak Arabic, Spanish and Chinese. 3
  • In 2006, 90.2% of Quebec’s visible minorities lived in Greater Montreal. They accounted for 16.5% of the region’s population, a proportion that has been rising in the past 10 years (from 12.2% in 1996 and 13.5% in 2001). In Canada overall, visible minorities represent 11.6% of the population. These proportions are greater in Toronto (42.9%) and Vancouver (17.3%). 4
  • In 2006, the majority of same-sex couples in Canada lived in the three largest urban regions: Toronto (21.2%), Montreal (18.4%) and Vancouver (10.3%). In Montreal, only 10.5% of same-sex couples were married, a proportion that was lower than the Canadian average (16.5%) and than the proportions in Toronto (24.8%) and Vancouver (18.9%). According to Statistics Canada, this situation is due to the greater propensity of all couples in Quebec to choose common-law unions over marriage. 5

Source :
1 Statistics Canada, Census 2006, Topic-Based Tabulations. Cat. No. 97-563-XWE2006021. 2008.
2 Nathaly Riverin, L’entrepreneuriat à Montréal. Cahier de recherche 2006-17, Chaire d’entrepreneuriat Rogers-J.-A.-Bombardier. Montreal: HEC Montréal, 2006.)
3 Statistics Canada, The Evolving Linguistic Portrait, 2006 Census. Cat. No. 97-555-XWE2006001. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2007.
4 Statistics Canada, Canada’s Ethnocultural Mosaic, 2006 Census. Cat. No. 97-562-X. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2008.
5 A. Milan, M. Vézina, and C. Wells, Family Portrait: Continuity and Change in Canadian Families and Households in 2006. 2006 Census. Cat. 97-553-XWE. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2007.

  • In 2007, 36.2% of elected representatives
    for the city of Montreal were women; among
    district mayors, 42.1% were women.
    Vancouver (36.4%) was the only large
    Canadian city with a rate similar to Montreal’s. 1

    Rate of Participation in Federal Elections (%)
    2000, 2004 and 2006

    source : Élections Canada
  • In 2006, 21.8% of taxpayers in Greater Montreal made a donation to a charity organization, compared with 24.6% for all Canadian taxpayers. The median donation of Montrealers ($150) was also lower than that of all Canadians ($250). The median donation level has been rising throughout Canada over the past 10 years, and a similar trend can be observed in the Montreal region, where the median level grew by 36.4% between 1997 and 2006. 2
  • The 2007 campaign of Centraide of Greater Montreal raised over $54 million – $2.5 million more than the previous year. With these funds, Centraide supports 360 organizations, mainly on the island. The Centraide campaign is supported by more than 22,000 volunteers in some 2,000 workplaces. 3
Hasbro, the game and toy company, has recently launched a new global edition of its famous Monopoly board game, originally created in 1935. The choice of cities appearing in this special edition is the result of an online vote that took place following an invitation to all cities in the world. From now on, thanks to the massive participation of Montrealers, millions of investors all over the world will dream of building houses and hotels in Montreal. Our city was voted first in the world and will occupy the most desirable box in the traditional version of the game, Boardwalk. Does this mean that Montrealers are better connected than others? Or simply that they are more proud of their city?

Since year 2000, the 18 Centraides of Quebec organize La Matinée scolaire de l’entraide, a program that includes activities to foster volunteerism and community engagement amongst grade school children. Each year, volunteers and spokespeople from local community organizations visit grade 4 classes to discuss and exchange with children about their experiences and of the importance of volunteerism. In 2008, one thousand children in 19 different Montreal area schools participated in the 9th edition of La Matinée scolaire de l’entraide..4

Source :
1 Ville de Montréal. (2008). Pour une participation égalitaire des hommes et des femmes à la vie politique de Montréal.
Politique et mesures de mise en œuvre.

2 Statistique Canada, tableaux Table 111-0001, séries Cansim.
3 Centraide. (2008). Journal Centraide, Hiver 2008, volume 22, no 1.
4 Centraide press release, Mai 9, 2007. Centraide press release, Mai 7, 2008.