What do John Lennon and John Wilkes Booth have to do with Montreal? What do the five symbols on Montreal’s flag mean? To get the answers to these questions and to learn some interesting facts about Montreal, read on.
1. Montreal is an island – one of more than 400 on the St. Lawrence River.
2. Montreal is well known for it’s festivals and is home to some of the biggest ones in the world. The Montreal Jazz Festival and the Montreal International Fireworks Festival are both the biggest of their kinds in the world. The largest French music event in the world – Les FrancoFolies de Montréal – is also held in Montreal. Some other great festivals in Montreal include: Montreal Beer Festival, Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and Montreal Reggae Festival.
4. Montreal is the second largest French speaking city in the world (after Paris).
4. During the American Civil War, Montreal was a prominent center for Confederate activity and sympathy. In fact, John Wilkes Booth spent 10 days in Montreal meeting with Confederate Secret Service agents six months before he assassinated Abraham Lincoln.
5. John Lennon and Yoko One held their second, week long bed-in on May 26, 1969 in Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel. “Give Peace a Chance” was recorded on June 1 during their stay at the hotel.
6. Montreal has the second highest number of restaurants per capita in North America (after New York City).
7. 85% of the world’s maple syrup comes from Quebec, Montreal’s Provence. The maple sap collected used to make maple syrup is also used to make all kinds of maple goodies including maple butter, maple candy, marinades and baked goods.
8. Montreal is on the same latitude as Venice, Italy.
9. Montreal is the sister city of Hiroshima, Japan.
10. Habitat 67 is a strange looking housing complex built for the1967 World Expo. Architect Moshe Safdie based it on his master’s thesis at McGill University.
11. Montreal’s La Ronde Amusement Park has one of the largest wooden roller coasters in the world.
12. Montreal was built around a mountain – Mount Royal – which the city was named after. Mount Royal Park is located on the mountain and was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the same person that designed New York City’s Central Park.
13. Montreal’s flag has five symbols on it. The first is the cross which represents the Christian principles on which the city was founded. The other four represent the largest nationalities of the first settlers: the fleur-de-lis for the French, the Lancastrian rose for the English, the shamrock for the Irish, and the thistle for the Scottish.
14. Montreal hosted the 1976 Olympics. This was the first time the Olympics were held in Canada.
15. Montreal has a city underneath the city. The Underground City is a maze of tunnels and shops that covers more than 18 miles.