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Today at 9am the bells of the churches in Montreal rang for the 375th Birthday of the City founded on this day in 1642. The city is spending $1 Billion dollars on the Birthday, an incredible sum of money, but hey, it is a great city, my family have lived in Montreal for 300 years. In my life time I saw the city host one of the most well attended Universal World Fair in 1967, build a modern subway system running on tires and not rail, the Olympic Games of 1976.  A city of 4 million people, the Paris of the New World, great restaurants, wonderful museums, great architecture, seat of UN Organizations and other international bodies.

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Place D’Armes with the statue of its founder and the Basilica Notre-Dame, 1673.

The history of Montreal spans some 8,000 years. At the time of European contact, the area was inhabited on the South shore of the St-Lawrence valley by Iroquoians, a distinct group of Iroquoian-speaking natives. Jacques Cartier became the first European to reach the area now known as Montreal in 1535 when he entered the village of Hochelaga on the Island of Montreal. In May 1642 Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance founded what was at the time with a handful of others a religious mission named Ville-Marie. They had a tough time of it, isolated from the Capital Quebec City and under constant threat by the Iroquois. The small settlement was almost wiped out several times by attacking natives, until the Sun King Louis XIV sent regiments of troops which resulted in 1662 in the great Peace of Montreal. In 1644  Jeanne Mance founded the first hospital l’Hôtel Dieu in North America, North of Mexico City. A hospital which is still in operation today.

Montreal ones of the great city of the world. Happy Birthday to my home town.

 

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View from the Marina in the Old Port of the City

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View of downtown from the Mont Royal

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The flag and coat of Arms of the City of Montreal designed by Mayor Jacques Viger in 1833. The flag represents the 4 ethnic groups living in the City at the time, French, English, Scots and Irish.

 

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