Montreal; officially Montréal is the second-most populous city in Canada and the most populous city in the Canadian province of Quebec. Founded in 1642 as Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill around which the early city of Ville-Marie is built. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which obtained its name from the same origin as the city and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. The city is situated 196 km (122 mi) east of the national capital Ottawa, and 258 km (160 mi) southwest of the provincial capital, Quebec City.
As of 2021, the city had a population of 1,762,949, and a metropolitan population of 4,291,732, making it the second-largest city, and second-largest metropolitan area in Canada. French is the city's official language and in 2016 was the only home language of 53.7% of the population, while 18.2% spoke only English and 18.7% spoke neither French nor English at home. 9.4% spoke a mix of French, English and a foreign language at home. In the larger Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 71.2% of the population spoke at least French at home, compared to 19.0% who spoke English. Still, in 2016, 87.4% of the population of the city of Montreal considered themselves fluent in French while 91.4% could speak it in the metropolitan area. Montreal is one of the most bilingual cities in Quebec and Canada, with 57.4% of the population able to speak both English and French.
Historically the commercial capital of Canada, Montreal was surpassed in population and in economic strength by Toronto in the 1970s. It remains an important centre of commerce, aerospace, transport, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, education, art, culture, tourism, food, fashion, video game development, film, and world affairs. Montreal has the second-highest number of consulates in North America, serves as the location of the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization, and was named a UNESCO City of Design in 2006. In 2017, Montreal was ranked the 12th-most liveable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit in its annual Global Liveability Ranking. However, it slipped to rank 40 in the 2021 index, primarily due to stress on the healthcare system from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is regularly ranked as a top ten city in the world to be a university student in the QS World University Rankings.