Toronto and Montreal Compared

Mr. Beat is a social studies teacher who specializes in making history and geography more engaging

​Mr. Beat compares and contrasts Montreal and Toronto, the two largest cities in Canada. #geography #canada #torontovsmontreal

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Toronto and Montreal or Tronno and The City of Saints

The two largest cities in Canada. Just about 547 kilometers, or 340 miles, apart from each other. While the two cities are dynamic, cosmopolitan, global cities with amazing attractions, both are quite different.

Let’s start with the language. French is the primary language of Montreal, while English is the primary language of Toronto. But wait Mr. Beat. Aren’t both English and French official languages in Canada? Well, yeah, but Montreal is in Quebec (I know, I know also pronounced KUH- bek or KEH-bek), which is the only province where the majority of residents speak French. But have no fear English-speaking peoples. More than 59% of Montreal residents can speak both English and French. Less than 1% of folks who live in Toronto mostly speak French, although most Toronto residents know at least some French, or at least they were supposed to learn it in school. Pay attention in school, kids.

Why the language difference? Well let’s get into some history.

Montreal is 151 years older than Toronto. Woah dude. Montreal began as a fort called Ville-Marie. French settlers founded Ville-Marie on May 17, 1642 to help expand its colonial empire, New France. In those early years, Ville-Marie became a major center for the fur trade and made lots of money for France until France lost it in 1760 to the British army in the Seven Years’ War. After the British moved in, THEY made lots of money in the fur trade.

Meanwhile, the British established the Province of Upper Canada. Its first Lieutenant-Governor, a dude named John Graves Simcoe, established what would become Toronto on August 27, 1793. He named it York, to kiss King George’s butt, since the Duke of York was King George’s son. It was meant to be the temporary capital of Upper Canada, but folks liked it so much it ended up becoming the permanent capital. During the War of 1812, American troops attacked the fort which protected York, called Fort York of course.

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