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Timeline of Montreal history

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The timeline of the history of Montreal is a chronology of significant events in the history of Montreal, Canada's second-most populated city, with about 3.5 million residents in 2018,[1] and the fourth-largest French-speaking city in the world.[2]


  • The area known today as Montreal had been inhabited by Algonquin, Huron, and Iroquois for some 2,000 years, while the oldest known artifact found in Montreal proper is about 2,000 years old.[3]
  • In the earliest oral history, the Algonquin migrated from the Atlantic coast, arriving, together with other Anicinàpek, at the "First Stopping Place" (Montréal). There, the Nation found a "turtle-shaped island" marked by miigis (cowrie) shells.
  • The Iroquois, or Haudenosaunee, were centred, from at least 1000 CE, in northern New York, and their influence extended into what is now southern Ontario and the Montreal area of modern Quebec.[4]
  • 1142 – The Iroquois Confederacy is, from oral tradition, said to have been formed in 1142 CE.[5]
  • In the modern Iroquois language, Montréal is called Tiohtià:ke. Other native languages, such as Algonquin, refer to it as Moniang.[6]
  • The St. Lawrence Iroquoians established the village of Hochelaga at the foot of Mount Royal.[7]

16th century

  • 1535 – Jacques Cartier renames the Saint Lawrence River in honour of Saint Lawrence on August 10, the feast day of the Roman martyr. Prior to this, the Saint Lawrence River had been known by other names, including Hochelaga River and Canada River; Cartier penetrates far into the interior for the first time, via the river.
  • 1535 – September 19, Cartier starts his journey from Quebec City to Montreal, while in search of a passage to Asia.
  • 1535 – Cartier visits Hochelaga on October 2, claiming the St. Lawrence Valley for France.[8] He becomes the first European to reach the area now known as Montréal when he enters the village of Hochelega. Cartier estimates the population to be "over a thousand".
  • 1535 – October 3, Cartier climbs up the mountain on the Île de Montréal and names it Mont Royal; the name Montréal is generally thought to be derived from "Mont Royal", the name given to the mountain by Cartier in 1535.
  • 1556 – On his map of Hochelega, Italian geographer Giovanni Battista Ramusio writes "Monte Real" to designate Mont Royal.
  • 1580 – The St. Lawrence Iroquoians appear to have vacated the Saint Lawrence River Valley sometime prior to 1580.

17th century


1609 scene, including self-portrait, reprinted from Deffaite des Yroquois au Lac de Champlain (Defeat of the Iroquois of Lake Champlain), drawn by Samuel de Champlain (1613)
1609 scene, including self-portrait, reprinted from Deffaite des Yroquois au Lac de Champlain (Defeat of the Iroquois of Lake Champlain), drawn by Samuel de Champlain (1613)


Jean de Lauzon
Jean de Lauzon
Louis d'Ailleboust de Coulonge
Louis d'Ailleboust de Coulonge
Jeanne Mance, Maisonneuve Monument
Jeanne Mance, Maisonneuve Monument


Louis Prud'homme
Louis Prud'homme


Louis Jolliet statue, Parliament Building (Quebec)
Louis Jolliet statue, Parliament Building (Quebec)
1672 street grid survey of Ville-Marie
1672 street grid survey of Ville-Marie


  • 1690 – February 8: Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville leads more than 160 French Canadians and 100 Indian warriors to Schenectady, New York which they attack and burn in retaliation for the Lachine Massacre.
  • 1690 – The Citadel, Montreal built.
  • 1694 – Louis Tantouin de la Touche is named subdelegate of the intendant.
  • 1694 – Frères Hospitaliers de la Croix et de Saint-Joseph, known after their founder as the Frères Charon, founded.
  • 1694 – Louis-Hector de Callière is awarded the cross of Saint-Louis. During his years as governor of Montreal, the Iroquois war has enhanced the importance of that position.
  • 1694 – François Vachon de Belmont completes the mission on the slopes of Mount Royal. Its circular stone fortress towers still stand on the grounds of the Grand Seminary on Sherbrooke Street.
  • 1695 – Nicolas Perrot brings the Miami, Sauk, Menominee, Potawatomi and Fox chiefs to Montreal at the governor's request, regarding war with the Iroquois.
  • 1695 – Saint-Charles-Sur-Richelieu is granted to Zacharie-François Hertel, Sieur de la Fresnière (March 1).
  • 1696 – Fire at Fort de la Montagne. The Hurons are transferred to Fort Lorette.
  • 1696 – Jacques Le Ber is ennobled.
  • 1698 – A chapel dedicated to St. Anne is founded at the south end of Murray street. Le Quartier Ste-Anne becomes infamous as a den of licentiousness, and the clergy restricts the sale of liquor around the chapel.
  • 1698 – Bishop Saint-Vallier, returning from France, accompanies two English gentlemen, one of them a Protestant minister, on a visit to Jeanne Le Ber.
  • 1700 – At the turn of the 18th century Montreal's population is about 1,500 souls, which gradually grows to about 7,500 in the year 1760, at the time of the British conquest.
  • 1700 – Gédéon de Catalogne is employed by the Sulpicians in October to dig the Lachine Canal.
  • 1700–31 – François Vachon de Belmont is the fifth superior of the Montreal Sulpicians.

18th century


  • 1701 – August 4, The Great Peace of Montreal : The French and Native Americans from across the continent conclude a historic alliance, at Pointe-à-Callière.
  • 1705 – Montreal is now the official name for the city formerly named Ville-Marie.
  • 1705 – Place Royale is designated as a marketplace.
  • 1706 – After 1706, deforestation along the riverbank is advanced enough that the opening of a road along the lake, from La Présentation to the tip of the Île de Montréal, is decreed.
  • 1709 – Slavery becomes legal in New France.
  • 1711 – The court orders the construction of a stone wall around the city.
  • 1713 – Jurisdiction of the Government of Montreal begins to the west of Maskinongé, Quebec and Yamaska and ends at the extremity of the inhabited area, namely fort Saint-Jean, Châteauguay and Vaudreuil.
  • 1713 – Michel Bégon decides to erect stone fortifications. The wooden walls are replaced with stone due to the threat of British attack.
  • 1713 – Pointe-Claire parish is first established in the name of St. Francis of Sales and dedicated to St. Joachim the following year.
  • 1717–1744 – Stone fortifications were erected according to plans by the architect Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros de Léry. The fortifications correspond roughly to the present-day limits of Old Montreal, with Rue Berri to the east, Rue de la Commune to the south, Rue McGill to the west, and Ruelle de la Fortification to the north.
  • 1719 – Pointe-aux-Trembles windmill is built at the corner of Notre-Dame Street and Third Avenue. Its three storeys make it the tallest windmill in Quebec that still stands.



Henri-Marie Dubreil de Pontbriand
Henri-Marie Dubreil de Pontbriand



  • 1783 – The North West Company of Montreal is officially created.
  • 1783 – A lottery is started in Montreal to defray the cost of a new jail.
  • 1783 – Fleury Mesplet gets out of prison in September.
  • 1785 – Fleury Mesplet founds the newspaper The Montreal Gazette / Gazette de Montréal on August 28.
  • 1785 – In February, the Beaver Club is formed by members of the North West Company.
  • 1785 – A dark day on October 10. Candles are lighted at noon.
  • 1785 – Maison Papineau (or Maison John-Campbell) is built at 440 Bonsecours Street. It will be modified in 1831 and 1965.
  • 1786 – John Molson founds the Molson Brewery.
  • 1786 – Allen's Company of Comedians is the first professional theatre company to perform in the city.
  • 1787 – Prince William Henry, later William IV, arrives at Montreal on September 8.
  • 1787–1811 – John Reid is justice of the peace for the district of Montreal, which governs Montreal's affairs.
  • 1788 – The Gazette, formerly a French journal, appears in English.
  • 1789 – Lord Grenville proposes that land in Upper Canada be held in free and common soccage, and that the tenure of Lower Canadian lands be optional with the inhabitants.
  • 1789 – May 4 – The justices of the peace, who govern Montreal's affairs, order "the price and assize of bread, for this month" to be: "the white loaf of 4lbs. at 13d., or 30 sous", etc., and that bakers of the city and suburbs do conform thereto, and mark their bread with their initials.
  • 1789 – Christ Church opens for service on December 20.
  • 1791 – Edmund Burke supports the proposed constitution for Canada, saying that "To attempt to amalgamate two populations, composed of races of men diverse in language, laws and habitudes, is complete absurdity. Let the proposed constitution be founded on man's nature, the only solid basis for an enduring government."
  • 1792 – December 20 – a fortnightly mail is established between Canada and the United States.
  • 1792 – Opening of the first post office in Montreal on 20 December.
  • 1793 – Importation of slaves into Canada is prohibited on July 9.
  • 1799 – Mary Griffin obtains the lease to Griffintown from a business associate of Thomas McCord.
  • 1799 – The census of 1799 lists 9,000 inhabitants while that of 1761 lists 5,500.
  • 1799 – Citizens of Montreal petition to secure master's rights over slaves
  • 1799 – A measure respecting slavery in Lower Canada does not pass.
  • 1799 – Of twenty-one members of Council, in Lower Canada, six are French Canadians.
  • 1799 – The Court House is completed.
  • 1799 – January 3 – Parliament appropriates $5,000 for a new Montreal Court House.
  • 1800 – Alexander Skakel moves from Quebec City to Montreal and establishes the Classical and Mathematical School. This was the principal educational institution for the English-speaking population.
  • 1800 – Thomas Walker is elected to the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada for Montreal County.
  • 1800 – Thomas Porteous (merchant) purchases the seigneury of Terrebonne.

19th century


  • 1802 The first unofficial cavalry corps is formed in Montreal.
  • 1803–15 – With the Napoleonic Wars comes a demand for large amounts of squared timber for shipbuilding. Montreal is able to fulfil the demand, and this expansion of the city's economic base is reflected in a rise in population to 26,154 by the year 1825.
  • 1804–17 – The demolition of Montreal's fortifications takes 13 years, from 1804 to 1817.
  • 1805 – Thomas McCord returns to Montreal and recovers his land, which has been divided by Mary Griffin into streets and lots. The name Griffintown sticks.
  • 1805 – Thomas Porteous (merchant) opens a store at Sainte-Thérèse-de-Blainville, where he also produces potash.
  • 1807 – May – The Canadian Courant and Montreal Advertiser are first issued; owner and editor: Nahum Mower.
  • 1807 – The brothers James and Charles Brown begin publishing the Canadian Gazette/Gazette canadienne in July.
  • 1807 – An Act provides for a new market house in Montreal.
  • 1808 – In early 1808, sick and in debt, Edward Edwards sells the Montreal Gazette to the Browns, who the following month announce their plan to revive it.
  • 1808 – Importation of slaves is banned.
  • 1808 – July 12 – 5 privates of the 100th Regiment, Montreal, are charged with desertion and are transported as felons to New South Wales for 7 years, afterwards to serve as soldiers in that colony.
  • 1808-11 – A new prison is built.
  • 1809 – August 17 – The foundation of Nelson's Column is laid in Montreal. Installed on Place Jacques-Cartier, this is the second monument to be erected in Montreal.
  • 1809 – November 3 – John Molson's steamboat PS Accommodation sails from Montreal to Quebec. It is 85 feet over all, has a 6 horse-power engine, makes the distance in 36 hours, but stops at night and reaches Quebec on the 6th. The PS Accommodation is the second steamboat in America and probably in the world. The fare for an adult is £2.10s.od =$10.
  • 1810 – John Jacob Astor founds the Pacific Fur Company. (His great-grandson, John Jacob Astor IV died on the RMS Titanic).
  • 1811 – Founding of the newspaper the Montreal Herald by William Grey and Mungo Kay, founders, owners and publishers.
  • 1812 – June 18 – The United States declares war against Great Britain over territorial disputes in Canada (War of 1812).
  • 1812 – July 11 – U.S. troops invade Canada.
  • 1814 – The Treaty of Ghent ends the War of 1812 between the United States and Britain.
  • 1815 - John Molson builds the luxurious Mansion House Hotel on Rue St. Paul.
  • 1815 – March – Parliament votes $25,000 for Lachine Canal.
  • 1816 – Population of Montreal is about 16,000.
  • 1816 – The National School is opened.
  • 1816 – May 14 – Thomas A. Turner and Robert Armour, Esq., are appointed commissioners for the improvement of internal navigation between Montreal and Lachine, under the Provincial Act 48 George III, c. 19.
  • 1816-18 – John Coape Sherbrooke is the Governor General of British North America; Sherbrooke Street and the town of Sherbrooke later named after him.
  • 1817 – The Bank of Montreal begins operations in June. Mary Griffin's husband, Robert, is the first clerk.
  • 1817 – Guy Street is named on August 30 for Étienne Guy, a notary who gave the city the land for the street.
  • 1818 – Saint Helen's Island was purchased by the British government. Fort de l'Île Sainte-Hélène was built on the island as defences for the city, in consequence of the War of 1812.
  • 1819 – Darkness at noon on November 9.[clarification needed]


  • 1821 – The Earl of Dalhousie presents Dalhousie Square to Montreal
  • 1821 – March 31 – McGill University established by Royal Charter.
  • 1821 – Beginning of Lachine Canal excavations on July 17.
  • 1821 – The British garrison starts the construction of the Fort de l'Île Sainte-Hélène. It is completed in 1823 and partially rebuilt in 1863 after a fire as a preventive measure against an eventual American attack.
  • 1822 – The first iron bridge is erected on March 8.
  • 1822 – May 1 – The Montreal General Hospital building is completed.
  • 1822 – In September, a whale (42 feet 8 inches in length, 6 feet across the back, and 7 feet deep) finds its way up the Saint Lawrence River.
  • 1824 – Recollet Convent opens as a school for Irish children.
  • 1824 – First Saint Patrick's Day Parade organized on March 17.
  • 1824 – Construction on the new Notre-Dame Basilica (Montreal) begins, designed by New York architect James O'Donnell, an Irish Protestant.
  • 1825 – The Lachine Canal is opened, and new industries spring up in the St. Antoine ward area as a direct outcome of the easier transport of goods. Shipping immediately increases and, along with the destruction of the city walls, Montreal comes to be an economic, rather than military, city. Gradually, the city's harbour facilities expand. In 1830 the wharves are rudimentary and stretched for only a short distance along De la Commune Street.
  • 1825 – First permanent theatre building in Montreal, Theatre Royal, is built by John Molson to attract bigger names to the city, which lacked such a venue. It costs the magnate $30,000. The building is demolished in 1844 and the site was used for the Bonsecours Market. Another venue, also called Theatre Royal, was built not far away in Old Montreal; this building, too, no longer exists.
  • 1826–37 and 1842–99 – La Minerve published.
  • 1827 – Fleming windmill (13, avenue Strathyre) built.
  • 1829 – Most of Notre-Dame Basilica (Montreal) is now completed. Work continues for more than a decade on the two bell towers. A new skyline begins to develop.
  • 1830 – The Montreal harbour is officially incorporated.
  • 1831 – Alexis de Tocqueville visits Montreal in August–September.
  • 1832 – Charter of incorporation for the city of Montreal (27,000 inhabitants).
Acte pour incorporer la Cité de Montréal
Acte pour incorporer la Cité de Montréal




Monument Maisonneuve
Monument Maisonneuve
  • 1895 – The monument in memory of Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, by artist Louis-Philippe Hébert, was unveiled on July 1 on Place d'Armes.
  • 1896 – Motion pictures are first shown in Canada for the first time at the Palace Theatre at 972 St. Lawrence, corner Viger, on June 27.
  • 1897 – Lion of Belfort (Montreal) unveiled on May 24.
  • 1897 – A survey of living conditions is conducted by Mr. Herbert Brown Ames. He points out the discrepancy in living conditions between wealthy areas of Montreal ('the upper city') and the areas inhabited by the working class ('the city below the hill'): "The sanitary accommodation of 'the city below the hill' is a disgrace to any nineteenth century city on this or any other continent. I presume there is hardly a house in all the upper city without modern plumbing, and yet in the lower city not less than half the homes have indoor water-closet privileges. In Griffintown only one home in four is suitably equipped, beyond the canal (in Pointe-Saint-Charles) it is but little better. Our city by-law prohibits the erection of further out-door closets, but it contains no provision for eradicating those already in use."
  • 1897 – Canadian Car and Foundry's history goes back to 1897, but the main company is established in 1909 from an amalgamation of several companies and later becomes part of Hawker Siddeley Canada through the purchase of Avro Canada in the late 1950s.
  • 1898 – Place Viger constructed.
  • 1898 – Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal founded on June 1.
  • 1898–1903 – Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church built.
  • 1899 – The Montreal Shamrocks win the Stanley Cup.
  • 1899 – Incorporation of Loyola College on March 10.
  • 1899 – October 30 – The First Canadian Contingent of the Boer War sets sail to South Africa on the SS Sardinian of the Allan Line, bearing Canada's initial quota of fighting men, including the men of "E Company" of Montreal.
  • 1899 – In the afternoon of November 21, Montrealers see their first car. At the wheel of this first steam-powered automobile is Ucal-Henri Dandurand, accompanied by Mayor Raymond Préfontaine. They descend steep Côte du Beaver Hall without difficulty and climb back up through the streets in the same fashion.
  • 1899 – Construction of a dam in the Old Port of Montreal: there will be no more flooding.
  • 1900 – The Montreal Shamrocks win the Stanley Cup.

20th century






21st century


See also


  1. ^ Pariona, Amber (1 June 2018). "The Largest Cities in Canada". World Atlas. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  2. ^ Reza, Zainab (1 August 2017). "The Largest Francophone Cities in the World". World Atlas. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Place Royale and the Amerindian presence". Société de développement de Montréal. September 2001. Retrieved 2007-03-09.
  4. ^ The Canadian Encyclopedia, Iroquois
  5. ^ Bruce E. Johanson, Dating the Iroquois Confederacy
  6. ^ "Island of Montréal". Archived from the original on 2008-05-31. Retrieved 2008-05-31.
  7. ^ Tremblay, Roland (2006). The Saint Lawrence Iroquoians. Corn People. Montreal, Qc: Les Éditions de l'Homme.
  8. ^ "Jacques Cartier: New Land for the French King". Pathfinders & Passageways. Archived from the original on 2007-02-16. Retrieved 2007-02-26.
  9. ^ (in French) "La Première messe sur île de Montréal - 24 juin 1615" Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Ontario's Pioneer Priest" by John J. O'Gorman Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Sneath, Allen Winn (2001). ""Brewing in the New Land"". Brewed in Canada. Toronto and Oxford: The Dundurn Group. pp. 21–22.
  12. ^ Auger, Roland (1955). La Grande Recrue de 1653. Publications de la Société généalogique canadienne-française; Montreal.
  13. ^ NRC. "New France circa 1740 Archived 2007-12-10 at the Wayback Machine", in The Atlas of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, 2003-10-06. Retrieved August 3, 2008.
  14. ^ Le Quebec et Bourgues
  15. ^ Societe d'Histoire de la Region de Terrebonne
  16. ^ Theatre and Politics in Modern Quebec (1989) by Elaine Nardoccio
  17. ^ Smith (1907), vol 1, p. 474
  18. ^ Shelton, pp. 122–127
  19. ^ Stanley, p. 131
  20. ^ Plague A Story of Smallpox in Montreal Michael Bliss, 1991, accessed 8 May 2020
  21. ^ Ovation given by Montreal The Montreal Gazette - Jul 19, 1938, accessed 8 May 2020
  22. ^ "CRTC Origins". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. 2008-09-05. Archived from the original on 2012-01-10. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
  23. ^ Census of Canada, 1941, Census of Canada, 1951
  24. ^ Census of Canada, 1961
  25. ^ Census of Canada, 1971
  26. ^ "A Short History of Toronto". City of Toronto. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
  27. ^ Statistics Canada (2002). "Community Highlights for Montréal". Retrieved 2007-02-22.

External links

This page was last edited on 23 September 2022, at 00:22
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