The city of Montreal is one of the cities of Canada. It had the status of being the largest city of the country until the year 1970, and currently it holds the status of being ranked seventh among all the cities of Canada, and being ranked first among all the cities of the province of Quebec, with respect to size. When the city was initially found, it was known as the City of Mary, or Ville Mary. It is believed by a number of historians that the name of the city, Montreal, comes from the words Mont Real, as pronounced in Middle French, or Mont Royal, as pronounced in modern day French. These refer to the three headed hill which is situated in the center of the city. The island on which the city of Montreal is situated was also initially named after this hill.
The charter of the city defines the official language of the city of Montreal to be French. There are five cities in the world which are listed as being the largest cities where French is spoken officially. And Montreal is one of them. According to figures collected in the year 2006 by the Canadian Census Bureaus, the city proper was home to more than one million six hundred and twenty thousand people. The Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, which is also called the Greater Montreal Area, was home to more than three million six hundred and thirty five thousand people. Around seventy one percent of the total population of the census metropolitan area of Montreal speaks French at home. In the year 2007, the city was ranked tenth among all the cities of the world by Forbes Magazine as being the cleanest city in the world.
The city of Montreal is located at a distance of two hundred and seventy five kilometers due south west of Quebec City.