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Montreal is the second-most populated city in Canada and the most populous city in the province of Quebec, which is located in the country's easternmost region. The city was founded in 1642 as Ville-Marie, which means "City of Mary," and was called after Mount Royal, a triple-peaked hill in the city's centre that has three peaks. The city is located on the Island of Montréal, which derives its name from the same origin as the city, as well as a few considerably smaller outlying islands, the biggest of which being Île Bizard, which is the largest of the city's islands. The city is located 196 kilometres (122 miles) east of the national capital, Ottawa, and 258 kilometres (160 kilometres) south-west of the provincial capital, Quebec City, in the province of Quebec.

It had a population of 1704 694 in 2016, with a total population of 1,942,247 in the urban agglomeration, which included all of the neighbouring municipalities on the Island of Montreal. The population of the wider metropolitan region was 4,098,247 people in 2010. Officially, French is the city's official language, and it was the native tongue of 61.2 percent of its residents in 2016, with 26.4 percent speaking non-official languages at home and 23.1 percent speaking English at home (multi-language responses were included in these figures). Approximately 71.2 percent of the population lived in the greater Montreal Census Metropolitan Area and spoke at least one form of French at home, compared to 19.0 percent who spoke English at home. Although the city of Montreal's population regarded themselves proficient in French in 2016, 91.4 percent of the population of the greater Montreal metropolitan region considered themselves fluent in French. Quebec's nation's capital, Montreal, is one of the most multilingual cities in the country, with 57.4 percent of the population able to communicate in both English and French. Montreal, behind Paris, is the second-largest metropolis in the developed world that is mainly composed of French speakers.