A few days ago, Wreckless asked about our city’s name, and why it was called “Montréal”. I decided to dedicate a short post to it, not a history lesson.
In his comment he mentioned that it used to be called Mont Real. I had to think back to my history classes, and remembered that it is thought that maybe the name derived from Mont Royal to Montréal. In the centre of Montréal there’s a mountain called Mont Royal, which Cartier named, back in 1535.
From what I remember Montréal’s first names were actually “Hochelaga”, in Huron-Iroquois’ language, the first real inhabitants of this island. Then, in 1642, de Maisonneuve renamed it “Ville-Marie”.
Funny fact, the neighbourhood we now live in is called « Ville Marie », and is located right next to Old Montréal. East of here is the neighbourhood “Hochelaga-Maisoneuve”.
Check out this map, and click on the left arrow to see the Mont Royal area.
There’s also this article showing parts of Mont Royal, here.
You can read more about Montréal’s history on the Natural Resources Canada’s site, here.
Searching the web, I landed on this blog of a guy (German, I think) who came to visit Montréal and posted about it. It was interesting for me to see his view of our city. Check it out, here. He took some really nice pictures.
And finally, check out this link, this is our new neighbourhood… it even has a live cam and some really good shots. This is worth the click, and maybe it will entice you to make your way here, for a visit. If you do, let me know!
I hope this will answer Wreckless' question...
You might have noticed that I always write Montréal, in French, with the accent aigu, because I'm not a fan of "adapting" a name to a language, either a city name, a person's name, etc. It is a French name, therefore I write it the way it should be.