World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Name of Montreal

Article Id: WHEBN0016930272
Reproduction Date:

Title: Name of Montreal  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: History of Montreal, Timeline of Montreal history, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Governor of Montreal, Montréal 2025
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Name of Montreal

There are some hypotheses concerning the origin of the name of Montreal. The most known is the one that finds it to be a variant of mont Royal.

Hypotheses concerning the origin of the name

The historian Marcel Trudel asked the following question: "where does the name "Mount Royal" come from? in honor of Cardinal de Medici, Archbishop of Monreale? in honor of Claude de Pontbriand, son of the Seigneur de Montréal? or simply in honor of the king? No explanation has been given".[1]

Claude de Pontbriand, the Seigneur de Montréal (landlord of the Château de Montréal), accompanied Jacques Cartier on his expedition up the Saint Lawrence River, and was with him on October 3, 1535, when he reached Hochelaga, on the site of the present day city of Montreal.

Among the hypotheses concerning the origin of Montreal's name, the most acceptable to Toponymy is the one that finds it to be a variant of mont Royal.[2] Note that in the 16th century réal was a variant of royal, hence the contraction of Mont Royal that gave Mont Réal or Montréal, as we have it today.

The name Montréal referred first to the mountain, then to the island and finally to the city itself.


The original name for the settlement that would later become Montreal was Ville-Marie. When the missionary society, the Société Notre-Dame pour la conversion des Sauvages, sent Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve to found a city on the island of Montréal in 1642 they named the settlement Ville-Marie, in honour of the Virgin, protectress of the venture. Nonetheless, from the very beginning both the settlement of Ville-Marie and the mountain were known as Montréal to many people, including to some of the map-makers of the period. In the 18th century, for no official reason, the name Montréal supplanted that of Ville-Marie. Up until then, the city was called, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes separately, Montréal and/or Ville-Marie.[3]


Map published in Venice by Ramusio. Based on account of Jacques Cartier
  • In the modern Iroquois language, Montreal is called Tiohtià:ke. Other native languages, such as Algonquin, refer to it as Moniang.[4]
  • 1535 – October 3, Jacques Cartier climbed up the Montreal mountain and name it Mont Royal. He wrote: "Nous nommasmes icelle montaigne le mont Royal." (We named the said mountain 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 wrote Monte Real to designate Mont Royal.
  • 1575 – In his Cosmographie universelle de tout le monde, historiographer François de Belleforest was the first to use the form Montreal with reference to this area. In translation it would read: "let us now look at Hochelaga, ... in the midst of the countryside is the village, or Cité royale, adjacent to a mountain on which farming is practiced. The Christians call this city Montreal...".
  • 1601 – On his map, Guillaume Le Vasseur wrote Hochelaga for the inhabited area and called the hill mont royal.
  • 1609 – Marc Lescarbot called the settlement: "Hochelaga, ville des Sauvages".
  • 1612 – On Champlain's map the mountain is called Montreal.
  • 1642 – The mission named Ville Marie was built at Place Royal.
  • 1705 – Montreal is now the official name for the city formerly named Ville-Marie.


  • "The City of Saints"
  • "The City of a Hundred Steeples" - Mark Twain in 1881.
  • "The Metropolis" ("La Métropole" in French)
  • "Québec's Metropolis" (in French "La Métropole du Québec") - [5]
  • "Sin City" - [6] During the period of the Prohibition in the United States, because of the Montreal night life, it became well known as one of North America's "sin cities" with unparalleled nightlife.
  • "The 514" (Montreal's area code)


  1. ^ Marcel Trudel, Histoire de la Nouvelle-France, I, Les vaines tentatives, 1524-1603 (Montréal, Fides, 1962), 98, note 9.
  2. ^ , vol. 46, n° 1, 1992, p. 37-44.Revue d'histoire de l'Amérique françaiseJean Poirier, "Origine du nom de la ville de Montréal",
  3. ^ Where does the name Montréal come from?
  4. ^ Island of Montréal
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links

  • Where does the name Montréal come from?
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.