The city lies at the foot of Mt. Royal, which is the source of its name and around which extends a large wooded park in the center of the city. To the south fronting the river is the area of Old Montreal, which draws visitors to the boardwalk on the site of the Old Port and to Place Jacques-Cartier, St. Sulpice Seminary (1685), the Château de Ramezay (1705), and the Gothic Church of Notre Dame (c.1820). Beginning in the 1960s, following a period of neglect, Old Montreal underwent extensive renovation and gained commercial, government, and private tenants. Located in the downtown area is the Place Ville Marie, an innovative commercial complex built in 1962; around it stretches the Underground City, which provides protected access, both above and below street level, to shopping, restaurants, offices, and other commercial enterprises and to transportation links. Montreal has a museum of fine arts, a museum of contemporary arts, an environmental museum and insectarium, and large botanical gardens. An amusement center and casino occupy the site of Expo '67. The city is the seat of McGill Univ., the Univ. of Montreal, the Univ. of Quebec at Montreal, and Concordia Univ. The National Hockey League's hallowed Canadiens and the Canadian Football League's Alouettes play in the city.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.