Let's stay in the Americas today.. I received this pretty postcard from my French friend Tiphaine who visited Canada last year with her boyfriend. It sounded like a pretty amazing trip, I'd love to have a similar one one day!
Montreal is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the fifteenth largest in North America. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", the city takes its present name from Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill located in the heart of the city, whose name was also initially given to the island on which the city is located, or Mont Réal as it was spelled in Middle French, (Mont Royal in present French).
As of February 2012, Statistics Canada identifies Montreal's Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) (land area 4,259 square kilometres) as Canada's second most populous with an estimated metropolitan area population of 3,824,221 and a population of 1,886,481 in the "agglomeration" of Montreal, which includes all of the municipalities on the island of Montreal. The city of Montreal proper had a population of 1,649,519 as of the 2011 census.
French is the city's official language and is also the language spoken at home by 60.5% of the population in the city of Montréal proper, followed by English at 21.2% and 23.4% other languages (as of 2006 census). In the larger Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 70.5% of the population speaks French at home, compared to 18.5% who speak English. 56% of the population is able to speak both English and French. Montreal is the second largest primarily French-speaking city in the Western world, after Paris.
Montreal is consistently rated as one of the world's most livable cities, was called "Canada's Cultural Capital" by Monocle Magazine and recently was named a UNESCO City of Design. Though historically the commercial capital of Canada, it was surpassed in population, as well as economic strength, by Toronto after 1976. Today it continues as an important centre of commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, culture, tourism, film and world affairs.
The stamp is a standard one, but the cancellation makes this pretty special - Tiphaine mailed my card from the Green Gables on the Prince Edward Island! How cool is that?!