CPT Visits Montreal
Aug 2, 2016
During late July CPT traveled to Montreal, Canada. CPT Chief Executive and Head Trainer Mark Spivak, in a quest to expand CPT and to find multiple locations to reside and work so that he can experience optimal weather throughout the year, scheduled a 10-day jaunt that included both Montreal and Quebec City. Montreal quickly became one of Mark’s favorite cities, if not his most favorite city. In summary, Mark found Montreal to be much like Manhattan, but French and friendlier.
The allure of Montreal is multifold. First, due to the Francophone influence, Montreal is like visiting Europe without having to cross the pond. Second, the French influence allows one to rapidly learn a new language via immersion while simultaneously experiencing a new culture. Third, Montreal also has plentiful Anglophone speakers, which provides opportunities to communicate in the USA’s native tongue. Fourth, Montreal has plentiful professional sports teams, including the Montreal Canadiens (NHL), Montreal Alouettes (CFL), and Montreal Impact (MSL), and hosts major international sporting events, including the Canadian Grand Prix (Formula 1), and Rogers Cup (ATP and WTA). In addition, the Molson family had discussions with Commissioner Adam Silver regarding potential NBA expansion to Montreal. Fifth, Montreal has plentiful television, radio, and print media options, in both the French and English languages. Sixth, Montreal is a diverse cosmopolitan city that features communities of varying cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Seventh, Montreal is a very tolerant city, where people of all types easily congregate together. Eight, Montreal has many outstanding festivals and activities, especially throughout the summer season. Without requiring the purchase of a ticket, we saw many highly talented live bands that played various genres of music. Ninth, Montreal has an underground city, which makes the bitterly cold and snowy winter season more bearable. Tenth, Montreal has outstanding restaurants. Regardless of whether someone wants North American, French, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, Mexican, Jewish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, or any other ethnic fare, he/she can find an excellent restaurant in Montreal. Eleventh, Montreal is a fantastic walking city. If one is hearty, has time, and enjoys a little exercise, once reaching downtown or Old Montreal almost any place one wishes to go is accessible by foot. Twelfth, Montreal is highly bicycle friendly. Montreal has wide bicycle lanes alongside most of the popular city streets and offers ubiquitous city-provided bike racks and locks. Thirteenth, if one is not in a physical mood, Montreal has a reliable mass transportation system. The Metro system runs on time, has trains arrive much more frequently than does MARTA, has stations at pertinent locations, and is used by wide demographics within the population. In addition, VIA Rail is an excellent alternative to automobile travel or air transportation if one wishes to visit Quebec City, Ottawa, or Toronto. The VIA Rail cars are ultra-comfortable, feature coach seats more roomy than first class on an airplane, offer tasty sandwiches and drinks, have free Wi-Fi, and don’t require waiting in a security line. Plus, the views of the Canadian landscape will please nature lovers. In summary, for many reasons, Montreal is awesome!
"Juste pour Rire" Lineup
History of Montreal
To understand where Montreal is today, it helps to understand Montreal’s history. First Nations tribes, mostly of Iroquois lineage, became Montreal’s first human inhabitants when they settled in the Quebec area around 2000 B.C. “First Nations” is the Canadian term for the indigenous people that inhabited the Canadian provinces and territories prior to European settlement. The classification is tantamount to the terminology “Native American” used in the United States.
The first European visitors, French explorer Jacques Cartier and his crew, arrived in 1534. During several voyages to the area, Cartier mapped the St. Lawrence River, established temporary settlements, and claimed the territory he called Canada in the name of French king Francis I. After Cartier’s third voyage and upon his permanent return to France in 1542, Jean-Francois Roberval became the first Lieutenant General of New France. However, a combination of disease, lack of acclimation to the harsh winter, and hostile relations with the neighboring Iroquois prompted Roberval to permanently leave New France for the home country.
The next notable European dweller was Samuel de Champlain, nicknamed “The Father of New France,” who in 1611 established a fur trading post on the shores of the Saint Lawrence. Champlain had founded Quebec City in 1608 and was a noted cartographer who improved upon Cartier’s maps of the Atlantic and Saint Lawrence coastlines.
In 1642, French colonists led by Jerome le Royer de la Dauversiere and Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve created the settlement of Ville Marie (City of Mary), which comprised wood houses, a fur trading post, and a Roman Catholic church in which the people could worship and in which they could convert natives. The settlers battled harsh winters and Iroquois attacks to reach a size of 600 persons by 1685.
During this time, King Louis XIV wished New France to become the focal point of France’s colonial expansion. Therefore, he encouraged settlement, including immigration by single commoner women, known as “les filles du roi” or the “King’s Daughters,” so that they may marry and propagate to further expand France’s penetration of the New World.
Montreal remained in French control until 1763, when in the Treaty of Paris France ceded the land to England at the conclusion of the Seven Years’ War- or as it is frequently called in Quebec province, The War of the Conquest. The Seven Years’ War was the first true world war involving European countries. The war included England, France, Spain, Portugal, Prussia, Austria, Saxony, and Russia as the major combatants. Upon the conclusion, France not only lost New France/Canada to England, but also ceded Louisiana and all territories west of the Mississippi River to Spain.
Downtown Montreal as seen from the Old Port
Our Lady of the Harbour
Montreal first incorporated as a modern city in 1832. The city obtained its name from Mont Royale, the 764-foot three-peaked mountain that towers above the landscape. The cityscape grew quickly due to the Lachine Canal and Victoria Bridge that facilitated water and rail transportation of goods both within Canada and to/from the United States and Europe. Montreal quickly became Canada’s largest and most commercially successful city, which encouraged its selection as the capital of Canada in 1844. However, in 1849, Queen Victoria moved the capital to Ottawa, as she desired a more central capital that was less exposed to potential US attack and that had less of a French influence.
Victoria was prescient. The Franco-Anglo culture clash has periodically risen as a pertinent political issue, most notably in 1980 and 2014 when the Parti Quebecois pushed referendums advocating for Quebec province to secede from Canada. The 1980 referendum prompted the migration of many wealthy Anglo persons and Anglo businesses to Toronto, which temporarily flustered Montreal’s economic growth. In addition, controversy spawned in 2002 when the Parti Quebecois took action whereby Montreal annexed 27 adjoining municipalities, after which in 2004 twelve predominantly Anglo suburbs replied by approving referendums to separate from Montreal. Nevertheless, since its creation Montreal has remained one of Canada’s most significant cities. Moreover, a recent increase in downtown and nearby construction, including commercial skyscrapers, hospitals, highway infrastructure, bridges, subway line extensions, and refurbishment and expansion of Trudeau International Airport, should keep Montreal a thriving metropolis well into the 21st century.
The Geography and Climate
The city boundaries of Montreal are situated on a primary island and several smaller adjoining islands within the southwestern part of Quebec province. The Saint Lawrence River is to the south and the Riviere des Prairies to the north, with the southern tip of the city abutting the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa rivers. The port of Montreal allows easy shipping access through to Lake Ontario to the south and west and to the Atlantic Ocean to the north and east. Montreal is also a major freight railway and commercial trucking hub.
The Montreal summer is reasonably warm. For instance, each day of our visit, with the exception of one cold overcast day, the daytime temperature remained between the high 70s to the mid 80s. July is the warmest month, with an average high temperature of 80° and an average low of 64°. In contrast, winters are bitterly cold, windy, and snowy. From December through February the average high temperature remains below freezing and during March the average mean temperature is also below freezing. January is the coldest month, with an average high temperature of 22° and an average low of 10°. Moreover, due to the windy conditions, the wind chill makes the air seem even more frigid. The city receives an average of 83 inches of snowfall from November through March, which is more snow than falls in Anchorage, Alaska (75 inches), America’s sixth snowiest city, but less than Syracuse (126 inches), America’s snowiest city.
Montreal Olympic Stadium (1976 Summer Games) Parc Olympique
The eastern area of Montreal is predominantly Francophone. The western portion and the western suburbs are predominantly Anglophone. Although in the 1930s Toronto surpassed Montreal as Canada’s most populous city, Montreal remains the second largest city in Canada. The 2011 Census states there are approximately 1.65 million people residing within the City of Montreal and over 3.8 million people residing within the MSA. Current estimates are that the MSA may now be home to over 4.1 million people.
French is the official language of Quebec province, spoken by almost 80% of Quebecers. Therefore, it is no surprise that French is the most frequently spoken language in Montreal and the Montreal MSA. Montreal is the second largest predominantly French-speaking city in the world, behind only Paris! French is the mother language in 66% of Montreal’s households. English is the mother language in only 13% of households. The remaining 21% are allophones, of which the most popular mother tongues are Arabic (4%), Spanish (3%), Italian (3%), Chinese (2%), Haitian Creole (1.5%), Greek (1%), Portuguese (1%), Romanian (1%), Vietnamese (1%), and Russian (1%). Both from reading and from observation Montreal is a veritable cultural melting pot.
56% of the population is bilingual in both French and English, of which I can attest. It was amazing how hospitality workers could speak French with a stereotypic French accent and then immediately convert to English without any hint that French was their native tongue.
Although religion was a powerful influence during colonial days and there are many beautiful churches placed throughout the city, Montreal and Quebec province have low church attendance rates in comparison to other provinces and territories in Canada. Mostly arising from the influx of original French settlers and subsequent immigration by Irish, Italians, and Spanish, Catholicism is the most popular religion. 53% of Montreal’s citizens consider themselves Catholic. Another 13% are a composite of a variety of Protestant and other Christian religions. 18% of the population considers themselves agnostic or atheist. 10% are Muslim. 2.4% are Jewish. 2% are Buddhist. 1.4% are Hindu.
Like with Manhattan and San Francisco, Montreal is comprised of many neighborhoods that have individual character. Old Montreal is a major destination for tourists, contains architecture from hundreds of years ago, and is adjacent to the Port of Montreal. Chinatown-Montreal is relatively small, but maintains the distinctly Asian flair one expects from more renowned Chinatowns. Gay Village is the home and/or the destination for many in Montreal’s gay community. Mount Royal Park contains athletic fields, hiking trails, a chalet, and a magnificent overlook. Traveling north up Rue Saint Laurent, the main dividing line between Franco-Montreal to the east, Anglo-Montreal to the west, and the historic immigrant population in the center, one passes through or by the Historic Jewish Quarter, the Red-Light District, Little Portugal, Little Italy, Greektown, and the Quartier de la Mode.
Musée d’Archéologie et d’Histoire
The Émile Hermès Collection, Paris
We enjoyed traveling through all the neighborhoods and sampling the various ethnic fare. Montreal smoked meat sandwiches at The Main, Montreal bagels at Fairmount bagel, a variety of Chinese food in Chinatown, and phenomenal Portuguese chicken at Ramado’s were just a few of the scrumptious neighborhood fare on which we eagerly dined.
Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal
Although Toronto has surpassed Montreal both in population and commercial power, Montreal remains a vibrant economic metropolis that hosts notable companies in the aerospace, finance, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, software, electronics, chemical, petrochemical, textile, transportation, education, hospitality, and film industries. The Montreal Stock Exchange is the second largest in Canada and the only exchange that trades derivatives. The city is the leader of Canada’s French broadcasting and film industries. Montreal boasts multiple French and English television stations and four daily newspapers, three in French and one in English. Montreal also houses the second highest number of consulates in Canada, behind only Ottawa.
The economy is boosted by four research universities, two that are French speaking and two that are English speaking, and seven other four-year colleges. Interestingly, at 4.4 students per 100 residents, Montreal has the highest concentration of collegiate students of any major city in North America (Boston is second). McGill University, Canada’s premier research university, often coined “The Harvard of Canada,” is one of the world’s top universities. McGill has 11 distinct schools that offer degrees in over 300 fields of study. McGill alumni include 2 Nobel laureates, 140 Rhodes Scholars, 3 astronauts, 3 Canadian prime ministers, 13 justices of the Canadian Supreme Court, 9 Academy Award winners, 11 Grammy winners, 3 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 28 Olympic medalists. CPT enjoyed visiting the McGill campus and speaking with students. The Universite de Montreal is considered Canada’s top French-speaking university and is renowned for its business program. The Universite de Montreal offers 650 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs and serves over 55,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
Nevertheless, despite the diverse economy and the availability of highly educated labor, Montreal’s average household income is below that of other prominent Canadian cities. According to the 2014 Canadian census, the median total family income for Montreal was $75,010 Canadian dollars, whereas the figures were $104,530 for Calgary, $102,020 for Ottawa, Ontario, $101, 470 for Edmonton, $94,060 for St. Johns, Newfoundland, $86,430 for Victoria, $76,040 for Vancouver, $75,270 for Toronto, and $78,870 for Canada as a whole. However, the statistical anomaly can be partially explained by family composition. Only 37% of Montreal households are married couples, the rest are either classified as widowed, divorced, separated, common-law, or single. In contrast, 50% of Calgary’s households are married, 50% in Ottawa, and 48% in Edmonton. Thus, the data is likely skewed by the larger number of two-paycheck households in Calgary, Ottawa, and Edmonton.
Shiro Kuramata- Miss Blanche Armchair
Win Delvoye- Vitrail fait de films de radiographie
Analysis of the Market
From the standpoint of the dog training market, research has shown that there are no significant dog training companies in Montreal. There are a number of sole practitioners throughout various boroughs of the city. Several have been practicing for many years. However, none of the businesses appears to extend much effort in marketing or brand recognition. Moreover, the qualifications and accomplishments of the service providers do not compare to that of CPT’s more established trainers. However, the market pricing for group and private dog training services appears to be less than in Atlanta- and that is even before completing the exchange rate from Canadian dollars to American dollars. Nevertheless, given the higher qualifications of CPT’s staff, the probability is high that we could premium price and successfully acquire market share, provided we also entered with an appropriate marketing program.
The language issue may initially be a roadblock to serving the entire market. The 2011 census shows that 7.4% of persons speak English only and 53.9% are bilingual English-French, but a large percentage (37%) speak French only and 1.7% speak neither English or French. Therefore, when first serving the Montreal market CPT will likely need to concentrate in the western English-speaking area of the city.
In the interim, CPT can remotely service Montreal clients wishing highly trained service dogs. CPT already has a Toronto client and can immediately serve Montreal’s disabled population by training dogs in Atlanta and transporting the finished dogs to Canada.
Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan de Montréal
"Zeiss Optical- Mechanical Projector"
CPT’s trip itinerary was designed predominantly to acquire a feel for the city so that we obtained a reliable perspective of what it would be like to live and work in Montreal. Our trip itinerary was prodigious and included the following (in order of the visit):
- Old Montreal
- Old Port of Montreal
- Notre Dame Basilica
- Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History
- Olympic Park
- Montreal Biodome
- Montreal Planetarium
- Mount Royal Park
- Mount Royal
- Just for Laughs Festival
- Festival International Nuits d’Afrique de’ Montreal
- Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
- Historic Jewish Quarter
- Little Portugal
- Greektown, and
- Little Italy.
We hope you enjoyed reading about the amazing city of Montreal and delight in viewing the many photographs we took during our visit.
Biodôme de Montréal
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 Sportsnet, “NBA in Montreal: Hoop Dream or Reality?” Marc Griffin, July 8, 2015, http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/nba/nba-in-montreal-hoop-dream-or-reality/
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