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Canada's oldest city 1541 Charlesbourg Royal Quebec

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Aboriginal peoples had been developing different kinds of settlements over thousands of years in Canada, but it was the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century which led to the establishment of the modern cities of Canada. Many of the new arrivals, both French and English, were from cities and brought with them the experience and knowledge of urban life. They used their knowledge and technology for city building, implementing techniques for the construction of permanent buildings, transportation and communication facilities, and the means of producing food for concentrated groups of people.
Cities were slow to grow in the early period of European colonization in Canada. Those who arrived did so within a colonial and mercantile context that emphasised the exploitation of the colony for economic purposes at a minimum of imperial expense. With the colonial economies in Canada based to a great extent on the fur trade, cities remained mostly administrative centres for the colonies. It was also a period of conflict between England and France, rival colonial powers until 1763, and between Britain and the United States of America from that point until the mid-nineteenth century. This turmoil discouraged the development of cities.
The towns[edit]
Eastern cities such as St. John's (1583), Quebec City (1608), Montreal (1642), Halifax (1749), Saint John (1785), and Sherbrooke (1793) were founded in these years. More to the west, Toronto was established in 1793 as York. Of these cities, Montreal would become the most prominent city in Canada up to the 20th century. Toronto grew at a quick pace, gaining its status as a city and present name in 1834.
Montreal—1642
The area now known as Montreal has been a place of human habitation by Canada's native peoples for the last 8000 years. The first European, Jacques Cartier, reached the site in 1535. However, it was only in 1639 that the first permanent white settlement was established by Frenchman Jerome Le Royer, leading to the establishment of Ville Marie, a Roman Catholic mission, in 1642.
After a series of brutal attacks by the Iroquois, defending their territory, the arrival of new colonists in 1653 ensured the future of the city. The settlement became a fur trading centre but endured continuous raids by warring Iroquois until the Great Peace of 1701 guaranteed its safety.
After the Treaty of Paris in 1763, all the French territory in North America, including Ville Marie, became part of British North America. The town was subjected to invasion and a brief occupation by American forces in 1775, but they were subsequently routed and Montreal retaken by the British, with Canadian and Indian help.
The arrival of British immigrants and the establishment of the North West Company, fur trading rival to the Hudson's Bay Company, with headquarters in Ville Marie, ushered in an era of growth and prosperity. The Eagle Foundry of Montreal built the Äccommodation¨, Canada's first steam powered vessel. The opening of the Lachine Canal in 1825 reinforced the location as a port. Coal gas street lighting was introduced in 1838.
The City of Montreal was established in 1832 with 27,000 inhabitants. During the period of its primarily European history, Montreal initially had a Francophone majority but Anglophone immigration tipped the balance by about 1830. From 1844 to 1849 Montreal served as the capital of the United Province of Canada.

   "I am a Quebecker. I am a French Canadian with all my heart. However, I am also deeply and irrevocably a Canadian. I am           convinced that one does not prevent the other."
                                                                                                     Pierre Trudeau


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