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The Montreal-Toronto rivalry is a rivalry that exists between the Canadian cities of Montreal and Toronto. The cities have many similarities and differences, which have intensified the rivalry.


Canada's first city

St. James Street was Canada's financial centre during the first three-quarters of the 20th century.
Today all big five Canadian banks have their head offices in Toronto.

Between the end of World War II and 1971, both Montreal and Toronto grew enormously in size. Between 1941 and 1951, Montreal's population grew by 20% and Toronto's by 25%.[1] Over the next decade, it was 35% for Montreal and 45% for Toronto.[2] From 1961 to 1971, it was a little below 20% for Montreal and 30% for Toronto.[3] In the early 1970s, Toronto, the metropolis of Ontario, had surpassed Montreal in population size. This was 30 years after Toronto had begun challenging Montreal as the economic capital of Canada. Indeed, the volume of stocks traded at the Toronto Stock Exchange surpassed that traded at the Montreal Stock Exchange in the 1940s.[4] Finally in the 1970's, Toronto supplanted Montreal as Canada's business and economic centre. The loss of many headquarters and the departure of a large anglophone business community is generally believed to have lessened Montreal's economic importance.[5]


Census Metropolitan Area population

City/Year Montreal Toronto
1931 1,023,000 810,000
1941 1,150,000 900,000
1951 1,539,000 1,262,000
1961 2,216,000 1,919,000
1971 2,743,000 2,628,000
1981 2,828,000 2,999,000
1991 3,127,000 3,893,000
2001 3,451,027 4,682,897
2006 3,635,571 5,113,149
2009 (est.) 3,861,794 5,363,412

Numbers pre-2001 are rounded off to nearest thousand.
Source: Statistics Canada and Demographia

The current growth rates of the two cities indicate that by 2020, Greater Montreal will have an estimated 4,100,000 residents while the Greater Toronto Area will have 7,200,000 residents.


Category Montreal Toronto
Primary language French English
Founded 1642 (as Ville-Marie) 1793 (as York)
Pro sports teams 3: National Hockey League, Canadian Football League, United Soccer Leagues First Division 7: National Hockey League, American Hockey League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, Canadian Football League, National Lacrosse League
Universities 5: McGill University, Concordia University, Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke 7: University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson University, Ontario College of Art & Design, Tyndale University College and Seminary, University of Guelph-Humber, University of Ontario Institute of Technology


Sports teams from both Toronto and Montreal have been competing against each other as long as Canada has been a country.


The Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League had been the best clubs of the league's East Division in the early 21st century. As such they competed against each other in five consecutive East Division Championships from the 2002 to the 2006 CFL playoffs.


Recently, as the increase of soccer's popularity has spread throughout Canada, a new sporting rivalry has been created between the fans and supporters of Major League Soccer's Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact of the United Soccer League (Division 1). In 2008, both teams played each other for the first time in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship along with the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Impact won the inaugural tournament. In the 2009 tournament, it was Toronto FC's 6-1 defeat of the Impact that secured the championship.


Historically the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Montreal Canadiens have had a long standing hockey rivalry, known as "Forever Rivals." This rivalry not only included residents of the two cities, but also hockey fans from across the country. The intensity of this rivalry has lessened since National Hockey League expansion although in recent years the rivalry has shown signs of heating up again.

The Canadiens and Maple Leafs have met in the playoffs 15 times. To date, Montreal has won 8, Toronto 7. Scores of games won by the series winning team are in bold.

Season Round Result Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 Game 5 Game 6 Game 7
1917–18 NHL Final* Toronto 10-7** 3-7 3-4
1924–25 NHL Semifinal* Montreal 5-2** 3-2 2-0
1943–44 Semifinal Montreal 4-1 3-1 1-5 2-1 4-1 0-11
1944–45 Semifinal Toronto 4-2 1-0 3-2 4-1 3-4 3-10 2-3
1946–47 Final Toronto 4-2 0-6 4-0 2-4 1-2 1-3 1-2
1950–51 Final Toronto 4-1 2-3 3-2 2-1 3-2 2-3
1958–59 Final Montreal 4-1 3-5 1-3 2-3 3-2 3-5
1959–60 Final Montreal 4-0 2-4 1-2 5-2 4-0
1962–63 Semifinal Toronto 4-1 1-3 2-3 2-0 1-3 0-5
1963–64 Semifinal Toronto 4-3 0-2 2-1 3-2 3-5 2-4 0-3 3-1
1964–65 Semifinal Montreal 4-2 2-3 1-3 2-3 2-4 1-3 4-3
1965–66 Semifinal Montreal 4-0 3-4 0-2 5-2 4-1
1966–67 Final Toronto 4-2 2-6 3-0 2-3 6-2 4-1 1-3
1977–78 Semifinal Montreal 4-0 3-5 2-3 6-1 2-0
1978–79 Quarterfinal Montreal 4-0 2-5 1-5 4-3 5-4

* Stanley Cup Finals were between the NHL and PCHA champions prior to 1927. ** Total goals series.


In 1969, Major League Baseball awarded the city of Montreal a baseball franchise. The Montreal Expos quickly became not only the team of the city, but the team of the whole country. This changed in 1977, when MLB awarded a second team to Toronto. This led to a small rivalry, but nothing compared to its NHL counterpart, since baseball isn't nearly as popular in Canada and because the Expos were in the National League, while the Blue Jays are in the American League. As of 2005, the Montreal Expos have moved to Washington under the name of the Nationals. This ended the baseball rivalry.

See also


  1. ^ Census of Canada, 1941, Census of Canada, 1951
  2. ^ Census of Canada, 1961
  3. ^ Census of Canada, 1971
  4. ^ Jacobs, Jane (1980). The Question of Separatism: Quebec and the Struggle Over Sovereignty, Chapter II (Montreal and Toronto) [1]
  5. ^ Lederman, Lew (April 18, 2002). "Some Effects on Investment of the Election* in Quebec of the Parti Québécois" (PDF). Canadian Insights and Perspectives. AUCC. Retrieved 2008-08-01.  

External links


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