Westmount, Quebec: Wikis

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Westmount, Quebec
—  City  —
Upper Westmount and Westmount Summit seen from Murray Park.
Motto: Robur meum civium fides
(My strength is the faithfulness of my citizens)
Location of Mount Royal on the Island of Montreal.
(Grey areas indicate demerged municipalities).
Country Canada
Province Quebec
Region Montreal (06)
Founded 1874
Established 1908
Electoral Districts
Federal

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Provincial Westmount—Saint-Louis
Government [1][2][3]
 - Mayor Peter Trent
 - Federal MP(s) Marc Garneau (LIB)
 - Quebec MNA(s) Jacques Chagnon (PLQ)
Area [4]
 - Land 4.02 km2 (1.6 sq mi)
Population (2006)[4]
 - Total 20,494
 Density 5,092.6/km2 (13,189.8/sq mi)
 - Change (2001-06) 3.9%
 - Dwellings 9,418
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 514/438
Access Routes[5] Route 138
Website www.westmount.org

Westmount is a city in southwestern Quebec, Canada on the Island of Montreal, an enclave of the city of Montreal; pop. 20,494; area 4.02 km²; its population density of 5,092.56 inhabitants/km² is the second-highest of any municipality in Canada (following Notre-Dame-des-Anges, Quebec) (Statistics Canada, 2006).

Westmount is mostly a wealthy residential area, containing schools, an arena, a pool, a public library and a number of parks, including Westmount Park and King George Park (also known as Murray Hill Park). The city operates its own electricity distribution company Westmount Light & Power (Hydro Westmount). The city is also the location of three Canadian Forces Primary Reserves : 34 Combat Engineer Regiment, The Royal Montreal Regiment and 712 Communication Squadron.

Contents

History

Entrance, Victoria Hall, Westmount, June 2007.

Westmount was first incorporated as a city in 1874 and remained so until January 1, 2002 when it was forced to become a borough of the City of Montreal. On June 20, 2004 it voted to "demerge" and became an independent city again on January 1, 2006. However, it has not truly regained its former status since the bulk of its municipal taxes go to the newly created Agglomeration Council, which oversees activities common to all municipalities on the Island of Montreal (e.g. fire protection, public transit) even after the demerger.

Traditionally, the community of Westmount was an enclave of wealthy anglophones of British ancestry, having been at one point the richest community in Canada; it now competes with West Vancouver in British Columbia, Forest Hill, Rosedale, and The Bridle Path, in Toronto for the title. This made the city one of several symbolic targets of FLQ terrorist bombings in the 1960s, culminating in the 1970 October Crisis. However, it is now mostly inhabited by middle and upper-middle class families of multiple ethnic and linguistic backgrounds with the stereotype only partially existing at the very top of the mountain, around Summit Circle, a road which rings around its summit (one of the three peaks of Mount Royal), and on which some of Montreal's wealthiest families (including the Bronfmans and the Molsons) have built their homes as well as select avenues located off The Boulevard.

Government

Municipal

Since regaining its status as a city, Westmount is governed by a City Council made up of a mayor and eight "district" councillors. The current mayor of Westmount is Peter Trent. In addition to the local city council, Westmount is represented by its mayor on the Montreal Agglomeration Council.

Westmount City Council
District number Councillor
District 1 Patrick Martin
District 2 Timothy Price
District 3 Victor M. Drury
District 4 Kathleen Warner Duncan
District 5 Gary Ikeman
District 6 Nicole Forbes
District 7 Cynthia Lulham
District 8 Theodora Samiotis

Provincial and Federal

Westmount City Hall

Throughout Quebec, Westmount is known as an overwhelmingly Liberal riding, both federally and provincially.

On the federal level, Westmount is represented in the Westmount—Ville-Marie riding. The riding was won by Marc Garneau in the 2008 federal election.

Provincially, the city is represented in the riding of Westmount—Saint-Louis by MNA Jacques Chagnon of the Quebec Liberal Party.

Cityscape

Greene Avenue in downtown Westmount.

There are several small commercial districts on Sherbrooke Street from the city's western boundrary to the intersection of Sherbrooke Street and Victoria Avenue ("Victoria Village"), on Saint Catherine Street across from Place Alexis Nihon, on Greene Avenue and on De Maisonneuve Boulevard near the Atwater metro station.

The city is home to Dawson College, Quebec's largest CEGEP, and Marianopolis College; Westmount High School with its sister elementary school Westmount Park School; Place Alexis Nihon and office towers; some of the most prestigious private schools in Quebec, including Miss Edgar's and Miss Cramp's School, Selwyn House School, Villa Sainte-Marcelline and The Study; and Westmount Square residential towers and shopping complex, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and funded largely by Westmount resident Samuel Bronfman, the founder of the Seagram liquor empire.

Sports

Westmount's Westmount Arena is part of a joint arena and pool complex built in 1959. The arena honours early Montreal ice hockey teams with replica Stanley Cup banners.

Westmount is also home of the oldest active rugby club in North America, the Westmount Rugby Club.

In addition, the city's swim team, the Westmount Dolphins [6], won the 2007 Section B Alps finals.

Demographics

As of the census of 2001, there were 19,727 people, 8,460 households, and 5,215 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,907.21/km² . There were 9,333 housing units at an average density of 2,321.64/km².

The median income for a household was $142,660 and the median income for a family was $190,120 [7], one of the highest in Canada. Males had an average income of $112,882 versus $42,245 for females. About 5.0% of the labour force was unemployed. The largest occupation categories were 24.0% employed in management occupations, 18.2% in business, finance, and administration occupations, and 17.4% in social science, education, government service and religion occupations.

There were 8,460 households out of which 26.2% had children living with them, 47.5% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female lone-parent as a householder, and 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average married-couple family size was 3.1.

In the city the population was spread out with 15.7% under the age of 15, 11.9% from 15 to 24, 22.9% from 25 to 44, 28.6% from 45 to 64, and 20.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 83.7 males. For every 100 females age 15 and over, there were 80.2 males.

About 27% of the population is foreign-born, most having immigrated since 1991. Visible minorities constitute 11% of the population (Arab 3.5%, Chinese 1.5%, Black 1.4%, South Asian 1.1%). Residents declared their religions as Catholic (31.0%), Jewish (23.2%), Protestant (21.5%), Christian Orthodox (3.7%), Muslim (2.7%) and other Christian (1.9%).

Language

Westmount's residents are predominantly bilingual: 75% speak English as their first official language; 76.3% can speak both English and French, 20.5% of the population can speak only English, 3.1% can speak only French.

The 2006 census found that over 54% of residents spoke English, and over 21% spoke French, as their mother tongue.[8]

Mother Tongue Population Percentage
English 10,720 54.13%
French 4,220 21.31%
English and French 305 1.54%
English and a non-official language 155 0.78%
French and a non-official language 90 0.45%
English, French and a non-official language 50 0.25%
Spanish 560 2.83%
Arabic 510 2.58%
Chinese 425 2.15%
German 285 1.44%
Russian 280 1.41%
Italian 265 1.33%
Mother Tongue Population Percentage
Persian 225 1.14%
Hungarian 185 0.93%
Romanian 165 0.83%
Greek 150 0.76%
Polish 140 0.71%
Tagalog 100 0.50%
Yiddish 100 0.50%
Portuguese 95 0.48%
Dutch 65 0.33%
Hebrew 55 0.28%
Armenian 50 0.25%
Ukrainian 50 0.25%


Controversy

Merger with Montreal

While trying to prevent Westmount from being amalgamated into greater Montreal, Westmount Mayor Peter Trent and city council asserted that the city was a designated anglophone institution and should not be merged into francophone greater Montreal. In response to this opposition, Municipal Affairs Minister Louise Harel said that Westmount's resistance "reeked of colonialism" and that the opposition was an "ethnic project", statements for which she would refuse to apologize.[9] When asked for comment, Quebec Premier Bernard Landry said the minister had his full support and that the opposition was little more than Quebec bashing.[10] Several federalist public figures criticized Landry's statement: Jean Charest called it insulting to the intelligence of the citizens of Quebec; Joseph Gabary, president of the Quebec Chapter of the Canadian Jewish Congress, called the language "crude"; Alliance Quebec also criticized the premier for singling out the city for special criticism. [11]

Dorchester Boulevard

Westmount is also known for being one of the two island municipalities that refused to rename their sections of Dorchester to Boulevard René-Lévesque. After the city of Montreal changed the name, Westmount retained the name of Dorchester on their portion, as did Montréal-Est.

Westmount Adjacent

"Westmount Adjacent" is term applied by realtors to a district in the borough of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, located in between the city of Westmount, the Décarie Expressway, De Maisonneuve Boulevard and the lands of Villa Maria private Catholic girls school.[12]

Famous residents

Westmount is the residence of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Quebec Premier Jean Charest, Canadian media proprietor Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien, Canadian Singer Marc Mysterio, the Molson Family, the Bronfman family, Belgian-Canadian singer Lara Fabian, Canadian automobile racing driver Jacques Villeneuve and the birthplace of:

See also

References

  1. ^ Ministère des Affaires Municipales et Régions: Westmount
  2. ^ Parliament of Canada Federal Riding History: WESTMOUNT--VILLE-MARIE (Quebec)
  3. ^ Chief Electoral Officer of Québec - 40th General Election Riding Results: WESTMOUNT--SAINT-LOUIS
  4. ^ a b 2006 Statistics Canada Community Profile: Westmount, Quebec
  5. ^ Official Transport Quebec Road Map
  6. ^ Westmount Dolphins
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "Westmount, V". Detailed Mother Tongue (103), Knowledge of Official Languages (5), Age Groups (17A) and Sex (3) for the Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Divisions and Census Subdivisions, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data. Statistics Canada. 2007-11-20. http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/data/topics/RetrieveProductTable.cfm?ALEVEL=3&APATH=3&CATNO=&DETAIL=0&DIM=&DS=99&FL=0&FREE=0&GAL=0&GC=99&GK=NA&GRP=1&IPS=&METH=0&ORDER=1&PID=89202&PTYPE=88971&RL=0&S=1&ShowAll=No&StartRow=1&SUB=701&Temporal=2006&Theme=70&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=&GID=773019. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  9. ^ "Harel refuses to apologize for colonialism comment". CBC News. June 21, 2001.
  10. ^ "Landry calls opposition to merger Quebec-bashing" Globe and Mail June 22, 2001
  11. ^ "PQ brass gang up on Westmount"; Nicolas van Praet. The Gazette. Montreal, Que.: Jun 22, 2001. pg. A.1.
  12. ^ Rachel Louise, Barry (2006-2009). "Notre-Dame-de-Grace". http://www.montreal-business-kit.com/notre-dame-de-grace.html. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 

External links

Coordinates: 45°28′53″N 73°36′02″W / 45.48143815697842°N 73.600598573685°W / 45.48143815697842; -73.60059857368469


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