Westmount, Quebec

Westmount, Quebec

Infobox Settlement
name = Westmount, Quebec
settlement_type =City
official_name =
native_name =
other_name =
nickname =
motto = Robur meum civium fides
(My strength is the faithfulness of my citizens)

imagesize =
image_caption = Greene Avenue in downtown Westmount


mapsize = 200px
map_caption =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = Canada
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_name1 = Quebec
subdivision_type2 =
subdivision_name2 =
leader_title = City Mayor
leader_name = Karin Marks
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
leader_title2 =
leader_name2 =
leader_title3 =
leader_name3 =
established_title = Founded
established_date = 1874
established_title2 = Established
established_date2 = 1908
established_title3 =
established_date3 =
area_magnitude = 1 E8
area_total_km2 = 4.02
area_total_sq_mi = 2.50
area_land_km2 =
area_land_sq_mi =
area_water_km2 =
area_water_sq_mi =
area_water_percent =
area_urban_km2 =
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
area_metro_sq_mi =
population_as_of = 2006
population_note =
population_total = 20494
population_density_km2 = 5092.6
population_density_sq_mi =
population_metro =
timezone = Eastern (EST)
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
elevation_m =
elevation_ft =
postal_code_type = Postal code span
postal_code = H
website = [http://www.westmount.org Westmount.org]
footnotes = Area code = 514/438

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 is also the location of three Canadian Forces Primary Reserves : 34 Combat Engineer Regiment, The Royal Montreal Regiment and 712 Communication Squadron.


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 and Rosedale, 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.



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 Karin Marks. In addition to the local city council, Westmount is represented by its mayor on the Montreal Agglomeration Council.

#Patrick Martin (District 1)
#Thomas Thompson (District 2)
#Guy Charette (District 3)
#Kathleen Duncan (District 4)
#George Bowser (District 5)
#Nicole Forbes (District 6)
#Cynthia Lulham (District 7)
#John de Castell (District 8)

Provincial and Federal

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 is currently vacant, to be filled in a September 8, 2008 by-election.

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


There are several small commercial districts on the western part of Sherbrooke Street near Decarie Boulevard, around Victoria Avenue ("Victoria Village"), on Saint Catherine Street, on Greene Avenue and near the Atwater metro station.

The latter area includes Dawson College, Quebec's largest CEGEP; 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 the 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.


Westmount's Westmount Arena is one of the oldest arena's in Montreal and was the home of the Montreal Canadiens for several years from the 1890s to 1920s. Many of their Stanley Cup banners remain hung in the Westmount Arena.

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 [http://www.swim-management.com Westmount Dolphins] , won the 2007 Section B Alps finals.


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 [ [http://www.convercite.org/infocite/stat_arrond.asp?nav_id=24859&lang_id=E] ] , 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%).


Like many of Quebec's urban areas, 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. [cite web | title = Westmount, V | work = 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 | publisher = Statistics Canada | date = 2007-11-20 | url = 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 | accessdate = 2008-02-06]


Merger with Montreal

While trying to prevent Westmount, Quebec 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. [ [http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2001/06/21/westmount010621.html|"Harel refuses to apologize for colonialism comment"] . "CBC News". June 21 2001.] 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. [ "Landry calls opposition to merger Quebec-bashing" "Globe and Mail" June 22, 2001 ] 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. ["PQ brass gang up on Westmount"; Nicolas van Praet. "The Gazette". Montreal, Que.: Jun 22, 2001. pg. A.1.]

Dorchester Boulevard

Westmount is also known for contesting the street name change of "Dorchester" to Boulevard René-Lévesque. After the city of Montreal changed the name, Westmount retained Dorchester on their portion of the street, as did the east-end municipality of Montréal-Est.

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 Chantal Chamandy, Designer Joseph Ribkoff, Montreal Canadiens player Alex Kovalev, Canadian automobile racing driver Jacques Villeneuve and the birthplace of:
*Norma Shearer, motion picture actress
*Douglas Shearer, multiple Academy Award winning film sound engineer
*Leonard Cohen, author and musician
*Caroline Rhea, comedian and actress
*Conrad Black, Businessman

ee also

* List of former boroughs
* Montreal Merger
* Municipal reorganization in Quebec


External links

* [http://www.westmount.org/ Official site for the City of Westmount]
* [http://www12.statcan.ca/english/profil01/CP01/Details/Page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=CSD&Code1=2466030&Geo2=PR&Code2=24&Data=Count&SearchText=Westmount&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=24&B1=All&Custom= Statistics Canada website about Westmount]
* [http://www.westlib.org/ Westmount Public Library]
* [http://www.westmountrugby.com/ Westmount Rugby Club]
* [http://www.emsb.qc.ca/westmount/ Westmount High School]
* [http://www.swim-management.com/ Westmount Dolphins]

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