Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada as a whole. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands.
In 2016 the city had a population of 1.7 million. Montreal's metropolitan area had a population of more than 4million and a population of 1.9 million in the urban agglomeration, with all of the municipalities on the Island of Montreal included. French is the city's official language and is the language spoken at home by half of the population of the city.
Historically the commercial capital of Canada, Montreal was surpassed in population and in economic strength by Toronto in the 1970s. It remains an important centre of commerce, aerospace, transport, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, education, art, culture, tourism, food, fashion, gaming, film and world affairs. The service sector is also strong and includes civil, mechanical and process engineering, finance, higher education, and research and development. Montreal plays an important role in the finance industry. The sector employs approximately 100,000 people in the Greater Montreal Area. The Montreal Oil Refining Centre is the largest refining centre in Canada.
The Port of Montreal is one of the largest inland ports in the world handling 26 million tonnes of cargo annually.As one of the most important ports in Canada, it remains a transshipment point for grain, sugar, petroleum products, machinery, and consumer goods. For this reason, Montreal is the railway hub of Canada and has always been an extremely important rail city; it is home to the headquarters of the Canadian National Railway