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To win, the anti-merger camp wanted to acquire not solely a majority of votes, but additionally represent 35% of all registered voters. Most municipalities received again their independence, and 15 Montréal boroughs reclaimed their metropolis status on January 1, 2006. In addition to these mergers and de-mergers, the city’s mayor, Gérald Tremblay, has needed to face a number of political scandals since he took office in November of 2001. On the federal scene, present Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the chief of the Conservative Party of Canada, leads the minority government that beat Paul Martin’s Liberal Party in the January 2006 elections.

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The appearance of increasingly skyscrapers in the downtown core nonetheless showed that Montréal’s economy continued to grow sturdy. A public inquiry carried out between 1950 and 1954, throughout which attorneys Pacifique Plante and Jean Drapeau stood out in particular, led to a series of convictions and a significant improvement within the social climate. With its numerous multi-level stone homes, the centre of Montréal already had the looks and ambiance of a small, peaceable French metropolis by the middle of the 18th century. The Seven Years War, which raged via Europe between 1756 and 1763, had monumental repercussions in America, which quickly turned a battlefield.

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At the corner of Avenue Clarke stands the Église Saint-Léon , the one Frenchlanguage Catholic parish in Westmount. The sober, elegant Romanesque Revival facade conceals an exceptionally rich interior decor begun in 1928 by artist Guido Nincheri. The complicated stained-glass windows depict various scenes from the lifetime of Jesus Christ, as well as a quantity of individuals from the time of the church’s building that visitors will be amused to find among biblical figures. Finally, the entire Christian pantheon is represented within the chancel and on the vault in vibrantly colored frescoes, executed in the conventional method of egg-wash.

These retailers, where all sorts of treasures lay hidden, occupy handsome 19th-century industrial buildings, all positioned on the south side of the street. Behind these sprawl dilapidated factories along the Lachine Canal, some of which have been converted into housing complexes in the course of the Nineteen Eighties. At 2490 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, visitors can see the facade of the former Théâtre Corona (1912; see p 269), whose interior remains to be intact. Most important collection of books and multimedia documents within the province. Start your visit on the library’s entrance, where you’ll be greeted by the Espace Fractal “knowledge tree,” a veritable bouquet of aluminium sparks created by Québec artist Jean-Pierre Morin. Take one of the panoramic elevators to the library’s prime floor for an unbeatable view of town.

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