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Territory & Diversity

Convergence of two worlds

A compelling blend of Old World charm and North American modernity, Québec’s major centres offer dramatic contrasts. Both Montréal and Québec City have historical French and British-style buildings that blend in with the modern architecture of nearby structures. Québec City is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is considered the cradle of French civilization within North America. It rightly deserves its reputation as the most European city on the continent. Montréal is renowned for its intellectual and cultural vitality. It has the fourth highest standard of living in the world and among the lowest cost of living. Montréal is also conveniently located near major U.S. cities such as Boston (500 km) and New York (600 km). With 17 distinct regions, each of Québec’s hundreds of towns and villages present a different facet of the province.

A vast 1.7 Million KM² region

Québec is the largest Canadian province and is located in the northeastern tip of North America. This vast territory covers an area of 1.7 million km2, three times larger than France and four times larger than California. Québec has a mosaic of distinct geographical features that stretch from the U.S. border, to the northern regions, and to the Atlantic Ocean.

Thousands of rivers

Due to the sheer size of Québec, it has a remarkable variety of landscapes, including fertile plains, the highest mountain chains in eastern Canada, more than one million lakes, and thousands of rivers. The St. Lawrence River is one of the longest rivers in the world and has a coastline that runs from west to east through Québec. Québec also has wide swaths of forest, taiga and tundra, as well as permanently frozen glaciers in the far north.

Four distinct seasons

Québec’s climate, like its geography, presents great contrasts. In the south, where 80% of the population lives, there are four distinct seasons: a mild spring, with cool days; a hot, sunny summer; a colourful but sometimes chilly fall; and a white, snowy winter. Northern Québec has a sub-arctic climate and the far north, an artic climate. However, despite the contrasts in temperature, Québec enjoys a relatively dry, sunny climate.

80 languages

Québec society has an extremely diverse culture. About 40% of the population’s 7,600,000 inhabitants speak both French and English fluently. In addition to these two official languages, about 80 languages are spoken in Québec, including Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Greek, Chinese, German and Portuguese. In cosmopolitan Montréal, French and English are widely spoken and there are more than 70 cultural communities.

20,000 industry professionals in the Montréal metropolitan region

Québec’s workforce is renowned for its skills, enthusiasm and creativity. The Montréal Metro Area has also earned second place among 24 North American cities for the size of its creative pool of talent. In 2005, Fast Company ranked Montréal as one of the five international cities most sought after by creative workers.

In addition, according to a study by KPMG (2006), labour costs are lower in Québec than the average for industrialized countries. Labour costs businesses an average of 17% less in Québec compared to the U.S., and 18% less compared to G7 nations.

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