PopulationMetro: 3,585,000
Free, playful and proud, French Canada’s largest city doubles down on the important things.

Montreal is #26 for global Culture in our ranking—concerts, shows and major cultural events—but our data only tells part of the story.

Montreal’s French Canadian culture is intrinsic and irresistible—a Latin exuberance and emotion that’s hard to find elsewhere in North America.

It manifests in a love of huge public summer gatherings—at the annual jazz or comedy festivals, the Francofolies music festival or at 2017’s massive 375th city birthday party.

More recently, The Arts Games sauntered into town, a kind of Olympics of the arts that could only be attempted in a place that spawned Arcade Fire and Mordecai Richler. There’s even Montreal en Lumière, which cuts a bright swath of music and events through the Montreal winter in late February. Culture gets local and intimate in summer neighborhood events like the family-friendly Marché des Possibles in popular Mile End. The Montreal love of good times extends to evenings, explaining the city’s #31 ranking for Nightlife, and the success of the Plateau neighborhood’s hyper-hip Suwu and Apartment 200, whose owner ran for Mayor of the entire Plateau neighborhood.

Place 37
Product 23
Programming 13
People 76
Prosperity 33
Promotion 14

The city studies as hard as it parties, ranking #10 in Educational Attainment in our People category, and in 2017 was named top university city in the world by QS World University Rankings, thanks to world-beating French and English universities like McGill, Université de Montréal and UQAM.

You’ll also be hearing more about Montreal the tech center soon enough. The home base for Bombardier for decades, the city has long been a major aerospace industry leader. More recently, it’s been among the most magnetic cities in North America for visual effects and gaming companies. Ubisoft and Framestore are here and growing their ecosystem quickly. Where La Belle Ville may soon rule the world is in Artificial Intelligence innovation. City leaders are pouring cash into incentives to grow the nascent industry locally and it’s paying off: Montreal raised the most venture capital In Canada in early 2018.