Although Montréal was founded in 1642, the history of the surrounding site dates back much further, and our knowledge of this distant past remains partial, at best.
An outstanding location
Whether temporarily or on a permanent basis, human populations have long chosen to settle on the Island of Montréal for reasons largely determined by the characteristics of its location. These include Mount Royal and its surrounding forests, the St. Lawrence River and the Lachine Rapids, which formed a natural obstacle requiring navigators to stop and unload their boats.
When exactly the Amerindians arrived on the island remains unknown, but we do know that, in 1535, French explorer Jacques Cartier discovered a sedentary population living in a large village called Hochelaga.