Chapter 12 IntroductionHochelaga 1500-1642Ville-Marie 1642-1665French Empire 1699-1763Small French Town 1665-1760Conquered City 1760-1800British Commercial Takeover 1800-1850Industrial City 1850-1896Canada's Metropolis 1896-1914North-American City 1914-1929Depression and War 1930-1945Modern City 1945-1960Québec's Metropolis 1960-1992ConclusionQuizEducational Resources

Re-structuring the economy

Urban sprawl

A new francophone conquest

A cultural revival

The modernization of the political scene

Chapter 12 / QUEBEC'S METROPOLIS / Re-structuring the economy  Previous pageNext page

The process of modernization begun in the post-war period reached its full potential after 1960. A modern city was under construction, the economy was being re-structured, urbanization was expanding and the overall quality of life was improving. Montréal lost its title as Canada's metropolis, but thanks to French-speaking society's re-appropriation of the city, Montréal came into its own as the metropolis of a new and modern Québec which asserted itself in the political, economic, social and cultural arenas.

Re-structuring the economy
Montrealers' standard of living continued to rise in the two decades after the war. Better qualified workers earned higher wages, while the participation of women in the workforce increased the number of salaried workers.

The state intervened to improve social, medical and educational services.

The recessions of 1981-82 and 1990-92 dealt serious blows to Montréal's economy. Unemployment was high in older neighbourhoods, as traditional industries declined and deserted the old manufacturing areas. The situation was better in the suburbs where state-of-the-art industries were developing alongside small and medium sized specialized firms. The service sector expanded, employing a vast majority of the workforce. The economic structure that had characterized Montréal since the mid 19th century underwent deep-seated transformation.

Montréal's pivotal role in Canadian transport was weakened by the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the decline in rail transportation and the rise of Toronto as the primary centre for Canadian and international air traffic.

Metropolitan Montréal emerged from this re-organization with a considerably more modern and efficient manufacturing structure.

Montréal lost its status as Canada's metropolis. Development in the West and vigorous growth in Ontario aided by American investment gave Toronto a clear advantage. Many large firms moved their head offices there.

Nevertheless, Montréal maintained certain high-level metropolitan functions. The emergence of large French-speaking businesses and publicly-owned corporations with head offices in Montréal gave the city a new role as Québec's metropolis and decision making core.


Louis-Riel School

Louis-Riel School
Agrandir l'image

Institut aérotechnique
Agrandir l'image

Montréal International Airport
Agrandir l'image