A renewed Québec nationalism challenged the English-Canadian minority's hold on many aspects of life. The strongest English-speaking presence in Québec could be found in the Montréal urban area, and Montréal was at the heart of the 1970 October Crisis. The hundreds of arrests made under the War Measures Act were intended to break the backs, not only of the nationalist movement, but of leftist groups as well. Yet the strategy failed and Montréal remained fertile ground for social and political change. French speaking Montrealers were key contributers to the Parti québecois' rise to power in 1976.
Montréal was also a focal point for the linguistic battle that led to the adoption by successive Québec governments of a series of language laws that gradually reinforced the status of the French language in Québec. Furthermore, a new, French-speaking business elite took shape, eventually attaining a prominent place in Montréal's economy.
Parallel to this new francophone conquest, women struggled for equality and independence. This phenomenon was most widespread in Montréal, where the strongest activist groups could be found.
A result of the Quiet Revolution throughout Québec and in Montréal, one of the most striking aspects of this period of upheaval was the re-definition of the Church's role in society and the loosening of the clergy's grip on the population.