West Island

West Island

Coordinates: 45°27′N 73°45′W / 45.45°N 73.75°W / 45.45; -73.75 The West Island (in French, l'Ouest de l'île) is the unofficial name given to the cities, towns and boroughs at the western end of the Island of Montreal, in Quebec, Canada. It is generally considered to consist of the cities of Dorval (including L'Île-Dorval), Pointe-Claire, Kirkland, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Beaconsfield, Baie-D'Urfé, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, the village of Senneville, and two boroughs of the city of Montreal: Pierrefonds-Roxboro and L'Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève. That said, given the nature of suburban demographic development in Montréal, off-island suburbs towards the west of the island (such as Vaudreuil, Pincourt or Hudson) in addition to outer-ring boroughs of Montréal (such as LaSalle, Lachine and St-Laurent) are often considered part of the West Island. This is in large part due to similarities in personal income, design of the communities, services available (and shared), quality of life and economic engines supporting the population.

Historically, there was a linguistic division of the island of Montreal into French and English 'halves', with Francophones typically inhabiting the eastern portion of the island and Anglophones typically inhabiting the western half. The West Island's population is approximately 234,000 and although the overwhelming majority of its residents are today bilingual if not multi-lingual, (given the cosmopolitan nature of this vast suburban area), anglophones still make up the majority of the West Island's population. Given its population, the West Island is of similar same size as Windsor, Kitchener, Longueuil, Saskatoon, Burnaby or Regina. Curiously, as late as the 1960s, the West Island was principally farmland populated by Old World French Canadians, which in turn accounts for the significant Francophone cultural influence in what is arguably the 'most English' part of Québec.

The West Island has a multicultural feel and an at times eclectic design (with modern buildings and classic Québécois country homes side by side), given the history of the area and its complex inter-related development with the City of Montreal. The region boasts large green spaces bordering rivers and lakes, bike trails, nature parks, museums, cross-country ski trails, ecological farms, golf courses and cultural sites. As a testimony to its 300-year-old history, residents and visitors alike will discover fascinating 18th-century buildings along the former Chemin du Roy, today Gouin Boulevard and Chemin du Bord-du-Lac, in addition to the remnants of Fort Senneville. The shores of Lake Saint-Louis offer a unique setting with café-terrasses, restaurants and boutiques filled with quaint old world charm. The area today is largely middle and upper-middle class residential zoning along with the strip-malls and other services one might expect in a North American mega-suburb. Large tracts were developed in the period 1955–1975 (such as Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Pierrefonds, Roxboro and Kirkland) where the majority of homes are similarly-sized variations of the basic bungalow design, though with traditional Québécois architectural influences. Lots tend to be more or less even in size without much variation across entire cities or boroughs. As such, the West Island tends to give the impression of being a somewhat homogeneous construction.

The region is home to the Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (formerly Montreal-Dorval), John Abbott College, Cégep Gérald-Godin, the Macdonald Campus of McGill University, the Fairview Pointe-Claire and Galeries des Sources malls, as well as Montreal's largest park, the Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park. Hospitals include the Veteran's Hospital in Sainte-Anne's and the Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire. Municipalities range in character from the modern bedroom communities of Kirkland or Dollard-des-Ormeaux to the former cottage-country homes of Dorval, Pointe Claire and Beaconsfield, with Senneville and Pierrefonds, though sharing a common border, demonstrating the extremes in West Island population density. Other communities, like Roxboro, Ste-Genevieve or Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue have their own particular characters, the latter two sporting the region's two public colleges. Development and the concentration of industrial activity along highways 20, 40 and 15 over the last twenty years has made securing the region's remaining tracts of open land a priority for many West Island residents. Indeed, the West Island is home to one of the last large remaining tracts of Montreal-region wilderness on island.

Read more about West Island:  Geography, Municipalities and Boroughs, Demographics, Education, Media, Sports and Recreation, Points of Interest

Other articles related to "west island, islands, island, west":

West Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
... West Island is the capital of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands ... It is the less populous of the two inhabited islands (the other is Home Island) ...
Dorval (AMT)
... The adjacent STM bus terminal rivals the Fairview Bus Terminal as the busiest in the West Island, but serves as the main interchange and fastest link to downtown Montreal for West ... The 211 and the 221 bus routes are known as the quickest links to a metro station from the West Island ... Nine metro stations are served via the Dorval bus terminal, the most out of any West Island train station ...

Famous quotes containing the words island and/or west:

    In all things I would have the island of a man inviolate. Let us sit apart as the gods, talking from peak to peak all round Olympus. No degree of affection need invade this religion.
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