Laval ( ) is a city and a region
in southwestern Quebec, Canada.
a population of 368,709 in 2006
it is the second largest city in Greater Montreal
, and the third largest in
the province of Quebec. Laval is in between the Rivière des Mille Îles
opposite the north shore and the
Rivière des Prairies,
occupies all of Île Jésus as well as the Laval Islands.
Laval constitutes region 13 of the 17 administrative regions of Quebec
well as a territory
equivalent to a regional county municipality
(TE) and census division
geographical code 65.
Laval was originally inhabited by Mohawks
before the French arrived. The first European Settlers were
in 1636 when they were granted a
there. Agriculture first
appeared in Laval in 1670. In 1675, François de
gained control of the seigneury. In 1702 a parish was founded, and dedicated to Saint-François
The first municipalities on the island were
created in 1845, after nearly 200 years of a rural nature.
built-up area on the island, Sainte-Rose, was incorporated as a village in 1850, and
remained as the main community for the remainder of the
With the dawn of the 20th century came urbanization
. Laval-des-Rapides became Laval's first city in 1912, followed by
being granted village status three years later. Laval-sur-le-Lac was founded in the same year on its tourist-based
economy from Montrealers.
Laval began to grow throughout the
following years, due to its proximity to Montreal that made it an
with problems caused by urbanization, amalgamations occurred;
L'Abord-à-Plouffe amalgamated with Renaud and Saint-Martin creating the city of Chomedey in 1961.
amalgamation turned out to be so successful for the municipalities
involved that the Quebec government decided to amalgamate the whole
island into a single city of Laval in 1965. Laval was named after
the first owner of Île Jésus, François de
, the first Roman Catholic Bishop of
. At the time, Laval had a population of 170,000. Laval
became a Regional County
in 1980. Prior to that, it was the County
The 14 municipalities, which existed prior to the incorporation of
the amalgamated City of Laval on August 6, 1965, were:
The island has developed over time, with most of the urban area in
the central region and along the south and west river banks.
bordered on the south by Montreal across the Rivière des Prairies, on the north
by MRC des Moulins and by MRC de Thérèse-de-Blainville and on the west by MRC de Deux-Montagnes across the Rivière des Mille
the fifth largest suburb in North
America after Town of Hempstead, New York; Mississauga, Ontario; Mesa,
Arizona and Surrey, British Columbia.
|1971 - 228,010
1976 - 246,240
1981 - 268,335
1986 - 290,791
1991 - 321,937
1996 - 334,882
2001 - 349,896
2006 - 376,845
In 2001, the population of Laval was an estimated 343,005, a 3.8
percent increase from the earlier census in 1996. Women constitute
51.44% of the total population. Children under 14 years of age
total 18.6%, while those of retirement age (65 years of age and
older) number 13.2% resulting in a median age of 38.7 years.
15.48% of the population was born outside of Canada, substantially
lower than the national average, many immigrants hailing from the
French Caribbean, the Middle East,
North Africa, and Europe.
Those of indigenous origin constitute
0.22%, while those who are visible minorities (non-white/European
) number 8.68%, and are chiefly Black Canadian
. As with many parts of Quebec, the city is
highly Christian (90.71%), particularly
Roman Catholic (81.09%), while
Protestant and Orthodox groups constitute the remainder of the
Religions such as Islam
and others number less than 5% combined.
On March 19, 2009, Laval is now the main destination for immigrants
to Canada, according to a study released by the Federation of
Canadian Municipalities (FCM). The report says that between 2001
and 2006, the immigrant population grew by 40% in Laval, while the
national average stood at 15%
- Just over 10% of immigrants arriving in Laval speaks neither
English nor French at home.
- Immigrants from Eastern Europe are most likely to live in
- 20% of Lavalers were born abroad in 2006.
not quite as linguistically diverse as neighbouring Montreal.
The 2006 census found that, counting both
single and multiple responses, French
was spoken as a mother tongue
by 68.4% of the population, and
was spoken most often at home by 73.8% of Laval residents. Counting
single responses only, the next most common mother tongues were
(2.2%) and Armenian
|English and French
|French and a non-official language
|English and a non-official language
|English, French and a non-official language
As of 2009, Gilles Vaillancourt
is the mayor of the city of Laval. He has been in office since
1989. Vaillancourt's party, the Parti PRO des Lavallois, was born
in 1980. Vaillancourt took over as head of the party just before
the 1989 municipal elections.
Past mayors have been:
Flag, seal and motto
On a white-yellow background, the emblem
Laval illustrates the modernism of a city in full expansion. The
sign of the city symbolizes the "L" of Laval.
The colours also have a significant meaning :
- Dark red represents usually the affluence and represents here the great economic
potential of Laval.
- Blue symbolizes the quality of life and the installation of a
The "L" of Laval is made of cubes that represent the development of
letters of the Laval signature are related one to the other to
point out the merger of the 14 municipalities of Jesus island in 1965.
The logo (that is on the flag) has existed since the 1980s and the
flag since the 1990s.
Federal and provincial politics
Politically, Laval is a battleground area between the Quebec
nationalist parties (the Bloc Québécois
provincially) and the federalist parties (the
Liberal Party of Canada
the Parti libéral
). The only exception is Chomedey in the south, which voted overwhelmingly to not
separate in the 1995 Quebec
The other parts of Laval were narrowly
Laval's diverse economy is centered around the technology,
pharmaceutical, industrial and retail sectors. It has many
pharmaceutical laboratories but also stone quarries and a
seen as a bedroom community
has diversified its economy, especially in the retail sector,
developing numerous shopping malls
and various retail stores.
Laval has four different industrial
The first is Industrial Park Centre, in the heart of Laval at the
corner of St. Martin West and Industriel Blvd. It is One of the
largest municipal industrial parks in Quebec, the
Industrial Park Centre boasts the highest concentration of
manufacturing companies in Laval; 1,024 at last count, and 22,378
The park still has 1,300,643 m² of space
The second, the Autoroute 25
Industrial Park is at the crossroads of the metropolitan road
network. Inaugurated in 2001, this new industrial municipal space
has been a tremendous success, boasting an 80% occupancy rate.
Laval is studying the possibility of expanding this park in the
next few years.
third, known as Industrial Park East, is in the neighbourhood of
This park has reached full capacity with a
100% occupancy rate. Industrial Park East is currently part of a
municipal program to revitalize municipal services and public
utilities. Laval is working with a private developer on an
expansion project for the park that should be announced in the near
The fourth industrial park, the Laval Science and High Technology
Park is located along Rivière
. It is an internationally renowned science campus that
houses the Biotech
City and the Information
Technology Development Center (ITDC). The Laval Science and High
Technology Park is a beacon of the metropolitan
economy, in an environment
befitting the best technopolises in the world. Nearly of space are
available for development. The Biotech City spans the entire
territory of the Laval Science and High Technology Park and is a
unique concept in Canada in that its residents comprise both
universities and companies.
See also: Le
réseau des sports
for detailed coverage.
Laval was also host-city of the "Jeux du Québec" held in summer
- On June 18, 2000, during renovations to the Souvenir Boulevard
overpass over Highway 15, the southern section collapsed onto the
highway, causing the death of one person.
- On September 30, 2006, the De la Concorde overpass over
19 suddenly collapsed killing five people. See also:
Concorde Overpass collapse.
- In April 2007, the Montreal Metro
was extended to Laval with three stations. The long-awaited
stations were begun in 2003 and completed in April 2007, two months
ahead of the revised schedule, at a cost of $803 million, funded
entirely by the Quebec government.
stations are Cartier, De La Concorde, and Montmorency. The arrival of the metro in Laval was long
awaited as it was first promised in the 1960s.
- Public transit users must purchase the $109 per month (2009)
TRAM-3 card to access the metro from Laval's three new stations or
pay $2.75 per trip towards Montreal since regular Montreal tickets
and the CAM pass are not valid at the three new stations.
July 22, 2007, the mayor of Laval, Gilles Vaillancourt, announced his wish
to loop the Orange
line from Montmorency to Cote-Vertu stations with the addition of six new stations
(three in Laval and another three in Montreal). He proposes
that Transports Quebec, the
provincial transport department, set aside $100M annually to fund
the project, which is expected to cost upwards of $1.5 billion
métropolitaine de transport
(AMT) operates two commuter train
lines on the
island. The Deux-Montagnes
lines connect Laval to downtown Montreal in as little as 30
minutes. Including De la
Concorde, there are currently five train
See the Société de transport de
Laval page for the public transit system
. The STL's
network consists of 35 regular lines, two rush hour lines, two
trainbus lines, three express lines, one community circuit and
several taxi lines.
are reserved lanes for buses and taxis on
Chomedey Blvd between Le Carrefour Blvd and the Des Prairies River (Lachapelle
Bridge) and beyond as well as along boulevard des
Laurentides between rue Proulx and boulevard Cartier (the reserved
lane, in this case for buses only, continues onto the Pont Viau bridge into Montreal until the Terminus Laval at the
station). Most buses that use the reserved lane end
their journey at the Cartier metro station.
- The AMT and the City of Laval have developed a reserved bus and taxi lane on Notre-Dame Boulevard
between Vincent Massey Street and Place Alton-Goldbloom and another
on De la Concorde Blvd between De l'Avenir and Laval Blvds, as well
as between Ampere Ave and Roanne St. These reserved lanes
(Notre-Dame and De la Concorde are the same boulevard but change
name where they meet under Autoroute
15) opened shortly after October 31, 2007.
A Google Map of the subway system, including the three new Laval
stations can be viewed at Montreal-Laval Subway Map Mashup
Laval is home to a variety of vocational/technical centres,
colleges and universities, including:
The city has two separate school boards, the Commission scolaire de
Laval for French-speaking students and the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School
for English-speaking students
Laval's main attractions
Source: Tourisme Laval.
Laval is served by media from Montreal, however it does have some
of its own regional media outlets.
Laval has two radio stations on its territory: CFAV
" and CFGL
Additionally, there are two major papers in Laval. The bi-weekly
French-language Le Courrier
, which also publishes an English version
weekly, and the bi-weekly
English language The Laval News
(formerly called The
One television network operates on Laval's territory, Télévision régionale de
, on the VOX network
available on Videotron
Laval is paired with two different cities:
shares about ten economic and cultural cooperation agreements with
cities sush as Markham,
Ontario, Ribeira Grande, The
China and Pedro Aguirre Cerda, Chile.
References and footnotes
- Statistics Canada. 2001 Community Profile