Laval (/ləˈvæl/; French pronunciation: [laval] ( listen)) is a Canadian city in southwestern Quebec, north of Montreal. It forms its own administrative region of Quebec. It is the largest suburb of Montreal, the third largest municipality in the province of Quebec, and the thirteenth largest city in Canada with a population of 422,993 in 2016.
Laval is geographically separated from the mainland to the north by the Rivière des Mille Îles, and from the Island of Montreal to the south by the Rivière des Prairies. Laval occupies all of Île Jésus as well as the Îles Laval.
Laval constitutes region 13 of the 17 administrative regions of Quebec as well as a territory equivalent to a regional county municipality (TE) and census division (CD) with geographical code 65. It also constitutes the judicial district of Laval.
|City and Administrative region|
|Ville de Laval|
Laval seen from the Rivière des Prairies
|Motto(s): "Unité, progrès, grandeur" (French)
"Unity, Progress, Greatness"
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Constituted||6 August 1965|
|• Type||Laval City Council|
|• Mayor||Marc Demers|
|• Federal riding||Alfred-Pellan / Vimy / Laval—
Les Îles / Marc-Aurèle-Fortin
|• Prov. riding||Chomedey / Fabre / Laval-des-
Rapides / Mille-Îles / Sainte-Rose / Vimont
|• Land||247.23 km2 (95.46 sq mi)|
|Elevation||91 m (299 ft)|
|• Density||1,710.9/km2 (4,431/sq mi)|
|• Pop 20011–2016||5.3%|
|Time zone||EST (UTC−5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC−4)|
|Postal code(s)||H7A to H7Y|
|Area code(s)||450 and 579|
The first European Settlers were Jesuits in 1636 when they were granted a seigneury there. Agriculture first appeared in Laval in 1670. In 1675, François de Montmorency-Laval gained control of the seigneury. In 1702 a parish municipality was founded, and dedicated to Saint-François de Sales (not to be confused with the modern-day Saint-François-de-Sales in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean).
Beginning in 1845, after nearly 200 years of a rural nature, additional municipalities were created. The only 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 century. With the dawn of the 20th century came urbanization. Laval-des-Rapides became Laval's first city in 1912, followed by L'Abord-à-Plouffe 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 ideal suburb.
To deal with problems caused by urbanization, amalgamations occurred; L'Abord-à-Plouffe amalgamated with Renaud and Saint-Martin creating the city of Chomedey in 1961. The 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; however the passage of amalgamation bill was not without controversy. Laval was named after the first owner of Île Jésus, François de Montmorency-Laval, the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Quebec. At the time, Laval had a population of 170,000. Laval became a Regional County Municipality in 1980. Prior to that, it was the County of Laval.
The 14 municipalities, which existed prior to the incorporation of the amalgamated City of Laval on 6 August 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.
Laval is bordered on the south by Montreal across the Rivière des Prairies, on the north by Les Moulins Regional County Municipality and by Thérèse-De Blainville Regional County Municipality and on the west by Deux-Montagnes Regional County Municipality across the Rivière des Mille Îles.
|Climate data for Sainte-Dorothée|
|Record high °C (°F)||13.5
|Average high °C (°F)||−5.8
|Average low °C (°F)||−14.8
|Record low °C (°F)||−35.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||75.5
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||44.6
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2)||14.1||11.1||11.5||12.4||13.1||13.5||12.1||13.4||13.1||13.6||13.3||14.0||155.2|
|Source: Environment Canada|
According to the 2011 Census of Canada, the population of Laval was an estimated 401,553, an 8.9 percent increase from the earlier census in 2006. Women constitute 51.5% of the total population. Children under 14 years of age total 17.3%, while those of retirement age (65 years of age and older) number 15.6% resulting in a median age of 40.9 years.
Laval is linguistically diverse. The 2011 census found that French was the sole mother tongue of 60.8% of the population, and was spoken most often at home by 65.2% of residents. The next most common mother tongues were English (7.0%), Arabic (5.6%), Italian (4.2%), Greek (3.5%), Spanish (2.9%), Armenian (1.7%), Creoles (1.6%), Romanian (1.3%) and Portuguese (1.3%).
|Canada 2006 Census||Population||% of Total Population|
|Mixed visible minority||730||0.2%|
|Other visible minority||285||0.1%|
|Canada Census Mother Tongue - Laval, Quebec|
French & English
|Year||Responses||Count||Trend||Pop %||Count||Trend||Pop %||Count||Trend||Pop %||Count||Trend||Pop %|
The city's longtime mayor, Gilles Vaillancourt, resigned on 9 November 2012, following allegations of corruption made against him in hearings of the provincial Charbonneau Commission. City councillor Basile Angelopoulos served as acting mayor until Alexandre Duplessis was selected in a council vote on 23 November. Duplessis, in turn, stepped down after just seven months in office after facing allegations of being implicated in a prostitution investigation; he was succeeded by city councillor Martine Beaugrand until the city's current mayor, Marc Demers, was elected in the 2013 municipal election.
Past mayors have been:
On 3 June 2013, the provincial government of Pauline Marois placed the city under trusteeship due to the ongoing corruption scandal affecting the city. Florent Gagné, a former head of the Sûreté du Québec, will serve as the city's head trustee, with responsibility for reviewing and approving or rejecting all decisions made by city council. Municipal Affairs Minister Sylvain Gaudreault said that Laval's Mayor Alexandre Duplessis and his council will continue to serve, but council decisions must be approved by the trustees. Duplessis, in turn, resigned as mayor on 28 June 2013, after being implicated in a separate prostitution allegation.
On a white-yellow background, the emblem of 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 :
The "L" of Laval is made of cubes that represent the development of Laval.
The 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.
Politically, Laval has been historically a battleground area between the Quebec separatist parties (the Bloc Québécois federally and the Parti Québécois provincially) and the federalist parties (various parties federally and the Quebec Liberal Party provincially). The only exception is Chomedey in the south, which voted overwhelmingly to not separate in the 1995 Quebec referendum.
The other parts of Laval have drifted to the provincial Liberals in recent years. While the PQ held every Laval riding except Chomedey during their second stint in government between 1994 and 2003, the Liberals won every Laval riding in 2003, 2007, and 2008. During the 2012 election, the PQ saw some gains in Laval when they captured 2 seats, but both returned to the Liberal fold during the 2014 election.
Laval's diverse economy is centred around the technology, pharmaceutical, industrial and retail sectors. It has many pharmaceutical laboratories but also stone quarries and a persistent agricultural sector. Long seen as a bedroom community, Laval has diversified its economy, especially in the retail sector, developing numerous shopping malls, warehouses and various retail stores. Laval has four different industrial parks.
The first is Industrial Park Centre, in the heart of Laval at the corner of St. Martin West and Industriel Blvd. 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 employees. The park still has 1,300,643 m2 (14,000,005 sq ft) of space available.
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.
The third, known as Industrial Park East, is in the neighbourhood of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul. 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 future.
The fourth industrial park, the Laval Science and High Technology Park is located along Rivière des Prairies and Autoroute 15. It is an internationally renowned science campus that houses the Biotech City and the Information Technology Development Centre (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 500,000 square metres (5,400,000 sq ft) 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.
Created in 1995, Laval Technopole is a nonprofit organization that has the objective to promote the economic growth of Laval by attracting and supporting new business and investments located in its 5 territory poles: Biopole, e-Pol, Agropole, industrial pole and Leisure/tourism.
|1,750 companies||624 companies||More than 80 firms||264 businesses|
|15,800 jobs||16,000 jobs||Over one billion $ invested since 2001||4,370 jobs|
Laval was the host-city of the "Jeux du Québec" held in summer 1991 and of the Canadian Hockey League's 1994 Memorial Cup. On 11 July 2016 it was announced that Laval would become home to the Montreal Canadiens American Hockey League affiliate the Laval Rocket, starting in the 2017–2018 season.
|Associés de Laval||Baseball||Ligue de Baseball Élite du Québec||Parc Montmorency|
|Sabercats Rive-Nord||Canadian football||Quebec Junior Football League||Parc Cartier|
|Laval Comets||Women's soccer||W-League||Bois-de-Boulogne Sports Centre|
|Laval Rocket||Ice Hockey||American Hockey League||Place Bell|
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 C$803 million, funded entirely by the Quebec government. The 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. Former mayor, Gilles Vaillancourt, announced his wish to loop the Orange line from Montmorency to Côte-Vertu stations with the addition of six new stations (three in Laval and another three in Montreal). He proposed that Transports Quebec, the provincial transport department, set aside C$100 million annually to fund the project, which was expected to cost upwards of $1.5 billion.
The Réseau de transport métropolitain (RTM) operates two commuter train lines on the island. The Deux-Montagnes and Saint-Jérôme lines connect Laval to downtown Montreal in as little as 30 minutes. Including De la Concorde, there are currently five train stations.
The Société de transport de Laval (STL) provides local bus service in Laval. 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.
There 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 Henri-Bourassa Metro 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 reserved bus and taxi lanes 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 31 October 2007.
Laval is home to a variety of vocational/technical centres, colleges and universities, including:
The city has two separate school boards serving Laval: the Commission scolaire de Laval for French-speaking students and the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board for English-speaking students. There is one community English-language high school in the city: Laval Senior Academy, created on July 1, 2015 by the merger of Laval Liberty High School and Laurier Senior High School.
North Star Academy Laval is the only private English high school in Laval. They offer secondary 1 to 5 and the possibility to do a grade 12 diploma from Ontario via their online platform.
Laval's main attractions are:
Source: Tourisme Laval.
Laval is served by media from Montreal, however it does have some of its own regional media outlets.
Additionally, there are three major newspapers in Laval. The bi-weekly English-language The Laval News, the bi-weekly French-language Le Courrier Laval and the weekly French-language L'Echo de Laval.
Laval is twinned with three different cities:
It also shares about ten economic and cultural cooperation agreements with cities such as Markham, Ontario; Ribeira Grande, The Azores; Nice, France; Grenoble, France; Mudanjiang, China and Pedro Aguirre Cerda, Chile.