Laval (IPA læˈvæl) is a city and a region in southwestern Quebec, Canada, in the Greater Montreal Area. It is located on Île Jésus, across the Rivière des Prairies from Montreal. It also includes the Îles Laval in the Rivière des Prairies. In 2006, the city had a population of 368,709, which makes it the third largest city in Quebec. Laval constitutes one of the 17 administrative regions of Quebec, whose number is 13, as well as a territory equivalent to a regional county municipality (TE) and census division (CD) with geographical code 65.
Laval was originally inhabited by Mohawks before the French arrived. 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 was founded, and dedicated to Saint-François de Sales. The first municipalities on the island were created in 1845, after nearly 200 years of a rural nature. 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. 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.
Laval is bounded 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 Îles.
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.
In Laval, 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, Arab, and Hispanic. 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 population. Religions such as Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and others number less than 5% combined.
|English and French||2,375||0.65%|
|French and a non-official language||4,025||1.10%|
|English and a non-official language||1,695||0.46%|
|English, French and a non-official language||685||0.19%|
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.
Past mayors have been:
Politically, Laval is a battleground area between the Quebec nationalist parties (the Bloc Québécois federally and the Parti Québécois provincially) and the federalist parties (the Liberal Party of Canada and the Parti libéral du Québec). The only exception is Chomedey in the south, which voted overwhelmingly to not separate in the 1995 Quebec referendum. The other parts of Laval were narrowly split.
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 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.
The following is a list of the industrial parks in Laval.
One of the largest municipal industrial parks in Quebec, the Industrial Park Centre is located in the heart of Laval (corner of St. Martin West and Blvd. Industriel) and 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 of space available.
Inaugurated in 2001, this new industrial municipal space has been a tremendous success, boasting an 80% occupancy rate. Easy to access, the Autoroute 25 Industrial Park is at the crossroads of the metropolitan road network. Laval is studying the possibility of expanding this park in the next few years.
This park has reached full maturity with a 100% occupancy rate. Located in Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, the 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.
Laval Science and High Technology Park; 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, located in an environment befitting the best technopolises in the world. Nearly of space are available for development. Located along Rivière des Prairies and Autoroute 15, 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.
Club Sport League Stadium/Arena
See also: Le réseau des sports for detailed coverage.
Laval was also host-city of the "Jeux du Québec" held in summer 1991.
A Google Map of the subway system, including the three new Laval stations can be viewed at Montreal-Laval Subway Map Mashup
|Blainville-Saint-Jerome Line||Deux-Montagnes Line||Line 2 Orange (Montreal Metro)|
|Vimont||Île-Bigras||De la Concorde|
|De la Concorde||Cartier|
The city has two separate school boards, the Commission scolaire de Laval for French-speaking students and the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board for English-speaking students