The town was founded in 1912. It was created at the initiative of the Canadian Northern Railway. The town was designed by Frederic Todd, a planner who was heavily influenced by the likes of Ebenezer Howard and incorporated many aspects of the City Beautiful movement into his design. The plan was to build a new town (or "model city" as it was called) at the foot of the mountain. The company bought 4,800 acres (19 km²) of farmland, and then built a rail tunnel under Mount Royal connecting their land to downtown Montreal. The profits from the venture helped finance the development of Canadian Northern's transcontinental railroad, which eventually became a significant constituent of the Canadian National Railway system. The town was designed by Canadian Northern's chief engineer, Henry Wicksteed, based loosely on Washington, DC.
Mount Royal has always been an upper-income community, and until the 1960s its population was almost exclusively Anglophone and largely of English or Scottish ancestry. This began to change after the Quiet Revolution, as francophones gained access to the well-paying careers. Mount Royal became popular and today the community is 46% francophone.
The town was merged with the city of Montreal on January 1, 2002. On June 20, 2004 the residents of the town voted to demerge from Montreal following the calls for de-amalgamation. Mount Royal was re-established as a town on January 1, 2006.
Starting in June 2006, the town accepted to convert the designations on their bilingual street signs to French only signs, as mandated by law. This came after repeated requests from the Quebec French-language office, a provincial agency aimed at promoting French (the official language since 1977) in the province of Quebec (where 82% of the population is French-speaking), and limiting the use of English in public signs and official communications to situations where the Anglophone minority is sufficiently high. Some residents complained and the town agreed to reinstate the English lettering on the signs. The new English designations are now smaller than their official French equivalent, in compliance with the 1993 amendment to the Charter of the French Language. For unknown reasons, there are still street signs for several major boulevards for which the lettering has not been changed back to bilingual.
One peculiarity of the town is the sometimes odd naming of its streets, and also its occasionally strange numbering system. Some streets may thus bear two names (in whichever language). For example, Jean-Talon avenue, a large East-West thoroughfare crossing Montreal on kilometres, goes through Mount Royal under the name of Dresden Avenue on a few hundred meters, only to recover its Montreal name on the other side of town. This confusion has been recently alleviated by putting the two names on the street signs. On these few hundred meters, Mount Royal uses a house civic numbering totally different from that of Montreal on either side, leading to more confusion. This unexpected change in the numbering system also occurs on smaller streets shared by both Montreal and Mount Royal (for example, Trenton, Lockhart and Brookfield avenues, where the Mount Royal numbering system decreases from East to West, only to jump from 2 to 2400 on the few meters of the street that still belong to Montreal).
Mount Royal is surrounded on three sides by a highway, a rail line and a fence.
The highway is Metropolitan Boulevard, a major constituent of Autoroute 40. It was built as an elevated highway throughout, except when it passes through Mount Royal (between Sainte Croix Avenue and l'Acadie Boulevard), since the town council requested that it be built on the ground, in order to separate the town from the industrial area to the north.
The rail line is the last portion of Canadian Pacific's Adirondack subdivision. It originally ran through the northern part of the district of Côte-des-Neiges. However when the town became part of the City of Montreal in 2002, the part of Côte-des-Neiges north of rail line was incorporated into the Mount Royal borough.
A fence runs along the eastern border with Park Extension at Acadie Boulevard. The stated purpose of the fence is to prevent children and house pets from running into the busy thoroughfare but some have contended that it was built to keep residents of the working-class Park Extension neighbourhood out of the town. This fence originally had several gates built into it, which the became a subject of controversy when they were locked one year at Halloween, preventing children from Park Extension from trick-or-treating in the town. The town council responded by removing the gates so that the fence could be crossed at any time at any of the six crosswalks along the 1.2 km boulevard. Inf 2007, the gates were restored, with signs explaining that they are for the safety of children and pedestrians.
Danyluk won the election.
As of the census of 2001, there were 18,682 people, 7,065 households, and 5,215 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,438.90/km². There were 7,267 housing units at an average density of 948.69/km². The racial makeup of the city was 84.51% White, 1.71% Black Canadian, 0.08% Aboriginal, 6.66% Asian Canadian, and 0.84% Latin American.
|Percentage (%)||Percentage (%)|
|Both English and French||77.6%||76.9%|
|Neither English nor French||1.2%||1.4%|
|English and French||225||1.21%|
|English and a non-official language||210||1.13%|
|French and a non-official language||160||0.86%|
|English, French and a non-official language||55||0.29%|